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An Interview with Mitch Wilson, Director of Knucklebones

by Mike Haberfelner

September 2016

Films directed by Mitch Wilson on (re)Search my Trash


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Your new movie Knucklebones - in a few words, what is it about?


A group of bored college students summon a murderous demon while playing an ancient dice game made from human knucklebones.


With Knucklebones being rather reminiscent of slasher movies of old, is that a genre at all dear to you, and some of your genre favourites?


I love all horror movies but I'm particularly fond of slashers. I could never pick a favorite slasher villain - I love all of them equally - but I'd have to say my favorite slasher movie is the original A Nightmare on Elm Street. As a kid I found it terrifying but I couldn't look away. It's just so inventive, and of course it's a perfect concept, executed perfectly.


Other sources of inspiration when writing Knucklebones?


I'm a huge gamer. I grew up loving tabletop RPG and they were a huge inspiration with creating the dice game itself. Another big inspiration was the movie Pumpkinhead. Also the ending of Silence of the Lambs, but I can't say why without spoiling the movie!


When it comes to on-screen violence, Knucklebones doesn't exactly hold back - so do talk about the bloody bits in your movie for a bit, and how were they achieved?


I'm good friends with Bob Short who won the Academy Award for effects on Beetlejuice. Bob worked on countless 80s horror movies and was a perfect fit for the 80s style slasher vibe. Thank God he agreed to work on the movie!


You of course also have to talk about your movie's villain, the titular Knucklebones, and about his creation!


I knew with the bone dice and the summoning "game" that the villain should be a skeleton. So that means you're either going to do CGI or have a guy in a suit. Guy in a suit just seemed to fit the whole retro style so we went with that. Everything lined up nicely.


Do talk about your overall directorial approach to your story at hand!


Even though we had a very small budget, I wanted to direct Knucklebones as if we had millions of dollars. I wanted to direct a real movie. I wanted lots of characters and multiple locations. I wanted lots of action and outrageous effects. Knucklebones has a lot of moving parts. Not all of them work, due to our budget constraints, but most of them do I think.


What can you tell us about your cast, and why exactly these people?


We shot in August, in Texas, because I wanted the oppressive summer heat feeling you get from The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. We cast all local Texas actors because I wanted their accents to be real Texas accents. Did I mention I grew up in Texas? Julin was always my first choice for the lead as I was a fan of her work as a Texas Scream Queen.


You also have to talk about your locations for a bit, and what were the advantages and challenges filming there?


We shot in the world's largest haunted house attraction, The Cutting Edge in Fort Worth, Texas. It was actually an ideal location. We turned it into a mini movie studio. It had countless sets, dressing rooms and makeup stations for the actors, a full workshop for the special effects team and has satisfied all of our electrical needs. Plus we're all horror geeks so shooting in a haunted house was great fun.


A few words about the shoot as such, and the on-set atmosphere?


The shoot was relatively smooth considering I was a first-time director. The cast and crew were all extremely professional. I have to say it helps to have an Academy Award winner on set to keep everyone on their game. Haha.


The $64-question of course, when and where will your film be released onto the general public? And anything you can tell us about audience and critical reception of Knucklebones yet?


Our film releases September 13th on DVD and iTunes. The crowd response from FrightFest was amazing and I can't wait for everyone to see it. The critical response has been wildly positive as well. It's all been extremely flattering and I'm so happy people are responding to the film. In our FrightFest screening people were cheering and gasping out loud throughout the film. You can't ask for more than that! British horror fans are amazing, by the way.


What can you tell us about your filmwork prior to Knucklebones?


I've been a working screenwriter in Los Angeles for over ten years. I'd sold several comedies and action scrips before selling my first horror spec to Eli Roth. That movie never got made, but, I just fell in love with the genre professionally. I knew when I finally decided to direct something it was going to be a horror movie.


Filmmakers who inspire you?


My favorite filmmaker is James Cameron. Everyone knows him as a director of course but he's an amazing writer as well. I love his world building and dedication to mythology. I'd recommend any aspiring screenwriter to read one of his scripts. True Lies reads like action movie poetry and people still quote Aliens to this day.


Your favourite movies?


Feeling lucky ?
Want to
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Find Mitch Wilson
at the amazons ...


Great Britain (a.k.a. the United Kingdom)

Germany (East AND West)

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Your shop for all things Thai

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(Must be over 18 to go there !)

x-rated  find Mitch Wilson at

My favorite movie is An American Werewolf in London. The comedy, the scares, the incredible creature design. It's just a perfect movie.


Your/your movie's website, Facebook, whatever else?


Our website for the film is From there we have links to our Facebook, Twitter,and Instagram pages.


Anything else you're dying to mention and I have merely forgotten to ask?


My next project is an old school monster movie, once again done with mostly practical effects, in the vein of The Thing. It's called Kill It With Fire.


Thanks for the interview!


Thank you so much Michael!


© by Mike Haberfelner

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Thanks for watching !!!



On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide


A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD



Stell Dir vor, Deine Lieblingsseifenoper birgt eine tiefere Wahrheit ...
... und stell Dir vor, der Penner von der U-Bahnstation hat doch recht ...
... und dann triffst Du auch noch die Frau Deiner (feuchten) Träume ...


Und an diesem Tag geht natürlich wieder einmal die Welt unter!!!


Bauliche Angelegenheiten
ein Roman von
Michael Haberfelner


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