(Eamon Hardiman and Brian Gunnoe as 'Burt Fleming' on the set of PORKCHOPP3D)
Writer/Director/Editor, Eamon Hardiman recently took some time out of a busy busy schedule, to chat with Hacked in the Head about his movies and all things horror.Forming the production company Razor Sharp Studios in recent years, Eamon and his crew have strived to satiate genre fans with their vision of 'what its all about'. Earlier efforts Escape from the dead (movie short), Catholic Ghoulgirls and Vampire Whores from Outer Space soon made way for 2010's Porkchop, a kids-in-the -woods, body count flick, complete with T, A and deviant chainsaw action (!) Going from strength to strength, Porkchop was rapidly followed up by carnivorous kid comedy Zombie Babies and a filled to the brim with kills sequel to Porkchop; Porkchops/Porkchop 2: Rise of the Rind. Those lucky enough to have helped these guys out with their conclusion to the Porky trilogy, Porkchopp 3D (yeh you read right theres a third one coming and its in 3D!) will get to see what looks to be a blood soaked finale, once the film has been completed!
What follows is a chilling expose of the macabre mind of a West Virginian film maker.
Not really.....but it is a really fun interview.....enjoy.......
Hacked in the Head: Hi Eamon! Thank you for taking the time to talk to me. I thought to start with you could tell us a bit about how you formed your production company Razor Sharp Studios?
Eamon Hardiman: I think it was probably out of boredom more than anything else. A few of us got ahold of a camera and started shooting a little comedy short film (that I hope no one ever sees) and then later when I started taking a filmmaking course we all got back together and shot some more stuff for my class projects. That lead to Escape from the Dead, our first attempt at making a real story come to life in a fairly serious manner and failing miserably. After that we made Catholic Ghoulgirls and Vampire Whores from Outer Space under Razor Sharp Productions and eventually during Porkchop post-production we changed the name to Razor Sharp Studios.
HitH: What sort of challenges has this presented to you, along the way? It has be incredibly rewarding to have started your own company, made some films and then secured distribution but I imagine it hasn’t come without its hitches?
Eamon: It’s tough. To really spend the time these things require, it’s almost impossible to work a normal day-job. If you CAN manage it, it has to be lenient as hell because you’re always having to take off and re-edit this or finish this or shoot this thing for two weeks in the woods. We’ve busted our asses for the past four years straight and gotten a movie out every year. Over the past one year period we actually shot TWO films: Porkchop 2 and Porkchop 3D. It’s tough on everything, relationships, friendships, even just physically. A lot of people come in and work on the movie for a week and then go home and go “oh man that was a grueling experience” and feel like they need to rest for a few days. For us it’s adding four more months of constant stress and work and scheduling and editing and ugh....it can really suck sometimes but it’s ultimately worth it.
Biggest hitches? Making a feature-length film entertaining on a $3,000 budget. Dealing with actors who quit on you at the last minute (every film has had at least one) requiring you to rework the entire script, re-do all wardrobe, and basically try not to blow your brains out while you call everyone you know trying to find a replacement. BUT like I said it’s all worth it in the end.
HitH: You have been releasing movies consistently for the past couple of years now and I love your methods in getting them made and out to fans. Running campaigns on Kickstarter/Indgiegogo helps you to raise the funds to get the film done and also allows people to be rewarded with DVD copies of the movie and much much more, which is great! Is this something you hope to continue to do?
Eamon: It seems to have dried up a bit. We didn’t get much help on the last one (but thanks to everyone who DID, you guys are amazing and let us continue to make these movies!) but I think beyond just raising money, for us it’s a cool way to get people more involved and let the fans (i feel like a douchebag everytime I refer to people as fans, i’m sorry) become a part of the movie. I think most people running the fundraisers just see the people who donate as dollar signs but for us, most of our money winds up coming out of pocket (sometimes even from our actors) so we really only continue to do them to get people involved (and so we can afford to eat on set and buy cool weapons and special effects supplies).
When folks donate to our projects or buy our merch, it all goes into the movie and goes up on screen. I see some of these things raising 20 grand for a short film and they actually GET IT! And the short winds up never coming out. We make an entire feature film that winds up getting distributed and actually seen by people....but haven’t had much luck fundraising. I don’t think we’ve ever reached our goal but it IS a fun thing and I like being able to make cool stuff like the t-shirts and dvds and in the case of Porkchop 3D, the lunchboxes so people have some limited edition stuff to show for their contribution and belief in the project.
HitH: Further to that -great news to hear of your recent securing of distribution for Porkchop 2: Rise of the Rind (self distributed as ‘Porkchops’ in 2011)and Zombie Babies, congratulations. What kind of extra features can fans expect from the official released of these movies? I remember reading that Porkchop 2 will be a slightly longer edit….. (Note people that these titles are released on September 25 courtesy of Independent Entertainment)
Eamon: Porkchop 2 is a little different now. The Troma international cut is a little longer, but the new US cut flows a lot better and eliminated some troublesome transitions. Both versions have audio tweaks to make some things better. I believe we have commentaries on both movies as well as some behind-the-scenes stuff. It’s not edited into a talking-head piece where we promote the movie, I think they’re pretty long stretches of BTS stuff showing the legitimate making of the movie. It’s pretty cool if you want to see how we make the movies and see me nearly have a mental breakdown. One of the movies has an hour-long thing I THINK....it’s been awhile since we put them together.
HitH: That all sounds fantastic, I am looking forward to seeing both titles hit the shelves! Not only have you made several movies already you have created a trilogy complete with a 3D conclusion – impressive. Do you think Porkchopp 3D is the end of the adventures of our favourite pig masked maniac? Or might another outing rear its head if time and money allows?
Eamon: I’ll do part 4 in a heartbeat if someone comes up with a $20,000 budget. We’ve got a pretty great idea for a sequel. I wanted it to be Part 2 but we couldn’t afford it. Luckily, with what happens to Porky in this one it will still work as a Part 4. It would definitely be the greatest of the series. PC3D was a $3000 to $5000 budget. Imagine what we could pull off for 20.
HitH: Sounds intriguing and I hope a possibility in the future! What’s the plan with the release ofPorkchopp 3D? I understand you are in full on editing mode right now. From what I have heard of the film it’s geared to blow Porkchop and Porkchop 2 out of the water. Can you tell us some more about the plot of the film?
Eamon: It’s fantastic so far, but I’m biased. The plot is a whole bunch of the surviving characters from Porkchop 1 and 2 band together to hunt down Porkchop once and for all. At the same time, a group of partying teens hole up in Burt Fleming’s cabin in the woods (ehhh? cabin in the....nevermind). The two groups’ paths cross and....3D bloodbath.
I haven’t talked to any companies about the release. We’re only going to send the copies out to the folks who invested and maybe do a small run of copies ourselves....but most likely we’ll try to get a theatrical run for awhile or a series of theatrical screenings across the country and while doing that, see if we can find a distribution company who will release it on 3D Blu-Ray and actually put glasses in the DVD case and all of that. The 3D is just so cool! I hope everybody can experience it. Hell, even the red-and-blue DVD version totally works, much better than any other 3D films I’ve watched with the glasses.
HitH: Whoa, sounds like a total kill-fest - cant wait! I am also pleased to see returning names from previous films, that's going to be great to see.On that note, I wanted to ask you about some of your favourite characters/performances across your movies. Stand outs for me include Erin Russ as the (disturbingly) nympho ‘Rachel’ in Porkchop, Missy Dawn (and not just because she’s your girlfriend!) as mean girl ‘Hannah’ in Porkchops and Brian Gunoe in both Porkchop movies and Zombie Babies!
Eamon: LOVE those characters. I’m a big Richie fan (Chris Woodall from Porkchop 1 and Porkchop 3D). I REALLY dig Pig Girl from 3D (not just because she’s my girlfriend), and I’m particularly fond of Shawn C. Phillips’ character from Zombie Babies.
HitH: Yeh I have to say, from the photos released so far, Pig Girl looks, if this is possible, even creepier than another certain 'pig girl' who will not be named due to spoilers! (meaning you NEED to grab a copy of Porkchop 2!) Now I also read recently that you are not keen to make a ‘straight’ horror movie - I think it could be really interesting – is it something you might consider in the future after entertaining us some more with the likes of flesh munching infants and sickle wielding pig men?
Eamon: Our next film is, on the surface, a horror/comedy but (if I do my job right) it’s going to scare the shit out of people. Folks like John Landis, Joe Dante....they’re able to combine the two in such a brilliant way where you laugh, laugh, laugh, then go “holy shit that’s fucked!” and then ease back into laugh, laugh, laugh...there are some scares here and there in the Porkchop series but this will be a full-on “holy shit that’s fucked!” film as well as a (hopefully) “how the fuck did they do that????” movie.
HitH: Exciting stuff! Being a big horror movie fan, what are your all time favourites and why? What are your thoughts of all the recent remakes and big budget horror movies? So many I have seen recently have failed to impress. Carrie for example is possibly my favourite horror film of all time yet I am both a bit depressed and curious about the upcoming remake……
Eamon: I’m a big “Just Before Dawn” fan. I think that might be the best slasher ever made. American Werewolf in London has been a massive inspiration. I tend to like the movies that no one will ever remake. Of course, I said that about Fright Night....but I don’t really mind remakes. Some cool stuff has come out of it like the original The Thing (and the remake of THAT wasn’t bad), The Fly, etc. Miami Vice was pretty cool. I think us (the horror fans) screaming “NO DON’T YOU DARE REMAKE DAWN OF THE DEAD” or whatever is us saying “our stories aren’t important enough to be reinterpreted by other filmmakers.” And I don’t think that’s a very good image to portray, especially in a genre so looked-down upon as horror. If Nightmare on Elm Street gets remade fifty times, doesn’t that seem to say “Hey, this is one of the classic stories of all time”? That’s a very very good thing for the industry and for the fans. As long as we have access to the originals, we’re not losing anything. If anything, it’s bringing more fans to horror. If you’re looking for Hollywood to deliver the type of horror you want, you’re looking in the wrong place.
As far as the big-budget horror movies? I think where the big-budget horror stuff fails is that they ignore everything that MADE this stuff popular in the first place. It’s gore and boobs and offensive shit and scaring the hell out of people and originality. Piranha got it right. The sequel even got it right and a few other films have done it but mostly for this type of thing you HAVE to look to and embrace and support independent horror.
HitH: Totally agree with you on the big budget movie front. Most of what is being churned out is lacking the ingredients to satisfy the devoted horror movie fan. It's all big names, big budget, but no real connection with what people want to see in a scary movie. I agree that piranha got it right, it was the good, gory time it promised - I'm yet to see the sequel. I think this is exactly why indie horror is embraced so much by those who remember what a good old late night horror film really was. OK, rant over and moving on......tell us a bit about plans for making the new Razor Sharp Studios movie......
Eamon: Shooting next year so we can spend a year designing our monsters and FX and trying to fundraise a $70,000 budget. Any investors out there? This one will be a money-maker. :)
HitH: Monsters? Awesome. Finally Eamon, is there anything else you would like to tell fans out there?
Eamon: Thank you all for embracing Porkchop the way you have and for supporting our stuff. Our movies seem to keep getting better and a lot of it is from your input and support. We’re always learning and trying to improve on what we do. The scripts are genuinely culled from things I’ve heard that people liked, bitched about, etc. We make these things for YOU guys to watch and enjoy and I’ll keep trying to give you what you want while trying to surprise you at the same time. I’m not a guy trying to make a quick buck here, we’re trying to do something good for the community and the genre and I hope you’ll continue to go along on this ride with us and let’s see where we end up. It’s probably awesome and they most likely serve beer.
HitH: Thank you so much for a great interview Eamon - cant wait to hear more news soon!
Head over HERE to view the Porkchop 3D trailer, recently released...it looks all kinds of messy! Also if you make your way to the Razor Sharp Studios official website you can pre-order a copy of the movie along with other gory goods - but act fast because this is part of a limited 200 DVD run and these guys are known to run out fast!