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An Interview with Walter Ruether, Creator, Co-Writer, Co-Director of Death by VHS (formerly Scream Machine)

by Mike Haberfelner

November 2012

Films directed by Walter Ruether on (re)Search my Trash

 

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Your upcoming movie Scream Machine a.k.a. Death by VHS - in a few words, what is it about?

 

Scream Machine is very similar to the film V/H/S. I came up with the idea before that movie even existed. The film Scream Machine is about a group of friends who rent an old VCR that comes with 5 VHS movies. The person they rent the machine from is someone they find in a local paper only because they dont have a flat screen TV, so they need to find a VCR to rent so they canwatch movies on a friday night. They rent it from a very evil voodoo priest who has cursed the machine.

 

Since we last talked about Scream Machine [click here], you have changed the wraparound story quite a bit. To ask quite bluntly: Why?

 

The original wrap around we figured was going to cost way too much to produce & we had a lot of location issues. We re-wrote it because VHS-oriented movies & VHS in general have made a huge comeback - I think VHS-lovers will love this movie ...

It is also going to be a lot easier to shoot.

 

What were your inspirations for both Scream Machine's wraparound story and the individual segments?

 

The fact that VHS has made such a big comeback. The short films are a lot darker than in my previous films Nightmare Alley & Scarlet Fry's Junkfood Horrorfest, which fans were kinda dissapointed with. This film is going to be much better in every aspect, I've learned a lot from the critics & fellow filmmakers out there. Scream Machine will not disappoint.

 

With and evil Santa, a vampire seductress, zombies, rabbit serial killers and the like, you seem to be pretty much all over the map regarding outrageousness - so were there actually any ideas that you deemed too wild for your movie?

 

Never! I consider myself the Herschell Gordon Lewis of the new era [Herschell Gordon Lewis bio - click here], & there is never anything that is too wild for a B-movie filmmaker like me. Most important thing is to really try not to offend people & stay within certain boundaries like political correctness.

 

You were never one to shy away from a bit of blood and guts - so how far are you going in Scream Machine concerning gore and violence? And how important would you rate gore in your movies in general?

 

The film will definitely have a lot of gore & death, but we concentrated more on story & less on gore to make a better movie, yet there will still be those old Scarlet Fry-moments.

 

How did you approach your individual stories from a directorial point of view, and what can you tell us about the film's overall style?

 

The film is shot by our new Director of Photography David Sabal, he is very creative with the camera, there will be lots of hand held stuff & very weird camera angles to give it a surreal kind of look.

 

What can you tell us about your co-director David Sabal, and what was your collaboration like?

 

David Sabal has been a pleasure to work with & has great ideas. He is probably by far the best film partner I've ever worked with & I'm very proud of this film.

 

As far as I know, Scream Machine is almost done, but you chose to start a fundraiser for the film's last segment. So what can you tell us about your fundraising efforts?

 

So far we just need to raise a few more Dollars to complete the last short in the anthology & the wraparound story. Our deadline is Jan 2013. We will be entering it in the Phoenix Comic Con-deadline Jan 31st, we were accepted last year for one of our shorts, so we already have ribbons for the DVD sleeve. This time we hope to win!

http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/266728?a=35469

 

What can you tell us about the shoot (or rather shoots) as such, and the overall on-set atmosphere?

 

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The atmosphere is great everyone on the crew works together and we never fight - which is why this will be a great film.

 

Any idea yet when and where the movie will be released onto the general public, or is this waaaay too early to ask?

 

The film is set to be distributed by World Wide Multi Media. After we finish doing festivals they will sign it & it will be released on DVD sometime in 2013 - no set date as of yet.

 

Any future projects beyond Scream Machine you'd like to share?

 

I have some ideas, I'd like to do a full length feature - but I don't wanna give too much away but it will be a cross between Black Swan & Re-Animator.

 

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

 

Here is the link for the indiegogo page - please support!

http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/266728?a=35469

 

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

 

Thanks to all that contribute this film will be amazing & I think horror fans are gonna love it!

 

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
Amazon!!!

 

 

 

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
WHICH IS WORSE!!!

 

A Killer Conversation

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

out now on DVD