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An Interview with Rony Patel, Director of Chop Chop

by Mike Haberfelner

October 2020

Films directed by Rony Patel on (re)Search my Trash


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


Chop Chop, as I see it, is a satirical slasher meets crime-thriller. It all centers on one chaotic night when a head-chopping serial killer attacks a mysterious young couple who harbors a dark secret of their own.


What were your sources of inspiration when writing Chop Chop?


Iím a big fan of home invasion movies, we were really quite impressed by some of the newer spins and tropes used in films like Youíre Next and Donít Breathe. And then along the way my own love for crime-thrillers started spilling into the mix with films like Pulp Fiction, a lot of Guy Ritchieís work, Breaking Bad etc.


What can you tell us about your co-writer Andrew Ericksen, and what was your collaboration like?


It was amazing. Super-talented guy! Really good collaborator. Iíve mentioned this before in a different interview - it was just fascinating how everything fell right in place with me and him; the characters, the tone, the humor - - everything! We were very clear from the start what we wanted Chop Chop to be, and the finished film did not disappoint.


To what extent could you actually identify with your main characters Chuck and Liv, who seem to get deeper into the shit no matter what decision they make? And/or could you identify with any of the other characters, and why?


I think me and my wife Prachi (also a co-producer), we can certainly identify with the couple, not so much their choices of course haha. But, for starters we shot a good portion of the film in our apartment, so the in-home lifestyle of Chuck and Liv was quite literally built from our own. And more than the plot I feel itís the coupleís routine/their habits that Iím sure a lot of other couples can relate to as well. Itís difficult to express but for me thereís definitely an element of personal story somewhere, the whole date night aspect, themes of uncertainty, past & present and most importantly love in togetherness.


Chop Chop doesn't really shy away from violence - so what can you tell us about the bloody bits in your movie?


I wish I had more budget I would have loved to show a little more, haha. Stylistically I wanted to stay true to the slasher portion of the film despite the twist and the genre mash-up. Blood was super-necessary!


At least to me, Chop Chop is also darkly funny throughout - do you at all agree, and if so, do talk about your movie's brand of humour?


Yes, one hundred percent agree. When we were writing the script we were actually very conscious about the satirical choices and the dark humor. To me (and Iím sure Andrew also) irony and humor played a big part in terms of what attracted us to the story.


What can you tell us about Chop Chop's key cast, and why exactly these people?


Oh where do I start? Cast is my favorite part about the film. I mean they are each so perfect in their individual role. I had worked with Mikael Mattson before and it was a total blast. HAD to work with him again, and I knew exactly what character to write for him. For the leads I had to pretty much browse through hundreds and hundreds of profiles on Backstage and other similar talent search sites until I ultimately landed on Jake Taylor and Atala Arce. David Harper was a whole different story that I wonít get into right now. But once we roughly settled on the key-cast, we just knew, there was an instant connection of chemistry, look, style/acting - everything fell into place.


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


Iíd say overall it was a lot of fun for everyone, considering the scale and the budget we were working with. Initially it was a little stressful for me at times putting on multiple hats, I was juggling way more than I could handle for sure. And like with any other DIY production, things did get a little heated at times. But ultimately it all worked out great I think for the most part. No real complaints! Only good memories.


Anything you can tell us about audience and critical reception of Chop Chop?


I wonít know the general audience reaction until after the release of course. But with critics, I was really surprised by some of the positive reviewers on how spot on their overall interpretation was of the style and the film in general. I was skeptical that most people wonít get the style, the humor, and there definitely are a few that donít, but Iím sure glad to see a discussion happening.


Any future projects you'd like to share?


I am working with some ideas, but nothing set in stone yet. For now, just waiting for things to open back up safely.


What got you into filmmaking in the first place, and did you receive any formal training on the subject?


Yes, I studied film at Temple University. I was born and raised in India, and I loved movies growing up, but back there studying film as a subject wasnít even an option as far as I knew coming out of high school. When I moved to the States (in college) I discovered you could major in film. I quickly finished my minor in business and jumped majors without a second thought. Parents freaked out big time.


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


Chop Chop is my first feature attempt. Prior to that, I did short films, mostly horror/small budget stuff. Some of them are available on Vimeo for those who want to check it out.


How would you describe yourself as a director?


As a director I find myself constantly evolving and highly whimsical. When I started directing shorts I thought I would only do horror, and I still love horror donít get me wrong. But with Chop Chop I was able to see and experience this weird range I didnít think I had. I would love to continue experimenting and see how far I can stretch it.


Filmmakers who inspire you?


Many but to name a few - Quentin Tarantino, Robert Rodriguez, David Fincher, Guy Ritchie, Vince Gilligan, Martin Scorcese, Duplass Brothers, James Gunn, Sam Raimi etc.


Your favourite movies?


Off the top of my head - Inglourious Basterds, Pulp Fiction, Casino, Snatch, The Departed, The Blair Witch Project, Rosemaryís Baby, District 9, Nolanís Dark Knight Trilogy, Parasite, I Saw the Devil, La La Land, Tangerine, Superbad, and many many more.


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


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I donít know if there are any that I deplore. Maybe The Human Centipede? That too was effective in its own ways. So none I can think of at the moment.


Your/your movie's website, social media, whatever else?




Twitter/Instagram: @ChopChopMovie


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


I think you covered it all! This was a lot of fun. Thank you so much for the opportunity and support. Hope you and everyone else enjoy this crazy little film of ours. Be safe!


Thanks for the interview!


© by Mike Haberfelner

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Thanks for watching !!!



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