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You have recently released your new film, The Hood has Eyez. In
a few phrases, what is the film about ?
rape/revenge-horror film about a girl named Kimmy who is brutally raped
and humiliated by a group of sadistic gangsters. Kimmy survives her attack
and seeks bloody revenge on her attackers one by one.
How did you come up
with the idea for the film ?
After working on Revenge of La Llorona
(my third feature) and getting such positive
responses from audiences due to itís edgy content, my business
partner (producer Nicole Williams) and I decided to play on that a little
more and come up with something really crazy and outside the box. I have
always been a fan of the rape/revenge genre and films such as Thriller:
A Cruel Picture and I thought it would be cool to do a film like that,
but more extreme and set in modern times. Instead of raging rednecks or
escaped convicts, I thought gangsters would be perfect. Especially since I
live in Los Angeles and thatís the thing I feared the most growing up.
In more than one way, your film is
pretty extreme. How hard was it to get the cast together, especially the
three young actresses who play the schoolgirls ?
was a challenge. Most actresses stopped talking to me after I sent them
the script. Some of them are people I had built a working relationship, or
at least so I thought. Iím not sure if they thought I had lost my mind
or if they thought I was pulling their leg, but they wouldnít return my
calls or emails Ö I believe a lot of them want to be famous and
mainstream and Revenge of La Llorona and The Hood Has Eyez are
films going in directions that are opposite to where they want to go. But
everything fell into place. I had previously worked with Cyd Schulte, who
plays Kimmy, and I pitched the idea to her and she loved it. I told her
that if she did it Ďtho she had to go all the way and we werenít going
to hold back on anything. Then I ran the idea by Antonio Royuela, who
plays Psycho, and he was instantly excited and hopped on board. Everyone
else fell into place after that. A lot of people have credited the film's
lead actors as the only actors who had to do crazy stuff or go the
distance, but the truth is the entire cast had to say ďfuck itĒ and
just let everything hang out. I credit them all for making the film so
real. It was a real group effort.
contains quite a few scenes of gore and gratuitious violence. What's your
approach to scenes like this ?
First off, I never do
anything in a movie just for shock value. A lot of people might think
thatís bullshit, but if the script doesnít call for it or the story
doesnít need it, I wonít do it. Everything in The Hood Has Eyez
has a purpose and forwards the story. Nothing is there just to be there. I
like gore and violence, but it has to serve the story, not the other way
around. Sometimes an actor will ask me if we could cut something out or
tone it down and I wonít if itís pivotal to the scene or story and it
serves a purpose. If youíre character is a raging lunatic, like Psycho
in The Hood Has Eyez, then youíre going to have to do the type of things
that a Psycho would do.
Then there's the sexual aspect
of The Hood has Eyez, which culminates in rape and humiliation:
What do you answer to people who call your film misogynistic ?
Fuck them! Everything
in this day and age might be politically correct, but not this. Not my
films. This is uncensored for a reason. The shit that happens in The
Hood Has Eyez happens everyday to real people. This is just a film. It's
only 73 minutes, not a lifetime. You could turn this off and tune out Ö
you canít do that in real life. I donít feel my film is misogynistic.
If anything itís a film about a woman not succumbing to violence and
rape. Itís about her taking matters into her own hands and exacting her
own justice. Underneath it all I feel The
Hood Has Eyez is a chick flick - a
chick flick with balls. Oddly, men are usually the ones to cry fowl when
Kimmy sets off on her revenge course.
Any films that especially inspired The Hood has Eyez, in story,
atmosphere or whatever ?
Many. As I stated, Thriller: A Cruel
Picture, Last House On The Left, Visitor Q, Fight For Your
Life, and of course, I Spit On Your
Grave. All of the classics. I do however want to be crystal clear, that
while these films all inspired me, I did not want to remake them or bite
them. I wanted to take a fresh approach to the rape/revenge genre.
The film's website, mySpace or
whatever else ?
You can find out more
about me and all my films at www.cinemathreat.com,
or visit The
Hood Has Eyez' MySpace page @ www.myspace.com/cinemathreat.
Leaving the film behind for now, The Hood
has Eyez was already your fifth feature film. What can you tell us
about your debut, Transit from 2005 ?
forever hold a special place in my filmmaker heart. It was a learning
experience on every level possible and it was successful. It vindicated
what I was trying to do Ė make films, and it was a success and allowed
me to make more movies. People who have seen The Hood Has Eyez would
never believe that the same filmmaker is behind Transit. They are
two different genres and two different movies. I love dramas as much as
horror films Ö if the story is interesting I could dabble in either one.
followed by the La Llorona-trilogy in 2006 and 2007. What can you
tell us about these films and how close are they to the actual Mexican La
Llorona myth ?
Trilogy was an experiment. Itís really one big film. But when you
split them up they become three different experiences. The first film in the series,
The River: Legend of La Llorona
is a simple ghost story. I liken it to a classic horror film like House
On Haunted Hill. The second in the series, Revenge of La Llorona
is a T&A movie, with lots of nudity and gore. Finally, Curse of La
Llorona is a family in peril type horror film. I wanted to take the
character of La
Llorona and bits and pieces of the legend and add them to
my own original stories. Some people have hated the movies because they
feel it doesnít reflect the La
Llorona they grew up hearing about,
but I always remind people it is just my take on the La
Llorona legend. Not
an authoritative version of the mythos. People who donít really know
Llorona and the legend surrounding it go in with a more open mind
and less expectations. Those are the folks that tend to like the series.
Most of your films can be labelled horror in
one way or another. Is horror your favourite genre, and where does your
fascination with horror come from ?
If I had to pick one
genre of filmmaking to be in for the rest of my career, it would be
horror, because I feel so at home there. In horror you can do and say
things that you could never get away with in drama. Iíve always been
fascinated with gore and violence and the effect it has on people. Iíve
always enjoyed fucking with peopleís minds and emotions and so horror
was always my favorite genre. When I began making films I knew that I
would eventually venture onto this side of the track. From the day I saw Bad Taste as a kid I said, ďthatís what I want to do.Ē
What are your opinions
about the horror genre today, both mainstream horror and independent
mainstream horror today is quickly going down the drain like it did in the
late 80's. There is very little creativity coming out of the studio system.
Remake after fucking remake is stifling the genre to death. When they
remade Halloween I knew it was down hill from there. Itís gotten
so pathetic that they remade The Wicker Man
and The Hitcher.
All cult films Ė nothing is safe. Iíve really dug the Saw
movies, and the 28 Weeks series, but thatís about it. On the
independent side of the track, things are a little more optimistic. There
have been a lot of filmmakers doing original and out of the box type
horror films that make you believe there is hope for the genre. Some of
the films I really enjoyed last year were Head Trauma, Wrong Turn
2, Stupid Teenagers Must Die, Amateur Porn Star Killer, and
Hatchet. I think the indie sector is allowing more creativity and
less bandwagon jumping like whatís going on with some of the bigger
Some filmmakers that really inspired you ?
Abel Ferrara, Lloyd
Kaufman, Herschell Gordon Lewis [Herschell
Gordon Lewis bio - click here], Roger Corman [Roger
Corman bio - click here], Dario Argento, Umberto
Lenzi [Umberto Lenzi bio -
click here], Stanley Kubrick, Ruggero Deodato [Ruggero
Deodato bio - click here], Takashi Miike, just to name a
favourite films, both recent releases and all-time favourites ?
Most of the films I
like are older classics like, John Carpenterís The Thing, They
Live, The Hidden, The Entity, Children Shouldnít Play
With Dead Things, and Frankenhooker. More recent stuff would be
Visitor Q, Ichi The
Killer, 28 Weeks Later, and Silent Hill.
future projects ? What can we expect from Terrence Williams in 2008 ?
I am currently in the
pre-production phase of a prequel to Transit called King of the
Streetz. Itís an art house film. After that I will be returning to
the horror game to make The Hood Has Eyez 2 and a porno-horror
hybrid film (Horno) called Speed Freaks (later retitled Horno), for all you gore-whoreís
interests besides films and filmmaking ?
I love reading and traveling. Seeing the world. It
gives you interesting ideas and expands your mind. You learn shit. Sex is
a major interest of mine also.
Anything else I have
forgotten to ask and you are just dieing to share with us ?
I think more people
should give independent horror a chance. Guys like Bill Zebub, Eric Stanze
[Eric Stanze interview - click
here], Shane Ryan [Shane Ryan
interview - click here], Joe Castro and so many others are making really great
films that are waiting to be discovered. And once you discover them it
will be hard to go back to mainstream garbage. We live in a culture now
where too many people have AD/HD and turn off a movie if what they want to
happen doesnít happen in five minutes. Watch the entire movie and then
for the interview.