Brimstone Productions specializes in horror and science-fiction films. Their feature, ADDICTED TO MURDER, was widely distributed through Blockbuster Video and is available for home video rental throughout North America, Europe and Asia. This film was voted "Best Outlaw Movie of 1996" by Cinefantastique magazine and was featured in every major genre magazine in the world. The movie is favorably reviewed in the compendium books PANTELLA DE SANGRE (Spain), DER SPLATTERFILM (Germany), THE VIDEOHOUND GUIDE TO VAMPIRE FILMS and THE VAMPIRE FILM by Alain Silver and James Ursini. To date, they have produced 12 independent feature films which are distributed nationwide:
The company's founder, Kevin J. Lindenmuth, recently published a book by McFarland & Company entitled MAKING MOVIES ON YOUR OWN: PRACTICAL TALK FROM INDEPENDENT FILMMAKERS, the definitive manuscript on how to make your first feature. He is also a regular contributor to such magazines as CULT MOVIES, SCAN, WORLD OF FANDOM, ALTERNATIVE CINEMA, REEL WILD CINEMA, SCREEM, DRACULINA and SHOCKING IMAGES. Now on with The Undertaker's interview with Kevin Lindenmuth.
1. Here's the obvious question; first , how long have you been involved in films?
I've been making films since I was around eight years old, when I made films with my father's Super 8mm film camera. These were mostly mini stop motion animation films-and by high school I was incorporating people into these movies. Then, I went to the University of Michigan and graduated with a degree in Film/Video Studies, moved to New York City shortly thereafter and shot my first feature, VAMPIRES & OTHER STEREOTYPES in 1990. So I've been doing this for a decade. I think I'm responsible for around a dozen films that I've been involved with as either director or executive producer…
2. How long have you been writing and directing your own independents?
I like to write most of the movies I direct, although I recently shot a drama, WALKING BETWEEN THE RAINDROPS, which was written by a guy named Evan Jacobs. It was a really great script and there was nothing I could do to improve it. I'm currently shopping that movie around to the various distributors, as it's not a genre film I can readily plug into my own horror distribution system. I've also done some collaborating with other directors, such as Tim Ritter, Tim Thomson, Mike Legge, Ron Ford, who've all directed segments for the ALIEN AGENDA and CREATUREALM series. Those were very good experiences and proves that collaboration among filmmakers can happen at the low budget independent level.
3. I'm guessing you're a big horror fan ; what are some of your favorite films? Any that have really influenced your work or caused you to really want to get into making your own movies?
Most of the films that made a big impression on me were movies and television I watched when I was very young-such as the DARK SHADOWs television series and made for TV movies like DON'T BE AFRAID OF THE DARK and GARGOYLES and TRILOGY OF TERROR. Even those Sid & Marty Kroft shows like LIDSVILLE and H.R. PUFFENSTUFF. My mother let me watch the Saturday morning "Creature Features" shows, my father was always taking me and my sisters to Drive-ins to see movies like PLANET OF THE APES and DR. PHIBES and my uncle used to take me to see movies such as THE CORPSE GRINDERS and THE UNDERTAKER AND HIS PALS! So you can see why I like horror movies! Some of my favorite movies are MIGHTY JOE YOUNG (the original), THE SENTINEL, THE RETURN OF COUNT YORGA, THE MAGIC SWORD and NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD.
4. How many films have you worked on so far (in any fashion, written, directed, whatever)?
Movies that I've been involved with are…
VAMPIRES & OTHER STEREOTYPES (1992, direct to video) Director/Producer/Writer
TWISTED TALES (1992, direct to video) Co-Director/ Producer/Writer
ADDICTED TO MURDER (1995, direct to video) Writer/Director/Producer
THE ALIEN AGENDA: OUT OF THE DARKNESS (1996, direct to video) Producer/Director/Writer
THE ALIEN AGENDA: ENDANGERED SPECIES (1997, direct to video) Producer/Director/Writer
THE ALIEN AGENDA: UNDER THE SKIN (1997, direct to video) Producer/Director/Writer
CREATUREALM: FROM THE DEAD (1998, direct to video) Producer/Director/Writer
CREATUREALM: DEMONS WAKE (1998, direct to video) Producer
SCREAMING FOR SANITY: TRUTH OR DARE 3 co-writer
THERE & BACK: INTERVIEWS WITH NEAR-DEATH EXPERIENCERS (1998 documentary, direct to video) Co-Producer
ADDICTED TO MURDER 2: TAINTED BLOOD (1998, direct to video) Writer/Director/Producer
WALKING BETWEEN THE RAINDROPS (1998) Director/Producer
ADDICTED TO MURDER 3: BLOOD LUST (1999) co-director, co-writer
RAGE OF THE WEREWOLF (1999) co-writer, director
DATE WITH A VAMPIRE (2000) writer
5. What are you working on currently? Any big things in the works for the future?
I'm currently finishing up editing on RAGE OF THE WEREWOLF, which will be available for purchase before Halloween. It's one of my bigger productions, about what happens when the moon is put in a closer orbit around the Earth, causing THOUSANDS of people to become werewolves. Those afflicted are kept virtual prisoners in the large cities, such as New York City, Houston, Las Vegas. The main story involves two brothers, one evil, one good, and a mysterious vampire woman. It's part horror, part action, part comedy. I think it's an extremely entertaining movie. Once this movie is done I'm continuing to work on a documentary with my wife, which should keep me busy until the middle of next year!
6. How long have you been into horror movies as a fan?
I've been a fan forever.
7. Who are some directors you like or admire their work?
I like the early works of Wes Craven, Carpenter and Cronenberg, and there's Kubrick, David Fincher, the guy who directed THE SIXTH SENSE, which I think was one of the best movies I've seen in years… I'm much more influenced by Movies than I am by the person who directed them.
8. Any favorite actors or actresses you can think of?
I don't really have any favorite actors or actresses.
9. What's the hardest part of making films as a small independent company aside for the financial problems and limitations?
Well, the hardest part of making films as a small independent company IS the financial problems and limitations. Everything else is easy compared to that!
10.How has Brimstone Productions grown over the years?
The company itself hasn't really grown-more people tend to be involved with the movies but as far as how I do things and how the movies are done it's pretty much the same. I like doing 75% of the work and I like having a small production crew and I like getting a movie completely shot within two weeks when that's possible. It keeps everything very focused. And once I start a production I know it will be finished.
11. Do you see Brimstone growing further over the next few years? How so?
My goal now and in the next few years is to simply write and direct-I really have no desire to produce or to distribute movies. That is not fun to me and I would rather spend the majority of my time doing something I like, not the other way around. So far it seems to be working-I had an outside producer on RAGE OF THE WEREWOLF and I'm working on several scripts for various independent directors.
12. What do you consider your best movie so far of the one's you've directed?
My three favorite movies are ADDICTED TO MURDER 2: TAINTED BLOOD, RAGE OF THE WEREWOLF and WALKING BETWEEN THE RAINDROPS. So, I'd say my most recent movies are my favorite.
13. If you could get one special effects artist to work on a project for you free of charge , who would it be?
It would be Rick Baker. He makes great apes!
14. What would be your "dream" project with an unlimited budget ?
I would love to do a new PLANET OF THE APES movie.
15. What's your feeling on censorship and the way major studios cut and shit on horror films these days?
I think it's all kind of stupid-they censor a movie when it goes to the theaters and then when it's released on video they "restore" all that footage and say it's "the Director's cut" and release it "unrated". They can do whatever they want, I really don't care. Most of the movies I watch are a bit more obscure than Hollywood movies and most of the films I enjoy are independent underground movies. I recently watched Michael DiPaolo's TRANSGRESSION and Eric Stanze's ICE FROM THE SUN and they're both great movies, extremely violent and as un-Hollywood as you can get-and they had no censorship WHATSOEVER because they are independent filmmakers and have control over that. I think that's the biggest advantage of doing movies on one's own… On the other hand I do like to watch some Hollywood movies-I think THE SIXTH SENSE is one of the best movies I've seen in years…
16. Do you enjoy doing conventions each year?
I used to go to conventions, mostly to promote the new movies, but after a while you realize you keep running into the same people, seeing the same faces and basically doing a whole lot of nothing-and I always end up spending far more money on tapes, props, you name it, than I make on selling the movies at my table. Ever since I got kicked out of the CHILLER CONVENTION because they had set up too many tables and violated fire codes-and my table was one of the tables that got closed down, on a Saturday morning when the convention was just getting underway! And I only got part of my money back from Kevin Clement and Company….I've stopped going to the conventions. I find them depressing. But I am slated to appear at a few conventions in Ohio this year, as a guest-and to show a few of my films-which will be cool. There will be more things for me to do rather than sit on my ass for three days.
17. If you could remake a film , which one would you do?
I would like to remake THE SENTINEL or KING KONG.
18. Favorite porn star? Why??
I don't know the names of any porn stars!
19. What kinda hobbies do you enjoy in your spare time? (if you have spare time)
My hobbies as a kid grew into what I do now. I enjoy writing-and write for magazines like CULT MOVIES, VAMPEROTICA, WORLD OF FANDOM, SCREEM, SHOCKING IMAGES, et cetera-and I like watching and making movies. I don't collect stamps or anything like that. I do have quite a few Godzilla figures, though…
20. How long does normally take for you to complete a film start to finish?
It usually takes me six to eight months to complete a film from start to finish, mostly because it's interrupted by other work.
21. You are of course getting very rich from these films right??
I make a good portion of my living from these movies.
22. Any movies you've seen in the last 5 years that you really liked? (besides your own of course )
As I said I liked THE SIXTH SENSE, also THE MATRIX, CARRIE 2: THE RAGE, loved RAZOR BLADE SMILE (one of the best vampire movies I think I've ever seen!), STARSHIP TROOPERS, MIMIC, LOST IN SPACE (it was a GOOD remake!), the SCREAM movies, H2O and I think the new Godzilla animated series is one of the best things on television, even though I hated, hated, HATED the movie! I think the key to Godzilla is having him fight other giant monsters.
23. How many movies would you like to do in the "Addicted to Murder" series?
I think there will only be two more movies. I'm thinking of doing another one which will have entirely new characters, primarily concentrated on the "ADDICTED TO MURDER" theme-and then there's the final installment which I will do one of these days, entitled THE LAST VAMPIRE, which has already been scripted by Ron Ford (THE FEAR, WITCHCRAFT XI). That would definitely end the series.
24. Any funny or embarrassing moments you can recall on the set of any of your movies?
There's always lots of funny moments, most all of which have to do with the context of the shoot so they're all pretty hard to explain-but on THE RAGE OF THE WEREWOLF movie there was a scene where Joe Zaso had to talk to Debbie Rochon with these werewolf fangs in his mouth and it gave him a horrible lisp-and every time he spoke me and Debbie-and Joe-went into hysterics. I was laughing so hard I couldn't shoot anything. It took us a long time to go through that scene, let me tell you. There's been a few embarrassing moments but no one need know about those!
25. Last one; if you were stranded on a desert island with everything you could ever want, but only 10 or so movies to watch (of your choosing which ones would they be?
The ten movies would be…SHOCK WAVES, THE SENTINEL, PHANTASM 2, KING KONG (original), MIGHTY JOE YOUNG (original), ATTACK OF THE MUSHROOM PEOPLE, DAWN OF THE DEAD, WAR OF THE GARGANTUAS, SLAUGHTERHOUSE FIVE, DREAM LOVER (evil movie!)
Thanks a ton for the interview Kevin, it has been a pleasure!