Sunday, April 11, 2010
Chewing the fat: A conversation with Eamon Hardiman
Horror film maker Eamon Hardiman burst onto the scene with his award winning debut feature, Escape From the Dead in 2003. In 2005 he unleased catholic GhoulGirls and Vampire Whores from Outer Space. Now he brings us a slasher with classic genre appeal with his new feature PorkChop!
Your new feature Porkchop looks awesome, from it's retro style to it's pig masked killer! Can you fill us in on the film's storyline?
Eamon: PORKCHOP is a slasher film set in the 1980s near an abandoned summer camp. It's about a group of teenagers going camping only to be hunted down and slaughtered by a deranged mountain-man in a pig mask.
What was the production schedule like for PorkChop?
Eamon: Weekends, mostly. We started filming in late July and wrapped up sometime in November, but we recently added some last minute shots in that really improve the film. Most of our actors and crew have day jobs so we always have to work around that and, with an ensemble cast like this, everyone has to be together for at least half of the film. You get lucky with kill scenes since that character is usually isolated from the group. For everything else, though, you've gotta buckle down and juggle a whole bunch of folks' work schedules simultaneously, so that was the hardest thing on the production.
How did genre legend Dan Hicks (Evil Dead 2, Darkman) come to be involved in the film?
Eamon: Chris Woodall (our special FX artist and "Richie" from the film) and I had been studying slasher films before and during the filming and one of the films we watched was
"Intruder," which has a beautiful performance by Hicks. One of our producers, Chris Watson (director of Zombiegeddon and Slaughter Party) , knew Dan. We sent over a script and the next thing you know we've got our robot, ELRON. The first time we heard it, everyone flipped out and we were just speechless for a bit. He really brought that robot to life. Having seasoned performers like Hicks, Ford Austin, Ruby LaRocca, and the rest made my job really easy.
What sort of equipment do you use to shoot your features?
Eamon: We shot PORKCHOP on the HVX200a which is a P2 card camera and I highly recommend never shooting on a P2 card camera. It was a nightmare. We would have to dump footage every 15 minutes or so and it would take around an hour to dump so that would drive everyone crazy. Luckily, we've rectified that for future productions.
Going back for a moment, what films or directors had the biggest impact on your decision to become a film maker?
Eamon: Definitely Sam Raimi and Lloyd Kaufman, of course. But also, to a large degree it was Rodman Flender's commentary track on IDLE HANDS. I think I got the DVD in '99....my first DVD actually... and I was just completely enthralled listening to him talk about the usage of color and really started examining the film, studying it. Commentary tracks in general really got me....I used to even play them in the background while I'd do other things just because I liked hearing people talk about film.
What advice would you give to any up and coming film makers reading this interview?
Eamon: Don't shoot on a P2 camera. Oh, and feed people. Also, when you have your actors hide behind tombstones, make sure those stones aren't going to fall over and crush the actors. We nearly lost a man.
What sort of horror films do you watch?
Eamon: Lately it's been a lot of Hammer horror films. The films that we pay homage to in PORKCHOP are most notably "The Burning" and "Just Before Dawn." Those are probably my two favorite slasher films. Also, "Massacre at Central High" is a must-see.
Your first feature was the award winning Escape from the Dead. Any plans to return to that universe?
Eamon: In a way, all of our films have connections to one another. But, we are returning to zombies with the next film but in a much different way.
Speaking of sequels, any chance for more PorkChop if the first does well (all good slashers deserve sequels!)?
Eamon: We already have three possible ways to continue the story. It's just a matter of settling on one and getting the money together to make it. If people want it, we'll make it. Preferably in Hawaii.
Any final words for our readers?
Eamon: I just hope everyone enjoys the film and gets what we were trying to do. Porkchop is us having fun with our favorite type of film (the '80s era teen slasher) and at the same time adding some new things to the genre that haven't been done before with our kills. I think if you're a fan of slashers, you'll find a lot to enjoy here. It's filled with blood, gore, nudity, robots, everything that was great about the 1980s. Oh and a girl gets raped with a chainsaw.