Friday, March 25, 2016

FRANKENSTEIN CREATED BIKERS: One Week Until World Premiere!!

FRANKENSTEIN CREATED BIKERS is James Bickert's 35MM Epic sequel to DEAR GOD NO!  Just a year ago we were raising funds on Kickstarter.  And in one week and one day (Saturday, April 2 at 9:30 PM) it's making its world premiere at the 40th Annual Atlanta Film Festival!  All of the stars will be there: Tristan Risk, Jett Bryant, Ellie Church, Laurence R. Harvey, Madeline Brumby, Gia Nova and more!  Me too!  I am so excited.

Last year when I first heard about the Kickstarter campaign I contacted James and asked if I could help in someway.   I wanted to work on the film.  He offered me the position of assistant director and I jumped at the opportunity (with no experience).

I met James (Jimmy to most) and his gang at Texas Frightmare Weekend 2012.  My flight got in early on a Friday and it was hot as hell so I went to chill at the pool.  I see a group of long-haired, tattooed, already appear to be drunk at noon looking people and think, I wanna hang with then.  So I did and they tell me their film DEAR GOD NO! is showing at midnight.  I didn't think these crazy drunks would make it to midnight, they showed me!!  Such a wild and fun weekend.  That is also where I met Laurence R. Harvey.  When I got home I was so amped up from meeting so many inspiring people.  I wanted to figure out a way to be part of that world.  Making a film didn't dawn on me at first.  Coincidentally some friends of mine who owned a bar here in Kansas City, Missouri were interested in hosting a regular movie night.  That's where Slaughter Movie House began, a monthly independent horror screening series I still run today.  DEAR GOD NO! was the first film we screened.  It was the inspiration for Slaughter.  And Slaughter is what made me believe I too could make a film.  For this reason I feel extremely close to James and this gang who made Dear God NO!

James and me on my last day on Frankenstein.

We shot FRANKENSTEIN CREATED BIKERS' principle photography last May.  Our days were full of machine guns, strippers, stunts, blood, explosions- it was a one of kind experience.  Each weekend we would head out to a different remote location- which was my favorite.  I love the morning, driving, the outdoors and exploring.  There were hard times of course, but worth every second.  There are so many stories to tell, but most would spoil the film.  Working on a shoot, especially this film, is like a new adventure everyday.  I am addicted to that feeling.

Tristan Risk, my arm, and Laurence Harvey.

Jonathan Hilton, me, and a gorgeous camera!
I felt like this was a once in a lifetime opportunity- to work on a exploitation film shot on 35MM.  It was like my chance to hop in a time machine.  Jonathan Hilton was the director of photography, he also shot DEAR GOD NO.  I really freaking love this dude.  He taught me a lot.  Somedays I did the slate and I'm not sure anyone else liked me doing it (ha!) but I loved to learn about it.  This is where I learned that with actual film, we need to record the amount of feet used on each take so that we are prepared to change rolls.  You don't want to run out in the middle of a take.  Duh, right?  But I had never experienced it before.  I did not go to film school.  I am learning as I do and I geek out.  We are so spoiled by digital cameras.  It's truly a different thing.  I see the romance in doing it this way.  It takes so much more discipline.  I've told Jonathan I want to work together someday.

The red band trailer for FRANKENSTEIN CREATED BIKERS was released last month.  Check it out HERE.

It is an honor to be part of this team.  I made so many great friends on this project.  James and his wife + producer Lisa treated me like family during my time in Georgia last year.  I can not wait to see the film with everyone next week in Atlanta.  If you can join us a the premiere, grab your tickets now!

Check out some of my behind-the-scenes photos:

Me, Ellie Church (actress), and Joey Meyerhoff (sound) in the country on Day 11.
Me and Allison Maier (actress and PA).
Me, Joey Meyerhoff, and Robert Alvarez (grip).
Me and Madeline Brumby (actress).
Our camera team.

Monday, March 21, 2016

CHILD'S PLAY 3: Military Academy Film Location

A few weeks ago we had writer/diretor Liam Regan in town from the UK for a screening of his film BANJO at Slaughter Movie House.  He is a HUGE fan of CHILD'S PLAY 3.  He tells me that he and Blade Braxton are going to Boonville, Missouri to check out the military school where CP3 was shot.  And I said, "What??  How did I not know this all my life?"

Yes, it is true.  Almost all of CHILD'S PLAY 3 was shot at the Kemper Military School in Boonville, Missouri.  Population 8,4000.  It's about 100 miles from Kansas City.  So we all meet up on a Sunday morning and head out on our adventure.  Elijah LaFollette, who designs our Slaughter Movie House flyers, joined us.  I drove.  Along the way we stopped at some creepy porn shops, gas stations, and Dairy Queen.   We listened to my cassette tape collection which includes Motley Crue's Shout at the Devil, The Lost Boys soundtrack and Skid Row.  We really wanted to make sure we gave Liam the true American experience.

Kemper Military School was founded in 1844 and closed in 2002.  Now most of the campus is abandoned.  I expected/hoped it would be in the middle of nowhere.  So that we could easily sneak in.  But it was smack dab in the middle of town with tall fences surrounding the main buildings.

We circled the campus and parked around back.  It seemed like no one was around except for one dude and his metal detector.  The main building we recognized from the film had a fence that had clearly been pushed down over time, because (I'm assuming) a lot of people have broke in.  So I said, "Perfect!  We can get in there."

It's a surreal feeling to think about any history in a location- to me.  I love it.  This place is so old!  And it's completely falling apart.  We got inside the courtyard of these 3 main buildings and tried to reeact a scene from the film.

One of the buildings was wide open (no door) and we took that as an invitation.  It was pretty damn creepy.  It was super cold in there, much colder than outside.  The basement was pitch black, I said HELL NO and went back upstairs.  We checked out a few floors.  This was definitely the dormitory.  Lots of small rooms and large bathrooms.  I thought it would be a good idea to try the CANDYMAN game while in there....

This was not safe in the slightest.  There were giant holes in the floor and broken glass everywhere.l.  I was imagining trying to explain this to the cops after one of us fell through the floor. 

While we were out there Don Mancini (writer of the entire Child's Play franchise) saw our posts on social media and shared a photo of himself from the Child's Play  3 shoot! 

It's such a shame to see these beautiful historic buildings rotting away.  I would love to go back soon.  It was all too overwhelming to absorb.  I had an incredible day with these dudes. 

Friday, March 18, 2016

Rest in Peace Larry Drake (DR. GIGGLES)

When people ask me what the first horror movie I saw was... DR. GIGGLES always pops to mind.  I don't know if it was truly the very first, but it was definitely in the first few and most memorable.  CANDYMAN is an extremely close second.

I was born in North Kansas City, Missouri in 1984 and in 1993 my family moved to Leawood, Kansas (South KC).  Which is less than an hour drive, but to a 9 year old it was life-altering.  I was going to have to go to a new school and leave all my friends behind.  It was like moving to a foreign country.

I kept in close touch with my best friend Courtney.  I would stay the weekend with her frequently.  This is where I was introduced to horror films.  Her parents did not pay close attention to what we rented from the video store.  We gravitated toward the coolest cover art with fun titles like DR. GIGGLES, THE LEPRECHAUN, CANDYMAN, etc.   Now, I wouldn't call CANDYMAN a silly film but the title is misleading (it's a favorite of mine to this day).  We took advantage of her parents lack of attention.  It was such a fun time of my life that I'll never forget.

I have to be honest and say I have not seen DR. GIGGLES since that first time.  But I am on a hunt today to find it so that I can watch again.  I saw in the news last night that we lost Larry Drake and wanted to share my connection to his work.  My deepest condolences to his family, friends and fans.

Production still of Larry Drake as DR. GIGGLES.  Source: