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An Interview with Randy Tobin, Star of The Los Angeles Ripper

by Mike Haberfelner

March 2012

Films starring Randy Tobin on (re)Search my Trash


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What can you tell us about your new film The Los Angeles Ripper and your character in it?


It's a serial killer movie. A low budget grinder with a lot of passion behind it. At times the movie is grossly, darkly comedic because of how ridiculous some of the characters are. My character is full-on scumbag. A psycho... horrid sense of humor without knowing it, ridiculous social skills, and a drug abuser. A real piece of sh*t.


Even when he's not out killing prostitutes, Grahm in the movie comes across like a complete scumbag. Always presuming that you're not even half the scumbag he is - how do you prepare for such a role, who or what do you base it on? And how much of yourself have you put into Grahm?


The director, Craig McIntyre [Craig McIntyre interview - click here], and I started meeting about 6 months before shooting began. We started talking about the character, and what he was like in general. I started reading a lot of literature on serial killers, how they interacted in society, common traits amongst other killers, and listened to interviews about what they felt when they killed and the aftermath of their actions. Craig also had a whole sketchbook of scenes and characters drawn out, so I had some really cool visuals to think about. I basically let all that info float around in my mind for those 6 months... grew a mustache, and boom! There was Grahm. So, the character wasn't based on any one person. I have a bizarre sense of humor which I tried to bring out, at times way out. I've had some drug issues, so I was able to recall those feelings when necessary. It was an interesting experience to play a role so insane. Kind of freeing in a way. Nothing was too vile, so I could really let things rip when we were shooting.


Celeste Matrinez faces

Randy Tobin

Especially in the scenes with Kristy (as played by Celeste Martinez), Grahm comes across as a complete asshole. So what can you tell us about your collaboration with Celeste, and what was your relationship like when the camera's weren't rolling?


Celeste is incredibly talented so it was easy for me to be even crazier, and maybe more bizarre when we did scenes together. Her character in the film is so sweet, and innocent and she played that really well. When we were filming and I saw a look of complete disgust and shock/horror in her eyes, it was fun to keep throwing more insanity at her. Between takes we'd laugh sometimes, because it was all so weird and gross. I had a great time working with her.


Both you and Celeste Martinez have received co-writing credits on The Los Angeles Ripper. Could you elaborate on that?


I had a lot of freedom to try different bits of dialogue out while we shot. It was a collaboration to get the dialogue to the point you see in the film. We would do a take and sometimes discuss trying something else out. The shell of all the scenes were on paper, and Craig allowed me to improvise and play, AND was cool enough to give me a writing credit for the dialogue we came up with while shooting.


Celeste Martinez, Craig McIntyre, Randy Tobin at the Los Angeles Ripper-premiere

Since The Los Angeles Ripper is a pretty violent movie - what can you tell us about the actual on-set atmosphere?


The first day of filming was done in a warehouse with some apartments nearby. The scene included a lot of screaming, crying and yelling. After 10 minutes of shooting, 5 cops busted onto set. They said that neighbors thought people were being tortured or abused. So, I think we got things started with a bang. Everybody got along well, and all the actors were easy to talk to. No drama or diva antics. We were able to work and then go home. The atmosphere was really positive.


How did you get involved with The Los Angeles Ripper in the first place, and a few words about your director Craig McIntyre [Craig McIntyre interview - click here] and your collaboration on the film?


Craig and I did another movie together about 8 years ago. I had a great time working with him on that one. Once it wrapped, we kept getting together to hang out, talk about movies, our dreams, drink a beer, have laughs. A couple of years ago he started talking to me about The Los Angeles Ripper and asked if I wanted to play the killer. I have a ton of respect for Craig's artistic abilities, and his directing style, and him as a person. And I think he's brilliant. He's a good friend now. I trust him. It made the collaboration on the film easy for me. I could be totally uninhibited. Very cool dude, Craig McIntyre.


You have also worked with Craig McIntyre on his previous movie A Few Screws Loose. How do the two films compare?


Both films have similar stylings. A Few Screws Loose is less narrative, and a bit more experimental. That movie was also plagued with some huge issues with actors keeping their commitments to the shooting schedule, and one of the leads quit when the movie was 85% done. It was a bit of a nightmare. You have such high hopes for a movie, and it's really heartbreaking when some of the other actors quit before it's done. The Los Angeles Ripper is more narrative. And, it's a movie where both Craig and I have 6 more years of experience at our jobs added to the project.


What got you into acting in the first place, and did you recieve any actual training as an actor?


I started acting in grade school. Anytime there was a class project, I would convince the group that we needed to do it as a film. In junior high and high school, my buddies and I filmed comedy sketches and did parody commercials. I did theatre throughout college, and have been in Los Angeles since 2002 doing movies.


Would you like to talk about some of your films prior to The Los Angeles Ripper for a bit?


I have a really fun gross-out comedy available called The American Poop Movie. A lot of the films I've done have been indies that couldn't quite figure out a way to get distribution.


Any future projects you'd like to share?


I'm reading a few scripts right now. I did a few scenes in a film called Lost on Purpose. That one is going to be really good. Craig is mapping out his next movie as well, so I hope to work with him again. Iím also meeting with a few production companies to develop some webshow ideas. I have an agent who is getting me out for commercial and TV auditions on a consistent basis as well.


How would you describe your approach to acting as such?


I read the script for a movie, or audition, a few times and let that percolate for a while. If it's something foreign to me, I'll do some research. Then I really like to trust my instincts and make believe once the camera rolls. If the director wants something different, my goal is to be pliable enough to do something different. Itís such a fun job once you book a role.


Actors who inspire you?


I have a lot of respect for people that have made it to the top of the list- actors that are national and international heavyweights. I also have tons of admiration for actors who can move between artistic projects and mainstream films. James Franco is an interesting dude that I respect.


Your favourite movies?


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Full Metal Jacket, The Shining, Porky's, Old School, Chopper.


... and of course, films you really deplore?


Honestly, almost every movie I watch that I'm not in, but could have been in.


Your website, Facebook, whatever else?



Twitter: @randytobin




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


I love working - it's the coolest feeling in the world. I have a lovely wife and daughter who deserve for me to be able to provide a nice living for them.


Thanks for the interview!


Thanks Michael!! I appreciate all the support for The Los Angeles Ripper and A Few Screws Loose.


© by Mike Haberfelner

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Robots and rats,
demons and potholes,
cuddly toys and
shopping mall Santas,
love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
to the weirdly romantic,
tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
the twisted mind of
screenwriter and film reviewer
Michael Haberfelner.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner


Out now from




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