Jose Prendes, whose previous credit is the end of the world alien invasion horror-comedy, THE MONSTERMAN, is completing his 35mm feature debut with CORPSES ARE FOREVER…
Q: How did the idea for CORPSES ARE FOREVER come about?
JOSE: I had finished a 35mm black and white short film, called NERVE, and showed it at conventions and then sent it to a couple of festivals. But I knew that if I wanted to sell it, it needed to be feature length, because shorts don't sell. But I didn't want the whole movie to be black and white, and I wanted it to be more fun and fast-paced than NERVE was, because it was a Dario Argento-style thriller, and I wanted to have some fun with it. So, being a big spy movie and zombie movie fan, I combined them. I turned a black and white Argento-esque serial killer movie into 007 meets DAWN OF THE DEAD... I am pretty proud of that. It all fits together nicely, too, like it was meant to be.
Q: How did you get your cast--it's quite a collection of horror b-movie actors. Did you have specific people in mind when you were writing the script?
JOSE: I did have people in mind while I was writing the movie, but I got none of them to be in it. I was hoping to get Debbie Rochon and Brinke Stevens, because I knew they did a lot of movies, and I was hoping to be one of them. I contacted Debbie through my very good friend Kevin Lindenmuth, and she hooked me up with Brinke. Linnea Quigley and Conrad Brooks were in NERVE, and Linnea returned for a bigger role. My friend Brian Singleton (FORRESTS OF THE DEAD) put me in touch with Felissa Rose. Linnea got me Don Calfa, who was going to play the lead role, but felt he wasn't up to it, so he got me in touch with the great Richard Lynch. Don ended up playing a crucial role in the movie as well. And that's pretty much how I cast it.
Q: Did you find it difficult to both star in and direct the movie?
JOSE: It's not as hard as it sounds to both direct and act in a movie. All the director's job is done before the camera rolls, and when the camera rolls you can hop in front of the camera and act like an idiot. It was pretty much the same as if I weren't the lead, only now I had a control over how the lead actor acted... as badly as that may be.
Q: What was the most difficult aspect of making the movie?
JOSE: The most difficult aspect of making this movie was dealing with other people. Sometimes actors can get "emotional", and I learned that first-hand, and it really bothered me. It bothered me so much that I was going to quit making movies, because I didn't think making a movie was worth the effort. The most difficult thing about making a movie was always trying to be nice and always trying to make everything okay with everyone. Sometimes you can't do everything and sometimes things happen that weren't planned on. You have to learn to deal with that to make movies, and now I have a deeper understanding of what it takes to make movies... especially low budget ones, where the director does everything (produce, cater, cast, ect.).
Q: It was very well shot--who was your DP?
JOSE: The look of the movie was determined way before shooting, like any other movie, I suppose. I wanted it to be very colorful, like SUSPIRIA, or other brightly lit Italian movies. So, my Director of Photography Alvaro Rangel, did what he could to achieve that, and pulled it off marvelously.
Q: It's left pretty wide open at the end--- are you planning on a sequel anytime soon?
JOSE: I love sequels so yes I left it open for a sequel and there is a script written, but I wouldn't be able to do it myself, because it would cost a lot more money. The sequel has to do with vampires wanting to take over the world. It's a broader story with more character development, and fun. We'll have to see if the distributor we get wants to pay for the sequel, which is called: THE CORPSE WHO LOVED ME
Q: Anything you wish to add.
JOSE: CORPSES changed my life because I met great people, learned what it meant to be a director, and I fell for my A.D. Her name is Jessica, and we were friends before, but we just fell for each other on set, and now it'll be half a year in April.