We have talked about his before [click
here], but do bring us up to speed: Your new movie Death
by VHS - what is it about?
is about a couple who are seeking the ultimate drug. The
couple hears about a strange man who rents video tapes that are supposed
to get you high when they watch them. The couple rents the tapes which
are the short stories in the anthology & after each tape they
gradually start to get sick untill the final tape in which the ultimate
evil occurs. Here is the synopsis:
battered and mysterious VCR... A bevy of lethal video- tapes... These are
the building blocks of horror in Death
by VHS. A mind
blowing descent into madness and death. Five shocking vignettes,
designed to take your sanity and devour your soul! Mild curiosity leads
to severe consequences when a couple rents a supposedly cursed video
cassette recorder. An urban legend renowned for leaving a trail of
agonizing and torturous death. Unbelieving, they take the plunge... And
another legend is horrifyingly born... Do you dare give fate a winning
hand, and test yourself against the hellish consequences of the VHS
machine? Insert Cassette Press Play...DIE!
At least in my eyes, Death
by VHS is quite clearly an hommage to shot-on-video fare from 20
to 30 years ago - what do you find so appealing about these movies, and
maybe connected to that, your thoughts on recently resurfacing
I left Los Angeles as a teenager and moved
to a small town in Northern California. The town was called Salinas and it
was so boring for me there that I began to rent 5-6 Horror movies a day
everyday. Upon watching these films I discovered so many classics &
became very schooled in horror, whenever I found something shot-on-video I
knew it was going to be so bad it was good, & at that point I realized
I got to make my own movie & I did Scarlet Fry's Horrorama,
which will be finally getting a VHS retro release with a DVD attached. It
will be a VHS/DVD-combo out in Feb 2014 - limited to only 30 units. I loved
those old movies like Microwave Massacre, Redneck Zombies
etc... what was
so appealing about them to me was that they were very funny & really
gory, something that I'd never seen before until then.
As far as the
comeback of VHS I think it is great, I mean if it wasn't for the 80's video
boom we wouldn't have any phsyical media today, it was really a revolution
and a true American pastime, I am actually a VHS collector myself.
By what standards were the shorts to be
included in Death
by VHS chosen, and were there ever any stories you came up with
that were just too wild or for other reasons wrong for this film?
first we really wanted to make a scary movie & we had a different wraparound story planned, but after we began production there was a lot of
unexpected obstacles & crew changes and we were going to go way over
budget - so we decided to change the wrap around story, we actually wrote it
before the movie V/H/S ever came out so this was not an attempt to cash in
on that film's success at all. We decided since the story had to do with
VHS tapes that we would pay homage to those old shot-on-video cult
classics so we decided to stick with that old Scarlet Fry-humor. We really
tried to make each short loook as if it was in fact from the 80's, gory
& funny in the vein of Herschell Gordon Lewis [Herschell
Gordon Lewis bio - click here], Troma-films &
movies like Frankenhooker
etc, I have always loved horror comedies if done right. I'm not a big fan of spoofs though, there is a difference, I much
prefer Toxic Avenger over something like
like you to talk about the individual segments of your movie for a bit, in
terms of inspiration, cast, actual shoot and so on:
Suburban She Freak was my tribute to
Herschell Gordon Lewis [Herschell
Gordon Lewis bio - click here], who is my biggest influence. The story is a cross
between his films Something Weird &
A Taste of Blood, anyone familiar
with those two films watches Suburban She Freak, then they'll see what I mean.
Kim started as a student film. I was told
to write a short that told a story with no dialouge, & that was how
this particular short came about. This is my favorite in the anthology, it
has a very creepy vibe similar to Romero's Night of the
Living Dead - or so
I'm told. A huge compliment. What really made this piece special was the
radio announcer voiced by David C. Hayes (Bloody
Bloody Bible Camp) [David C.
Hayes interview - click here].
Krampus is interesting. I had originally hired a writer to contribute
a short, & he told me that he wanted to do a story about a home
invasion on Christmas. This person did not make deadline and so I had to
come up with a story - I decided to write something involving Christmas
& I came up with Christmas Krampus, which was all from my sick &
twisted brain. I really love this short as well, you really can see the
humor in this film.
was a short film written by Richard Stoudt [Richard
Stoudt & Laurence Holloway interview - click here], who
is currently in post with his new feature film Voices from the Grave co-written by Gary Brandner, author of
The Howling. I read the script &
loved it, it is sort of like John Waters meets Re-Animator.
far as I know, the last segment of your movie, Lepus directed by
Jacob D. O'Neal, was pretty much discovered for Death
by VHS. Would you like to elaborate on that?
was the only other short that wasn't written by me, after we shot 4 shorts
for the anthology we realized we needed a little more time to make the
movie 70 mins with the wrap around included. My camera man David Sabal
told me he had a friend who wanted to submit a film which turned out to be
Lepus. I am so glad I agreed to let this film be a part of the anthology
because it is the best piece in the entire anthology even though I have a
soft spot for Kim.
can you tell us about audience and critical reception of your movie so
Whenever you make any film there are going to be
people that love it & people that hate it, I have learned to accept
the bad with the good, so far the response has been amazing, I showed it
to the editor of Fangoria & he liked it so much he decided to feature
me in the upcoming issue of Gorezone magazine due out in Sept of this
year. I am very happy about that , I have been making films & paying
my dues for a long time, so to be featured in a major horror publication
is a long time coming & I couldn't be more happy & grateful.
Any future projects you'd like to share?
Feeling lucky ?
any of my partnershops yourself
for more, better results ?
The links below
will take you
Yes first I have a VHS/DVD combo of my first film Scarlet Fry's Horrorama
scheduled for a Feb 2014 release. I also just finished
shooting a segment for a documentary about VHS, the 80's video boom
& collecting, it will also be out next year & is going to be
called Plastic Movies Rewound: The Story of the 80's Home Video Boom. I am
also currently working on a new short film called Love's a Loaded Gun
- this will be my first film that is going to be serious &
not funny. This will actually be a scary intense blood filled short film
which will be featured in a new anthology that will be very much like ABCs of
Death, it will have over 20 short films from over 20 different
indie horror directors, I was very priviledged to be asked to be a part
of this, I could'nt pass it up. I just started a fundraiser to raise
funds to start production - if you would like to contribute & get your
name on the credits & IMDb please click the link below:
movie's website, Facebook, whatever else?
Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/DeathByVhs?ref=hl
Thanks of the