Your new movie Prince
of the Crimson Void - in a few words, what is it about?
Prince of the
Crimson Void, my latest cinematic opus, is a grotesque
visual and auditory nightmare - a cinematic descent into the dark abyss
of the soul of the filmís main protagonist, Fabian.
were your sources of inspiration when writing Prince
of the Crimson Void, and where does its whole mythology stem from?
The genesis of this film began in April of this year, when I
rediscovered an old story outline titled The Crimson Prince that I
had written some years prior while searching through my notes. The story
was essentially about a serial killer exhuming the corpse of his former
accomplice on the one year anniversary of his death and rendering him as
his spiritual slave for the afterlife. The themes and characters I had
written at the time now seem to intrigue me these years later, so I was
compelled to revise, modify and adapt this story I had written and bring
it to the screen. I find that as I grow older and continually make
films, I tend to thrive working on a minimalistic scale with a smaller
cast like I did with such films as The Dark Days of Demetrius and
Danteís Shadow of Sin. Iím not entirely ruling out the
possibility of ever embarking on a cinematic project and working on films
with larger casts such as when I made Sebastianís Unholy Flesh,
The Acid Sorcerer or
- it's just that I
inherently believe (as a filmmaker) I produce better results when Iím
able to concentrate on developing a suave narrative and constructing one
or two multi-faceted characters, as opposed to dealing with multiple
castmembers/characters, subplots - I donít find it at all necessary, I
embrace the less-is-more approach.
In regards to this new film, Prince of the
Crimson Void I knew
right from the outset that my old story outline of The Crimson
Prince would enable me to create a minimalist film where only two
main actors were required.
What I love most about Prince of the
Crimson Void (aside from the
filmís visuals and atmosphere) is that despite the filmís
minimalistic yet grotesque plot, there is still this dense lore embedded
within the film. There are numerous occasions during the course of the Prince of the
Crimson Void when the history between Fabian and Kimball
is briefly alluded to, yet never fully expounded upon. The origins of
the burial ground, the identities of Fabian and Kimballís past victims
who now exist as corpses in various stages of decomposition, Kimballís
alter ego, and much more are and will remain a mystery to the viewer.
This was all completely intentional on my part as the writer of the
film. I suppose I tried to imbue ambiguity into the storyline. Only I
(the writer) and the filmís two living main characters Fabian and
Kimball are fully aware of the filmís full mythology, and I believe
itís better left unstated.
of the Crimson Void isn't exactly free of violence and gruesome
imagery - so do talk about these scenes for a bit, and how were they
achieved? And how important would you rate the use of violent in this
movie in particular and your body of work in general?
Absolutely. Itís a fair assumption to say that Prince of the
Crimson Void is perhaps my most visceral and gruesome affair since
The Dark Days
of Demetrius. This is probably attributable to the fact that I was
fortunate enough to work with the formidable S. Donatello, whose
extraordinarily realistic latex props grace the screen in this film. The
practical effects in Prince of the
Crimson Void are unparalleled, the
best I have ever had in any of my films, absolutely no exceptions. The
level of detail and realism, the look of decay is astounding.
Having such an impeccable effects artist such as S. Donatello amplified
the level of realism in this film. Therefore I was able to create much
more gruesome scenarios and convincingly portray them on screen, such as
the scene involving Fabian, fingering and inserting a bottle of Absinthe
into the bloody orfice of the legless female corpse that resides in his
That being said, there are a pair of scenes that I deemed as Ďtoo
extremeí and ultimately omitted from the final cut of the film.
In regards to how violence correlates with my films and body of work, I
consider some films to be much more visceral and gruesome than others.
For instance, my films like American Antichrist or
Sebastianís Unholy Flesh I do not regard as being violent,
profane absolutely, but not necessarily violent. My films such as The
Dark Days of Demetrius, Prince of the
Crimson Void and perhaps
even Danteís Shadow of Sin are undisputedly my most savage films
if Iím looking at my work objectively. Finally my earlier efforts
such as My Master Satan,
Sorcerer and The Rise and Fall of an American Scumbag featured
a medium level of violence, but their shock appeal lies in the fact that
there was a palpable sense of realism embedded into those films,
primarily because of the real substance abuse that was captured on
of the Crimson Void also has numerous references to Absinthe and
substance abuse - so could you elaborate on that for a bit?
It would be my pleasure. Iíve openly stated that the only passion of
mine which rivals filmmaking is that of Absinthe. My primary hobby is
acquiring, tasting and collecting Absinthe from different regions of the
world. Iíve always been most partial to the traditional French Verte
but occasionally deviate and indulge in Blanche style, when in a
particular mood. I find it only to be natural that my films are embedded
with references and depictions of Absinthe, after all, I consume it on a
The first time I consumed/experienced Absinthe was in early 2019, right
before the production on The Dark Days of Demetrius commenced.
What made me gravitate towards Absinthe was the historicity and shades
of mystery that surrounded this very misunderstood spirit.
As of now, I have acquired a little over 50 different bottles from
various regions of the world. My films such as Prince of the
Crimson Void, Danteís Shadow of Sin and
Flesh are practically synonymous with Absinthe - you cannot mention
those aforementioned films in the same breath without conjuring images of
the Green Fairy.
But anyway, in regards to Prince of the
Crimson Void, the main
character Fabian is an Absintheur, and the bottles of Absinthe that are
shown so lovingly in screen and consumed only bolster the gothic, candle-lit red visuals and atmosphere of the film. I got actor Darien Fawkes to
indulge in Absinthe with me on one occasion during the filmís
production, however he has always been quite partial to Whiskey and marijuanna, so I donít believe it was too impactful for him to try
Absinthe (some just have an aversion to the taste of Licorice, I
suppose), but similar to me, Fawkes is set in his ways.
Those who follow me on social media (where my posts frequently feature
the latest bottle(s) of Absinthe I have acquired) frequently ask me what
my favorite brand of Absinthe is, and itís always a strenuous process
for me to answer accurately this question, because Iíve tried so many
brands - some of worldís finest Absinthe resides in my collection -
and jf I could only choose one, ultimately it's Golden Moon Redux Verte, which
is actually crafted in the state of Colorado, which coincidentally
happens to be where I reside (Denver to be more precise). Normally,
Absinthe produced in America carries a dubious reputation and is subpar
and even illegitimate when compared to what is produced in Europe or
regions abroad. However, the ingredients in Golden Moon Redux Verte are
of the highest caliber and the product is assiduously crafted. To me,
itís the only American produced Verte that can possibly rival any
can you tell us about your overall directorial approach to your story at
My directorial approach as always, was to be as uncompromising as
possible and rule with unlimited amount of artistic freedom. Whether it
be the sound design, the camera work, or the monochromatic red color
filtration that dominates the film - I reigned supreme over every facet of
But anyway, one of my primary objectives as I executed this film was to
create a chilling archaic atmosphere, and I believe I tremendously
succeeded. To imbue the film with a sense of archaism I utilized candle
light and candle umbras as my source of lighting - visually, theyíre
astounding on screen and establish the notion that this film could have
taken place in any era. In this sense, Prince of the
Crimson Void has a timeless quality to it, much like the literary work of Edgar Allan
Poe which was of great inspiration to me during the making of this film.
Cinematically, Iíve always had an affinity for classic black and white
horror films, such as Nosferatu,
Phantom of the Opera (1925),
Dark House, The Cabinet of Dr. Callagari and At
Midnight Iíll Take Your Soul. I love the haunting imagery
that proliferates those films - itís always resonated within my mind
whether I want to deny it or not - and the imagery in Prince of the
Crimson Void is frequently reminiscent of those aforementioned
masterpieces. Iíve willing to go as far as stating that the imagery
within Prince of the
Crimson Void has a dark poetic quality to it. Iím also a fan of extreme horror and itís been no secret that Iím
a fanatic of the serialkiller film genre, which isnít surprising when
you consider the fact that virtually all of the characters that dwell
within my films serialkillers. However, one film in particular that I
can cite directly as a primary influence on Prince of the
Crimson Void is Henry: Portrait of a Serial
Killer. I love the visceral brutality and realism of that film, and
thematically, Iíll openly admit that as a writer I borrowed some
elements from Henry: Portrait of
a Serial Killer, in a way to pay homage
(in my own distinctive way) and acknowledge it as the genre
masterpiece that it is.
Now, I shall briefly touch upon the technical side of the production.
Once again, I used my beloved Sony Cannon Vixia to film Prince of the
Crimson Void. I have a sentimental attachment to this camera, Iíve
been using it exclusively since 2018 when I made American Antichrist and
onward, and as of now, I have used it to film five of my films. Itís
literally the most reliable piece of equipment Iíve ever had. Now in regards to the camera
work (as you stated in your sublime review, the angles are irritatingly close), it was intentional. My
objective was to go out of my way to ensure that a majority of the
angles were intimately extreme close up angles. I did this because I
wanted to create a level of discomfort for the viewer. I find the scenes
involving Kimball especially to be extremely uncomfortable, almost
nauseating. When all of these elements amalgamate with S. Donatelloís
magnificently detailed latex props, it becomes repulsive.
You also play the lead in Prince
of the Crimson Void - so do talk about Fabian, what did you draw
upon to bring him to life, and have you written him with yourself in mind
from the get-go? And to what extent can you actually identify with a
character as disturbing and disturbed as Fabian?
I identify with Fabian in the sense that heís an Absinthe
connoisseur. Beyond that, no. I donít identify with any aspects about
him, but Iíll certainly clarify that he is disturbed and weak. Fabian
can be described as a damaged human being with delusional grandiose
visions of himself, however, by the end of the film, heís nearly
dismantled mentally and physically as he reaches the conclusion of his
Ďbad tripí after exhuming Kimballís severed head, regardless of
whether or not he has achieved his demented objective.
There was absolutely no one but me who could portray him and bring
him to the screen. There is a certain amount of nuisance and physicality
required to effectively portray Fabian, which left me with no other
option but to take the role. Additionally, I spoke of minimalism
either, and it is obvious that if I want more simplicity and less
outside forces involved with my films, I was essentially forced to
portray the main character - and honestly I wouldnít have it any other
way as it was a blast to get to consume Absinthe on screen and work with
Darien Fawkes and S. Donatello. And as Iíve stated before, with each
passing film, I find I enjoy being in front of the camera, as much as I
enjoy being behind it, but itís absolutely cathartic to be in front of
the camera and see the end result.
only other actor in the movie is Darien Fawkes, whom you have worked with
before a handful of times - so why him, what made him perfect for the
Darien Fawkes is perhaps one of the best actors Iíve ever worked
with - no exceptions. Not only does his grizzled appearance imbue any
character he plays with an innate sense of realism, Fawkes as an actor
possesses a wide range - he has a background in theater -, and Iím
convinced he can sufficiently portray any character, regardless of what
genre heís working in. In some regards, I consider him to be a secret
weapon, heís perfect for my films and it was a privilege to work with
him again. You see, his role in Prince of the
Crimson Void was entirely
coincidental. Around the same time I rediscovered the basis for the
film, I found his contact information on my phone. Take into
consideration that the last time heíd made an appearance in any of my
films was back in late 2017, for The Rise and Fall of an American
I had envisioned him playing Kimball in Prince of the
Crimson Void, he
was the only actor within my social circle I could imagine that was
capable of undertaking the role and imbuing the character with a
grizzled sense of realism. So, I texted him offering the role and he
responded back to me almost immediately. However, his role in the film
was contingent upon his work schedule, which had been permitting him
from acting and taking up a majority of his time since about 2018.
However, as fate would have it, he abdicated his managerial/retail
position to effectively become a free agent and resume acting. As a result, we were able to film almost ever weekend during the summer
A few words about the shoot as such, and the
It was humid, gritty, and Absinthe-stained - my camera bag, lights and
equipment still smell like cigarettes due to the amount of smoking that
Fawkes was doing on and off screen. Bear in mind that the burial ground
scenes were some of the most uncomfortable scenes, as the outdoor
swampy, insect-infested environment Fawkes had found for us was
completely perfect yet sweltering and miserable due to the fact that we
were filming in the middle of summer. Additionally, the crawl space
scenes with Fabian were equally as uncomfortable and claustrophobic
(from my perspective), having to transport S. Donatelloís props and my
equipment down into the 4 foot crawlspace beneath my living space, but
again, I am not complaining, the end results speak for themselves, and
the atmosphere of the Ďcrawlspaceí scenes is astounding.
Believe it or not, the on set atmosphere was nothing likethe full blown
chaos of Sebastianís Unholy Flesh or
The Acid Sorcerer. It was
different entirely. The on set atmosphere of Prince of the
Crimson Void was professional. Humid. Sweaty. Absinthe-stained. The stench of
cigarettes permeated everythingÖ thatís how I describe it, the on set
atmosphere of Prince of the
The $64-question of course, where can Prince of the
Crimson Void be seen?
It will soon be available on my YouTube channel. Itís already
available on DVD and Blu-ray. Silus David Massoff is undisputedly my
favorite graphic artist, which is why it is an absolute privilege to
work with him, and he has created alternate artwork for Prince of the
Crimson Void and Danteís Shadow of Sin, which adorn the covers of the
Blu-ray releases for the two aforementioned films.
Anything you can tell us
about audience and critical reception of Prince
of the Crimson Void?
Honestly all I can do now that the film has been brought to fruition is
to release it and, as long as Iím satisfied (which I am completely)
that will ultimately be all that matters. Of course I hope (and
intuitively know) those who support my films (which I appreciate
tremendously) will rapturously devour Prince of the
Crimson Void, but I
predict that similarly to the reaction of American
will likely be a contingency of viewers who love the film and those who
will despise it, so we will just see what happensÖ
Feeling lucky ?
any of my partnershops yourself
for more, better results ?
The links below
will take you
Any future projects you'd
like to share?
Nothing at the present moment.
Your/your movie's website, social media,
Yes. Iím on YouTube, Facebook, Instagram - dakotarayfilmmaker
Anything else you're dying to mention and
I have merely forgotten to ask?
Thank you for continually
reviewing my films and presenting me with an opportunity to discuss them!
An additional thanks to those who support my films!
Thanks for the