Thursday 31 July 2014
PJ starks is responsible for one of my all time favorite indie horror films Hallows Eve: Slaughter on 2nd Street so of course I was excited to hear of a new project in the works: Volumes of Blood.
Described as a anthology of 5 horror shorts, directed by film makers across the Kentucky region, this should be a blast. The project is penned by P.J. Starks along with Todd Martin and Nathan Thomas Milliner and is currently raising funds on Kickstarter which now has just 36 days to go.
Production kicks off in August through November this year following the end of the campaign but please note that the team needs to reach their $3750 target in order to receive funding.
Please head on over to the Kickstarter page and show PJ and co some love, the project sounds pretty massive with a lot of collaboration and even the chance for backers to get REALLY involved in the project.
It is always a pleasure to have a conversation with Eamon Hardiman and Missy Dawn of Razor Sharp Studios. Hard working doesn't really begin to describe these makers of wonderfully bad taste, funny, entertaining as hell independent films - year on year they don't seem to bloody stop! Most recently Razor Sharp studios completed latest movie Pig Girl (Tip - DVD available HERE), a slightly darker spin off from the Porkchop trilogy which features the titular harridan from hell wrecking death and destruction on her lonesome. Director, writer, producer and much much more Eamon Hardiman and actress producer and much much more Missy Dawn gave some great answers to my questions so please read on and enjoy!
HitH: Let’s kick off with Razor Sharp Studios new movie Pig Girl which you wrote and directed (and so much more). I love the idea of a straight horror film particularly as you have cited giallo as an inspiration. Pig Girl was such a revelation in Porkchop 3D, creepy, strange and quite scary! What can fans expect from this spin off movie? I know you set out to make it big on frights, how did you set about achieving this?
Eamon: We definitely started out going to giallo route, but I think it wound up becoming something much more in line with the first Porkchop movie. It's very traditional, but due to our budget, time, crew, and cast limitations, we actually wound up with a more interesting and original film than we would have. At least I hope so. Folks seem to enjoy it so far. We did focus strongly on the build-up to kills much more in this one. There's a massive chase sequence mid-way through that I enjoyed a lot. We try to build more tension and do things in a slightly more epic way than we have in the past....as well as going back to some tried-and-true slasher kills.
HitH: I remember Missy, you cited Pig Girl as your favorite character to play when we last spoke. How did it feel to don that hideous mask again and get to go full on Pig Girl? It must have been exciting to take the reign from Porkchop and get your kill on, alone?
Missy: It felt awesome! I think everyone's dream is to be the killer in a horror movie. At least, I would hope so. It really gets you going to be able to chase young nubile vixens through the woods with a weapon.It’s an adrenaline rush. The mask makes everything hard to see so running with actual weapons is risky. When you produce a real machete close to someone’s face…shit gets real. It would be my dream for Porkchop and Pig Girl to become horror icons one day. We'll see what happens!
HitH: I think it’s great that the Porkchop trilogy grew with each movie. You have your original film, an ode to 80s slasher movie, complete with nasty kills, comedy and quirkiness. Then came Porkchops taking events to the present day and although funny, had a real black edge with a least two unanticipated shocks during the film. Finally you progressed to a mammoth of a third part, in 3D no less, which brought back key players from previous movies. Did you have an idea of how you wanted a trilogy to play out or did you come up with the idea for the sequels after the first one came out?
Eamon: It was always a joke, you know....."Porkchop 3 will be in 3D." We made the first one and just really thought that we could do better. Zombie Babies was a huge learning experience for us on what to avoid and what to focus on and how to reign a story in to be a simple little thing and then add flair to that. We fucked up so many times on that movie.....and we saw that someone had released a Porkchop knock-off with a bigger budget so we decided "Hey, fuck these guys. Let's make a sequel." I'd wanted to work with Sam Qualiana in a really big way and it seemed like the perfect time to do so. Once that was done, we talked about what to do next and found out we had access to a 3D camera, so we decided to give it a go. It all just kind of flowed from one event to the next. You get the itch, you look at what you want to do versus what you can AFFORD to do. It would have been really easy to just do a Porkchop 4 after 3D....you know, we already had a lot of weapons....we already had the costume....but folks just loved Pig Girl so damn much. I wanted to see that movie. So I figured I'd better make it.
HitH: Although I love Pig Girl (possibly fear her as well) – when are we going to see Missy Dawns lovely face in another movie…if the character gets to be an uber bitch from hell as well, then all the better!
Missy: I know, right? I got to play a maskless role in Pig Girl (due to… last minute circumstances) and it was actually lot of fun! Don’t get me wrong, I still love to kill teens, but running from yourself adds an incredible layer of complexity to the “character development” process. It’s also hilarious.I think there will definitely be some more Missy Dawn sans the grease very soon! I'm always ready for new opportunities and ready to read any scripts that come my way.
HitH: I need to apologise…I realised the other day to my horror I still haven’t watched The Crawling Dead! I will be rectifying that very soon…on that note is there more to come from the Zombie Babies side of things?
Eamon: One day, maybe. Those are hard movies to make, for a number of reasons. I think I'd rather do something unrelated to Pig Girl or Porkchop or the Zombie Babies next.
HitH: you both do a lot more than one job on each movie, which is extremely impressive. You put so much work in, that it must hurt to a degree when somebody tears the film apart on Amazon or IMDB? My opinion is that many of these reviewers expect everything to be polished, big budget and unflawed with no real knowledge of what independent cinema actually means. Although everyone’s entitled to their opinion, how would you respond to overly harsh critiques and piss poor reviews such as “I hated this movie, it sucked” (end of review)?
Eamon: Hey, at least they watched it, right? Our movies don't really generate good reviews often....and probably never will. We're not making 90 minutes of just gore for the torture-porn underground crowd, we're not making whatever the fuck the Walking Dead fans want (Reedus?)....and we're not making big budget stuff. With the exception of Zombie Babies, every movie we've made was made for under $2,000. That's crazy shit. I think that most times, critics are NOT horror fans and most horror fans aren't necessarily into the same stuff that I am. I honestly could care less about gore unless it's fun. I make fun horror films...or at least I think I do until someone posts on Amazon that it sucked.
Missy: It does hurt a little because I love making these films and I want people to enjoy them. When they don’t, it sucks. But bad press is still press, right? ;) I never look at it like, “Fuck this asshole. They don’t know half the shit we’ve been through.” Of course they don’t and they shouldn’t!I don’t think it’s cool to respond and lash out at people for writing their opinion. So whenever I come across something negative, I read it, cast a curse spell upon the individual and their family, and then move on.
Like Eamon said, at least our movies are out there and people are watching. With everything in filmmaking, you’ve gotta take the good with the bad, and at the end of the day, I’m proud of our cast and crews hard work to make these films happen!
HitH: How are things going with getting your movies into festivals? It would be amazing for you to get them out there in such a way. I know it’s a very long and expensive old trip but the Southend on Sea Horror film festival would love your movies!
Eamon: We actually just got into a few festivals here in the States It's exciting as hell! I've got my passport. I'm ready. I just need a couple thousand bucks for the trip. You know...the budget of Pig Girl 2.
Missy: Pig Girl, The Crawling Dead and Porkchop 3D were all accepted and will be screening at various film festivals this year! Our booster fundraisers helped us cover some of those entry fee costs – and we’d love to submit to more festivals if we are able. I just checked out the Horror on the Sea film fest web site and I can’t find the link for submissions! If you can point me in the right direction we’d love to see if we could submit some films. And then if we are accepted… we could finally film Pig Girl’s Motherfucking European Vacation….
HitH: Finally I have to ask what’s next for Razor Sharp Studios. You never seem to bloody stop so are you going to take a damn well earned break…or get moving on another feature?
Missy: A slight break…. I wanted to take this summer and really promote those three films so we are hitting the convention circuit! I can't wait!
Thanks so much to both of you, always a pleasure to be in touch! xx
Friday 4 July 2014
Written by Joseph Henson and Nathan johnson
Starring April Sinclair, Emily Chidalek, Alyssa Matsiuk, Bonnie Marilyn Jean, Eric Wyatt, Nelson Flint, Michael Seragon, Gemma Hardy, Chelsea Regina, Madeleine Hicks, Jason Gonzales, Barbara Prince, Nathan Johnson, Rick James Willis, Joseph Henson.
Two separate murder spree's at hands of the same mad man still haunt a small town and this year a group of its young teens are going to meet the sharp end of his axe as they hunted through an old storage facility. Has the same killer returned for another outing, or does another maniacal bunny have an axe to grind?
There is a lot of obvious heart and soul poured into this film, it’s very evident that the film makers love slasher films and had a great time making this fun love letter to horrors best (in my opinion) decade. They have also thrown in some new and original ideas such as the hilarious and clever opening which I enjoyed immensely.
The characters are not a melting pot of total dicks so you do have some interest in what is going to happen to them. I have to admit that some horror films such as Sleepaway Camp work for the exact opposite reason, such awful characters BUT also entertaining and just ripe for a mean spirited death scene. But truthfully, a lot of films have become so generic and dull because of poorly written ‘mean’ girls or boys and so you don’t care about them and by the time they are killed you are ready to switch off anyway. So it is a nice refreshing change to have some well-drawn characters with some depth to them. It also helps that the main actors do a great job in their roles. On that note I thought that the young couple just after the opening scene may be main characters because I thought that the two actors involved were so natural - very impressive.
All in all The Night Before Easter is a fun watch with good characters, a great killer, a bit of mystery and a promising indication of what might come next from Joseph and Nathan. Recommended especially for fans of the all-time great holiday slashers!