Some Guy Who Kills People


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Some Guy Who Kills People – Written by Ryan Levin, Directed by Jack Perez and starring Kevin Corrigan, Lucy Davis, Karen Black, Barry Bostwick, Leo Fitzpatrick and Ariel Gade.

This was another of the movies I got to watch thanks to my time on the jury for The Bloody Hero International Film Festival in Phoenix, AZ. I wasn’t sure what to expect with this movie. Sure, I loved the cast but that doesn’t always make for a good movie. Thankfully the script and direction were both just as solid. 

The story is about a man who was the type of guy that was picked on all through high school. It had gotten so bad that he attempted suicide and got locked up in a mental institution. Years later he’s out and working at an ice cream parlor and living with his mom. Soon, we discover that the all the people who picked on him in high school are turning up dead. And, to top it off, he has a woman who’s interested in him and starts to form a relationship with his daughter that his ex never let him know. It must be difficult to juggle a relationship with a woman, family, work and murder. But Corrigan does an expert job of creating a character you root for throughout the movie. You consistantly hope throughout that he is not actually the killer. 

The rest of the cast is amazing. I absolutely loved Barry Bostwick and Karen Black. Not only did they both do an amazing job in their solo scenes but they were amazing together. There is a scene toward the end of the film where they’re sitting at the dining table together talking that is among my favorites from this little gem of a film. 

Leo Fitzpatrick and Lucy Davis were also absolutely perfect in their roles in the film. They brought a certain heart to a movie you’d expect to just be a goofy horror comedy. But the real star of this film is Ariel Gade as Corrigan’s daughter. For such a young girl she has a crazy amount of talent. Her performance was blended with sarcastic humor, genuine sadness and a certain joy that even seasoned actors couldn’t pull off. She was a true find. We awarded her Best Supporting Actress at The Bloody Hero International Film Festival because she was better than the rest by a mile.

The movie itself was a bit predictable but I don’t say that as a fault to the film. This is one of those movies where it’s not about the twist, it’s about the journey getting there that really makes you love it. The script was smart and funny. The directing was solid and his decision to use only practical effects really worked for the film. It’s no wonder John Landis agreed to Executive Produce this film.

This movie deserves 4 and 1/2 stars. It’s a smart, well crafted horror comedy that any fan of the genre will love.

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Matt’s Chance – An Early Review


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Before I get into the proper review of this movie I want to talk about my experience meeting the director and his co-writer/supporting actor over the weekend at The Bloody Hero International Film Festival. Nicholas Gyeney (co-writer/director) and Edi Zanidache (co-writer/”Daddy Dave”) both came to Phoenix this past weekend to support their movie, Matt’s Chance starring Edward Furlong, Gary Busey, Lee Majors and Margot Kidder. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to get a sit down interview with either of them during our time there. They didn’t come back on Sunday when we were recording our podcast. But I did have a chance to talk to both of them.

Over the course of the weekend I had the opportunity to spend a few minutes with Edi. He was a very funny and engaging guy. We talked a little about his performance as Daddy Dave in the movie, a role he won Best Supporting Actor for at the festival. He said that he and Nicholas have been friends for years and he never imagined he would be acting. It was something that he just sort of fell into. I’m glad he did. He was hilarious in the film, one he helped write. The subject rarely stayed on the topic of the movie, though. Instead he was asking me about the whole podcast thing and how he’d like to do that himself. He also told me about a series of sketches he’d like to do and post on the internet. I won’t tell you what they were because I don’t want anyone stealing his ideas because of me.

Nick was a really nice guy as well. Unfortunately, I had less time with him. Most of what I heard from him was the Q&A after the Saturday screening of the movie. He talked about the funding a bit…which is a very interesting story. He had made one film and his mother had a movie poster of it in her office at work. A Chinese man came in to have some repairs done on his car and asked her about the poster. They got to talking and then Nick said he got a call from his mom telling him to get down there right away. Nick went there and met with the man. He said they talked for about two hours. Shortly after he was signing contracts with a billionaire Chinese family for a ten picture deal. Unfortunately we can’t all be that lucky. But it goes to show that you never know when or where your break will come.

On to the movie itself – Matt’s Chance is the story of Matt, a down on his luck loser who discovers his girlfriend screwing another man in their bed while she’s pregnant with Matt’s baby. He then meets a mobster…excuse me…an Eastern European Businessman, and is asked to dress like a bunny for a children’s birthday party at the EEB’s house. Things just go from bad to worse from there.

Overall, this movie was quick and funny. I loved Matt’s best friend Daddy Dave. He was the funniest part of the film. The small roles filled by Majors, Busey and Kidder were all great as well. One thing I noticed as I was watching the film was that Gyeney seemed to have a good eye for composition through about half of the film and the other half looked very low budget. I don’t know if it was an issue of money or if a director of photography just wasn’t working out. It’s hard to say. Either way it takes nothing away from the movie itself.

I have to give this movie 4 out 5 stars. Smart dialogue, fun characters and really messed up situations make this movie a must see for fans of crime comedies.

Bloody Hero Film Festival Recap


The weekend has come and gone. It was a long long one but a lot of fun. Chris Martin, the festival director, was awesome about letting Brian Smith and myself be on the jury and doing our little podcast from the event. We can’t than him enough. As far as the festival itself I have to say I was very impressed with the movies and shorts that were shown there. There were so many talented people that submitted it almost made me think I should get out before I have truly begun. But I won’t. Even if I’m the next Ed Wood I have to stick it out. It’s in my blood.

I am going to start by listing off some of my personal favorite movies I got to see while I was there or got to screen in advance. These will be in no particular order. I really enjoyed Matt’s Chance. I thought it was quite funny and I loved meeting the director and his co-writer/supporting actor over the weekend. They were great guys and I look forward to seeing what they do in the future. American Courtesans, a documentary from Kristen DiAngelo that is a very honest look inside the world of the sex industry. She was a very warm and smart woman and I wish her and her film success. Some Guy Who Kills People, a movie starring Kevin Corrigan and Barry Bostwick. This movie was funny, sweet, bloody, dark and just plain good. It already has distribution and will be available soon on DVD and Blu-Ray. I watched so many movies over the weekend everything is such a blur but I do want to mention some of the great movies from other countries – Agon, Crawl and Beyond The Grave. All of these films are worth looking for. Agon was filled with some amazing performances. 

I also want to take a moment to apologize to Tom Weston, director of The Wind That Blows, for not having a chance to see his documentary. I had a great time talking with him last night. He’s a great guy and I hope he can get distribution soon so I can watch it along with the rest of the world. 

Now let’s take a moment to talk about the short films. There were some really clever and funny ones, wonderfully dark ones, and great animated pieces that came through the festival. The first one I want to mention is a stop motion Lego animation by an eleven year old boy. It was called Parkour Race and it was very impressive. I always like to see when someone find that thing they love to do early in life. Pierre is a very gifted young man and I hope he keeps it up. Some of the other really cool shorts I got to see where Late Lunch, Time Out Of Mind, Whatever Happened To That Weird Kid?, Pride Of Caldwell, Paper People, Him Indoors, Kerry And Angie and Apartment 15. I hope I’m not forgetting anyone there. Several of the short filmmakers were at the festival as well. I loved meeting every single one of them and wish them success in everything they do.

I would like to apologize to Ryan Ondriezek for not having seen his short film before interviewing him yesterday. I hope I get a chance to see it soon.

Now I want to take a quick moment to talk about the people that made this festival so much fun for me. Randy Robinson and Rob Edwards – you guys are awesome. I can wait to get started on Ded Moroz so I can boss you around some more. Chris Martin – Brian and I can’t thank you enough for everything. Thanks for putting on the fest. And if you’re doing it again next year we will be there. Barbara Gresser – Thanks for everything you did all weekend. It seemed like anytime someone needed you there you were before they could even ask. Sylvie and Frank Cohen – You guys were awesome. Sylvie, I really want to see New World Order and I really want to get started on Ded Moroz to finally get to work with you properly and not just a quick gag on the podcast. Jai Yunae – thank you for coming out to do the podcast with us. You were awesome as always. Sorry we didn’t get to say goodbye before you left. Kevin Moyers – thanks for coming out, watching podcast, hanging out for lunch and just letting us do whatever we want on your network. Brian Smtih and David Sabal – I know you guys didn’t to spend as much time there as you would have liked but you were there when needed and did what had to be done. That’s why we’re friends. Kristen DiAngelo – It was a pleasure talking to you. Sorry we went to a gluten filled restaurant. If there’s ever a next time we know now. And last but not least Mr. Brian Burroughs – You made the long weekend so much easier. You were a lot of fun to talk to and I really loved your short film Shotrocity. 

Everyone go listen to The Gorram Nerd Hour on Wednesday for our show from the Festival.

Thoughts Of Past And Future


Here we are, just a few short months after I started this blog, and we have one short film nearly ready to show, another starting next month and The Gorram Nerd Hour has recorded nearly 20 episodes. All of that in just a few short months. When I started this blog I was talking about the features Brian Smith and I have been writing. We got detoured…but for good reason. We needed something to showcase our talent. We were a little arrogant to think that two writers with no credits to their names could get someone to give them money to produce and direct a movie of their own. Now we’ll have two things to show.

Since I was a boy I have loved movies. I would sit and watch an action movie like any little would. I loved Commando, Lethal Weapon and Die Hard. I also had an affection for every other type of film. I didn’t care. If someone made I wanted to see it. Science Fiction, Horror, Romantic Comedy, Sappy Melodrama, Musicals. I just loved movies. What I took away from all of that was that it was what I wanted to do. I wanted to make movies of my own. At first I thought I wanted to be an actor until I took a drama class in High School and my teacher had me direct something for the first time. That’s when my passion made itself crystal clear. I loved the behind the scenes aspect of things. 

I always enjoyed writing. It has been a passion of mine for as long as I remember. What I wrote was always weird. I would go off and write a sequel to Romeo & Juliet in iambic pentameter or a western about aliens hiding among the townsfolk and planning on destroying the town with radioactive lima beans. So when Brian and I sat down to write Lepus I suggested we write the whole thing in Klingon save for the killer’s one line which would be in German. 

Sometimes I need to be reigned in.

We decided not to go with Klingon. But we kept Brian’s line in German. There is not one good reason for it other than it made us laugh. Lepus is a comedy, after all. We started off goofy with our next short film and decided to go darker once we started writing. Terrestrial will be a different side of our writing. It’s tone is more serious while still being quirky. 

As I write this we are only a couple days away from the open casting call for Terrestrial. I couldn’t be more excited about who we have coming in to read. a couple of our Lepus cast members are coming in for it – Jai Yunae and Randy Robinson. I loved working with them on Lepus. I can’t wait to see what they bring to this audition. We also have some other really talented people we didn’t cast for Lepus coming in for another go. Wilman Vergara II was someone I was really impressed with and just couldn’t find a good place to put him last time. This time he’s coming in to read for the lead in Terrestrial and I think he’s got a great shot at it. Adam Boggs is another up and comer I really liked and he’s coming in to read for us again. I was impressed with both of them so much. I’m glad they want to come in and try for this one. 

We’re still not at a point where we’ve been able to pay anyone for their work. It’s all just copy and credit basically. I’m amazed by the talent that has been willing to work with us for nothing. Hopefully by the time we get started on the next two parts of Lepus we have a budget…something to pay these amazing people for their time. 

Back to Lepus for a moment – The rough cut I saw a while back is good. I was really happy with how it turned out. It was a very rough cut with no score, no effects, no foley. But it was great, great enough for Walter Reuther (aka Scarlet Fry) to tell me it was his favorite in the anthology horror DVD we will be included on. And he directed all the other shorts. 

David Sabal, our wonderful renaissance man (DP, producer, editor) just got the score back from the composer. I asked for something similar to a score from the 80’s scifi and horror movies I loved so much. I wanted something like an old John Carpenter score. From what I hear the composer delivered. Hopefully I will hear it in the next few days. 

Now on to The Gorram Nerd Hour. We have been having a lot of fun recording our show every week. Brian and I love working on it. We are talking about re-tooling the show a little. The first twenty or so weeks have been about finding out what works and what doesn’t. We’re gonna be trying a few new things in upcoming episodes that could prove to be a lot of fun. We are also going to be spending the weekend of February 8-10th at the Bloody Hero International Film Festival at the Phoenix Convention Center. We will be recording our podcast, conducting interviews and serving on the jury. This is a big deal for us. I know I’m really excited about it. We may have another fun surprise for our listeners that weekend too. This will be a part of the re-tool of the show. Let us know what you think.

One last thing before I wrap this up. We had a friend from our Abnormal Entertainment family in town last weekend. Camm Harston, co-host of Raise Your Spirits with Camm and Kevin. While he was here Brian and I both guested on their show. We had a lot of fun and everyone should go listen.

Here;s hoping 2013 proves even better for Robot Vampire Productions than 2012. We’re already off to a great start.

 

Shooting Lepus: Day Four


Well, we did it. We wrapped our ambitious little short film at about 2:30 this morning. It was our biggest day on set. We had multiple cast members and several extras, each with their own timetables we had to consider.

We were going to try and start with my nephew first and get the shot out of the way so we didn’t have to have an eight year old on set all night watching people die. The problem was his scenes were with a woman playing a sexy nurse. We had trouble finding a person for the role. At the last minute we had Victoria Paege come in. We had to wait for her to finish with hair and make up so we tried to shoot as much around her as we could.

Our first shot of the night was Kat Garcia and Kelsee Benson arriving at the Halloween party with a moment of dialogue. We had a Vulcan and a husband and wife pair of Mandalorian Mercs playing Twister. We had Kat in a chicken costume walking and talking with Kelsee who was dressed as sort of schoolgirl.

After that Victoria was ready. She had no dialogue. Her entire part was all about body language and she nailed it. My nephew Brennen was great as the eight year old throwing the party.

Then we were finally ready to knock out the dialogue scenes with RJ Markham, Kat, Kelsee, Tyler Gallant, and Jai Yunae. I can’t express how lucky I feel that we got the cast we did. Every single person did such an amazing job.

I have already talked about Tyler and Kelsee quite a bit in previous posts so I want to take a moment and talk about some of the supporting cast. Jai Yunae was fantastic as the lovelorn woman who desperately seeks the approval of Sheriff Cristos. She took just a few weird pieces of dialogue and turned them into something Brian and I didn’t even see when we wrote it. It took a long time before we got around to shooting her scenes last night so she took decided to become our unofficial still photographer. The pictures she took we incredible. She stuck around late even though she had an 8am call time for another short she was starting immediately after this one, also co-starring Tyler.

RJ Markham was another great find for us. He came in for the day to play Farmer. He not only shot all of his scenes but then stuck around to help is clean up all the blood and guts afterwards. He was a real trooper. And his performance was great. We had a lot of fun having him on set.

I know I have talked a bit about Kat Garcia already but I have to say how amazed I was with her last night. She didn’t want me to know, and I didn’t find out until a half hour after we wrapped, but she had a really bad ear infection during her scenes and was in terrible pain. She soldiered through and you would never be able to tell when watching her performance.

She wasn’t the only sick one on the set last night. David Sabal, our DP and producer, was also sick all night but never once complained. He just did his job and stayed to help clean after. I can’t thank him enough for the work he put into our little baby.

Last, I want to talk about the most awkward part of the night. There is a scene in Lepus where a woman gets killed by having a vibrator jammed into her mouth and out the back of her head. Before we knew we going to have a shot at professional actors we planned on Lepus being nothing but friends and family. Well, the first person we asked to play this role accepted, much to my surprise. My sister said yes to doing it. The reality really sunk in when Cherith was sitting there last night with vibrator in hand and Brian was about to shove it into her mouth. No matter what direction was given it just sounded dirty and wrong. Example – “We’re gonna a couple takes, Cherith. I’m gonna have Brian put it in and pull it out a few times. When he puts it in I want you to look terrified. How’s your gag reflex? Can it go any deeper?” Oh, the joys of being a director shooting a scene where your sister has to put a vibrator in her mouth. What was I thinking when writing the scene? What was I thinking asking my sister to do play this part?

I also wrote a scene for my nephew Brennen where he’s supposed to walk out of a bedroom with a sexy nurse two to three times his age and smack her on the butt and say “thanks babe”. That was awkward. The entire cast and family was sitting there watching as we shot the scene too. Brennen did a great job but he was so nervous about smacking Victoria on the butt. We told him he didn’t have to if he was uncomfortable. We found out after a few takes he was grabbing it. We never knew.

I can’t believe we got away with it. I want to thank everyone involved. Kelsee did great for this being her first time. So did her brothers and sister. All the extras that came out last night were so good. A special thanks to Justin Blair for taking direction so well, dressing like a Vulcan and knocking his one line out of the park.

We are going to have some pictures up on our page soon. Go here and you will see them soon.

Shooting Lepus: Day Three


Day three of Lepus was a very short day. We had just a few shots to get. There was a scene with the two sisters, Kelsee and Sierra Benson we couldn’t get to on day two. Then we headed over to Cherith Pruitt’s house to do a quick shot of her sleeping restlessly as she has a psychic vision.

We kept day three light because we thought we would not have Tyler Gallant or Kat Garcia available. They thought they may have been on a shoot for a major motion picture for Warner Brothers. It turns out the scene got cut and they would have been available to us all day. It did afford us time to record the latest episode of The Gorram Nerd Hour with Tyler as a special guest. So it all worked out.

Day four, our final official shoot date, is going to be a big one. We have nearly the entire cast, several extras and multiple kills to get through. It’s gonna be a long bloody night. I can’t wait to get started.

Shooting Lepus: Day One


We finally got started. Somehow I thought it took forever and yet happened so fast. Today was our first day of principal photography on our short film Lepus. Today was a relatively light day, something to help us get our feet wet, so to speak. It was just me (director Jacob O’Neal), David Sabal (the director of photography), Brian Smith (Lepus), and Tracie Knittel (our first victim).

We went to a recently harvested cornfield and shot for a couple hours. Everyone brought their A games which was fantastic. Brian, having never acted before, was creepy and funny as the Lepus. Tracie had done one indie project as a teenager that never got released. She was totally game to run, fall, get gutted…pretty much anything I asked her to do.

David was wonderful in so many ways. Not only did he operate the camera but he also did the make up effects for us today. It was beautifully gory.

As we are planning on using the opening sequence we shot today as the teaser for the short I will not he spoiling anything by telling you what we shot. A woman dressed as a pilgrim is being chased through the cornfield by a man in a pink bunny costume. Eventually she falls, pleads for her life and is killed. It’s your typical horror movie set up…but with a twist. This entire short film is meant to be weird and funny and gory all at the same time.

David is editing together the sequence tonight and we may have something to show by tomorrow. If we do you can be sure that I will post it here and here.  Please go “like” those pages for updates.

Lepus Shoots In Three Days


I have to admit that I am dreaming out a little about shooting my first short film. Around the beginning of September I went through a brief bout of anxiety but it passed quickly. Then I was completely zen about the whole thing. Well that fear has reared its ugly head once again now that there’s only a couple days to go before we start.

I’ve been doing my prep work. I have been making shot lists and storyboards. We had the table read a few days ago that was a lot of fun. Overall, I am very excited. This is what I wanted after all. I suppose even the big directors get nervous before a shoot on a major motion picture. I can’t imagine that anyone feels comfortable with the prospect of shooting a $200 million feature and having it lose money. I guess if I put it like that and remember this isn’t costing us one red cent then I should just be calm and enjoy the ride.

The problem is that I am putting pressure on myself. I don’t want this to look like crap. I want a short that I can he proud of, something that is funny and weird and that people will enjoy…even if they don’t get it. If this looks like some of the shorts I have seen then what is the point in doing this at all? That’s what I’m freaking out about. It’s not the performances, it isn’t the costumes, it isn’t the gore factor. No, it’s me. I am freaking out about me. Do I really have what it takes to do this?

I know deep down that I have the knowledge. I know that my whole life has been leading to this moment. I know somewhere inside of me that I won’t fail. Bit I still have that fear. Oh well. I’ll get over it. Lepus is gonna be fun and weird and bloody, all the things it is meant to be. If it isn’t then I will blame Brian (just kidding, Brian).

Tonight We Read Lepus!


Tonight is a big one for me. First Brian and I will be recording the latest episode of The Gorram Nerd Hour immediately followed by a table read for our short film, Lepus.

First up, The Gorram Nerd Hour will recording at our permanent home of Samurai Comics in Mesa. Tonight we review The Garbage Pail Kids Movie. I know from speaking with Brian that the both of us hated the film with a deep burning Passion. It should make for a fun segment. We will also be touching on The Walking Dead, the death of the girl from Bring It On, and many other topics. Make sure to tune in. It will be available here on Monday.

With Thanksgiving rapidly approaching we will be reviewing ThanksKilling soon. It’s one of our favorite bad movies.

For tonight’s table read we will have the entire cast together for the first time before shooting begins in about a week. Tyler, Kelsee, Kat, Jai, Rob, Randy, Brian, Cherith, and myself will be sitting down to read Lepus together. It should be a lot of fun. We will have cameras set up so we can post some stuff on the net within the next couple weeks. Check out our facebook page for updates.

A Study In Technique


While doing the auditions for Lepus last week Kelsee Benson got a bit nervous. She has never been around professional actors and felt intimidated running lines with them during the audition. After it was over and I took her home she pulled me aside. She asked me, “Geek (that’s a nickname I got saddled with when she was a baby and couldn’t say Jake), what am I supposed to be doing? I haven’t ever done anything like this before.”

Kelsee goes to a performing arts school. She’s used to stage work, singing and dancing mostly. She’s very confidant on stage but cameras are another story. I told her I would come back on Friday and we could go through the script and I would help her get comfortable.

I got to her house on Friday and first had to remove a refrigerator, install another one, jump my sister’s car battery, and suffer through watching The Voice before I finally got to work with Kelsee. As we sat there going through the script I could see the talent coming through. She has one problem – she can change her voice to express emotion but her face stays the same. It took some time but I got her to be more expressive. I had her use body language and I kept telling her to use her eyebrows more, just not as much as the stupid kid on the original 90210 who was David’s friend and accidentally killed himself when he dropped his dad’s gun.

After working on Kelsee’s expressiveness I had her try doing the frightened run she needs to do for the end of the short film. She’s supposed to run up to the sheriff to get him to stop the Easter Bunny. As she was running she kept looking like she was smiling. Finally, I got her to open her mouth and raise her eyebrows and she had a perfect look on her face where she looked scared but it was also very funny. I called her mother outside to watch the frightened run and she agreed. It is a perfect look and a slightly funny run that she does and completely sells it. She’s going to do great.