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Horror movies, reviews and more at buried.com
Horror movies, reviews and more at buried.com
Horror movies, reviews and more at buried.com
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Ari Bavel
Horror Interview by The Undertaker

Tell us about your company, What is it? & how does it work?

Evilarab Productions is a company devoted to independent film. Currently we are distributing the films of Todd Sheets and Extreme Entertainment as well as Monumental Pictures first release, "Cannibal Cult" by Blake Fitzpatrick. Monumental is in pre-production of "Imprudence", a righteous revenge-zombie romp, which is also going to be distributed by Evilarab. Other back burner projects include a short called "Bride of the Zombie" that is being made in-house and an action-adventure zombie thriller script that is still in development. The working title is "Terminator Z" and could be thought of as Tomb Raider meets Cemetery Man. The website is still in development and will be up this summer.

How long have you been in that business?

Evilarab Productions kicked off in October 2000.

How did you get started in the horror business? have you always been a big fan?

Well, I've always been a big fan. I collected Famous Monsters of Filmland magazines back in the day and ate up every Hammer film and Universal black-and-white I could get my hands on while I was growing up. I recently had the opportunity to meet and converse with Forrest J. Ackerman, a god in the genre. It was a dream come true as he has been my inspiration since I was 10 years old. My start with horror films was pretty innocuous. I saw in the newspaper that Todd Sheets was making another Zombie Bloodbath movie and he needed extras. I sent him email describing my background and my physical description (6' 4", 270 lbs., look like Goldberg) and he offered me the Behemoth Zombie role. From there I got a speaking role in "Catacombs" and a lead in "Say It Again", which is still in post production.

I noticed you did a bit of acting in 2 of Todd Sheets films, how was that experience?

I liken acting in this type of film to that old adage about combat, long hours of boredom punctuated by brief periods of joy and excitement. When you see the outtakes at the end of ZB3 and Catacombs you'll see how much fun we have on the set. But with limited resources (one camera, 3 lights, limited sound equipment) there is a lot of down time while sets are being torn down and set up. Make no mistake, it's a great place to be and a great group to work with. Every one of the actors and crew made me feel welcome right from the outset. These people have become lifelong friends after only a few days of working together.

Were you hurt when the academy awards went to someone else for best supporting actor?

They heard I was planning to send a Native American Princess to accept the award and they changed their mind at the last minute. (For you younger folks that's a George C. Scott joke).

How do you feel personally about the shot on video medium? Is it the only real format left for over the top horror films?

Well, film is so expensive, isn't it? And DV is so cheap you can overshoot by an awesome amount and never have to worry about reshoots. Availability of personnel is such a big problem in this genre. DV makes it easier to shoot on a tight schedule because of the computer editing and effects. I think DV is just going to get bigger and bigger in all genres.

Is it tough to market tapes these days?

Evilarab Productions hasn't broken the Fortune 500 (yet!) but we have made a lot of people happy with their purchases. The foreign market for these pictures is good, so if you can hit that you can make some money.

Do you have plans to distribute any other directors work in the near future?

We have Todd Sheets and Blake Fitzpatrick on board at this time, and we are starting some in-house productions, too. We're willing to look at other people's work, too. We're at evilarab@mindspring.com until the website goes up.

Do you enjoy low or no budget films?

I like good acting and a good story. I can ignore the lack of one if the other is there. There are lots of great films out there in the low- no- budget genre. There's lot's of frelling dren, too.

Have you fully recovered from that nasty viagara overdose?

Every once in a while I get "high centered," but for the most part - no harm done.

What are some of your favorite films ? Any you wish you could sell through Evil Arab?

I'm a classics kind of guy. Citizen Kane, The Day the Earth Stood Still, stuff like that. But for Evilarab? I think we're a bit young to be calling our shots. At this point we're trying to grow intelligently without over extending ourselves. If someone has a film they want Evilarab Productions to distribute, send it to us and we'll talk.

Does it bother you how some video "chains" censor or discriminate against independent films & videos?

It's not censoring if somebody doesn't want to carry a film. If they carry the film after they have cut it without the director's input then it censoring. Every business has the right to determine what they want to sell. I understand the chains' position. If they make more money renting to the Barney crowd (which will always be bigger that the micro-budget horror-gore crowd) and they want to shy away from less family-friendly fare then they must do that because it's a good business decision. Does that make it harder for the gorehound to get what they want? Absolutely. Is it reason to break out the Necronomicon and raise the dead? Probably not, unless you just want to party with the dead, which is always fun.

What else do you do besides your work with Evil Arab Productions?

In Real life? I'm Anna Kournikova's bag boy. So I've been "in the sack" with Anna Kournikova hundreds of times, and it's every bit as exciting as you might imagine.

Any advice you could give to someone looking to get a film out there or someone with just a few good ideas?

We're in the early days of the business, so I don't know that we should be giving advise just yet. You have to spend some money, obviously, but the online community is pretty good about giving you pub in exchange for screener copies. Print ads are expensive in the bigger mags, and it's a gamble. But I've found it rewarding. Best advice: Have a good computer person on staff. Website and banner ads are huge.

Has the internet been helpful to you & your company?

Without the internet there would be no Evilarab Productions.

Any promising new videos out there? directors?

As mentioned above, Blake Fitzpatrick's "Imprudence" is in pre-production, and that has a great script with some hot young talent both in front of and behind the camera. Plus lots of effects shots and great fresh tunes. Look for it around Halloween.

What was the last really scary film you saw, be it on video, at the movies, or whatever?

I've only seen one movie that made me "feel scared." That was the original "The Haunting." "The Legend of Hell House" had it's moments, too. There are lot's of horror film that I like, but I'm not the type to have nightmares or get scared. I liked the remake of "House on Haunted Hill" and I really liked Ron Bonk's "Strawberry Estates" which you can get online at Sub Rosa. It is a better "found footage" film than Blair Witch and it was way before BW. It's lower budget, but I like it a lot.

Are you doing any more acting in the future?

Yeah, pretty busy this summer. I've done a cameo in Chris Watson's "Mob Daze," directed by David Thomas. I'm preparing for three other films this summer, including Blake Fitzpatrick's "Imprudence" in which I have one scene. There's a zombie picture in July with Miami River Productions, and I'm to play Satan in Jeff Buckles' production of "Portrait of Death" coming up in August. There's also a non-genre picture with Brock Rhodes in which I play a "cop with an attitude."

Do you do the convention thing very often?

Haven't done that yet, although it's on my list of things to do. When we built up our inventory a bit we will have more to offer the conventioneer.

Last, so if you have anything cool left you want get out or anything you want to gripe about, here's your chance:

No, I'm grateful for the chance to get the word out. I'd like to say that I love Buried.com and thanks for the check... I mean the chance to speak.

find information about Ari Bavel at imdb.com find horror stuff by Ari Bavel

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