Your new movie When
the Trash Man Knocks - in a few words, what is it about?
Itís about a mother and son who are both trying their best to manage their own
anxieties and guilt over a traumatic and violent moment from their past
until the man who traumatized them returns to continue terrorizing their
town on Thanksgiving. They both have to face their fears if theyíre
going to live through the night and have any peace going forward.
When the Trash
Man Knocks being essentially a slasher movie, is that a genre at
all dear to you, and some of your genre favourites? And what do you think
makes your film stick out of the crowd of slashers?
I love a good slasher film. I think thereís a lot you can do with them.
They each have their own personification of death or the Grim Reaper. They
can represent our own fears of death and how silent, unpredictable, and
merciless it can be. All the classics are wonderful like Black
A Nightmare on Elm
Street and Scream, but I love a lot of the
lesser-mentioned ones like Hell Night, He Knows Youíre Alone,
My Bloody Valentine, Prom Night, etc. just as much. Those are my favorites because
they take the time to get to know their characters a bit more. Thereís
an emotional component to a lot of those. Theyíre not just focused on
creating a high body count. I hope thatís what weíve done with our
film - creating characters with enough real world problems so that the
audience can get sucked in and become invested in them as people and not
just think of them as bodies lined up for a slaughterhouse. I hope that
helps our film stick out a bit. I hope people care when the characters are
sources of inspiration when writing When
the Trash Man Knocks?
Halloween is the biggie,
because if youíre going to make a
slasher film, you have to go back to the best, but I also found myself
drawing influence from films as varied as Letís Scare Jessica to
Hereditary, and a lot of the Mario Bava [Mario
Bava bio - click here] and Dario Argento's
Italian horror films. Thereís a shot or two that are shamelessly stolen
from Argentoís Tenebrae. The strangest inspiration would be from
Ordinary People. I loved how that film explored how a tragic death in a
family can cause such a ripple effect on the surviving members of the
family and how each person handles it in a different way.
What can you tell us about
When the Trash
Man Knocks's approach to horror?
Itís a mix
of slasher and psychological horror. Itís all stuff that scares me. The
idea of a creeper peering into your window or already being inside your
house without you knowing it is terrifying to me. Equally terrifying is
the idea that youíre losing your mind or drifting away in some way and
wasting your life due to some form of anxiety or trauma. I think that can
be just as scary, but in a quieter and more insidious way.
A few words
about your overall directorial apporach to your story at hand?
really just to make everything as creepy as possible, but to keep the
human drama grounded in reality. I wanted to create a mood of dread right
from the start and build up an oppressive atmosphere. Even before anything
outright horror-related happens to these characters, theyíre already
living in a sort of eerie dream state. As the horror builds, the lighting
and cinematography gets more bizarre and it turns a full-blown nightmare.
I love hiding threats in the darkness behind characters or on the
corners of the screen where the characters canít see them. It puts the
audience on edge, because thereís all this information given to them
thatís not given to the characters.
also play one of the leads in When
the Trash Man Knocks - so what can you tell us about your
character, what did you draw upon to bring him to life, and have you
written him with yourself in mind from the get-go?
I normally write a role for myself in
every film and end up playing a completely different one, but Justin is
the first one that I wrote for myself that actually stuck. Iíd been
doing a lot of comedy and wanted to test myself and see if I could do
something a little heavier. Heís a really lost soul grappling with this
terrible sense of guilt. Heís been running for the past 20 years and
trying not to face what happened to him and his family. He figures that,
if he keeps moving, it can never get him and he wonít have to confront
what happened to him. Iíve known a lot of people like that. They use
work, booze, sex, food, shopping, or anything else they can to distract
themselves from focusing on the tragedies that happened to them - anything
to keep them from being vulnerable. If you keep running and plastering on
a smile, you think itíll go away or youíll forget about it in time.
talk about the rest of When
the Trash Man Knocks's key cast, and why exactly these people?
One reason I wrote this film was to get back
together with the cast of Children of
Sin. We had such a fantastic time
that I couldnít wait to work with them again. Thankfully, almost all of
them agreed to return, and we had another excellent adventure together. I
wanted to try and have everyone play the opposite of what they played in
the previous film. Jo-Ann Robinson, for example, is playing a very vulnerable and
sympathetic role here, whereas, in Children of
Sin, she played an unhinged
psychopath. I think itís fun to give the actors something different to
do with each film so they donít get bored. I hope I get to work with all
of them again soon.
A few words about the shoot as such, and the on-set atmosphere?
It was pretty easygoing, but there were times that definitely
felt a little bit more somber than what I was used to. Children of
Sin, as dark a story as it was, still had a little bit of lightness on set most of
the time, but there was a heavier mood here. The tone of the film is a
little darker, so it makes sense, but it did become something I had to get
used to. We still had our fair share of laughs, but I donít think the
blooper reel will be as long. It was also a very spread out shoot due to
location and actor conflicts, so there would be weeks where weíd film
for 5-7 days straight and then have weeks where we only shot for 1 to 3
days. That could feel kinda odd at times, too.
you can tell us about audience and critical reception of When
the Trash Man Knocks?
far, it seems very positive. Iím glad people are finding the humor in
it. I was worried that it would be too dreary. As with all my films, I
hope it finds just the right audience who can get the most out of it and
it seems like itís starting to, so Iím very happy about that.
Any future projects you'd
like to share?
Feeling lucky ?
any of my partnershops yourself
for more, better results ?
The links below
will take you
Nothing definitive yet, but Iím
hoping to do a full-blown giallo soon. I donít want to count my chickens
just yet, but itís definitely in development.
Your/your movie's website, social media,
You can follow my production company, CWM
Entertainment, on Facebook and Instagram (@cwmentertainment), and you can
follow me on Instagram (@somepeopleaintme) and Twitter/X (@somepplaintme).
Anything else you're dying to mention and
I have merely forgotten to ask?
That should about cover it. Thanks so much.
Thanks for the