Your upcoming movie Angel of
Reckoning - in a few words,
what's it going to be about?
is a revenge/vigilante/action picture with some horror
overtones to it for sure. To
be brief, a female veteran, Rachel, returns home from overseas and rejoins
her family. Suddenly, her niece commits suicide with no explanation.
Rachel launches her own investigation into it and discovers a connected
web of drug dealers, pornographers, arms dealers etc etc. She assumes an
identity in their “world” and, with a detective on her trail, leaves a
path of death and destruction in her wake.
What were your sources of
inspiration when writing Angel of
I'm not sure I’d say inspiration but there’s lots of vigilante style
pictures that I enjoy. For example, Death Wish with Charles Bronson or
more recently Death Sentence with Kevin Bacon. Angel of
similar tone like those pictures do. It’s a dark, grim, even bleak
story. There’s also something for the audience to struggle with much
like Bronson’s character, or Bacon’s character for their films… is
“Rachel” a “good guy?... a bad guy?... is what she doing something you
root for or against?... etc etc. At this point in my career, I've had the
chance to take on a lot of genres I enjoy… vampires, werewolves,
post-apocalyptic films, The Most Dangerous Game films…
vigilante genre was something I haven’t touched upon yet until now. I
also wanted to do a picture without the camp/comedy/over the top fight
sequences of my previous pictures and make a more serious picture. Much
more detail went into lighting and character development here in this one.
“Rachel” really is one of the most interesting if not the MOST
interesting character I’ve ever written to this point… but that’s
really up for the audience to decide not me.
can you tell us about the intended look and feel of your movie?
kind of touched on that in the last question; but yeah, the look/feel of
this picture is one that’s grim, dark, seedy at times, hopeless at
times, and even bleak at times. It’s certainly not your standard “good
guy vs bad guy with a happy ending”. “Rachel” enters a criminal
world where she starts connecting the dots and weaves her own path of
vengeance on any and ALL individuals she deems even remotely connected to
her niece’s death. In terms of the color palette of the film, as me and
our editor Chris Young [Chris Young
interview - click here] discussed, there’s a lot of “Dario Argento
moments” with a lot of blues and reds in a number of scenes. I
think something to really point out in terms of the “look” of the
picture would be the lack of digital effects. This film goes for a very
“real” feel across the board…
what I can tell, Angel of
Reckoning will be a pretty
action-heavy movie - so what can you tell us about your movie's action and
fight scenes, and how are they achieved?
wouldn’t say its “action heavy” per se, but it is certainly
“character heavy”. The characters in this one aren’t just means
to get to the next action sequence… the characters drive the action not
the other way around in this one. Now that being said, there of course IS
a number of action sequences in the film. Normally when I write, I write a
large skeletal outline of the story and characters… who is there? What
needs to happen? Etc… then write the formal script. After all that is
done, lastly I take and do all the fight/action choreography for the
picture. For the fight choreography of a picture like this I take into
account each character AND the actor playing said character and what their
abilities and limitation are in terms of fight capabilities. For example,
“Rachel” has a military background… so I research exactly what kind
of fighting style she may have trained in while in the military etc… for
“punks” in the film, maybe they’re a combination of street fighting
and martial arts, maybe a character has a fight scene where the character
isn’t “a fighter”… I choreograph to every scenario and research
accordingly and mold the choreography to the actor’s physical
capabilities. I ca'nt write in spinning jump kicks if the actor obviously
can't perform a spinning jump kick, lol… so I figure out what each can
do and go from there with things.
According to my
information, you will also appear in front of the camera in Angel of
Reckoning - so do talk about your character, and how do you
screen time is very very little in this film. More of just a cameo
appearance really. I wanted to stay behind the camera more and really
focus on improvements in lighting, sound, special FX, character
development, etc. So I don’t want to give too much away, but you may have
to really look for the cameo as I’ll look a little “different”, lol.
I have had many fans come up to me and ask me if I’m going to do a lead
role in the near future… I’m not sure at this time… I like the
direction Angel of
is going right now, so I’m just
concentrating on the present. With that being said, I have a film due out
to DVD early next year, Blood Mercury (which is finishing up
post-production as we speak) where I don’t have a “lead role” but
have a large “starring role”.
What can you tell us about the rest of
your key cast?
Thatd be a
looooong interview J
but I’ll give some brief highlights….
plays “Rachel”, a returning war veteran who is just happy to get back
to life at home with her family when her niece commits suicide. I worked
with her first on my film Blood Mercury, where she plays a member of a Black Ops
team who pursues a renegade agent. She did an excellent job with the
action and can really tell a story just through her expressions. I knew
after Blood Mercury, I really wanted to develop a project with her in a
lead role… and here we are.
Debbie Dutch [Deborah Dutch
interview - click here] plays “Bobbi”, a drug addicted dancer who helps Rachel navigate the
underworld a bit. I worked with Debbie for the first time on Blood
as well. My cast & crew from that film just loved her and she did
great in a real showpiece scene in that film but aside from that she’s a
true B-Movie legend and has worked with several top directors like Fred
Olen Ray, Jim Wynorski [Jim
Wynorski interview - click here], and more.
Donna Hamblin [Donna Hamblin
interview - click here] plays “Beverly”, who’s top on the food chain for local drug dealers,
pornographers, etc and fronts through the nightclubs she owns. A shrewd
business woman who all the criminals under her fear intensely. Donna
really knows the indie scene and is another favorite of my cast and crew.
Like Debbie, I’m very excited to see her in a larger role for this film.
Claire plays “Smoothy”, a local underground arms dealer. “Smoothy”
has the underground reputation of getting things done. She has some rules,
morals, code of her own accord (won't kill pregnant women, children for
example). Jasmin I worked with in the very first project I ever did called
Swamp Zombies. We stayed in touch here and there over the years and
happy to have her aboard here. Jasmin came into Swamp Zombies years ago;
knew all her lines, treated cast & crew great, and worked hard. After
that film, I know she went on to bigger and better things, namely one of
the National Lampoon films.
Lisa Neeld [Lisa Neeld
interview - click here]
plays “Reagan”, a friend of Rachel’s in the film. Lisa I worked with
in my film Skull Forest; a film that really helped turn a page in my film
career. Lisa is a real sweetheart in addition to being a hard worker with
a great attitude. As of this interview, all of her scenes for Angel of
are shot out. I’ve worked with Lisa a few times now, including
being featured on cover of the August 2014 issue of Malevolent
Cast & crew were very complimentary of her performance in Angel of
Wieczorek, plays “Ryan” the boyfriend of the niece killed. I wo'nt
delve too much in here but the sky is the limit on this young man’s
career. Super super SUPER talented young man. This man’s preparation and
approach to acting is second to none for ANYONE I have ever worked with.
Someone to keep an eye out for for sure…
Williams [Frederick Williams
interview - click here] plays “Detective Trufont”, a detective trying to solve the
murders happening in his city. Fred’s a local actor who has done a lot
of projects as well and brings a good amount of indie film experience to
set. He knows how things things run… knows the grind of indie film, etc.
Fred is always super well-prepared. When I wrote the character of
“Detective Trufont”, Fred was my absolute first choice for this role
after seeing him in some other indie films. The role was never auditioned,
I went to him and said “hey, this is what im trying to do with this
picture… this is a role I have that I see you being very successful in
for the film… are you interested?”
I have a long list of local talent in Angel of
Reckoning as well…
most being people I
have worked with previously. “Monster” Mark Kosobucki is on board as
our special FX Coordinator, I’ve worked with Mark a few times now.
Around my tri-state area? Absolutely no one is better than him and he has
the credentials to back that statement up. A guy that really loves the
genre and packs a lot of knowledge of the genre to go with it.
There really are no “small roles” in a film like this,
everybody matters. One bad performance and the film may not work as well,
given the dark tone of the picture… its like digital special FX, you have
none in the film and then use a digital FX that doesn’t turn out well
and BANG… it changes the tone of the picture.So yeah, every role is
critical in this one, especially with the cast not being that large really.
I can't say enough really about
the cast & crew for this one. It's easily the best cast & crew top
to bottom that I've had the pleasure of working with to this point.
As we speak, Angel of
Reckoning is still in production - so what can you tell us about the shoot so far,
and what's still in store for you and your cast and crew?
We’ve shot about a dozen scenes or so. It’s been really great and I
have to make a very special mention here to our editor and post-production
coordinator Chris Young (www.cyoungmedia.com)
[Chris Young interview - click
He has been a true difference maker on this production so far in a lot of
ways. I would HIGHLY recommend him to aspiring (or established) filmmakers
out there. He’s really helped in establishing the look of the picture
and I've been very cautious about clearly nearly every take with him, lol,
saying “hey Chris if I shoot this, like this, will this come across in
the edit, etc etc?" More than one cast member came up to me so far and
said “you guys really work great together.” So yeah, Chris has really
helped not just the cast & crew but also myself in really reaching a
different level of production value… not to mention he’s a good person
with a great attitude!
Like I said, we’re about a dozen scenes in now…
Lisa Neeld is finished with
all of her scenes. We film about 3 or 4 weekends throughout the Summer here
and then have a 5 day in a row filming schedule in mid July. Early August
should wrap up all the principal photography, and the film may show as
early as late fall this year. Again, the film benefits from having its
editor in place already as he can kind of “edit as we go”.
idea yet when and where the film might be released onto the general
public, however tentatively?
may hit a festival or two as soon as this fall.
Possibly to DVD early next year, it depends on how many festivals we want
to go to etc. For indie horror projects, I think the quicker you can get
it into the fans' (or potential fans') hands the better… it really
doesn’t do me any good to go to a smaller horror convention and win
“an award”… my reward is making a better film, getting a better
deal, going on and making a better project. I don’t compete against
other filmmakers… in my mind I compete against myself, and all the
homework I do in this business is to further KillerWolf
Any future projects beyond Angel of
Reckoning you'd like to share?
I’ve kind of
got tunnel vision set to Angel of
Reckoning right now but I have some
other exciting things going on that ill mention:
My film Warriors of
the Apocalypse, just finished up its contract with its
former distributor, so I got my rights back and did a re-cut of the film
and along with Chris Young produced a new DVD loaded with extra features
including 2 audio commentary tracks, 1 track featuring the gang at Red
Letter Media (www.redlettermedia.com) . The same group that did some work
on the AWESOME re-release of the legendary film Samurai Cop starring Matt
Hannon and Robert Z’Dar (RIP my friend). Red Letter Media produces TONS
of content available through their website, and though I like it all, I
have a special place in my heart for their program “Best of the
Worst”. I like that program a lot as it usually reviews films I watched
growing up… Elves, Trick or Treat, Undefeatable, The
Exterminator, Alienator, etc etc…love that show! They’re currently working on their
film Space Cop, which I had the pleasure of working on. Warriors
of the Apocalypse will now be re-packaged and re-released as Apocalypse
Female Warriors and be released through WorldWide MultiMedia, with a release date
probably later this year.
I have another
film that has been tied up in post-production for a while entitled Blood
Mercury. I know a lot of people have been waiting for this one and it
looks like it will finally be finished late this summer with a release to
DVD early next year as well. This one is more of a “straight up action
picture”, though there’s some horror elements to the story for sure.
We landed some excellent locations and props for this picture and it’ll
be nice to see this one out there.
of Reckoning, there’s a lot of options down the line. One is a
comedy film centered on professional wrestling, I didn’t write the
script for this one but read it and it's very funny. I'd love to do it.
There’s also a wrestling documentary-style picture I may be taking part
in as well. Our special FX artist, Mark Kosobucki also is in the process
of finishing up a script he wrote (tentatively called Cop Killer) that I
imagine could go into production next year in the spring. As for me
writing the next KillerWolf
Films project… as I said I’m pretty much
just focused on making Angel of
Reckoning the best it can possibly be; so
I really haven’t given it much thought yet.
What got you into
filmmaking in the first place, and did you receive any formal training on
background starts with a BA in Communications & Theatre from Gannon
University. I worked in broadcast television for about 7 years or so, in
both switchboard work, some editing, and some as Traffic Manager. A lot of
my fight choreography experience started at Gannon U, and then I went to
certify through the Society of American Fight Directors from there. I’ve
worked in local theatre for probably 20 years now choreographing various
productions… comedies, sword fights, Shakespearian plays, and recently
did Carrie: The Musical which was a lot of fun with a great
cast/crew/director. I’ve worked with children’s theatre production and
adults and love choreographing for theatre.
From what I know, your first on-screen
appearance was in 2003's Zombiegeddon by Chris Watson - so do talk
about that experience for a bit?
went to a horror movie convention in Cleveland one weekend and director
Chris Watson was there with Robert Z’Dar promoting the film Zombiegeddon
which was still shooting at the time. Chris is an awesome guy whom I still
talk with frequently to this day. Anyways, we went up to the their table
as I wanted Bob to sign my Maniac Cop poster and got to chatting for
and then Bob is like “what are you doing later? We need zombie extras
for later tonight, interested?”… and I said “Sure, sounds fun”. So
we got made up and drove to a local college radio station there and shot
the scene with the beautiful scream queen legend Brinke Stevens and Conrad
(Plan 9 from Outer
Space) Brooks. It was fun. I think I'm seen on screen for
half a second but its in a close-up! Lol… I’m sure me and Chris will
collaborate on a project someday, we really like and enjoy the same kinds
What can you tell us
about your filmwork (in whatever position) prior to Angel of
as an extra on Zombiegeddon, I went right into developing my own projects
Films. You can find a list of work of mine on my imdb
I just do a lot of homework on my own and try to learn as much as I can… as
an artist one of the best compliments you can get is “you’re
improving”… and I certainly plan on continuing in that direction J
I’ve met tons of great people, artists, and fans especially within the
last year here. I’ve grown a tremendous amount and cant wait to show off
all of what I've learned going into Angel of
You are also an expert martial artist and
fight choreographer, which does show in your movies - care to elaborate?
have a 3rd degree black belt (which I just got promoted last
Feb). As fight choreographer, I've
been doing that for nearly 20 years and have done a bit of theatre work. I
actually started fight choreography in theatre before I did any fight work
in films. I think the only thing I’d really like to mention is that most
people know me as a “karate fight” style choreographer but I’ve
really choreographed TONS of different styles of fights. I’ve done
bar room fights, slapstick comedy fights, pirate/swashbuckler sword
fights, street fights, scrappy survivalist style fights (groin kicking,
hair pulling etc), and on and on. I'm just not a “martial arts
choreographer”, I'm much more versatile J
plus a lot of research goes into each fight… like what is the character's
background, what's the script’s tone, what are the actors' capabilities
can you tell us about your production company KillerWolf
Films, and the philosophy behind it?
only philosophy really is to keep an open mind and progress with our
filmmaking capabilities. KillerWolf
Films just isn’t horror projects, it
just isn’t action projects… it's really whatever stories we feel like
telling. Over the last couple years, I think people can see the dramatic
shift in our films as I've phased out the werewolves, vampires, etc etc and
gone in a different direction especially with the success of Skull
Forest. Skull Forest just the past February was the number one movie on hulu for a
week straight for the thriller/horror genre and that’s a big deal
consider how vast hulu is with content. So it goes to show a smaller
independent picture can make an impact. I could totally see a special
edition Skull Forest DVD coming down the road, as right now it’s a
fairly bare DVD. But as an artist I try to study, learn, and improve and
get the best projects I can possibly make out to the viewers.
you describe yourself as a director?
have a lot of tunnel vision as a director and I'm aware that can be good
and bad. For my projects, I'm also the writer so that being said… I know
what I want out of the characters. I like to set my cast months ahead of
time when I can and have the actors ask me as many questions as possible
well before we shoot so we can really have a strong idea of who each
character is. This has worked out VERY well on Angel of
Reckoning. Part of
all this is me learning from things that DIDN’T work in the past and
then implementing the changes I want to make from there. But I'd be far
more curious here what my cast & crew would describe me as a director
than “me telling you what I think I am”. I’m nobody without the
viewers, fans, cast & crew… so I’m much more interested in their
description of me. Ask Darian Caine [Darian
Caine interview - click here]… ask Lanny Poffo… ask Debbie
Dutch [Deborah Dutch
interview - click here],
Donna Hamblin [Donna Hamblin
interview - click here] etc etc
fight choreographers, martial artists, whoever else who inspire you?
an 80’s/early 90’s kid so I like the early works of directors Kurt
Anderson (Martial Outlaw, Bounty Tracker), Albert Pyun (Cyborg,
Corey Yuen (No Retreat No Surrender II), and of course Fred Olen Ray
(Armed Response, Evil
Toons, Alienator) and Sam Firstenberg
(American Ninja, Avenging Force). There’s of course many more directors I really
admire but there’s a start.
In terms of
martial artists in film that I enjoy… that'd be a very long list but
amongst my favorites are early pre-Timecop Jean Claude Van Damme
(loooooove Kickboxer, Cyborg, Bloodsport), Olivier Gruner
(Nemesis, Automatic, Angel Town), Chuck Norris (how can you not like
Jeff Wincott, Cynthia Rothrock, Matthias Hues, David Carradine, Dolph
Lundgren, Michael Dudikoff, Sho Kosugi, Jeff Speakman, and the list would
go on and on here… this would be a VERY long conversation on this topic,
so ill stop here J
have to categorize them really… for mainstream A-list cinema, I’d say Jaws,
Empire Strikes Back, Dirty Harry series, The
The Karate Kid, Escape from New York, The Matrix, Lethal
Weapon, Predator, Lone Wolf McQuade, Nighthawks, Rocky/Rambo
series… before my Mom passed
away she really wanted to go see Escape Plan, it’s the last movie I got
to see with her… so that one has a special place in my heart.
In terms of
B-list cinema that’d be a huge list. If I had to list a just a few I’d
pick just about any post-apocalyptic Italian film form the 80’s (lol), No
Retreat No Surrender II and III, Mission of Justice, Karate
Cop and Omega Cop (Ron Marchini), Bounty Tracker, Sonny
Boy, Desert Kickboxer… I
could go on and on here…
... and of course, films you really
I don’t know if I deplore any film really. To be honest, I know how hard
it is to make one. That’s doesn’t mean there isn’t some lazy
filmmakers out there but I think you get what I mean here. And with that
being said it's more “deploring certain people” than “deploring
certain films”, you can't just throw out the effort of the cast &
crew, etc. I myself just deplore fake people, and in the arts you can run
into about a zillion of those. I deplore fake people and divas, and for me
this extends outside of the filmmaking world. I’m an old school guy and
respect goes a long way with me and with fakes, divas,
wannabes/posers… the respect lessons you would’ve hoped they’d have
learned just seem to have evaded them.
Your/your movie's website, Facebook, whatever
Feeling lucky ?
any of my partnershops yourself
for more, better results ?
The links below
will take you
is our twitter page for KillerWolf Films, our facebook page is
In terms of Angel of
Reckoning, the page for this film is
Thanks for having me and I hope everyone considers checking out our
works that should be coming by end of the year… the new special edition
dvd for Apocalypse Female Warriors starring Darian Caine [Darian
Caine interview - click here] & Pamela
Sutch, our new action film Blood Mercury, and of course Angel of
Reckoning. Don’t be a stranger and swing by our pages and say hello.
Thanks for the interview!