Thursday, October 23, 2014

The Life And Death Of The Party: An Interview With Carl Bachmann

What first made you want to become a director? 

I've always been captivated by movies. The ability for the motion picture to transport me to a different world was a thing of magic. It was when I first watched Fight Club back in 2000. I noticed so many artistic aesthetics that blew me away. I started to ask myself "who is the creative decision maker in a film?" I wanted to make my own movies and control the creative process myself, and that's when I decided that I needed to become a director. I wanted to create new worlds for people to immerse themselves in and experience an alternate reality.

Can you tell us a little about story of  Party Slashers and how the story came about?

The inception of Party Slashers was actually born from a song. I first listened to a song called "Internet Friends" by Knife Party. The dark tones followed by a heavy beat got me thinking about a kick ass slasher film. We haven't had one in a while, in my opinion, and I started getting nostalgic about the golden age of slasher films (Elm Street, Halloween, you know which ones). I wanted to merge that atmosphere with the vibe of an awesome party. I chose characters in High School, because those types are not the wisest, and they are most vulnerable. I wanted to reflect on my own experiences in high school of being thoroughly unprepared for whatever came up in life, and making colossal mistakes along the way. To me, it is hilarious seeing myself as a high school kid dealing with problems I had no clue how to solve. I thought I'd up the ante on the these characters and have them face undead murderers.

What was it like coming up with the killers for the film?

I wanted the killers to be inhuman. I find human killers less scary because I know how they can be killed. With something that's out of this world, the mystery of their vulnerability makes them all the more terrifying. They are technically revenants: undead creatures that were murdered in an unjust way that can be summoned by necromancers to kill the living. Their tools of their trade have now become there weapons of death.

Are you a fan of '80's slasher films? Do you have any favorites? 

I am very much a fan of 80's slasher films. I felt like a lot of creative risks were taken to create characters that are still household names today. Hard to pin down a favorite...Enjoyed watching the Friday 13th series the most- The Final Chapter probably being my most favorable of the saga. The atmosphere that was created in those films paired up with a killer with super strength that just doesn't seem to die made him a lot more thrilling. I also loved the idea behind the elm street saga - The kills were of the most creative of any slasher series I thought, and the inevitability of sleep paralleled geniously with the inevitability of death. Something you have no control over, completely enslaved by the dream master himself.

What kind of challenges do you face using Kickstarter to finance your film?

The money. It costs a bit to make a feature film, and after doing a lot of research $35,000 is the maximum amount I can ask for before the goal becomes unrealistic. What's tough is that I don't have a a-list actor attached to this, this project is not based on an existing franchise with an established audience, and I'm not a prominent film figure with several high profile films under my belt. So I have to generate a new audience and pull them away for a second from all the other content out there that's demanding their attention. But I'm a filmmaker with a drive and a vision and my strength is original content with a funny premise and creative rewards, and this is my main focus for drawing audiences in.

What sort of budget are you hoping to raise?

This will be seed money to get the ball rolling on production. Personal funds will be contributed to this budget as well to pad the production, and outreach to external funds will be required for Print & Advertising (P&A) costs. Idealistically, I'm looking for $90k, but you can't always get what you want, but if you try sometimes, you get what we need (Please don't sue me for copyright infringement, Rolling Stones).

Is the story set at all one location? Do you plan on using any sets?

The majority of it will take place at Russell's house. We'll also recycle this location by rearranging rooms to look like they belong to different houses for scenes involving another party, as well as Will's house.There will be some small scenes that take place at a liquor store where the boys proposition a bum to buy them booze.

Who's providing the music for Party Slashers? Will it emulate old school slashers?

Great question. The two artists that provided music for this are Power Glove and Moskva-Kassiopeya. I found both of these artists on Soundcloud and I've been hooked to their music. I discovered them after seeing a project on Kickstarter called Kung Fury. The music used was by an artist named Mitch Murder (neo-80's instrumental music). From there I was introduced to a whole collection of this type of music, including the two artists featured in this. It will heavily emulate 80's slashers, as a throwback to the golden age. The beginning of Power Glove's Motorcycle Cop features a synthesizer riff that reminded me of the Nightmare on Elm Street theme song, and I had to have it. I had to harass Power Glove several times through Soundcloud to show them I was for real. I showed them storyboard's and explained what I was trying to do, and eventually they were down for it.

What sort of advice do you have for any aspiring filmmakers out there?

Making a film can be one of the toughest challenges you face in life, and you're heart has to be in it. No one cares about your film as much as you do, and the moment you stop caring, your film will die. Seeing it on screen is one of the most rewarding experiences ever. I remember seeing my first short film, Miracle On Metal Street, on a silver screen and hearing the audience laugh gave me such a high (There's a reason why +80 year-old filmmakers can still recall the experience of their first movie). People will be jealous of you, they'll write you off, they'll naysay you and you have to tune them out and press on. People want you to do well in life, but none of them want you doing better than they are. Fuck 'em, this is your life, and you want to be proud of it.

Do you have a final message for our readers? 

Check out the project! I know not everyone is sitting on a pile of cash like Scrooge McDuck, but spreading the word is about equally as helpful! Thanks for reading this!

For more info and to help out you can go here and here.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Top Ten Picks For Halloween Viewing 2014

October really crept up on me this year. Crept up like a ninja Micheal Myers. Before I knew it it was jack-o'-lanterns, dead leaves and lots of horror films. This year I took a sabbatical from horror films during the months of August and September. It made the horror all the sweeter. I could also build up a nice little stockpile of horror films to watch for the first time. Every October I try to mix  up the entire month of horror film watching with a bunch of new stuff, old favorites and at least a couple horror franchises thrown in for good measure. So here are my picks for Halloween 2014.

10. Scream In The Dark

This CD by director  Dante Tomaselli is the perfect soundtrack for Halloween parties or your nightmares. A sonic descent into madness. The perfect blend of creepy sounds and macabre music, All most all the tracks are over five minutes, perfect for putting the CD on repeat grooving to on Halloween night.

9. 13 Ghosts (1960)

Eccentric geezer Dr. Plato Zorba has croaked and left his spooky mansion to his broke nephew Cyrus Zorba and his family. The family has also inherited the 12 ghosts old Doc Zorba has collected. not really having any money the family decide to stay in the house because ghosts or not, free is fucking free. There's also a housekeeper who may or may not be a witch. The young son Buck starts nosing around and discovers that Doc Zorba might have a hidden fortune somewhere in the house. But it seems someone else is after that money as well. And if that wasn't a big enough pain in the ass, the ghosts warn that one of them will soon die and join them as number 13. 13 Ghosts is an old fashioned haunted house fun. Perfect for late night viewing. Now granted the effects are dated and the characters seem hokey, but therein lies it's charm. If your in the mood for a horror film that doesn't hit you over the head with tons of gore or people needlessly getting tortured and relive those days when Famous Monsters ruled then 13 Ghosts will hit the spot.

8. Raw Meat (1972)

"Mind the doors!"

The disappearance of a prominent British official leads Police Inspector Calhoun (Donald Pleasence) to investigate the London subway were he disappeared. He discovers theres been more then one strange disappearance there. As he digs deeper into the case Calhoun is warned by a MI5 agent (Dracula...Christopher Lee) not to investigate further. Three tunnel workers are attacked, two are found dead and the other missing. Caught in the middle of all this are the last two people to see the official alive in the subway. An american student and his British girlfriend. It has that 70's horror feel. That down and dirty feel. Your never sure who's going to survive to the end. The message of the film reminded me of Wes Craven's The Hills Have Eyes . The "Man" as he's called it the credits, is an innocent really, even though he murders and eats flesh. This is the only way he knows how to survive. Having been raised underground by people who's only means of food was to eat the flesh of their own dead. He was separate from and knows nothing of the outside world  For the most part the film plays out as a sort of police procedural. With Inspector Calhoun and Sergeant Rogers looking for the missing official. But what saves it from being tedious is Pleasence's great performance. He's really enjoying himself here and he's got some great lines. As for the horror, there's a great scene involving the attack one the three workers. It's quick, brutal and very effective. American director Gary Sherman makes a very effective British horror film.

7. Saw (2004)

Wow. Saw is ten years old. I feel freaking old. I can remember the Halloween when Saw came out. The local theater at a special midnight showing that Halloween night. Since then there has been sis sequels, two video games and countless knock offs. For the first time last year I watched the complete Saw franchise for the first time, besides playing both of the games. I went in expecting to be disappointed. To my great surprise I generally liked the series. Part Two and Three are my favorites. Four and Five mostly suck. Six is good and Seven is fun. The first Saw falls somewhere in the middle of all that.

6. Spider Baby or, The Maddest Story Ever Told (1968) 

 A weird little film with lots of great shots and unique characters. I've aways had a soft spot for Lon Chaney Jr. and I think this is one of his best performances. His unconditional love for the three "children" is truly touching. There's plenty of spooky atmosphere on hand. Spider Baby has a black comedic heart. This dark humor fits the film perfectly. I challenge you not to fall in love with the winsome Jill Banner as Virginia.

5. The Black Cat (1981).

Lucio Fulci's beautiful looking adaptation of Poe's story.  I've read that both Fulci and star David Warbeck were none to fond of this film. Supposedly Fulci made it as a favor to the producer. By no means terrible, it is somewhat lacking in gore. Though the foggy streets and cemetery looked beautiful. This is a more restrained piece compared to say The Beyond or City of the Living Dead. There was none of his infamous eyeball ripping. But there was sure as hell an over abundance of eye close-ups. The film was lacking in Catriona MacColl, who would have been a better female lead then Mimsy Farmer and had better chemistry with Warbeck. Farmer is okay, but she never seems to click with the material. But there's a few things this cat does right. The prowling cat opening credits sequence by Sergio Salvati is a visual treat. Pino Donaggio's score is another plus. Fulci victim du jour Daniela Doria shows up and does what she does best, gets killed. Not bad. If you don't go in expecting The Beyond you shouldn't be disappointed.

4. Werewolves on Wheels (1971)

It's not Halloween without some Werewolf action. A satanic cult/werewolf/biker flick this is a strange one. This film feels like one of those horror comics Marvel used to do in the 70's. there's a wild drive-in vibe in this baby. Although there's not much werewolf action till the end except for some shadowy night time attacks the film is still a blast and running a brisk 79 minutes, it never out lives it's welcome. My favorite character has to be the leader of the satanic monks, known only to us as One (Severn Darden). He's tons of great lines during the crazy black mass. By the time the ending comes round things have taken a turn for the surreal. and the ending makes zero sense. There is a werewolf on a motorcycle so that alone makes it worth it.

3. V/H/S (2012) and  V/H/S/2 (2013)

Like werewolves Halloween needs some horror anthology films. The V/H/S films mix the classic horror anthology with found footage horror. The first film is a little uneven at times but when it's on it's on. The story Amateur Night is my favorite story in the first film. The phrase "I like you." will never be the same after seeing that story. The second film ups the monsters, the gore and the crazy. I enjoyed every segment of part 2. Phase I Clinical Trials and Safe Haven are my favorite tales here. But all five tales are fun in part 2.

2. Girls Nite Out (1984)

"Yummy, yummy, yummy I got love in my tummy and I feel like a-lovin' you"

One heck of a guilty pleasure. I'm not sure what it is I love about this one. It's got to be because of the killer in the bear costume and that strange creepy ending. Staring Hal Holbrook (Creepshow), Rutanya Alda (Mommie Dearest)and Julia Montgomery (Revenge of the Nerds), Holbrook filmed all his scenes in one day and his son has a small role in it. People tend to hate the coed shenanigans in the film, but I think there's a certain charm to it. I'm also a sucker for slashers set on collage campuses.

1. Halloween II (1981)

This film will always have special place in my heart. It was the first Halloween film I saw. My first intro to Laurie Strode, Dr. Sam Loomis and of course Michael Myers. Thanks to the recap at the beginning of the film I was caught up a little bit anyway on what had transpired in the first film. For the next hour and thirty minutes I watched as The Shape tracked down his barely coherent surviving victim and as later reveled sister Laurie. Hacking his way through a very understaffed hospital (Budget cuts methinks.). While across town Dr. Loomis told everyone and anyone in earshot that Mr. Myers was evil personified and it wasn't his fault Myers escaped. It was a great time and as a kid the late night viewing was good for creeping me out. There's something eerie about seeing Michael Myers stalk down those empty darkened corridors and the fleeting glimpses of him on CTV monitors. Reportedly Carpenter came up the whole sister angle over many a six pack of beer when trying to come up with a sequel idea. At one time the film was to be made in 3-D, but the process was too expensive for the film's budget. The film was originally written to take place in a high rise apartment building, a few years after the first film. It involved Myers tracking Laurie Strode to her new home in the high rise. Later in script meetings, however, the setting was changed to Haddonfield Hospital. The first Halloween was a trend setter the sequel is a direct continuation and a early 80's slasher classic. Sure it can't compare to the original, but I love it just as much. Halloween II is everything that was good about the 80's slasher craze distilled into it's purist form. 

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Hump Day Posters: My Top 100 Favorite Films 10 to 1

#10 Batman (1989)

#9 The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974) 

#8 Dawn of the Dead (1978) 

#7 Suspiria (1977)

#6 The Crow (1994)

#5 Phantom of the Paradise (1974)

#4 The Rules of Attraction (2002)

#3 Let's Scare Jessica to Death (1971)

#2 Martin (1977)

#1 Ginger Snaps (2000)

Well here they are, my top ten favorite films. They're quite an eccentric mix to be sure. Hope you've enjoyed this look at my favorite films and their posters.

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