You are about to release a movie called Amateur Porn Star Killer 2.
Can you tell us in a few phrases what the film is about ?
Boy watches girl. Boy follows girl. Boy picks up girl. Boy flirts with
girl, gets girl to like him. Boy pisses girl off. Boy rapes and kills
girl. End. LOL.
But it really does play off the donít talk to strangers, and donít
trust the boy next door theme of horror movies, though Iíd say
itís anything but a traditional horror film.
what way does it differ from the first Amateur Porn Star Killer ?
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first APSK basically just puts a camera on a shy girl and watches
her for the whole film. Many people who decided based on the title that
they wouldnít like the film would make laughs when summing it up that
bluntly, but I donít believe every movie needs some twist and turn and
suave dialogue and well-constructed story. Sometimes itís just the here
and now that matters. Iím more interested in human behavior than plot
(which is why I can say I loved The Ruins - killer plant attacks
kids is basically how you could sum it up, but what was interesting was
how they started reacting to the situation after being quarantined to
die). The first APSK
deals with the last hour of a girlís life.
To me, everything that happens in that last hour is important. Whether
itís her being raped, or her just sitting there looking around the room,
it all means and it all says something. The first also deals with a young
inexperienced girl. And what it really points out (which I think makes it
become a feminist film) is how you donít need to use a weapon or force,
or hear the word ďnoĒ, to call it rape. The girl is clearly raped,
though many men would probably argue otherwise (even some reviewers Ė
men Ė pointed out how there was never rape in the film, though it most
definitely was). Some women say ďstopĒ by saying ďstopĒ. Others
say ďstopĒ by fighting back. And some, some people just shut down
emotionally and hope it just stops. Her body language clearly is saying
ďstopĒ. Thatís something you donít see much brought up in movies
that deal with rape, if at all, so that was another thing the original APSK
APSK2 is a whole new type of victim. She resembles the first girl
in height, weight, dark hair, and while not as young is still very young,
but her attitude is much different. She is obviously experienced and wants
to fuck the killer, and even becomes a handful for him at a point. But to
focus on another kind of rape yet again, we decided to have the killer
play his games of finding what pisses the girl off until he eventually
does. This gives him the opportunity to force himself on a girl who
actually wants to fuck him. This shows just how sick he is, that he has to
play this game with them. The only good example I ever saw of this in a
film was Bully. Nick Stahlís character and Bijou Phillipsí
character want to have sex with each other. They both get undressed, start
to get it on, she obviously is going to fuck him, but he does something to
piss her off. He purposely does it, waits until sheís so pissed off she
tries to leave, then he forces himself on her, therefore raping her.
just find weird stuff, even normal stuff, in our behavior as human beings
that is very fascinating, and criminology in general really fascinates me.
I never had much interest in horror films or exploitation films before, it
was criminology and behavior that got me started on the APSK
films (as well as having to work with no money). The thing that really
differs the 1st from the 2nd though is the editing. The first had hardly
any editing, aside from adding the old film look and black and white to
create the mood I felt was appropriate. The 2nd, however, takes about
every editing style Iíve used in the past when making short films and
music videos, and somehow incorporating it into each scene in APSK2.
I tried to treat each scene like a new film, and get more and more intense
and unpredictable with it as the movie went on and the emotions became
more intense and unpredictable.
You can see the difference from the trailer we edited directly after
filming (when I had considered making it in black and white):
to the new trailer with the actual look of the film:
and then also compared to the flow of the first APSK:
to my information, in Amateur Porn Star Killer 2 you have included
hardcore sex scenes. Why did you decide to go hardcore ?
felt like the 1st was more mysterious, everywhere from the character of
the girl, to hiding the oral sex scene, to having the murder off camera,
so I just went the opposite with APSK2. I think the 1st disturbed
the people who were disturbed because it was mysterious so Iím hoping
the 2nd will catch them off guard with itís in-your-face approach and
have the same effect. If we were to make the 2nd film like the 1st it
wouldnít have much effect since we just did it that way, so it was all
about finding a new approach, while at the same time trying to stay true
to the original. Itís still done handheld, documentary style, it just
has more editing tricks (or less if you watch disc 2, the bare bones snuff
version with absolutely no editing tricks, music, titles, nada). It still
has the oral itís just this time itís right there in the open. It
still has the murder but this time you watch it, though we still made the
choice of keeping it bloodless.
It wasnít really about let's be shocking, it was just about trying to
keep it fresh while staying true. Another thing we added a lot of this
time (not to contradict what I said before however) was plot. Well, more
like backstory. Fortunately I have many unfinished films and footage
sitting around from when I was younger, and fortunately it deals with sex
and/or violence. So that was a great way to incorporate past events of the
killer captured on camera, and possibly give people a better idea how he
came to this point.
have shot the entire film in one day, right ? This must mean a terribly
hectic schedule. Isn't it hard to get the whole thing done in such a short
time, or does it actually help the immediacy of the movie ?
from the recycled footage the main movie sequence with Kai (just like the
with Michiko) was shot in one night, thatís correct
[Kai Lanette interview -
click here]. And in the case of the APSK movies I think it
worked out great that way. As long as the person youíre working with
understands the concept, it just makes it all that more believable to do
it in one night, in one shot, in one take. Everything was done only once in APSK, and aside from this quick 5 second sequence in APSK2
which we had to re-shoot, everything was shot only once. For this type of
story and style thatís the best way to do it I think, because in many
ways it really is real. Thereís no script, not much planning, so it
comes off being just that, and thatís the catch. There have been other
films Iíve done that have taken much, much longer. Iíve been writing
and test shooting stuff for Romance Road Killers on and off for 3
Thereís this 15 minute film Isolation I did a few years back,
which we shot on and off for 8 months trying to get everything just right.
Some people think I shot APSK
the way I did because I had never
made a film or had no idea how to make one, but I had been directing since
I was 7 so I had experimented with a lot of stuff. And I just wanted to
see what would happen if I did the opposite of everything I was taught and
everything I had learned; and thatís finally what let me take the jump
from aspiring filmmaker to multiple distribution deal. So fuck it, break
the rules, all that shit new filmmakers always say. But what my dad taught
me was learn how to do it right first, then make the choice to change it,
to break it, otherwise you have no idea what youíre breaking and it just
makes you look ignorant.
Lead actress Kai Lanette
difficult is it to find actresses to star in films like Amateur Porn
Star Killer 2 (the title alone is bound to scare away many girls) ?
it does. Weíre trying to cast Part 3 and so far no submissions for
supporting roles. Real actors donít tend to want to work with me. Itís
usually girls who arenít trying to make a career out of it, so theyíre
not as paranoid about what people will think of them. The lead girl Iím
working with on Part 3 is like that because she wants to model and act for
a living, so weíve really had to go over things more to see what she's
comfortable with. (And this just in, she dropped out, wanted a bigger
paycheck for one night of shooting than I would get for 3 years of getting
the first film out there, so scratch that, yes it can be difficult, LOL.)
for the most part Iíve stayed away from real actors as I usually just
shoot stuff in my hometown. People up there are more excited to be in a
movie, willing to do it for free, and not as difficult to work with. An
actor from LA sees the $20 budget youíre working on and flips. Versus
somebody like Kai [Kai Lanette
interview - click here] is approached, we sit down for a few hours to talk about
it, and the next day or whatever weíre shooting. Plus being from a small
town people know each other whether theyíre friends or not, so Kai and
I, like many of the other girls Iíve worked with, had known of each
other for several years through mutual friends so it was easy to relax and
just do it.
And then thereís plenty of people who have come back later saying they
changed their minds, donít want to be in it anymore, etc. Lots of girls
do this, even the ones who didnít have sexual roles or were in non
sex-related films, both actors and non-actors. It doesnít matter how
much explanation you give somebody and whether they sign contracts or not,
some people will come back later with a bunch of shit to throw at you, so
you better have those contracts. Iíve made mistakes in the past of
trusting people will sign them later and have had to re-shoot or shelve
projects over that shit because they changed their minds afterwards. Iím
a handshake type of person. I trust peopleís word. You canít do that
anymore (actually you havenít been able to do that for like 100 years or
whatever). Iíve never understood that because I acted in many student
and independent films (most or all that didnít get anywhere due to lack
of promotion), and I donít think I ever signed anything. I knew none of
them were for money, and I didnít care who saw it, it didnít matter
if it came out bad or good (though of course Iíd hope good). I made the
choice of being in it so Iím not gonna take that back. But many people
just arenít like that, and thatís been a big problem for me with the
there any major influences for Amateur Porn Star Killer 2 ?
had already been influenced by films like 8mm and Tape for
Part 1, so the biggest influence would be from where everything originated
from. But my own past work was the biggest influence I had on the visual
look. Iíve made about 50 short films and music videos and on some of my
more recent efforts had experimented with stuff that I wanted to use in a
feature. And the music I was given to work with for Part 2 was a big
influence. I started working on the film, editing it, according to the
music to see if it flowed. And more and more the editing and the music
together took a life on their own. I tried editing each scene differently,
and each time thought about my past efforts, and what I had done that I
think I could recreate for this film. The other major influence was David
Fincherís Zodiac and late night TV. I watched Zodiac
multiple times before editing, getting the flow of the criminology part
and how it worked in the film. We didnít have detective and case files
and stuff but we had victims, days, times, names, etc., so I wanted the
feel of a forensic files type thing in that regards. And then I usually
edit in the middle of the night and while Iím taking a break or waiting
for stuff to render or whatever Iíll channel surf and I bet a lot of
that had a subconscious influence; anywhere from seeing ridiculous
infomercials, to fake religious leaders, to Court TV, to Girls
Gone Wild. I also put together the snuff version of Part 2
(on disc 2) for people who want the ultimate realistic approach and that
finally gave me a chance to have a black and white feature. But what the snuff
version really shows (if you watch it back-to-back with the movie
version) is how you can take real life footage of a tragedy, and make it
into a visual work-of-art, or more importantly, a mockery. I think itís
scary to know that somebody can take real-life tragedy and make it a
cinematic event (which is what they did with Columbine, which is what
caused me to instantly stop watching television for the most part).
do you answer to people who accuse you of using gratuitous violence as the
main selling point of your movies ?
I ask ďwhat violence? Thereís no bloodĒ. The title draws them in
and then I hope the realistic approach knocks them out with a ďwhat the
fuck is wrong with me that Iíd want to see that?Ē Some of my other
films have blood but I donít think itís gratuitous, I only use it when
I feel itís necessary to the situation. Usually people just say I should
make a different movie, but since weíre talking about whatever movie
theyíre bringing up, Iíd just say, ďwell, if you were involved in a
murder like that, how would you have killed that person so it wasnít so
gratuitous?Ē Besides, without violent films, we wouldnít get the joy
out of things like Finding Nemo. We need a balance. I loved Mr.
Brooks and then I loved Martian Child. Sometimes I want a
serial killer, other times I want a family film, but not just one.
What can you tell us about
your fascination with snuff, the very topic of the Amateur Porn Star
8mm really got me interested because it kept the victim
mysterious, and mystery always intrigues me, and criminology intrigues me
partly because itís mysterious. Snuff is a criminal act thatís very
mysterious because itís not proven to exist. And exploring the victims
of snuff films, digging into who they are and/or how they would react
really interested me because like I said earlier, Iím more interested in
how people react and human behavior than I usually am plot. Iíll just
sit and watch people or go to bars and not drink and watch people from a
sober perspective, itís really interesting, weird, worth exploring.
in APSK1 especially, thatís exactly what we do; we just sit and
watch every little reaction that the lead girl has to that situation. And
then in Part2 we get a much more realistic portrayal of snuff and a new
kind of victim in the snuff version. And in the movie/theatrical
version we see how glamorized and artsy a filmmaker is capable of making
real-life tragedy by adding effects, music, songs, title cards, fast
motion, slow motion, etc.
But all in all itís not really that Iím interested in snuff, I just
found one out of hundreds of ideas I thought I could actually put into a
movie, so thatís the idea I went with. My biggest fascination is doomed
ill-fated love (like my film Romance Road Killers). Thereís
something about tragic romance stories where you know from the start that
theyíre doomed. Itís more intense, more romantic, more passionate,
more action, more drama, and therefore always makes an interesting story
in my opinion. And you can always seem to relate to the characters in some
way since we all want to be in love.
What other films have you worked on besides
the Amateur Porn Star Killer-movies ?
doing a lot ever since I was about 7 years old. I made films from then
until the time I was 16, both acting in and directing (since what I really
wanted was to act but was too young to drive myself to auditions or even
know how to go about getting them I just grabbed a camera and started
doing my own shit).
I acted in several student projects and short films and a couple indie
features when I was about 20-21. Iíve done some featured extra work like
Thatís So Raven, LOL, which got me all my SAG
vouchers (though Iíve never had enough money to join SAG), a
stunt fight on The O.C. and a little stunt with Billy Bob
Thorton on Bad News Bears. All that was on-the-spot stuff I
got picked out for (except the Raven thing I was handpicked
for some reason).
I started directing a feature when I was 19 that was never completed and
later turned into several short films, including So, We Killed Our
Parents and The Snakeís Kiss Good-Bye, both of which are on
the APSK1 special features. I shot 2 other features back in 2003
that were halfway edited and have just been sitting around ever since. I
started editing them again, trying to get them done, finally. One, Iím
sure, would get a fucking mumblecore comparison, even though we shot it
over 5 years ago. Itís called The More The Better:
I did test shooting for Romance Road Killers 2 Ĺ years ago, still
trying to get that financed.
Prepping to shoot I Fell in Love with The Devilís Daughter, which
Cinema Epoch was interested in releasing, so hopefully that oneís
And then Iíve done a bunch of short films and music videos, all were on
my typical $20 budgets.
I started directing because I wanted to act, so
now that I finally have some credits out there as an actor I was thinking
of going full throttle for that because Iím burning out on this
directing shit man! There are the couple films I mentioned but itís more
like I want to get it out of the way so I can finally see if I can get
some kind of acting career. Oh, weíre also doing APSK3, I forgot
about that! So much stuff going on, but Iím still paying for gas in
dimes, lol. I just need to have this pull in enough money for me to be
able to drive my car, drink coffee, and pay rent (which is cheap since I
still live at home). But thatís not even happening, so Iíve really
been considering what I want to do with my life, since what I want to do
isnít letting me survive in the real world.
Your website and/or mySpace and/or whatever else ?
MySpace just deleted our main MySpace account, fuck those
who have influenced you ?
I gotta say Fritz Lang, Charlie
Chaplin, Orson Wells and Hitchcock since I grew up on that stuff and was
surrounded by it through my dad. I couldnít have better influences. And
then stuff I tracked down on my own, letís see, Tim Rothís The War
Zone was probably my biggest influence. Bang was the first
really low budget film I saw which inspired me. I remember my dad took me
to see it at the same Laemmle Theatre I had both APSK1 and
Premiere at, funny.
I loved Tony Scottís editing style in Domino but a lot of people
donít like that so that sucks to hear but I think itís fucking
visually amazing. Man on Fire influenced me to keep making my films
the way I wanted once I saw that Hollywood was really pushing the limits
with that kind of style. I like Oliver Stone, of course, I fucking love
The Hughes Brothers, wish those guys would make more films. Dead
Presidents is one of my favorites ever. And Darren Aronofsky, but
since those guys rarely make films, maybe thatís why all their films
kick ass. Alex Payne, Steven Soderbergh, George Clooney and David O.
Russell all rock, despite the rivalry between their connections.
Really, though, I just try to get my influences through life and music.
Iíll get an entire idea based on hearing the right part of the right
song while being in the right location. I got the entire idea for Devilís
Daughter from one little part of a Cat Power song. She mentioned
something about being the devilís daughter, and the mood of the song,
with those 2 words, and the empty location I was driving through at that
exact time instantly gave me the idea for the opening. And within 10
minutes I had the basics of the entire film in my head.
I wrote the script for Romance Road Killers while listening to Cat
Power and co-director singer/songwriter Emily Wryn, since they sound
pretty much identical. It really inspired everything. Music is a huge
inspiration to get my thoughts going, and locations really help me create
more so than watching other movies. I made my short film Isolation
based on the locations I found and wrote the short script and idea based
around the locations.
And finally still photos really inspire me. Especially when itís a
really good picture that has a lot to say. Iíll sit there and look at a
photo forever, trying to figure what it all means, or if itís of a
person, trying to figure out all their thoughts, the photographerís
So, all in all, music, people watching, photography and cool locations
inspire me more than anything. And sometimes other directors and movies
come into play.
Your favourite recent movies and your
all-time favourites ?
Hmm, some recents - Once, Zodiac,
Into the Wild, Rocky Balboa, Juno, Dan in Real
Life, Things We Lost in the Fire, Martian Child, American
Crime, Death Sentence, Crank, Family Portraits, Mr.
Brooks, Talk to Me, Darjeeling Limited, Sweeney Todd,
Michael Clayton, Waitress, Confession of a Superhero,
Rambo, The Jason Bourne films, Running
Scared, Hard Candy,
The Fountain, and I
just saw this fucking kick ass movie called Punk Love, it has not
one review link on IMDB, I canít believe it, check it out. It has
some amateur moments but the rest is so unbelievable powerful, I canít
believe I never heard of this.
All-time favs would be True Romance, Made, Swingers, U
Turn, Menace 2 Society, Out of Sight, The Limey, Pump
up the Volume, Rocky, Jackie Brown, Taxi Driver, Face/Off,
Bloodsport (Iím a huge Van Damme fan/geek, lol, I know), Passenger
57 (I also like Wesley) and New Jack City, PI, Almost
Famous, Die Hard, Hard to Kill, Enter
the Ninja, The Postman Always Rings Twice, Double
Indemnity, Plain Dirty, The Recruit (I donít know why,
Pacinoís a guilty pleasure), Dog Day Afternoon (I do know why), Collateral,
Heat, Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, Donnie Darko, Weekend
at Bernies, Garden State, American Psycho, Open Range,
8Mile, Very Bad Things, Grease, B Monkey and
thereís just too many and all kinds of films to go on with.
... and some films you really deplored ?
try not to watch a film if it looks bad, though sometimes I misjudge and
in the past I used to watch everything I could find so I definitely saw
some stinkers. Speaking of Saw I think the first Saw
was really good and then the 2nd wasnít, and the 3rd was so awful I
didnít bother with the 4th, so thereís a stinker.
88 Minutes was extremely cheesy, I felt bad for all the actors in
the movie. Of course Uwe Boll and Ulli Lommel films are cruel and painful
to watch. And then thereís mainstream films that just the trailer alone
kills you (i.e. Foolís Gold, Prom Night). I like lots of
films so itís hard to find bad ones but Iíve seen a lot of shit at
festivals. I remember seeing 9 Songs at Sundance a few months after
shooting APSK thinking ďwhat a piece of shit by such a big time
director. If this got into Sundance I wonít have a single problem with APSKĒ,
lol. But Iíve seen way worse than that as well, though usually Iíll
just forget about a bad film unless it really sticks with me for some
else I forgot to ask and you are just dieing to mention ?
they might be great guys, I AM NOT an Eli Roth fan (I actually just sat
next to him at the premiere for Adam Carollaís The Hammer, lol, I
kept tripping over his legs until I eventually sat in front of him). I am
definitely not a Guinea Pig or August Underground fan
(nor have I even seen those or care to). Or a Troma
fan (though they are great guys who I would party with any day, fan of
them as people, but not the films, though I hope they keep making them).
And what else? If I hear one more comparison to any of them I will hunt
down that person and sleep next to them in bed naked with poison oak on my
body after Iíve infected my self with aids as I will then rape them
without a condom. Well, maybe not. Itís actually fun to hear people I
donít know say untrue things about me with the confidence that theyíre
right when they couldnít be more wrong. So, scratch that. Please, tell
me something about me I donít know. I do seem to forget things a lot.
Like where I parked my car, I can never fucking remember.
for the interview,
and good luck with your film.
Thank you. Thank you. Thank youÖ