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An Interview with Shane Ryan, Creator of Snuff: The Anthology

by Mike Haberfelner

July 2015

Shane Ryan on (re)Search my Trash


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Your upcoming project Snuff: The Anthology - could you give us a quick breakdown what it's about?


Death caught on camera, plain and simple. And I want everybody to submit. Not just straight white American boys, which pretty much all the response I've had so far has been just that. That doesn't mean don't submit if you are (hey, I'm one), but I'm specifically trying to let people know I want far more than just that. I want the perspective on snuff to be from everybody; women, men, white, black, native American, African, Japanese, Russian, Gay, Transgender, Jewish, etc. Anybody is capable of murder, and all nations, races, etc. love horror, so let me have it. Give it what you got.


How did the project come into being in the first place, and what are the inspirations behind it?


You know, my first big film deal was the faux snuff film Amateur Porn Star Killer. I made that when I was down on my luck and everything else I had made my entire life had brought me literally nowhere in film, and film is all I know. Well, I basically have felt that same way again ever since the Amateur Porn Star Killer trilogy buzz died down. I got all this attention for a random idea/thought that I had one night and shot with 45 bucks in 3 hours. I realized, maybe you got to be stripped bare (literally) of everything to make something stand out (although I've never actually had any money or been what any sane or normal person would call successful). I thought that Amateur Porn Star Killer had actually ruined any chance of me having a career (and perhaps it did) but it also gave me the only bit of notoriety that I've had. Even My Name is 'A' by anonymous, after being in distribution hell for half a decade, finally got released based on a contact originally made by me having done Amateur Porn Star Killer. I mean, seriously, this film follows me whether I like it or not. So, after years of trying to pretend that I never made Amateur Porn Star Killer, trying to claim that I'm an "arthouse filmmaker" (which I know that I am) over a "horror filmmaker" (which most everyone calls me), and even going as far as using alias' on my movies to rid the Amateur Porn Star Killer reputation, why not just stop giving a fuck and accept it? I know what I am, and I can continue making my other "artsy" films but why not just embrace the horror community as well? And what better way than to get back to your roots, right? I started with a faux snuff film, why not begin my work as an anthology creator with the same thing? And why an anthology? I've worked on more than half a dozen anthologies in the past year as one of the many directors contributing to them. I've been watching how they come together, and decided, I got contacts, I can get distribution, why not just create an anthology idea myself?


You're presently still looking for filmmakers to have their (faux) snuff films featured - so what kind of quality are you looking for in these movies? And what are some of the restrictions you impose on the submissions?


It's just got to look real. That is my number one concern/request. Now, I know it's hard to fool people these days cause everybody knows what a mockumentary is. But the mainstream audience is still gullible to the underground world. I want this to be the film that gets to the mainstream consumers, and makes them call their friends after watching and go "dude, you have got to see this, there's no way this is fake, what do you think?" One way to do that is to not put credits on it, i.e. "Mike played by John Doe, Michelle played by Jane Doe." When Hollywood makes a mockumentary, even underground directors, they put credits at the end. Of course, people want credit, especially actors. But, then you just fucked yourself on the "is it real" factor. So, a major request/rule, is that there are no credits or added text on screen of any kind. We will provide the maker of the segment with credit, but not in the way that you'd think. It will simply say "footage provided by (name of director)" and then the name of the segment. That's it, as if this person (director) delivered, or found, the footage. There will be no music added (you can not add music) or editing effects, nothing of that sorts (you can add film effects, however, if, say, you want it to appear like it's 8mm film, as long as it looks legit, or actually is film).


Also, snuff means that somebody made a murder film (which often includes rape and/or sex but it doesn't have to) and is profiting off of it. But since the idea is that I, Shane Ryan, sought out these segments for distribution, that means you do not necessarily need to make your characters people who are purposefully making a profitable snuff film. So, therefore, your segment could simply be a caught-on-camera murder, or something of that nature, i.e. an ISIS videotaped murder, a liquor store robbery where somebody is slain (though I would love to see some kind of story or character development in some of these). And "make it real" does not mean "make it bloodier." You can apply the best FX team in the world but still have bad actors, bad camera angles, bad editing, etc., ruin the believe-ability. Or you can have no blood but an Oscar winning performance and death by asphyxiation. Think about what feels real. Did the kill look real but the motive seemed cheesy? Maybe dive more into why your character would kill this person under these circumstances. Did you nail the psychology angle but it looked bad when the actor fell after being shot? Look at some real videos of people being shot and falling to the ground (I'm sure there's stuff on YouTube), or at least a film that you felt presented it believably, and show it and go over it with your actor. And so forth.


How does one submit to your project?


Submissions are due by this Halloween. They must be under 10 minutes. The full guidelines and how to submit can be found here


Something makes me believe you'll be contributing a segment to Snuff: The Anthology yourself as well - am I at all right in that assumption, and if so, what can you tell us about your segment?


Oh, perhaps, but maybe not. You know, one reason I decided to do this is because I'm getting sick and tired of making films. I can never find actors or funding. It used to be easy to find actors, but now they all want pay, even if they've never done shit. I'd love to pay people, but I live penny by penny, literally. I'd love for my art to pay me, of course, and pay people I work with. But I can't get funding. So, I simply create to be artistic, and hope to fuck I can finally afford bread one goddamn day. It's either, "let's make a movie for nothing, or let's make nothing." It sucks, but it's not like I have a choice. There's not any money that I'm hiding in my pocket. I try over and over to get paid, to raise the money, but after a lifetime of this shit, I realize I'm not a guy who can raise money, nor do I know anyone who can. With most people, it's reversed. They can easily get actors, and many people can raise a little bit of money, but they can't get exposure, get tons of reviews/press, distribution, theatrical play, etc. They can get the movie made, but then it just sits there. Whereas, I can usually get all that, but I can't get the damn movie made. It makes no sense at all since financiers and/or the people working for free usually only want to do it if you can get all that shit, but that's just how it is for me. So, I figured, in between trying get money and/or some fucking actors to show, why not get other people to give me their films? I got distributors asking me for stuff, I just need a film. So, with this anthology idea, people can send me their films, then I go right to my ways of getting it out there to the world. And because it's an anthology (not somebody simply giving me their feature) and it's my concept, I get to feel a tiny bit of creative satisfaction by picking the best films and putting it all together to fit my concept idea.


But back to your question. I don't know. Maybe if an actress comes along and says, "rape and kill me on camera," and she can display incredible acting chops and emotion, then I'll do it. But I'm done looking for actors and money.


You have tackled faux snuff before with the Amateur Porn Star Killer movies - so what makes you return to the genre?


Well, aside from embracing it, as mentioned, I haven't really seen it done. Everybody's doing anthologies right now, like everybody, but nobody's doing a snuff one. There's stuff like Faces of Death from decades ago, but that was just one director. Guinea Pig films, same thing, one director at the helm of each movie. So, nobody was doing one, and even though I, myself, don't watch faux snuff movies, it's the world that I came from. So I can use that. It's where I got a tiny bit of pull, I guess you could say.


It might be waaay too early to ask, but any idea when Snuff: The Anthology might be released yet?


I'm hoping, hoping, the Halloween of next year. Submissions aren't due until this Halloween, and then we need to go through them and splice them together and handle masters, delivery material, etc. So, we should be done by February, which gives the distributor 8 months, so that could be realistic if all goes well.


Paper Kids

Any future projects beyond Snuff: The Anthology?


Oh yes, I just wrapped Paper Kids, as you know. It's a 21 minute version of an experimental feature that I've been shooting with real kids over the past year. It's about child abuse, bullying, a bit of a social commentary. Since it's partial documentary and I'm just shooting on free time as I find subjects and figure out the eventual story, who knows how long I'll actually be shooting that. I'm still editing The Owl in Echo Park, that's the biggest post-production project of my life, going on 3 years now [Owl in Echo Park interview - click here]. Samurai Cop 2, which I co-produced and co-star in, should hit theatres in LA this October, and I got a bunch of anthologies I directed segments for, including Virus of the Dead (my segment is called American Virus, and it stars Clint Eastwood's daughter, Kathryn Eastwood, myself and Tommie Vegas [Tommie Vegas interview - click here]), and I'm directing segments for Grindsploitation 1 and 2, plus I acted in yet another Grindsploitation segment for director Jim Towns [Jim Towns interview - click here]. And Troma will be releasing an anthology I have a short in called Theatre of the Deranged II (although totally the wrong anthology for my film, talk about being mislabeled "horror filmmaker" my segment is an artsy Japanese-language segment, but hey, at least it's coming out) and Wild Eye will be releasing my feature The Girl Who Wasn't Missing, it's about a homeless teen prostitute. So, lots of past things, lots of post-production hell, and lots of anthologies. But I'm still dying to act. Especially in action films now that I got to do some awesome stunts and action scenes in Samurai Cop 2, it was the most fun I've ever had as an actor.


I'm also looking to start accepting submissions for the Amateur Porn Star Killer anthology soon, it's called Ted Bundy Had a Son, so keep an eye out. If Snuff: The Anthology goes well I have plenty of non-horror anthology movies I wish to make, including documentaries about the homeless, abused children, and ones on the universal languages of love, sex and violence.


Your/your website, Facebook, whatever else?

Plus, the submission guidelines for Snuff: The Anthology are at


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


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Yes. While I get lots of press and distribution and all that shit, this anthology is scaring people away. Nobody will cover our call for submissions - aside from you, of course, and just a couple people - but everybody else I'm sending it to horror wise, all the magazines, major news and horror sites, etc., are turning a blind eye to this. So, that means it must be offensive by name and idea alone. That means it must be made because it's so hard to scare people with horror these days, and if people are already being chicken shits about this, let's do it! I got distribution for us, so they'll pay attention once it's out and legitimized, I just need fucking submissions! And I won't get submissions if people don't know to submit, so spread the word. Horror filmmakers, women filmmakers, LGBT fillmakers, African-American filmmakers, Japanese filmmakers, etc., I want YOU!


Thanks for the interview!


Thank you.


© by Mike Haberfelner

Legal note: (re)Search my Trash cannot
and shall not be held responsible for
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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




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