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An Interview with Walter Ruether a.k.a. Scarlet Fry on Nightmare Alley

by Mike Haberfelner

July 2010

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


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Since we have talked about Nightmare Alley before [click here], let's skip the introductions and jump right into the thick of things:

The wraparound story of your anthology film features a creepy and apparently magic comicbook. Are you at all into comicbooks personally and do they provide a source of inspiration to your work?


I collected comics at diff times in my life and I'm very familiar with EC comics which was the publisher of Tales from the Crypt, that comic definitly inspired Nightmare Alley as well as other horror comics like Vault of Horror, Creepy, Vampira etc.


A Fistful of Innards - the Western story: What were the inspirations for setting this zombie-tale in the old West, and would you consider yourself a Western fan?


I always enjoy a good Western, we thought it would be cool to do a western with a horror/zombie theme cause it's really never been done before - at least not much anyways.


Rebellion - the story about the rat: Where did the inspiration for that one come from?


I don't know, Rebellion was a story we tried to film many years ago for my first movie, and we never got to finish it. When it came time to write Nightmare Alley, I remembered the idea and decided to rewrite it, making it into something new.


A few words about the deliberately cheesy stuffed rat?


Rebellion was always an imaginary friend - in fact he's sitting in my room right now looking at me ...


Death Chat - can this be seen as your commentary on cheating and/or the internet?


I wanted to have a ghost story and asked my partner Laurence Holloway to write something cool - Death Chat was what he came up with. I'm not sure where the idea came from, but im not really fond of internet dating, bad things can happen. As you can see from watching Death Chat, it usualy ends bad.


Meat - somehow the set-up (not the outcome) of this story seems to be right out of a bad porn flick. Is this perception at all accurate?


Well we purposly did the music that way to give it a cheesy porno feel. The angry husband in that story was Danny Marianino the same guy responsible for knocking danzig on his ass as seen on youtube.


Is there any particular reason why both guys in this episode are, shall we say, a bit on the rotund side?


No, I guess since the larger of the two was gonna be hassled by the girl by the pool's husband, I had to make sure the actor would be intimidating to a bigger guy, so i got another big guy. Does that make any sense?


Closet Case - now where did that story come from?


Lol haha - it's a senseless kill. That was the first thing we shot, it was originally gonnabe  made into a fake trailer, just like Machete was originally, but we needed more time so we added it to the film.



The Great Damone - Is it just me or was this one inspired by Herschell Gordon Lewis's Color Me Blood Red [Herschell Gordon Lewis bio - click here] and maybe Roger Corman's Bucket of Blood [Roger Corman bio - click here]?


Exactly, it was my tribute to Herschell Gordon Lewis, you hit it on the nose. The script is kind of a mixture of the two films.


A few words about the paintings used in this episode?


They came from Sarah Chavez and Chris Thayer. Both are terrific artists, the Anton Levay painting at the end Chris Thayer painted in 3 days.


Slash of the Blade features the ghost of Jack the Ripper. To what extent was the character based on the actual Ripper?


We totally based it on the Ripper. In fact it's supposed to be the Ripper, we just gave him a cool mask. But the story is Jack the Ripper goes back in time and can move from place to place like a ghost and kill people - pretty cool, eh?


Like all your films so far, Nightmare Alley is an anthology movie. If you had the choice though, which episode of the film deserves the most to be turned into a feature film in its own right?


Definitely Slash of the Blade with the cool Ripper background - that could be an awesome slasher film. Any producers out there reading this?


Feeling lucky ?
Want to
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The links below
will take you
just there!!!

Find Walter Ruether
at the amazons ...


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

Germany (East AND West)

Looking for imports ?
Find Walter Ruether here ...

Your shop for all things Thai

Something naughty ?
(Must be over 18 to go there !)

x-rated  find Walter Ruether at

What was your collaboration with your co-director Laurence Holloway like?


Laurence is awesome, he really pushed me to become a better filmaker, that's why Nightmare Alley is a lot better the anything I've done in the past.


A few words about your cast and crew?


They were all team players, I'm proud of everybody. Making movies can be grueling long days, but in the end it pays off.


What can you tell us about audience reaction to the film so far?


It's been great. If you have any sense of humor whatsoever then you'll be entertained by this movie. I've never seen anyone who watched this movie not laugh.


The film's website, MySpace, Facebook, whatever else?


We also have a Twitter and info is available at


Any future projects you'd like to talk about?


I am planning my next project, it's going to be my last anthology called Scream Machine. There will not be a host this time, we are doing a totaly diff wrap-around idea, it's gonna be a little on the sci fi side.


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


Nightmare Alley is made by the fans for the fans, it's a bloody, fun little morsel that won't dissapoint, there's something for everyone and remember terror begins where the sidewalk ends, so pre-order your copy today,


Thanks for the interview!


© by Mike Haberfelner

Legal note: (re)Search my Trash cannot
and shall not be held responsible for
content of sites from a third party.

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