Your new movie The
Butcher - in a few words, what is it about?
character Thaddeus Hyatt is a master chef who owns a few restaurants in
LA. He has mad cow disease which he got as a child. His parents owned a
restaurant they were the hit of their town in Montana. One day Thaddeus
and his dad discovered their cows were sick, and rather than throwing the
out and going bankrupt they continued to cook and feed the town ... and everyone
got sick, even Thaddeus.
were your sources of inspiration when writing The
inspiration was old school Texas Chainsaw Massacre and Eli
But I wanted to put a fresh twist on it so instead of Americans going to
Europe (in Hostel), the
foreigners that visit here LA would be killed by
Butcher doesn't necessarily hold back when it comes to blood and
guts - so do talk about the gory bits in your movie for a bit, and how
were they achieved?
thought to myself if I am going to go for horror, then the kill scenes
have to show something, can't look amateur one bit, so I said let's go for
it. I tried coming up with new ways to kill people.
A few words about your movie's
approach to horror?
I wanted to do something fresh. You can borrow here and there but do new
takes on themes. We had talented actors, so for the gore everyone said we
had to just go in for the kills. Simple editing and I had a good makeup
girl Marisol Almeida, lots of fake ham and fake blood and strawberry
yogurt passed for body parts which we ate.
At least for me, The
Butcher was also darkly comedic at times. Would you at all agree,
and if so, what can you tell us about the movie's brand of humour?
have a dark sense of humor, but if you're putting humor in a frightening
scene you have to say why is it here? There has to be a reason you're not
just throwing in jokes. Also my character has mad cow so he is off a bit
talk about your overall directorial approach to your story at hand!
I wrote a year ago may not be the same place my head is at on the shoot
date. Me or maybe an actor has a better idea for a kill scene, so we change
it around, since I am the writer we don't have to wait for someone to give
the go-ahead, I like my actors to be fresh, I do a lot of ad lib myself.
% of my lines was made up on the day of shooting. I knew my lines for Maria
Olsen (my mom) [Maria Olsen
interview - click here] and the party scene at the end, but the rest of my lines I
made up. I also want my actors to sound natural (they get the idea of the
scene) and then we just go for it. I do not rehearse a lot, I do not do
more than 5 /6 takes (unless there is a tech problem). This isn't rocket
science here. That's why you hire good actors to begin with.
also play the lead in The
Butcher - so what did you draw upon to bring your character to
life, and have you written him with yourself in mind from the get-go?
was originally a 18 minute short, I hired 2 other actors in the lead
and fired them, I said if I am going to do a feature length I am going to
put myself in the lead, I have one shot to do it. As an actor I want my
character to have many many layers. How boring is it to play someone with
no layers. I wanted Thaddeus to be fun sick and twisted, but underneath he
once was a nice guy but the madness is building up on him.
What can you tell us about the rest of your key
cast, and why exactly these people?
wanted Maria Olsen [Maria Olsen
interview - click here] from the get-go. She was attached to play Dr. Comfort
(who slices up the meats) in my short, but then once I did the feature
film I said I did not want to waste her so I made her my mom (and how
great is she). The others fell into themselves - I email all my friends,
first I look at reels and resumes, I then put an ad in Backstage for
smaller roles. Many actors I have worked with before, i.e. Patrick O'Neal had
been in 3 of my films as the lead (he plays the food critic in The
A few words about
the shoot as such, and the on-set atmosphere?
don't like a stuffy set. I want everyone to have fun. Yes we are making
horror but you need to keep the set light. We take breaks and listen to
all genres of music, laugh, joke, and let it all out. The we are ready for a
question of course, where can The
Butcher be seen?
Butcher can be seen via Avail Films (download the free app),
their channel so you can download it on Apple, Roku and Firestick.
As far as I know, you're presently
lining up a rather stellar cast for the sequel to The
Butcher - so anything you can tell us about The Butcher 2 yet,
and who's going to be involved?
Butcher 2 has a big horror star list, Maria Olsen [Maria
Olsen interview - click here] again as my mom, and Julie
Prescott and Debra Lamb [Debra Lamb
interview - click here]. I just wrote a special scene for Eillen Dietz (of
The Exorcist) [Eileen
Dietz interview - click here], I am giving her a cameo role.
What got you into
filmmaking in the first place, and did you receive any formal training on
was always a child actor since age 8. I was in Cats on Broadway, I was in
The Warriors, I was in Pearl Harbor, Training Day and Star Trek
always wanted to direct, so I did 4 shorts and 4 features. The
Butcher is my
4th Feature (my 8th film). My friends told me those were all my film
school. I was not ready nor comfortable to let my other films out to the
world so nothing has been released other than film premieres. The
is my first film I am letting out to the public, I figured I'd start small,
enter in a few festivals then little by little I was in festival after
festival and winning awards. I am very lucky honored and humbled by being
in the festivals, I love festivals.
would you describe yourself as a director?
Feeling lucky ?
any of my partnershops yourself
for more, better results ?
The links below
will take you
a cool director, I don't yell or scream or have fits. I expect everyone to
know their lines and be a pro, but I want people to have a good time, it's a
team effort. I love the works of Quentin, Eli, Robert Rodriquez, Marty
Scorsese. I love to DP my own films, but with The
since I'm in
almost the whole movie I had a friend of mine Eric Hinwood DP for me.
love The Exorcist, Texas Chainsaw Massacre,
the Hostel-movies everything Quentin does, I
did love last year's The House that Jack Built (Matt Dillion), Hereditary
and You Were Never Really Here (Joaquin).
... and of course, films you really deplore?
don't like lots of horror because the NEW horror is the same formula, dark,
noisy build-ups to jump scares. There's lots of films and franchises I hate
(I wont mention names). It seems to me they are making a quick buck
and no art.
movie's website, Facebook, whatever else?
On Facebook both films The
and The Butcher 2: Fresh Meat have
fan pages, so go to the search engine and type in the names and you
will see the pages and floor us.
On Instagram it's @realbutchermovie1
for the interview!