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An Interview with Christopher Wesley Moore, Director and Star of When the Trash Man Knocks

by Mike Haberfelner

April 2022

Christopher Wesley Moore on (re)Search my Trash


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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.


With 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?


Absolutely! 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 Christmas, Halloween, 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 in jeopardy.


(Other) 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 Death, Repulsion, 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?


It was 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.


You 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.


Do 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.


Anything you can tell us about audience and critical reception of When the Trash Man Knocks?


So 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?


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Your shop for all things Thai

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, whatever else?


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 interview!


© by Mike Haberfelner

Legal note: (re)Search my Trash cannot
and shall not be held responsible for
content of sites from a third party.

Thanks for watching !!!



In times of uncertainty of a possible zombie outbreak, a woman has to decide between two men - only one of them's one of the undead.


There's No Such Thing as Zombies
Luana Ribeira, Rudy Barrow and Rami Hilmi
special appearances by
Debra Lamb and Lynn Lowry


directed by
Eddie Bammeke

written by
Michael Haberfelner

produced by
Michael Haberfelner, Luana Ribeira and Eddie Bammeke


now streaming at


Amazon UK





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