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An Interview with Tony Watt, Writer, Director and Star of Nosferatu vs. Father Pipecock and Sister Funk and Acid Head: The Buzzard Nuts County Slaughter

by Mike Haberfelner

October 2014

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Your new movie Nosferatu vs. Father Pipecock and Sister Funk - in a few words, what is it about?

 

An hour & 45 minutes... just kidding. In all seriousness, folks, I've become a big fan of F.W. Murnau’s classic Nosferatu (1922) after seeing it in 2012, drunk, with the wife, at Reg Hartt's famous Toronto Cineforum [Reg Hartt on wikipedia]. I re-dubbed, reedited and added sound, voice syncs, modern sfx and scenes to  the original director's footage.

 

With your movie being largely based on (and incorporating vast portions of) F.W. Murnau's silent Nosferatu, what exactly drove you to use exactly a beloved, iconic and universally recognized classic like that as the basis of your spoof? 

 

It was the ending... when my film-partner & wife Vivita was quizzical, about Murnau's final Nosferatu scene - without giving the whole of my and Murnau's climax away - in the final scene, where a major character dies (in the original film), there was always a question to how & why it happened, right?

If one were to compare both movies, I'd say I created a pretty heavy and satisying end scene, Sir.

 

What were the main challenges when editing the old and new material together?

 

I'm a HUGE fan of campy horror-movies, so whatever challenges there were, was absorbed by the sheer pleasure and honor I had at updating such a classic film. Whatever anyone can say about me and/or my methods, it was for the love. At least I was able to re-introduce to, or re-present such an iconic movie monster named Orlock (or Orlok) to modern monster-fandom.

To say it (filming) was a challenge would be like asking a fatty if eating a juicy hamburger was a chore.

 

This may be facetious or flippant to say, but when I synced voices on to these old silent characters - well, it was the closest thing I personally can tell (after first viewing it in the editing bay) how it must feel to be a golden god.

 

What can you tell us about your main characters, Father Pipecock and Sister Funk, and how were they conceived?

 

An old fiancee & friend of my wife (actress Michelle Newland) & I are totally into old Hammer movies & '70s blaxploitation, J-horror movies, AIP and Brit-comedies (as well as, high octane, Australian & US T&A exploitation cinema).

 

I was also on an Al Jolson & The Amos 'n Andy Show (1951–1953) (after studying the humor of the '60s Rat-Pack) & Monty Python's Flying Circus (1969–1974) and German Expressionism kick at the time. Being very drunk at the Cineforum screening, I made a few notes in a small note-book I carry with me (then expanded) and then later made said Nosferatu vs. Father Pipecock and Sister Funk film. I think in my highly spirited state, I was able to channel as many of these cinematic phantasmagoria-like imagery as I humanly could.

 

Do talk about your key cast (of the newly filmed material of course), and why exactly these people?

 

Well my wife Vivita and I made a few campy horror B movies. As for the two other actresses who played Orlock's vampire wives: One was an upcoming horror actress, filmmaker and model and Kelly Mari is an avid and well known cosplay artiste in the Canadian burlesque and comic convention circles. Also, my TV show/movie collaborator John Migliore [John Migliore interview - click here], the cartoonist-turned actor/filmmaker/horror host, is someone I knew about from back in the 90s, when I collected underground comics.

 

What can you tell us about the shoot as such, and the on-set atmosphere?

 

As any sci-fi/horror genre indie filmmaker will tell you, when one has so many roles, making a low-budget exploitation movie (except for filming the girly nude scenes) is a living hell. Fortunately for myself it's all worth it in the end, the fake weapons, the cardboard sets and equally cardboard acting always seem to blend together into a satisfying campy cinematic stew in the end. [Sings] And in the end... the love you t-a-a-ake, is equal to the love... you make.

 

Do talk about audience and critical reception of your movie for a bit!

 

Both good & bad receptions are at very extreme poles, like sports fans' feelings about Mr. John McEnroe --- one either loves my movies or not. But, I'm an artist, and art is subjective. Art is supposed to bring out feelings in people. My movies are burlesque. So, as far as critical reception - well, I'm right on the money I suppose (as far as what I expected). I'd rather folks know about my works than ignore them completely. Look , Edward D. Wood Jr. [Ed Wood bio - click here] is someone we still talk about these days, and he is not in the 'high art' camp - so what, he's immortal and I dig the guy... so if Watt and Wood is mentioned in the same campy circles, I've done my job, I think.

 


Let's go back to your last feature before Nosferatu vs. Father Pipecock and Sister Funk, Acid Head: The Buzzard Nuts County Slaughter - what is it about, and what were your inspirations writing it?

 

As for the story: It's the story of a Bremen, Germany-based real estate agent named Johannes Hutter, who is is assigned by his sexually deviant & creepy boss Adolph Knock to make a business trip to Transylvania to sell a local property to Count Orlock. He leaves behind his virginal (but easily corruptible) wife, Ellen, behind and makes the dangerous, supernatural journey to the Carpathian Mountains. Hutter is then welcomed by the bald, demonic, rat-like, aristocratic (& sexually ambiguous) Count Orlock (who is actually a shape-shifting, mass-serial killing vampire) to his gloomy mountain-top castle. After Orlock imprisons Hutter to his quarters --- a funky, afroed Vatican monster-killer, named Father Pipecock aided by (his boss, the sexy, exotic, Creole machine-gun toting nun named) Sister Funk, storms the Orlock's castle, eliminating his perverted vampire wife & mistress In the process. After overpowering Hutter's return ship, The Empusa, the Count murders, then devours its crew. The rest of the movie goes on to a heavy climax, when Count Orlock eventually arrives in Bremen and soon overruns the town with his vampiric plague and lusty diabolical semen. As well, Count Orlock is a grungy, dark, streamlined version of the classic vampire legend. Using such a cool cinematic archetype was also my reaction to the recent, youthful 'sparkler' vampires, vampires, or monsters in general (though very apt) are not meant to look like you college dorm roommate, or the cast of the Beverly Hills, 90210 (1990–2000), right?

 


Acid Head: The Buzzard Nuts County Slaughter parodies/pays homage to 1970s grindhouse cinema - so what do you find so appealing about these movies of old?

 

I'm 47, so I grew up between the grindhouse/drive in era and the VHS/DVD (and now Netflix) era - so for me, it's all about nostalgia (I cover this in detail in my novel TonyWatt.com Presents Kount Kracula's Twisted Sinema!: Obscure 21st Century Underground Horror / Sci-Fi / Fantasy / Thriller Movies & Shorts). Something to remind me of my ignorant but fun youth, before I had to grow up and watch things get weird. Such as in the 1970s, my gray-haired Christian parents Ada & Raymond, used to throw laundry on top of me & my brother in the back seat of their car & sneak us into the movie drive-ins , many times, to see a huge plethora of mainstream and exploitation movies (like Robert Redford's The Great Gatsby (1974), Peter Fonda's Dirty Mary Crazy Larry (1974), Jimmy Cliff's The Harder They Come (1972) & William Marshall's Blacula (1972) & Scream Blacula Scream (1973) (with the awesome Pam Grier). I thought Blacula made Bela Lugosi's Dracula look like a pussy! So blaxploitation movies were, and still are, totally the shit, baby!

 

Again, what can you tell us about your cast?

 

Some good, most bad - artists are like that. Can you imagine a room filled with narcissistic, A-type (sometimes damaged and semi-committable) personalities? I feel like a lion-tamer sometimes - but in the end art rules out, then I'm happiest.

 

A few words about the shoot?

 

Fucking hell. unquote. Horror is a very sticky & messy genre to shoot, my friend.

 

Both Nosferatu vs. Father Pipecock and Sister Funk and Acid Head: The Buzzard Nuts County Slaughter share a rather distinct brand of humour. So what can you tell us about your movie's very special style of comedy?

 

Well, when you are younger, you want acceptance. Then life eventually makes liars out of parents and teachers - any group is only as strong as it's weakest member. Then you (I) eventually want to withdraw from society. So, I feel as I get older, I wonder 'What the fuck is this all about?' Zhen I realize, everything, though seemingly orderly, is utter, bloody chaos. So the special type of humor or comedy is a reaction to this contained chaos. In other words: you gotta laugh to keep from crying.

 

Another thing that struck me was that both films featured a Dracula character - mere coincidence or is the Count a favourite character of yours?

 

Hmm, now that I think of it, maybe you are right: Both Counts (Dracula & Orlock) represent the powerful guy in the room. Also, the rebel, Marvel Comics' Stan Lee, once said at a convention that he prefered to write for the super-villains - of which I feel, kids (of their parents) and adults (of their bosses) hate the 'good-guy's' put-on authority, dishonesty & sanctimonious natures. The Counts (Dracula & Orlock) represent both sides of the equasion (eliminating hypocrisy), maintaining dignity and strength in such a fucked up society, but, also are honest about their bestial nature - that is yes I'm rich, I'm a bad-guy, you're lunch & watch out for me ... no hypocrisy there. Kind of like the respect I had for Ada, my mother, when she smoked and told me not to, then, when I queried about this double-standard, she took a puff (like Humphrey Bogart) and replied: "Do as I say, not what I do". I love that woman. Thanks for the analogy, Mike.

 

Any future projects you'd like to share?

 

Well, I'm developing a 1/2 hour, Toronto-Canada based TV talk-show/documentary pilot called Tex Watt Interviews that focuses on spotlighting interesting people & (as well) artistes, like myself. The first show is centered around our mutual pal (that I mentioned earlier) John Migliore [John Migliore interview - click here], so If I can use some of your website content for related interview captions, Mike, I'd appreciate it also. Oh, and to capitalize of my movie-mailing related investments, the wife and I just opened Vivita Spa (Vivita - Facial Massage Hair Removal Reflexology Waxing Feet Aromatherapy, Facial & Massage, Home Made Products Essential Oil Treatments), located in the trendy Mirvish Village, Downtown Toronto, Ontario, Canada location. So if you, your missus & your readers are ever in Toronto, give us a shout, care of VivitaSpa.com - this is not an actress' vanity spa, the poor young lady studied real hard to get her healing certificates & qualifications. More than just a pretty face, that one ... aah, such shameless promotions, I love it! (*Laughs*)

 




Anyhow----back on track, again, I'd eventually like to develop more TV episodes of Kount Kracula's Review Showcase (TV Series 2013 – ) and I'd like to pimp my three upcoming feature movies Frankenpimp's Revenge: The Romeo and Juliet Massacre (2014), Violet Is Blue (2014) & Bird of Steel! (2015), & also, my upcoming comic Space Chick & Nympho: Vampire Warrior Party Girl Comix - Issue # 2 - all to be available on amazon and the other finer e-stores on the www, Sir!

 

What got you into the filmworld to begin with?

 

Sheer greed, glory & the lust for feminine tail!

 

What can you tell us about your filmwork prior to Nosferatu vs. Father Pipecock and Sister Funk and Acid Head: The Buzzard Nuts County Slaughter?

 

Two words: 'Student Projects'.

 

One can't help but notice that your body of work never strays too far from the horror genre - pure coincidence or is horror a favourite genre of yours, and why (not)?

 

Well, being a visceral as well as a visual sequential artist (& cartoonist), horror/sci-fi/fantasy art is very exciting to conceptualize, make and enjoy. I'd be the worst person to make, say, a straight drama like My Dinner with Andre (1981). If I want that, I'll just open my window.

My theory is, Michael: If I don't watch it, I don't make it. Plus horror films have a certain staying power, don't they? I mean, our pal John Migliore is addicted to old George A. Romero zombie movies and I just re-booted a century year old film, for God's sake. (*Smiles*)

 

How would you describe yourself as a director, a writer and as an actor?

 

An utter hack, who loves his 'hackness'.

 

Filmmakers, writers, actors, whoever else who inspire you?

 

Everyone and no one. I'm even inspired by bartenders, nuns and dudes who write movie articles.

 

Your favourite movies?

 

- Nosferatu vs. Father Pipecock and Sister Funk (2014)

- Acid Head: The Buzzard Nuts County Slaughter (2011)

- Vixen Highway 2006: It Came from Uranus! (2010) 

- Frankenpimp (2009)

 

... and of course, films you really deplore?

 

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Boring, forgettable, uninspired movies in all genres. I tend mostly to like movies that everyone else in general like - like, 'frinstance: in the IMDb top 100 favorite movies... but also in the IMDb top 100 worst movies, for some sick reason.

 

Your/your movies' website, Facebook, whatever else?

 

I don't do Facebook anymore, but I've got related merch/swag on Society6.com and RedBubble.com and on TonyWatt.com.

Most of my novels, comics and books are and will be available on amazon.com and Barnes & Noble (an 'all department search' of Tony Watt, Tex Watt , or Tony 'Tex' Watt, will do ya!). My movie updates are at my IMDb.com Tony Watt link-page.

... and if ya wanna larf, my shitty movie soundtrack-music is available, for free listening, on Jango (http://www.jango.com/music/Tony+Watt?l=0), under Tony Watt, Tex Watt and/or Tony Tex Watt - so there ya go, Neighba-a-a-ahs!

 

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

 

Yes, I'd like to mention that it's an honor being interviewed by yourself, Mike - keep up your great web-showcases, as I enjoy 'em!

 

Thanks for the interview!

 

Thank YOU, Sir... Einen schönen Tag noch! (*Smiles*)

 

© by Mike Haberfelner


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Thanks for watching !!!



 

 

On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
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... and for the life of it,
you can't decide
WHICH IS WORSE!!!

 

A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
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directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
starring
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD

 

 

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