Your new movie The
Fappening - in a few words, what's it about?
A struggling filmmakerís descent into a serial killer.
leave no doubt that The
Fappening was inspired by 2014's phone hack scandal - so your
personal thoughts about this, and also about the (American) public's utter
fascination with celebrity porn?
I thought it was an
invasion of privacy and wrong on every level, but once itís out there
itís out there and I did watch a lot of it, but honestly I didnít even
know who most of the women were. Itís the same thing as watching someone
get knocked out, beat up, shot, you donít have to like it or agree with
it to watch it, weíre all voyeurs and itís hard to look away.
Other sources of
inspiration when writing The
Myself, a lot of this film is
autobiographical. As you know and some of your readers may or may not
know, Iíve done a lot of erotic films and Iíve had some actors (male
and female) find God or get married or who knows what and decide years
later that they want me to edit them out of my films, so in certain ways I
can directly relate to Alan Smithee.
Do talk about The
Fappening's brand of humour for a bit! And how did those Human
League lyrics slip into the movie, was that actually in the script or
improvised on the spot?
The second I went with the title I
did I knew the film had to have a deadpan sense of humor. As for the song,
it wasnít until rehearsal that I realized how close the dialogue was to
the lyrics, so before shooting I said, why not just go all the way with
What can you tell us about your
directorial approach to our story at hand?
This was a
fairly easy film to direct, because half the cast played themselves and
the ones that didnít still played actors. Also like most films Iíve
done recently, Iím in almost every scene so I try to guide the actors
with me as Iím performing, like itís a dance and Iím leading.
You also play
the lead in The
Fappening - so have you written him with yourself in mind, what
did you draw upon to bring Alan Smithee to life, and do what extent can
you identify with him?
Yes and yes. I addressed this in
some of the answers above, but Iíll add that a lot of what happens in
the first act was inspired by some real events that happened to me, but
after that itís all fiction.
What can you tell us about the
rest of your cast, and why exactly these people?
to cast people with enough of a following that they could play themselves
and fans of low budget horror would know who they are. Prior to this film,
Iíd mostly worked with people moonlighting as actors, with a few
exceptions. With this film I had the great opportunity to work with
several scream queens and a couple cult icons.
about the shoot as such, and the on-set atmosphere?
started off as bad as it can get, this was going to be the first film I
was going to shoot without my partner who was also my cinematographer, I
was going to shoot without a script and go completely improvised and I
wanted to shoot most of the film on Halloween night to get some of the
Manhattan parade footage in the film. It was a complete fail on all
levels, the guy I got to shoot the film for me was terrible, not his
fault, he was not a professional, but none of the Halloween footage was
usable, I got caught in the parade so most of the stuff I planned I
didnít get to shoot anyway, which turned out to be a good thing. I
regrouped, I got someone else to shoot it for me, fully scripted it and I
think itís right up there as one of my best films.
recently starred in another sex scandal-inspired movie,
Huckstabelle: Serial Rapist - so what's that one about, and what
can you tell us about your character in it?
fictional biopic about a successful comedian that has a sadistic hidden
side that eventually gets exposed.
did you draw upon to bring him to life? And the rape allegations
notwithstanding for a moment, your thoughts about Bill Cosby the actor,
comedian and the nation's favourite dad?
I drew upon the
man himself and played it as if he was the hero in this film. Cosby was a
hero of mine growing up, I loved The Cosby Show and I think heís done
more good in his life than most, but there is this other side that if
these allegations are true, also ruined lives, itís tough because
throughout history there are a lot of great people, men and women that
have done a tremendous a lot of good and bad. I honestly donít know how
to feel about him. There are people we hero worship today that owned
slaves, killed people, molested children, had inscest, cheated on their
wives, were racists, bigots, etcÖ
How did you
get hooked up with the project in the first place?
I had a
treatment for this and a few other films and sent them out via text to
some friends of mine and asked them what they thought. A fellow filmmaker,
Jerry Landi [Jerry Landi interview
- click here], got back to me and wanted to direct it with me as the star. I
said, letís do it.
can you tell us about your director Jerry Landi, and what was your
Iím used to having a partner (Aswad
Issa) for years, so collaborating wasnít an issue for me and Jerry was
pretty open to me rewriting a lot of my dialogue and scenes and also
ad-libbing as well. It was fun and we plan on doing it again in the near
Again, do talk about the shoot for a
It was odd, even though I was the lead actor, co-producer and
I handled a lot of the actors, I was used to doing so much more than I did
on this set. There were a few days that I did very little and some days
that I wasnít even needed, which is something Iím not used to. Aside
from that, the shoot was smooth and fun.
Back to The
Fappening, which incidently also serves as framing story for
Vault of Terror II: The
Undead, a horror anthology you and Jerry Landi [Jerry
Landi interview - click here] have conceived - so
do talk about that one for a bit, and the films featured, and why they
I think it took the success of the first Vault
of Terror to make the second the way I wanted. Having Jerry co-executive produce was
a great help because he was just as passionate about the film as I was. In
terms of the films we picked, we wanted to pick the best ones instead of
trying to stick to a theme.
So what can you tell us about audience and
critical reception of these three movies of yours?
very early, but Vault of Terror II: The
Undead is doing really well on DVD, The
Fappening has been
solid On Demand and DVD an Bill
Huckstabelle: Serial Rapist is doing solid
On Demand, but wonít be on DVD until the end of the year.
future projects you'd like to share?
Night of The Walking
Dead, Sex Games: Mockingbird and Vault of Terror 3 - there are others, but
these are likely the next three in that order.
websites, Facebooks, whatever else?
Feeling lucky ?
any of my partnershops yourself
for more, better results ?
The links below
will take you
Anything else you're
dying to mention and I have merely forgotten to ask?
thanks again as always and I canít wait to do this again. Peace and
for the interview!