First of all, why don't you introduce yourself to those of us who don't
already know you?
My name is Rolfe Kanefsky and I'm an independent
filmmaker (writer/director/sometimes producer) who has been working
professionally in the business for the last twenty-one years. I got
interested in film at the age of four. Began writing stories soon after.
Received a video camera when I turned thirteen. Started making home movies
soon after. Wrote and directed two feature-length films while I was in
high school (Hackley in Tarrytown, New York). Worked as a P.A. (production
assistant) during the summers on a bunch of independent horror and
comedies (Troma's War, Rich Boys, Posed For Murder). Took acting and
writing courses at HB studios when I was fifteen. Went to Hampshire
college to major in film. Made a few super 8 shorts and with the help of
friends and family, made my first professional independent movie when
I was twenty, the now cult-ish comedy/horror flick, There's Nothing Out
There. After that, I helped on a family film entitled, My Family
Treasure and then moved to Hollywood where I still reside, writing and
directing independent movies without enough money and time, a traditional
Your most current film, One in the Gun - in a few words, what is it
It's a modern film noir thriller about a homeless
artist who gets hired by an attractive, wealthy woman to paint her husband's
house while he's away. Passion leads to crime which of course leads to murder
in this brainteaser of twists, turns and triple-crosses that will leave
viewers guessing to the very end. Filled with colorful characters and actors
like Steven Man, Robert Davi, James Russo, Katherine Randolph and Steven
Steven Man in
One in the Gun
You have also written One in the Gun. What were your main
inspirations for the movie's plot?
The lead actor and main producer, Steven Man was
introduced to me by my producer, Esther Goodstein. He wanted to make a
film noir flick that would also be a good starring role for himself. He
loved an old Mickey Rooney film called Quicksand. I watched it and
about three dozen other classics and came up with the story. Billy
Wilder's Double Indemnity, Sam Fuller's Shock Corridor,
David Lynch's Blue Velvet, as well as Detour and many others
help contribute to the plot line. There is another famous short story that
inspired me as well but if I say it, it might reveal too much of the
ending and I don't want to give away all the surprises. I'll just say that
film switches gears about forty minutes in and gets a lot more
interesting. So be patient and you'll probably enjoy it.
Robert Davi in
One in the Gun
You have described One in the Gun as a modern film noir. Is this a genre especially dear to you,
and your favourite film noirs?
Well, I had never done a film noir before. I love
thrillers and especially Alfred Hitchcock movies so One in the Gun
more of a challenge and outside my comfort zone which I found very
exciting. The films I previously mentioned, I really enjoyed. I also like Out Of The Past,
Body Heat, Dead Reckoning, D.O.A.,
When and where will the film be
Hopefully it will get
some cable play (Showtime, perhaps) and I believe MTI will be releasing
the film on DVD sometime in 2011. I just heard it's on cable in Turkey and
just received my first fan mail from there so if you live in Turkey you
can check it out right now on television.
From your latest film, let's go all the way
back to your directorial debut There's Nothing Out There, which is
about to be re-released in a 20th anniversary special edition. A few words
about that one?
Sure. There's Nothing Out There comes out once
again on January 11, 2011 on a special 2 disc release from Troma
Entertainment. It's a comedy/horror flick about a group of high school
students who go to a cabin by the woods for spring break and get attacked
by an alien creature who doesn't like garden rakes, shaving cream, and
finds mirrors very confusing. He does like eating guys and trying to
reproduce with women though. Unfortunately for the creature, one of the
kids is a horror movie buff who has seen every film on video up to 1989
(when the film was produced) and warns all his friends what you should and
shouldn't do in a horror movie scenario. Much comedy and horror ensue.
Why did you choose the slasher genre for your
Well, since it is a alien creature, I'm not sure it
qualifies as a slasher film. It's more of a creature feature. I actually choose
a monster over a serial killer because I had written a slasher parody when I was
very young called Kill Here, Kill There, Kill Almost Everywhere that made
fun of all the slasher conventions. I thought I could do something more creative
with a monster movie because a guy with a knife and/or ax can get a bit boring.
But as I wrote There's Nothing Out There while I was still in high school,
I couldn't do it straight so I added the character of Mike who had seen all the
horror films. I had never seen that done before in a horror movie. And some of
my favorite movies are comedy horrors like Abbott and Costello Meet
Frankenstein, Fright Night, An American Werewolf In London,
Night Of The Creeps, etc...
As far as I know, you got your start in the film
business with Troma,
which is now publishing your There's Nothing Out There-special
edition. How did you get a job at Troma
in the first place, what was it like working for them, and how much is
your filmmaking influenced by the Troma
Actually my first job on a real set
was when I was seven. I acted in an after school special called Cruise
Of The Courageous that my father produced down in Florida. When I was
16, my father helped get me a P.A. Job on an independent film directed by
Zack Norman (that I think is still unreleased to this day). It was called Chief Zabu and then the title was changed to
starring Allan Garfield. It was shot up at Bard College over the summer.
My father was/is a film editor who mostly did documentaries but he has cut
a few cult films like Bloodsucking Freaks,
Blood Bath, Ganja And Hess, supervised post on Just Before Dawn and stuff
like that on his resume as well. He helped get me production work on Brian
Thomas Jones' Posed For Murder and Troma's War. All of this
was a good learning experience. Anytime you can work on a real set, you
learn a lot. Things you should do and things you shouldn't. I was making
my own home feature-length movies at the time so it was good career-wise.
is like a crash-course in filmmaking and penny pinching. If
you're young enough and can afford to do it, you can walk away with a lot
of knowledge if you pay attention. There was Roger Corman [Roger
Corman bio - click here] on the west
coast and Lloyd Kaufman on the east. I don't think I was that heavily
influenced by Troma, although I do appreciate their fearlessness. They
aren't afraid of pushing limits. Sometimes they go too far in terms of
“good taste”, but it's better to do something outrageous than boring.
Although people have said There's Nothing Out There is like a Troma
film, I always thought the attitude was different. It fits into the
structure but the humor is mine. Someone once said, There's Nothing Out
There was the most tasteful tasteless film they had ever seen. I like
Before working for Troma,
you have also attended filmschool, right? How does work on a
differ from things you learn at school?
Actually, film school at Hampshire
college came after. But your question about the differences between the
academic world and the real film business is a very good one. I quickly
learned as I was making short films in college that the film teachers
hated them because they were horror-inspired. However, over the summers
when I worked on Posed For Murder and became friends with Brian
Jones and the producers, I showed them my shorts and they were very
impressed. Even some crew members commented that Brian was inspired by a
shot in my film that he copied in his film. That was a great compliment.
He even let me direct a shot in his film. All I had to do was yell
“Action” and “Cut” but that was still quite an honor.
it was interesting that my school didn't like my films but professionals
did. I quickly realized that it was more important to by liked by your
peers and people that could actually get you into the film business than
frustrated teachers who never could make a living making films and were
now teaching courses that were very anti-Hollywood instead.
There's Nothing Out There
is often quoted as the first genre-conscious and genre-referential slasher
films, years before Wes Craven's Scream. Your thoughts about that?
Nothing Out There was before Scream but it was in no ways the
first. You can go back to The Old Dark House to
Costello to Student Bodies to Evil Laugh and on to show
movies that have parodied the horror film. And films have referenced
other films since the start of making films. However, I do think my
flick might have had some influence on Screa” and I do talk about
that a bit on the new DVD of There's
Nothing Out There as well as the commentary
tracks. You can also go to www.theresnothingoutthere.com
for a lot more info and opinions. I'm happy that Scream was so
successful and helped bring back to the horror genre at a time when it
was at a real lull. Because of Scream I was able to get back in
the horror genre myself with The Hazing so everything influences
everything for better and worse.
followed up your debut slasher with of all things a family movie, My
Family Treasure. What can you tell us about this change of pace?
There's Nothing Out There had opened at the 8th
Street Playhouse in New York City for a week in January of 1992. A friend
told these producers about it. They had recently shot a movie called My
Family Treasure for 8 weeks in Russia. It was a family picture directed
by a Russian and they never completed it. They needed a new wraparound for
the story and wanted it to have more of an American feel. The film starred
Bitty Schram (most known for the first season of Monk and the girl
who keeps crying and is told “There's No Crying in Baseball” by Tom
Hanks in A League of Her Own). Anyway, they came and saw There's
Nothing Out There and thought I'd be perfect to fix/shoot the rest of
their movie. It was a paying job, shot on 35mm and they got Dee Wallace,
Theodore Bikle, and Alex Vincent, the child star from Child's Play 1
& 2, to be in it. I rewrote the script they had and directed about
30 minutes of the film in New York, restructuring the Russian footage to
make it work for this new version. It was an interesting assignment, my
first SAG film, and the first and so far only time I've worked with
children. The film is fine for what it is. I took a New York footage
directed by credit and a story credit. As far as I know the film has never
been released on DVD. Only a few VHS copies escaped years later.
in your career you also did quite a bit of TV-work. What can you tell us
about your excursions into the TV-world, and to what extent does directing
for television differ from directing movies?
Well, my television work is not
really television work. When I moved to Los Angeles, I met a producer
named Alain Siritzky. He is famous for producing the Emmanuelle film
series. This is the official series with Sylvia Kristel. He made seven
official movies and one series while in France. He then moved to Hollywood
and teamed up with Roger Corman [Roger
Corman bio - click here] to continue making low-budget erotic
movies that ended up playing late night Cinemax. However, these were all
90 minute feature films that were also released in Europe and on
video/DVD, etc... Emmanuelle In Space and so on.
I met Alain at the AFM (American
Film Market) in 1996 when he was about to produce two new series of films
based on some famous graphic novels by Milo Manara entitled, Click
and Butterscotch. There were adult comics about a remote control
that can turn on women with a “click” of a button and a man who
invents an invisible formula that smells like “Butterscotch”. He has a
lot of erotic invisible adventures. Well, it just so happened that I was
aware of these comic books and actually owned them. I told him that I
could write and direct this series and gave him a copy of my Nothing
Out There movie. He was impressed and a few weeks later I was writing
and directing five features for him based on these concepts. These were
soft erotic comedies that I describe as "Red Shoes Diaries meets
Benny Hill". They were shot on 16mm in 6 days apiece. It was a real
crash course in making movies very quickly and was a great learning
experience. They were distributed by Roger Corman so this was basically my
Corman training. So, I was lucky to get Troma's east coast and Corman's
west coast film classes. Trial by fire. Making these films was the first
time I worked on three wall sets and with more than one camera on
occasion. It was like making my films only quicker, faster, and with
actors who varied in ability due to the amount of nudity required.
still proud of these films even with their limitations and some have gone
on to become slight cult films in themselves since I was allowed to do
just about anything I wanted as long as it met the requirements for the
sex scenes for cable which were and still are, three 3 minute love scenes
every thirty minutes equally at least 27 minutes of sexual situations for
a 90 minute film. Out of the first batch I made over that summer, my Rod Steele 0014: You Only Live Until You Die flick turned out the
best and was released in both “R” and “Unrated” versions. It's a
James Bond parody and is surprisingly well-respected by both Bond fans and
erotic fans alike. So much so, that 15 years later, a sequel has just been
A few words
about Sex Files: Alien Erotica/Alien Files?
Well, The Alien Files came the following year.
Alain Siritzky decided to do a series called The Sex Files. I wrote two
scripts, one that is a definite X Files parody and an erotic haunted house
Legend of Hell House-type flick. I directed the X Files flick
Alien Files and only wrote the other one, titled Restless Souls with
the hope of directing another film on the same set which didn't happen until
many years later which I'll talk about later. Anyway, I'm proud of Alien File”. Just recently my director's cut of
Alien Erotica was released
through Click Productions. It's a sexy sci-fi adventure in the vein of Species about a female shapeshifting alien who invades an outer space crew
and gets loose on earth where she is tracked by a team of government agents that
bare a striking resemblance to Scully and Mulder. It was my epic soft erotic
movie, shot in a whopping 12 days over the course of six months. Alien
Files was supposed to be my last late night flick, especially when my next
film became Tomorrow by Midnight.
Tomorrow by Midnight
can you tell us about your hostage thriller Tomorrow by Midnight?
My lost film and probably still my best. My most
personal flick that's for sure. It's about four college students that go
to rent a movie, get into an argument about a late fee and wind up taking
the video store hostage for the night. Think Clerks meets Dog Day
Afternoon or Breakfast Club with guns. A dark comedy thriller
with a few issues about violence in society versus violence in real life.
It stars Alexis Arquette, Carol Kane, and features Jorge Garcia (years
before Lost). My biggest budget shot in scope 2:35:1 on 35mm. It's
been released in Europe as Midnight Five and After Midnight
but has never come out in the U.S. for stupid reasons. I hope one day I
can change that because the film still holds up extremely well and
deserves to be seen.
Pretty Cool and Pretty Cool Too, you have made two movies reminiscent of
1980's teen sex comedies. A few words about these movies, maybe in
relation to the genre flicks of old they seem to be based on?
Pretty Cool followed Tomorrow by Midnight. Whereas Tomorrow
by Midnight was my arthouse Sundance
movie that didn't get into Sundance, Pretty Cool turned into my very
mainstream American Pie teen sex comedy that owes a lot to Porky's, “he Party Animal and especially
years before American Pie I was trying to make a movie from a script
I wrote called Hormones. We shot a poster for it with Julie Strain
and Brinke Stevens, started casting and the money fell through. I was
frustrated that everyone was making these PG-13 comedies and all the good
“R” rated ones had disappeared. Since Hormones never happened,
years later Alain Siritzky was doing another Emmanuelle series and wanted
to do a high school comedy with Emmanuelle as one of the features. I was
not interested but knew I could write that script. So, I wrote something
called Summer Fever and Alain liked it so much, he wanted me to
direct it. I said I would only do it if I could hire my casting guy, Jerry
Whitworth who had cast Tomorrow By Midnight and shoot it on 35mm in
both “R” and “Unrated” versions. Amazingly, Alain agreed. We found
a great cast and shot the whole film in about ten days. The film turned
out really well but because there were no names, it sat on a shelf
for almost five years. I finally got MTI to pick up the film and release
it. It surprised everyone by becoming a small hit on DVD. When Alain heard
about that, he thought that we should do a sequel since now people were
aware of the title. The problem was that he wanted to start shooting in
less than a month with a fraction of the budget we had for the first one,
so I scrambled to write a script, find a cast, and shoot the movie two
weeks before Christmas. It's a sequel in name only but does take place in
the same universe ...
“Pretty Cool” was about a high school senior who gets the power of
mind control due to a freak computer accident and has fun with all the
guys and girls, Pretty Cool Too! is about a different high school
senior who receives a state-of-the-art cell phone that gets struck by
lightning giving him the power to make anyone do what he wants from a
signal over the phone. Both are total 80's throwback comedies with some
heart, a lot of slapstick and are actually pretty innocent compared to a
lot of much more tasteless over-the-top comedies to come out in recent
years. I think that's what made the first Pretty Cool a surprise
hit. Also, the girls in both movies are really funny. They're not just
sexy and occasionally naked but have real comic ability. Amy Brassette in
the first Pretty Cool is amazing and it's all her. You have to see
it to understand. Pretty Cool Too! also has some great moments and
much of the comedy is not only inspired by 80's movies but by Abbott and
Costello, The Marx Brothers and Danny Kaye. One of the best bits is
borrowed from A Night At The Opera.
Erotic Misadventures of the Invisible Man is just too good a title
to not talk about the film behind it ... so please do!!
Well, this was the first of the Butterscotch series
that I made for Alain back in 1996. I changed the scientist from the comic book
to a struggling actor who accidentally spills the invisibility formula on
himself. He has a fun fight with a mime, fights another invisible man, and gets
frisky with some girls. Light-hearted silly comedy that was very ambitious for a
six day shoot. It's sequel Power Flower continues the story. Although it
has never been officially released in the U.S. either. Too bad. It's like an
adult version of Disney's Aladdin starring Craig Peck, the lead from There's Nothing Out There. Madcap, zany sex comedies. If you enjoy my
blend of funny erotica, you'd get a kick out of these. Otherwise, you'll find
them very, very silly.
great title is of course Rod Steele 0014: You Only Live Until You Die,
quite obviously a James
Bond spoof of some sort. What can you tell us about that one,
especially in relation to the films about the British superspy?
Yes, Rod Steele is my James
crossed with Naked
Gun crossed with The Pink Panther movies. Robert Donavan does a great
job as the world's “greatest” secret agent. He sounds like Sean Connery,
looks a bit like Roger Moore, and is a wonderful comedian. He has acted in
almost every single film I've made since I started working for Alain in 1996. It
is a complete spoof on the James
franchise and I am a big Bond fan. So, I'm
very proud that other Bond fans have embraced my flick and some have said, like
Joe Bob Briggs, that it's the funniest Bond spoof they have ever seen. Again, it
was a six day movie with a lot of restrictions but I think it still holds up to
this day. I made a mockumentary a few years later for the DVD released called The Feel of Steele that ended up playing film festivals and being
nominated for awards. Rod Steele almost became a television series as a
straight forward comedy without the sexual situations but the money never came
through. However, people are still fans of this flick. I always wanted to do
another Steele film and this past summer it actually happened. The new
flick that I want to call Today is Yesterday Tomorrow is in
post-production right now. Robert Donavan returns and there are cameos by
Michelle Bauer and Stacey Mobley aka Holly Hollywood who were also both in
the original. Also Rena Riffel appears as a lounge singer in an Indian
Hazing more or less marked your return to horror after more than a
decade of absence. A few words about the movie, and why did you take so
long to return to the genre?
Okay, well, I had hoped that my second film after There's Nothing Out There
was going to be The Host an occult horror thriller set in
college that I wrote while at college. Unfortunately, the horror market
collapsed around the time There's Nothing Out There was completed and it was very hard to
find investors. There was a glut of horror on the market thanks to the 80's
video boom. So, My Family Treasure came along and then I moved to
Hollywood and realized that everything I had made in New York didn't count. It
took my three years to get another directing job with Alain Siritzky but he was
only making these sex comedies. I kept trying to get him to produce a horror
flick and almost succeeded when I pitched an old Roger Corman idea. I suggested
we make two movies on the same set. One would be Restless Souls for his
Sex Files series and the other would be The Hazing, a project that I had
tried to pitch to producer Joe Wolf a few years earlier as a sequel to Hell
Night. I thought it would be fun to do a Night Of The Demons kind of
movie. Anyway, Alain built the set, made Restless Souls and then pulled
the plug before we could make The Hazing. It took seven more years to
raise the money which finally came from a first time producer Tom Seidman. I was
very happy to return to the horror genre, work with Brad Dourif and show the
world what Tiffany Shepis could really do as an actress [Tiffany
Shepis interview - click here]. The film turned out
well and then was thrown away by the producer. It got some cable play, was
released by MTI on DVD, and got a great response by the horror community.
What can you tell us about Corpses?
My follow-up to The Hazing
made for a tenth of the budget, shot in twelve days, and was my worst
experience as a director. Horribly produced. York Entertainment provided
the concept. I wrote the script and directed it as best I could under the
worst conditions you can imagine. Actually, I don't think you can imagine.
On the plus side, working again with Robert Donavan, Tiffany Shepis, and
the great Jeff Fahey was awesome. Corpses was a zomedy in my
opinion. A few months after we finished the film, Shaun Of The Dead
was released and I realized that's the kind of film I was sort of trying
to make if they had let me. They didn't and Corpses is probably the
closest Troma film I ever made. Tiffany Shepis likes the film. So do a few
The premise is, a mortician working
in a funeral home (Dead and Buried) invents a serum
(Re-Animator) that can bring the dead back to life for an hour at a
time. They need new injections every hour or they drop dead again, thus
creating a small army of junkie zombies. I read it as a black comedy. I
wrote a black comedy. It became a very silly dumb comedy with a couple of
fun moments thanks to the game cast. Not my worst film probably but
definitely not my best. But on another plus note, Corpses is where I
met script supervisor Esther Goodstein who went on to become my main
producer, working on most of my following movies including Nightmare
Man, Pretty Cool Too!, One In The Gun and Jacqueline
Hyde is another promising title. A few words about the movie and its
relation to Jekyll
I started working with Gabriella
Hall for Alain Siritzky. She was my lead in most of those sexy comedies
and we got along great. She wanted to get into producing and I wanted to
take more control as well. So, we teamed up to make Jacqueline Hyde,
a modern retelling of Robert Louis Stevenson's classic with a female
twist. I think of the film as Looking for Mr. Goodbar meets Jekyll
& Hyde. This film did great in Europe and played some big
festivals like Brussels. In America, because of Gabriella Hall's late
night cable reputation, it was regarded as just another sex movie and
dismissed. I hope one day the film is rediscovered since I think it's a
lot more interesting than people give it credit. It was the first film I
produced, first film shot on HD and ended up getting released through
Warner Brother Home Video so I guess we did something right. Gabriella and
the executive producer made their money back and then Gabriella moved to
Europe. I have not heard from her since and never saw a penny on the film.
Since I completely deferred my writing, directing, and producing salary, I
lost a lot on this film but I am proud of the final result.
about a lonely telemarketer who inherits a house from her dead grandfather and
finds a special formula he created. Upon taking it, she discovers she can
become anyone she desires and starts to experiment with her new abilities,
leading to a sexual reawakening where the real monster is on the inside.
If you find it, check it out. You might be surprised.
A few words about Nightmare Man?
Jacqueline Hyde's success, I and my parents were very frustrated
and they were willing to try producing again. While editing
I wrote a little horror script called Nightmare Man. Everyone who
read it, really liked it and it was something that could be made for
little money. So, my parents came on board, we found a private investor
and Nightmare Man became a reality. I wrote it with Blythe Metz in
mind to play Ellen, the crazy wife who may or may not be crazy and
Tiffany Shepis as Mia, the spunky party girl who winds up walking around
in her underwear with a crossbow fighting killers and demons. Tiffany
was just getting back in the acting game after she had her baby. She
loved the role and we all went to Big Bear in California to shoot a
movie that takes place entirely at night during the summer. Quite a
challenge. 15 days later, we wrapped production. It then took two years
to find someone to distribute the film because once again, there was a
glut of horror films on the market and nobody wanted it despite the fact
that it was getting into a lot of festivals, winning rave reviews and
awards. Just when all seemed lost, I got the film to After Dark and
suddenly the film was released in over 350 theatres nationwide as one of
the eight films to die for in their Horrorfest 2007 festival. Lions Gate
released it on DVD and it was a huge hit, becoming the best selling DVD
of that festival for a time.
Since then I've
been rolling in money, women, and now have everything I've ever
wanted... Wait, no that was just a dream. In reality, we never saw a
penny and After Dark have now starting producing their own films from
the profits of all the films from the first few years of Horrorfest.
Don't you just love this business?
aside, it's a good film. Once again, a funny horror film ON PURPOSE.
Since it was sold as Eight Films To Die For, I think a lot of
people missed the point of the comedy. But that seems to happen a lot
with my films. If you get the joke, you might really like it. If you
don't, you don't.
other films you have directed and want to talk about?
I think we touched on almost all of them. The only one
missing is a short I made called Mood Boobs once again starring
Tiffany Shepis. It is getting released as a bonus feature on the new
release of There's Nothing Out There on Jan 11, 2011. It's a fun
short about the danger of magically growing boobs. No nudity but very
I hope so. I was very busy last
year and worked my ass off but because of the budget and limitations I may
not take any credit which is frustrating but career-wise might be smart.
However, there are two movies that might turn out well. One is a full out
musical and the other is the Rod Steele flick I mentioned earlier. I'm
sure they will eventually be seen but my involvement may not be apparent
unless you know my style and previous work.
I'm hoping a horror script I wrote
now called Scream Park gets set up soon. Sobini Films will hopefully
be out pitching it in 2011. I'd love to direct it but one step at a time.
I have plenty of other scripts that I'd love to make in many different
genres. It all comes down to money. One day I hope to make a thriller
called Exit, a Poe inspired horror tale called Nevermore, a
family in peril thriller called Photographs and the list goes on.
There is some more info about these and other projects on my website at
Two women pop up time and again in your
movies, Tiffany Shepis [Tiffany
Shepis interview - click here] and Gabriella Hall. A few words about these two?
friends and my muses for extended periods of time. I loved working with
them. They made my life happy and productive. But people move on. I have
a lot more projects I'd love to do with Tiffany including a script I
wrote for her to direct called The Devil's Pies. But now that
she's married to a talented director, I know they're developing projects
of their own which only makes sense so we'll see what happens. But I'll
always wish Tiffany the best. She really is a talent and a wonderful
you have worked time and again with veteran producer Alain Siritzky, best
known for all those Emmanuelle-films.
A few words about him, how did you first get in touch and what is it like
to work with him?
I think I already answered that question. Alain is
great in some ways and lacking in others. He trusts me and once he
greenlits a project, he steps aside and lets me make the films I want to
make as long as they fit within the confines of budget, schedule, and
sexuality. Unfortunately, whenever he produces something not in the erotic
genre, he has a very hard time selling it. Thus the lack of release of Tomorrow By Midnight, five year delay on
Pretty Cool and ten
year wait on Blonde and Blonder, a comedy I wrote for Alain that was
produced many years later starring Pamela Anderson and Denise Richards. He
did introduce me to Tom Seidman which eventually lead to the production of
The Hazing after Alain walked away from it
other Rolfe Kanefsky cast-and-crew regulars you'd like to talk about?
is awesome. Such a talented actor and everyone who works with him loves
him. We've worked twenty times together now. He's my lucky charm. I also
worked with Mark Collver quite a few times before he left the acting
business. James Ferris has appeared in three of my films, Jacqueline
Hyd”, Nightmare Man and Pretty Cool Too!, Steven Williams
starred in Corpses and One In The Gun, Kira Reed was great
in Alien Erotica, Power Flower, Rod Steele 0014. I
like actors and try to work with actors that are good that I also get
along with. Paul Deng has shot a number of my films. Chris Farrell has
scored almost all of my films. He's a genius working with way too little
money. And Jay Woelfel has worked with me in various positions over the
years. He is also a director in his own right.
body of work seems to alter between horror and comedy, with maybe a bit of
erotica thrown in. Are these genres you are particularly fond of, and why?
Well, comedy has always been fairly
easy for me and I love it. There is comedy in everything I do. Horror
films scared me but once I decided to become a director at the age of 14,
I began watching all of them and became a big fan. I still watch every
horror film that comes out. As for erotica, I have no problem with the
naked body but I do prefer women's bodies. All of those movies were
produced by Alain Siritzky except for Jacqueline Hyde but with
Gabriella's reputation, I knew we had to appeal to her fans as well. But I
do love almost all genres, especially thrillers. I find myself writing a
lot of thrillers on spec and my two favorite films are my thrillers, Tomorrow By Midnight and
One In The Gun. I also love musicals
which is why it was fun to try one this passed summer.
It's great to make people laugh and
fun to make them jump as well. When you combine the two, it can be very
entertaining. So comedy/horror always attracts me. I love walking that
delicate line and if it can be a little sexy, all the better.
being a pretty prolific director, you have also written quite a few
screenplays filmed by other people. Could you talk about this aspect of
your career for a bit, and any films you have scripted for other people
you are particularly fond of?
a script is directed by someone else, I tend to step away since it never
will come out the way you envisioned it. Most of the time I'm
disappointed. I was thrilled when I heard that Bob Clark (Porky's,
the original Black Christmas and
A Christmas Story) was going
to be directing Blonde and Blonder. Unfortunately due to the tragedy
during post and some real crooked producers, the film did not turn out
well at all. I feel that Red Line, Shattered Lies, Restless
Souls, and the others should have all been better. I've also done a lot
of ghost writing. Fixing other people's scripts while trying to maintain
the same tone and style. But if you look at a lot of my films, you'll see
I have a style that comes across. My sense of humor and pacing are very
specific and hard to copy. Many of my films switch gears in an attempt to
keep the audience on their toes, guessing what is going to happen next. I
like it when viewers can't predict the ending in the first five minutes. I
feel all scripts should be written as a good mystery. Give little hints at
where it's going and have it make sense at the end but keep it fun with
surprises along the way. Almost all of my films follow this pattern.
What do you actually
prefer, writing or directing?
fun and more personally satisfying. But a script is just a blueprint for a
movie. It could be a good read but it's meant to be filmed, unlike a book.
Directing is very difficult with tons of problems especially on the
budgets I work with but you do see the story come to life. When actors are
saying the lines, that's when the magic happens. So, I really enjoy
directing. It's more of a team effort which is good because it gets you
out of your apartment and away from your computer screen. However, once
that's finished it's back to the computer screen for editing, when the
movie really takes shape. I'm very involved in all the post-production of
Feeling lucky ?
any of my partnershops yourself
for more, better results ?
The links below
will take you
Writers and directors who
This could easily be a
laundry list. I'll list some obvious and not so obvious choices. Preston
Sturges, Howard Hawks, Alfred Hitchcock, Buster Keaton [Buster
Keaton bio - click here], Charlie Chaplin,
Peter Stone, Levinson/Link, Steven Spielberg, Billy Wilder, William Peter
Blatty, Blake Edwards, Richard Franklin, Tom Holland, Joe Ruben, Joss
Whedon, Rod Serling, Martin Scorsese, Mel Brooks, Neil Simon, Stanley
Kramer, Stanley Donen, Joesph Sargent, Richard Rush, Jackie Chan, Frank
Oz, John Hughes, Kevin Smith, John Carpenter, Barry Levinson, John Landis,
Gene Kelly, and Bob Clark.
Your favourite movies?
All Abbott and Costello movies,
Girl Friday, Christmas In July, Arsenic and Old Lace, Duck
Soup, It's A
Mad, Mad, Mad Mad World, The Blues Brothers, E.T., Jaws,
Fright Night, Psycho, Psycho II, North By Northwest,
Strangers On A Train, Big, Moulin Rouge, Rainman,
Animal House, Caddyshack, Dreamscape, The
Breakfast Club, Halloween (original),
The Thing (remake), Big Trouble In
Little China, The Stuntman, Taking Of Pelham One-Two-Three (original),
Charade, Little Shop of Horrors (remake), The Pink Panther series (w/Peter
Sellers), Being There, Tropic Thunder, Black Christmas
Stepfather (original), The Party, Used Cars, Goldfinger,
Spy Who Loved Me,
One Two Three, Road Games, Some Like It Hot, Rollercoaster,
Young Frankenstein, The Producers (original), Wait Until
Dark, Breakfast At Tiffany's, Don't Be Afraid Of The Dark (original),
Chicago, Stakeout, Dumbo, Aladdin, The China
Syndrome, The Odd Couple, Field Of Dreams, Amour
Of God II, Police Story,
Project A II, Hello Dolly, Freebie and the Bean, Die
Hard, Back To The Future, The
General, The Gold Rush, Modern Times, Safety
Last, The Freshman, Movie Crazy, The Court
Jester, Wonderman, The Patsy, The
Inspector General, Airplane!, Throw Momma From The Train,
Foul Play, Where's Poppa?, The In-Laws (original), Tremors,
Sleuth, Risky Business, Ten Little Indians, The French
Connection, French Connection 2,
An American Werewolf In London, Singing In The Rain, The Legend Of Hell
House, The Haunting (original),
Better Off Dead, Revenge Of The Nerds.
So, there's a few off the top of my
of course, movies you have really deplored?
The remakes of almost all the films I listed above with
Rob Zombie's Halloween leading the pack. I actually rate movies on a
scale of 0-10 that I see in the theaters.
Here's a list of some of my zeros. Mission To Mars, The Skulls,
Loser, Tomcats, Collateral Damage, The Tuxedo,
The Order, Dark Water
(remake), When A Stranger Calls (remake), Blonde and Blonder,
and many, many more.
website, Facebook, MySpace, whatever else?
www.thehazing.com. I'm not sure if www.nightmaremanmovie.com//www.nightmaremanmovie.com/" target="_blank">www.nightmaremanmovie.com
or www.moodboobs.com are still
in service. I do have facebook and myspace accounts and if people want to
e-mail me directly, Rolfe30@yahoo.com
you are dying to mention and I have merely forgotten to ask?
Can't think of anything right now. Just keep an eye out
of There's Nothing Out There coming in Jan and One In The Gun
hopefully coming out later this year. Besides that, I'm keeping busy. Will
probably start a new script soon and hopefully keep making movies in 2011
for the interview!
Thank you as well and thanks to Tara Cardinal [Tara
Cardinal interview - click here] for
recommending me for this interview. We haven't worked together yet but I'm
sure that will change in the near future.