Q: First, tell me about ABNORMAL ENTERTAINMENT. You do everything from movies to comics. How did the company get started?
Abnormal Entertainment sort of just happened. I had no idea what starting a company entailed or that I even needed to. In 2002 I had just secured a distribution deal for Back Woods (disastrously through Dead Alive Productions... if you know that name, I'm definitely sorry) and partnered with Kevin Moyers on a film called Blown (a blow-up sex doll gets possessed and goes on a killing spree at a bachelor party). That's when Abnormal really started. Since then we have produced films like Dark Places and Desert-Man Beast, published comic books like Serial, Macabre and the Rottentail. Rottentail was recently picked up for a three-issue mini-series by Arcana Studios so things are popping. In addition to the films and comics, we are producing a music CD and a sketch comedy web show that should debut pretty soon.
Q: What genre movies would you say influenced you the most?
Oh, horror movies of course! My favorite film of all time is Halloween (and NOT the Rob Zombie bastardization). Jaws, The Howling... great, great films that I love. I was also inspired in my youth by the works of Ed Wood (seriously), Fred Olen Ray and Roger Corman. B-movies are a way of life sometimes! You can see the passion that filmmakers put into their work in the horror genre, low to no to high budget each one of them that creates a fun film loves the genre. Herschell Gordon Lewis was a big influence as well. There are so many. David Cronenberg, Peter Jackson and Alfred Hitchcock have also influenced my work (not that you can tell).
Q: You wrote and star in DESERT MAN BEAST and BACK WOODS....was it easier writing characters you knew you were going to portray?
That's under the assumption there was something written! Back Woods was, essentially, a long Memorial Day Weekend. I wrote the script in 8 hours and we shot it over the weekend. That was a great time! Everyone there was a professional and we just had a blast making a movie. We never expected it to be popular in way shape or form since it was so haphazardly made and a joke at that. People seem to find it funny, though. The real title of Man-Beast is Return to Yucca Flats: Desert Man-Beast. That was a funny one and, again, another experiment. We wanted to see how much footage we could shoot in 24 hours and make a feature. So we came up with a "story" about an unfrozen arctic man-beast in the desert and started shooting. Fun stuff. The tagline is: 30 Corpses... 1 Man-Beast... 0 Plot. There was no script, just an outline. It is an homage to the Anthony Cardoza Beast of Yucca Flats starring Tor Johnson. They didn't have a budget and there isn't even synch-sound in the film, it's all narration! DMB is currently being edited.
Q: What were the most difficult aspects of making those two movies?
Yeesh, you picked our two "experimental" features to talk about! I don't want anyone to think that we don't shoot real, planned, written and crewed movies, we do, but the ones that are experiments are the most fun. The most difficult aspects working at this level, though, is the budgeting. You have to run and gun and come up with solutions to problems on a shoestring. Beg, barter and steal. Wait, I should of called the production company that! These two films were a great, exhausting, time and I wouldn't trade them for anything.
Q: If you had a choice just to do one thing would it be writing or acting?
I think writing. Acting is something that I do that is fun. When it stops being fun, I'll stop. My current rule for acting is friends and checks (and not in that order). I have a good time doing it and people seem to like it. If I'm directing I definitely won't cast myself again... it's too much, Blown killed that. Writing is something I feel that I have to do. I'm always writing something. I've published fiction and non-fiction (most recently I'm writing for Brutarian Magazine). I wrote a book on Ed Wood called Muddled Mind and am currently working on putting out a collection of plays of mine called American Guignol. Comic books, movies... I'm a storyteller first and foremost.
Q: How can people get the movies?
Netflix has a bunch of my stuff as well as Blockbuster, Amazon, Hollywood (the ones that are left), Best Buy, etc. DMB is still being edited as well as Blood Orgy of the Damned. Back Woods is everywhere as is Machined (just an actor) from Lions Gate. This year Lions Gate is releasing three films that I star in: Sportkill, Orville and Machined 2. I wrote and star in Dark Places and that is available everywhere through Brain Damage Films. I recently did a small part for Death Factory: Bloodletting for them as well which should be out later this year. Blown is available as well and was released by Sub Rosa Studios. In theaters, I have a small part in Jackrabbit Sky that will be in art houses later this year as well.
Q: What are you working on now?
Busy times! We are finishing principal photography on Feral (working title) this month. I am producing Blood Moon Rising and playing a small part in June of this year. Great film directed and written by Brian Skiba, that is an homage to 70s action horror flicks. The Devil, zombies, werewolves, vampires, witches, the Old West, hippies... great stuff! July I'll be helping Craig McMahon on his new film Crypt and in August I am producing and directing the creature feature Bad Land from the script that I wrote. This winter I will be producing and starring in Kevin Moyers' Morbidly Obese and, hopefully, getting a Rottentail sequel started in the comics. Next year we'll be shooting Greasepaint from my script and I'll be directing that as well. It's still early, but it may be the biggest budget I've ever seen so keep your fingers crossed. As soon as Blood Orgy and DMB are done, I'll be shopping those for a DVD release. Other than that, nothing much.