I know we have talked about this before [click
here], but do bring us up to speed: Your movie Axeman 2: Overkill
- in a few words,
what's it going to be about?
It is the continuation to the original Axeman
film I wrote and directed
a few years back that picks up the final night of the first film -
precisely the moment that Tammy (played by Kailena Mai) is having her face
chewed up and spit out! We find that Tammy and her lover Liz
(played by Whitney Nielsen) actually survive their attack but are
separated during the battle. Believing each other have died, the two
embark on separate journeys that have them joining forces with crazed
Evangelicals, murderous bank robbers, small town vigilantes
spearheaded by returning character Deputy Darlene (played again by Arielle
Brachfeld [Arielle Brachfeld
interview - click here]) - ultimately confronting the big man with the axe - The Axeman
at Cutter's Creek!
Axeman 2: Overkill
is a rather wild genre mix - so how did that come about?
First time around, I didn't get to make the film I wanted. I know
that I have lots of fans who truly love the first film and I'm grateful
for that but there was quite a bit of "insanity" that never made
it to the screen because the executive producer wanted to play it safe.
This time around I convinced him to let me go for it and I really went for
it, lol - balls to the wall. It's hilarious when it's supposed to be,
gruesome when it's supposed to be and intense when it's supposed to be.
I think I leaned a little too far in certain directions at times, but
overall it's what I wanted - a wild, insane ride! Something that
gore hounds and lovers of 80s horror flicks will dig.
of course have to talk about the violent bits in Axeman 2: Overkill
for a bit, and how were they achieved? And how important do you think are
blood and guts for a film like yours?
For this film, blood
and guts were an absolute necessity. I skimped on it the first time
around, in my opinion, and I didn't make people squirm enough. This
time, between the blood masturbation scene, the machete through the
asshole, the "worst head I ever had" scene and the testicles
being pulled out of a character's mouth - we delivered in spades!
And to answer the question of how it was achieved - I'd have to put
my wonderful SFX master Eli G. on the horn for that. She is a wizard
in that department and did everything practically, in an age where CGI is
the go-to. We'd originally hired another SFX artist but couldn't use
a single effect she created - I take that back, she lumped a terrible mass
of stuff on Arielle Brachfeld's neck to create the wound in the final
scene which had to be cut to hell in order to make it work because it was
so bad. I'm so lucky to have discovered Eli G.'s SFX talent while
onset and in the clutch - she really saved the day!
Do talk about your
overall directorial approach to your story at hand?
try to keep everything loose and keep the actors nimble. I took the
time to hire very talented actors, a skilled DP with an incredible team
and made sure we all understood the ins and outs of the journey we were
embarking on. Once we were all on the same page, I wound them up and
let them go. I just guided them along to make sure the train didn't
go off the tracks, but what you see on the screen is everyone
relaxed, at their best, giving me the best possible version of Axeman 2: Overkill
that can possibly be rendered.
Axeman 2: Overkill
stars pro-wrestler Bryan Clark [Bryan
Clark interview - click here] in the title role - so why him, and
what was it like working with him?
Scott Pollard was great
in the original and delivered exactly what we wanted. But when
schedules didn't work for the sequel, and the executive producer allowed
me to go in whatever direction I chose, I decided I wanted someone who was
larger than life - who really came off as true threat no matter how
well-equipped you thought someone might be to deal with the Axeman at
Cutter's Creek. He's bigger, faster, stronger and more deadly.
Hell, if someone was going to kick a guy so hard in the nuts that it
causes the guy's testicles to erupt from his mouth, who's better to sell
that? And Bryan was a dream to work with. He was another guy
who left it all in the ring. Even gave me a concussion during our
fight scene, lol. But I'd be a jackass if I didn't mention
"Iron" Mike Foster as well, who plays the Axeman's father Polk
Talbert. He also turned in an incredibly rabid performance as
"hate" personified! He was a total beast in the film,
cutting a woman in half with a chainsaw and being even more terrifying
with an axe!
Now at least in my
eyes, probably the most memorable performance was Jacqui Holland's
bat-shit crazy Sunshine [Jacqui
Holland interview - click here] - so you just have to talk about
Jacqui and her character for a bit, and how much of the madness was
actually in the script, how much made up on the spot?
was all in the script but I have to say - she went for it! I told
her like I told everyone, leave it all in the ring, lol. Go for
broke! And she did. I've created a lot of characters, but
Sunshine and Kesha (played by Hannah Landberg) are two of my favorites
from the new installment. One could argue that she isn't bat-shit
crazy at all but rather very astute and in-tune with the world she
exists in. When she tells the character David Manly she is
"Satan's Whore," I think that's exactly who and what she is in a
nutshell. That "insanity" she displays is her complete and
utter glee in the most horrifying and hellish of situations, lol.
can you tell us about the rest of your cast, and why exactly these people?
is the first film where I can look back on the experience and say this is
where I met some of the most awesome people still currently in my life!
I work with a lot of people and rarely keep in contact due to... life,
hahaha, but the incredibly cast and crew of this film are still my buds 3
years later. Arielle Brachfeld [Arielle
Brachfeld interview - click here], Eli G., Michael Foster, Linda Wong,
Phil Foster, Monique Parent, Joe Floccari and last but not least, Farrah
Abraham [Farrah Abraham
interview - click here] - just some of the coolest, hard-working and loyal people I know.
Arielle was fantastic returning to the role of the put-upon Deputy Darlene
Whitfield and taking a performance that could've become derivative and
making it a total tour de force. Powerhouse actress Monique Parent
as Darlene's mother Marla Whitfield turned in an outstanding performance.
Michael Foster was terrifying as a rage-filled, revenge-seeking,
axe-wielding local legend. Eli G. was a pillar of strength that held
together so many departments and had a workload of 28 actors to do make-up
for one morning ALL BY HERSELF!!! Handled it like a champ and the
crew never missed a beat. Linda Wong, Phil Foster and Joe Floccari
were awesome as supporting cast members and always a dream to work with.
And Farrah - what would the experience have been like without her?
She was a total blast to work with, hard-working and gave it her all - all
reasons I look forward to working with her again. All of these
people and their passion, skill and loyalty are why they were chosen and
why I'd work with them on anything.
Axeman 2: Overkill
being mostly an "outdoors"-movie - where was it filmed,
actually, and what was it like filming there?
We filmed in
Frazier Park, just a couple hours outside of Los Angeles. Great
place. Quiet place and perfect for filmmaking. I will say
though, being in the valley of mountains means you get fewer hours of
daylight shooting and much of our shooting was during the day.
So it made things very tough with regard to available light. We had
to make up for it by scheduling our interior scenes during sunset or
before sunrise so that we maximized available light for exterior
shots. And the weather - it looks hot and we make constant
references to the heat, but it was pretty damn cold most of the time.
The original Axeman was shot just outside of Big Bear during the same time
of year and was hot, but not Frazier Park. Not sure why, maybe
higher elevation? But whew, it got chilly at times.
As far as
I know, apart from a short festival run, Axeman 2: Overkill
won't be released to the general public due to rights issues - care to
No problem. It's all really simple.
The executive producer signed paperwork as if he was the legal copyright
holder when he wasn't. The executive producer even went as far as
having his attorney alert me to the fact that he was filing his own
fraudulent copyright to try and deceive distributors into believing he
owned the film. So, I just issued a cease and desist letter to stop
everything publicly and legally from moving forward. This left
everything at a stalemate. No one could commercially do anything
with it - until now! I've been given the go ahead from my lawyer to
release the film and will be announcing the release date soon. I
have the film back in my possession and am making some final tweaks to
beef up the film. That's one of the benefits to having completed the
film 2 years ago - it gave me time to look upon it with fresh eyes and see
things I didn't previously. And this will be the best version yet!
Release date announcement coming soon for Fall 2017.
Any future projects you'd like to share?
set for the release of Adam K, which features a lot of familiar faces:
"Iron" Mike Foster, Farrah Abraham [Farrah
Abraham interview - click here], Arielle Brachfeld [Arielle
Brachfeld interview - click here], Mindy Robinson [Mindy
Robinson interview - click here], Brinke Stevens [Brinke
Stevens interview - click here], Sarah Nicklin [Sarah
Nicklin interview - click here], Emii and many more. It
stars Kristin Wall as a hard-boiled detective who may or may-not be
"on the take" as she and her partner (played by Nihilist Gelo)
track down an elusive serial killer. It'll see a release in August.
And I'm currently finishing the script and getting ready for
pre-production on Axeman 3: Absolution, which starts filming next year.
movie's website, Facebook, whatever else?
Feeling lucky ?
any of my partnershops yourself
for more, better results ?
The links below
will take you
You can find all
related on Facebook at @AxemanAtCuttersCreek. Any
other #SinningWorks production related information can be
found at @SinningWorks.
you're dying to mention and I have merely forgotten to ask?
are wrapping production soon on a new thriller titled Watch Us Kill.
We've stayed "mum" on it for a while but will start promoting
soon. It's a new take on the serial slasher and documentary genres.
The dailies have been phenomenal and I can't wait to share it with the
world! Constance Brenneman, Sarah Nicklin, Alisha Seaton and Rick
Williamson have been exceptional and unconventionally terrifying - you
guys are gonna love it.
for the interview!