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An Interview with Vito Trabucco, Director of Never Open the Door

by Mike Haberfelner

December 2016

Films directed by Vito Trabucco on (re)Search my Trash


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Your new movie Never Open the Door - in a few words, what is it about?


Itís hard to tell the story and make it sound interesting or original. ďA group of friends rent a cabin in the woods, and shit goes crazy.Ē But essentially thatís what it is.


What were your inspirations when writing Never Open the Door?


We made this for my producer Chris Maltauroís grandfather, John Brahm. He made one of my favorite films, The Lodger. As well as tons of Twilight Zone and Outer Limits episodes. I feel he is one of the most underappreciated directors ever. This certainly was an homage piece to him.


Never Open the Door leaves several story elements utterly unexplained (including why the heck is happening what is happening) - was this intended from the beginning or did you discard of the backstory only during the writing or revising process?


Yes, our intention from the beginning was not to reveal everything.


What can you tell us about your co-writer Christopher Maltauro, and what was your collaboration like? And how did the two of you first meet even?


We met on a USC thesis film I was producing called Weak Species. He was Italian so we started talking to each other. I told him about a script we were trying to make called Bloody Bloody Bible Camp (which Chris ended up producing for me), and he told me who his grandfather was. We hit it off real quick. Writing with him was fun. Iíve worked with many producers, but Chris understands that story is the most important thing. Surprising how many producers donít.


You decided to shoot Never Open the Door in black and white - blunt question, why?


Just an artistic choice. I love black and white. Our DP Joe Provenzano loved the idea too. It made the collaboration a lot more enjoyable than just shooting your standard B-movie horror flick.


Never Open the Door was filmed almost entirely in a single location - so how limiting but maybe also liberating was that for you as a director, and do talk about your location for a bit!


Definitely limited! Financially that was just the only option. So I had to deal with it. A lot of people say that when youíre limited it helps you be more creative. Iím calling bullshit on that one haha. I do the best I can on low budget films, but give me a budget, and Iíll give you something fantastic. I feel many low-budget filmmakers would. The location though was up in Big Bear. I loved that house. I wouldíve moved in there if I could.


What can you tell us about your overall directorial approach to your story at hand?


There really isnít one. Limited time and budget means you gotta crank it out and just do your best. If your budget only allows a 6 day shoot, then unfortunately we canít be Stanley Kubrick or Alfred Hitchcock, but if you can execute low budget well enough, then you can at least aspire to be a Roger Corman [Roger Corman bio - click here].


Do talk about your cast, and why exactly these people?


All good sports! You gotta be when youíre dealing with me. But I love actors and love talking with them. Iím a big fan of improv acting and certainly comedic acting. But again in a film like this you just donít have enough time to nail it. It can be frustrating for them at times. I met most of the cast on my first feature Bloody Bloody Bible Camp. We all had a pretty good relationship with each other. This was literally one of those ďgrab your friends and go make a movie togetherĒ kind of movie.


A few words about the shoot as such, and the on-set atmosphere?


Iím pretty sure the cast and crew all had a pretty good time. We stayed at the house we filmed in so we were all together constantly. I rarely have a good time though because I got too much going on in my head so I can never kick back and hang out in the hot tub with the rest of the group (yup, there was a hot tub there).


What can you tell us about audience and critical reception of your movie?


Not sure yet. Fingers always crossed on that one.


Any future projects you'd like to share?


We just finished up a horror web series I co-wrote/directed with Debbie Venegas who has been in both of my features called Watch the Pretty Girls Suffer. Hopefully that will be released early 2017. Iím also finishing up on a documentary Iím doing on called Henchman: The Al Leong Story.


What got you into filmmaking to begin with, and did you receive any formal training on the subject?


None! I shouldnít even be allowed behind a camera. Iím like a drunk guy with a loaded gun.


What can you tell us about your filmwork prior to Never Open the Door?


I started out doing various crew gigs. From there I started directing short films. They did pretty well so I just continued to move forward. In 2012, I did my first feature and things started to open up a little more after that.


Many of your films are of the horror variety in one way or another - is that a genre at all dear to you, and why (not)?


I love horror, but more than anything I love movies. All of them. Horror is fun to do, but I could wake up tomorrow and want to try something else. I get a kick out of it when actors tell me I know so much about the horror genre. I want to tell them I know a whole lot more about other genres, but donít have the heart to tell them.


How would you describe yourself as a director?


Probably a little bi-polar.


Filmmakers who inspire you?


I mean the best ever are people like Kubrick and Kurosawa, but I grew up in the 80s. John Carpenter all the way.


Your favourite movies?


The Godfather is my favorite movie ever. When they released that 7 hour version, I was like now I know how Star Wars fans feel. And I love all slasher flicksÖ and Antonioniís Blow Up.


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


Haha this is where I get in trouble. Every year though weíre so quick to jump on a random movieís bandwagon. This year it was The Witch for me. Everyone kept talking about how creepy and atmospheric it was. I agree, but to me the atmosphere could only provide a film about a guy who chops wood and has an annoying family.


Your/your movie's website, Facebook, whatever else?


Feeling lucky ?
Want to
any of my partnershops yourself
for more, better results ?

The links below
will take you
just there!!!

Find Vito Trabucco
at the amazons ...


Great Britain (a.k.a. the United Kingdom)

Germany (East AND West)

Looking for imports ?
Find Vito Trabucco here ...

Your shop for all things Thai

Our website is I think if you search "Never Open the Door" on Facebook the page should pop up. Iím not sure I donít run any of them.


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


I think we covered it all! I hope we did. Brain isnít working at full capacity today.


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 !!!



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



Stell Dir vor, Deine Lieblingsseifenoper birgt eine tiefere Wahrheit ...
... und stell Dir vor, der Penner von der U-Bahnstation hat doch recht ...
... und dann triffst Du auch noch die Frau Deiner (feuchten) Tršume ...


Und an diesem Tag geht natŁrlich wieder einmal die Welt unter!!!


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