Friday, February 24, 2012
BENJAMIN DELL - DIRECTOR FROM BLOOD PRODUCTIONS!
JG- What put you in place to do horror movies? Was there a film in your past that grabbed you that you knew that you wanted to act and horror was the path?
BD -I have realized that there is nothing more horrifying than real life. My brother passed away from suicide back in 2003 and at the funeral I lost myself. Since then I have done unspeakable things but have never harmed anyone. I turned to watching horror as a way to figure out and deal with death. I then became interested in what I can do to in a horror film to get my thoughts and imagination out to the world. My mind is a dangerous apacolyptic battleground of good and evil. So far evil is winning.
There is a film I was drawn into that started me into the business. I have been a huge fan of Cradle of Filth since finding their first full album at the record store. I learned of a film called Cradle of Fear directed by Alex Chandon and I was hooked into the mindset that this is what I can do. I got my copy of Cradle of Fear after my brother passed and it took a while to get over the trama enough to watch it. Looking at disgusting independent horror has been a great release for me since then. With so much available to the
common film-maker who can now shoot a whole film on his little rich mans ipod thing, Anyone can attempt to enter into the film making business. It is not a business for everyone because especially in a small town the jealousy factor is greater. Two people will love what you do then there is always the little immature kid who is out to destroy what you work so hard to build up. The films my company Blood Productions shoots are all out of pocket and everyone involved all take hours upon hours out of their day to be a part of it. My Blood Angel Demon Girls courtney Sellers, Amber Haralson, Ange Griffin, and Tori Wagner along with my best buds Chris Anderson and Scotty Suloff who is the world known Bonjo the Clown from Field of screams are truly the people that make Blood Productions films what they are. Without their hard work and efforts along with putting up with me, I would be laying drunk in a ditch wishing I did something good with my life. The films we made so far are short projects and photo shoots but trust me it is all practice for the Big feature film coming up.
JG- What is your favorite horror movie (old and or new)?
BD -I am a huge fan on anything independent. I met my best friend and owner of Warbranch Productions at my first horrorhound film convention back in July of 2007. He was selling his short film the Shack at a table and I grabbed my BS degree in BS posing as a film maker. We struck conversation then he invited me to help with a film called Hell Walks The Earth and it changed my world. I was a background actor who played five different zombies as well as the strikingly hott girls (played by Stephanie Grote) dead boyfriend. Hell Walks The Earth is a black and white tribute to old classic zombie films. It fits comedy strategically into parts that already have you setting on the edge of your seat. Combine this with an amazing soundtrack by Form 30 and you got a win win situation. Although I had help in making this film, I still choose this as my favorite because it opened my eyes to the attitude
of Terence Muncy and his film making skills. There was a lot of ideas and drama surrounding the set I was on until Terence walked in and took charge. People would tell him no you can not film here so whats the point of filming if you do not have a location and he just simply said get into your cars we are going down the road I will film this scene elsewhere. This film reminds me to this day that if you do not control your dream and your set then you will end up with chaos that will destroy your film. You must step your foot down and say this is how it is and I will shoot it with you or without you and that is what makes a film successful in my mind. That is why I like Hell Walks The Earth.
JG- If you were asked to be in a remake of a classic horror- one that would be respectful to the original , the type that would make fans happy and feel good about the film, what movie would you like to do?
BD -I would have to start by saying I am partial to the remakes today. There are good remakes and there are horrible ones out there but I feel it is a cry for help from Hollywood saying we have too much bloody money and no ideas. Hollywood can suck an egg for all I care. I love my independent crew, fans, and fellow film-makers. To answer your question is a rare find that I came upon a while back called Alucarda. It is a Mexican film by director Juan Lopez Moctezuma if I spelled that right. The film was about two orphaned girls raised by nuns who raise a demon spirit and become possessed. It came out a little after the Exorcist I think or around the same time but it draws you into the story and keeps you there. I would choose this film as a classic remake due to its underground B-movie likeness and the fact that few people actually know about it although you can watch it on youtube. Yeah I am pretty sure you can because they have full films on there now.
JG- If you had the opportunity to pick a cast and actor to direct in a movie with, who would they be?
BD -I am going to answer this question wrong and brag a bit but I would have to pick my cast and crew to always direct my films with. My Blood Angel Demon Girls are the best four women a man can ever have model for them. Courtney, Amber, Ange, and Tori are the baddest women you would hate to have on your bad side. My best friends Scott (aka Bonjo) who plays a clown at the world famous haunt Field of Screams in Mountville PA and Terence of Warbranch Productions. My effects crew of Little Black Crow Effects Rob and Arle always do a great job on makeup effects for us. Aaron and Cliff are my two biggest promotors not to mention Cliff is a great actor with lots of neat stuff. You can see in FED that Cliff owns his own gyrocopter and cannon of all things. A director can not ask for more especially in an area where not many other people do films to the extent that we do.
JG - What kind of film would you love to do, not horror in any way shape or form and why?
BD -This is a good question because every other genre of films I can think of become horror. I tried to choose shooting a romance film but I suck at that love crap. Comedy is always a big win because a lot of variables need to come together to make it work. Not only does the director need to be on game with a good written story but the actors will make or break you while shooting it. I think of one of the legends I grew up with that will work great to feed off of. Benny Hill and his comedy sketches have always made me laugh as well as been a good tool to use for my own films. The show he had did a lot with camera tricks that was most ahead of his time. The way he would hold up a set of clothes and suddenly change while standing in place to speeding up the footage of him running away with the other actors slowly walking around was genius.
JG - A question that comes to my mind as of late is this- and it is kinda two fold and really all about ones own opinion – so get on your soapbox and let it rip. The questions is this- how do you feel about the saying “ horror movies do not create killers , it makes them more creative?’ I read that as a status one day and found it very intriguing.
BD -This question dives deep into ones moral which has been the center for all the dramatic fights with Blood Productions and its enemies. Every single person in this entire world is in essence a killer. The only control that keeps humanity from destroying itself is the fear of hiding the bodies. This question is exactly like saying knives kill people but look into what you are saying. A knife is only an object and the driving force behind it is a crazed human who has done nothing but been driven over the edge by his environment. Take me for instance, if another woman I ask out tells me lets just be friends then I am probly going to reach this point where I grab a machete and hockey mask. People are not born killers but those around us mold and force us to come to that as the only option. What society defines as "normal" where you come home from the office kiss your wife and kids in your tv land world does not exist anymore. People are constantly rejected now more than ever and it bottles up inside until we explode. Most people go hug a puppy and beat a stripper then go home perfectly fine without killing anyone. There are that certain few that lose where to go and feel a need to let out that bottled anger. My phone is covered in masking tape because I throw it all the time. I threw it on set the one day and lost the back cover that holds the battery. Even though it still works it tells the woman that I am on a date with that this guy is secretly violent and angry. Therefore horror films are an art form that most people can let out their violent energy without lifting a finger. It is a tool to help calm immoral thoughts to todays society and keep you out of jail. It can be a tool used in the wrong hands at the same time to give a person somewhere to hide the bodies. I find that lime works unless you feed them to the pigs although I have never did that... yeah....... next question sir.
JG -A little more thought provoking- how do you feel horror influences society, as in , in hard times for the world- society, for example, since 9/11 there have been a lot more horror hitting mainstream (be it original or remake)- is there a connection in your opinion in “current” events that shape our way of looking at the world even via through film? The sad ,lowly feeling a lot of folks feel during this recession and time of war, we see more grisly film, maybe to show us that it really isn’t as bad as we may think or feel? (please ask if this needs more clarification, it’s a hard one to word just right!)
BD -I can honestly tell you as a United States Marine that I have seen some pretty bad stuff. Every day you must tell yourself that the black dot on the other end your sites is just a target. He is not a man protecting his children and way of life your government told you he is an enemy and is out to hurt your family. This is how you sleep at night. At the same time horror films have a huge release from what is going on in the world. A 2012 end of the world film is going to be more popular now because there is a curiousity that will bring people to watch it. I know of a brilliant documentary entitled An American Nightmare which takes a look at the classic original films and compared them to the current events of their time. The original Texas Chainsaw Massacre had the family working at a run down gas station and a bunch of kids out of gas stopping there. This was around the time where gas was not everywhere around creating long lines at the pumps that stretched for miles. Blood Production's short film FED compares ones man drug induced trip to that of the current deal with legal bath salts being sold right at the gas station. FED follows Marcus who is rudly awakened one morning after an end of the world party by a military woman. The woman is claiming that the living dead are attacking and he should wake up and fight back. I will not give away the ending or good parts but I use that to show the correlation that society does have a huge effect on what horror films are going to rise above the rest. As long as you can keep the interest of your audience hours after watching your film, then you have correctly done your job getting the message out. How prepared would MacGyver be for the end of the world?
JG - Are you a reader and if so , what is your favorite book and author?
BD -I really can not read too well I get distracted easily. I want to read Kane Hodder's book Unmasked written by Michael Aloisi. Kane Hodder has played Jason Vorhees in parts 7 thru 10 and is one of the best people to meet at a horror convention. I have also been a huge fan of Joe Knetters works also. I met this brilliant guy at a horror convention years back and his style of writing is fun to read. His books are amazing including Zombie Bukkake! Hard to pass up.
JG - Now ,fun stuff, if I were to snag your IPOD - what music would be on it right now ???
BD -Oh getting kinky now... wait you meant the music playing thing. I would have a wide range of music on an Ipod if I could afford one. Everything from Alice Cooper and Megadeth to Slayer and Iron Maiden. In my car I jam out to booty shakin music thanks to Courtney.
JG. Any guilty pleasures? Music (secret Loverboy fan) , Movie ( loved Somewhere in Time perhaps?), maybe a Harlequin Romance (you know, the kind with Fabio on the cover ? Hehehe)
BD -I can not say what my guilty pleasures are but there is someone who can. Jacko my inner voice just loves listening to Prince and Michael Jackson songs. Jacko is the inner demon circus clown that I let out every once in a while. We are always having arguments about everything and eventually I turn on some of the strangest music and find Jacko singing to it moments later. It is like the Greek Mythology story about Achilles how nothing could hurt him except for that one soft spot. Jacko is the reason for all my twisted doings and abnormalities in life. Pulling up to a biker gang looking all cool and jaming to little red corvette takes a real man or a complete mental case. My advice to anyone on this matter is. Life is too short to fear anyone or anything. Take away the fear of what others think about you and you will become more yourself than ever. You will live your way do your thing and love yourself more. If that biker gang decides to take out a psychotic lunatic listening to prince at a red light... they will be in for a
pleasant surprise when they figure out this lunatic carries more weapons than the average citizen in a zombie film.
JG - Last one- there is horror that makes a point, makes a statement , there are some for sheer shock value, and some that are for just the fun of it all- how do you feel about that? I mean like, is horror a place for the metaphor of human suffering or political agenda? Is it for just the “lets scare you real good” – and for the fun get away of everyday life? Another personl opinion question- but its interesting the myriad of answers this one can garner!
BD -I like this question best of all. My company Blood Productions lives off of raw cutting edge horror. I believe there is no stronger aspect to horror than that which relates to real life these days. The old monster jumping out from under your bed just is not scary to todays standards. Now if there was a dead hooker under there that you forgot from last week and the cops are knocking down your front door then the real horror starts. I define horror simply as a fear of loss. Think of a little girl with a stuffed bunny. She is happy and joyful just skipping down the sidewalk laughing and singing. Suddenly a stranger appears from around the corner fence. The stranger grabs her stuffed bunny and stares blankly into her eyes. The little girl is now experiencing the fear of loss which in turn translates into what we define as horror. Losing what which brings us happiness will lead us into a downward spiral of fear and horror. He who can successfully translate this fear of loss into his audience through a horror film is truly a master of horror. To have an audience leave your film crying for the little girl who lost her stuffed bunny means that everyone has been entertained and affected by your film. Your message as a director has been said your mission is accomplished.
JG -Now- guiltless self promotion ,spill it all- new projects- conventions , websites ? Anything- anything at all!
BD -I can eat this up all day! Here at Blood Productions we are constantly inventing ourselfs because we are NOT and never will be top notch hollywood crap. I have a passion for Indie films that my crew shares with me and we do this all out of pocket for the love of the craft. Keep updated through our website at www.bloodproductions.com and our facebook fan page at facebook.com/bloodproduction. We will be at Monster Mania 21 horror convention in Cherry Hill New Jersey, at Blood on the Beach convention in Jersey Shore, at the Days of the Dead in Indianapolis Indiana, and at the Horrorfind Weekend in Ghettysburg Pennsylvania. We have a huge film to start shooting this summer called BenMan. I am very excited about this project although how I am going to flip a car end for end and hang a girl upside down from a tow truck racing down the road is impossible at the moment not to mention those are not the biggest stunt scenes in the film. BenMan is an adaptation of a six grade comic book that I have drawn up with my wicket imagination. It attacks school bullying and how it affects those who are bullied over the edge. This is a very gory super hero film following school bully Ben Mann whos head was cut in half after a fight from picking on Jack Jaster.
Jack is Ben's arch enemy always being picked on but when Ben crosses the line in a prank causing Jack's girlfriend Damonique to wreck this sends Jack over the edge into a mental asylum. As Damonique fights for her life in an iron lung unable to breathe Jack breaks out of the asylum transformed into the wild jester known as Jacko the Jester who returns to the town to destroy everyone that has ever picked on him. Especially Ben Man now picked on for wearing the bandage over his eyes from the accident making him look like a super hero. BenMan must fight with his conscious as he tries to stop Jacko and make up for the chaos he has caused.
Blood Productions will also feature the film SLICE by Warbranch Productions in July at the Days of the Dead convention. Slice is a tribute to classic horror where seven beautiful women gather in an abandoned house for an all girls party but there is an unwelcomed guest hiding somewhere in the house. More details to come as this genius film by Terence Muncy continues to be edited.
Last the Blood Angel Demon Girls will continue to Introduce, review, and discuss Independent horror films. Friends of Blood Productions who want their film reviewed by my BAD Girls can email us through our website or send us a facebook message to get your submission in. We love what we do and love spreading the word even more. Hollywood is at its lowest for new ideas and now is the time for Independent Horror films and directors to rise above! There will be no world peace without ultimate Horror. Blood Productions vows to bring you the best we have to offer.
Special thanks to John Ginder for this interview and amazing questions. I hope you like our answers and check out our website www.bloodproductions.com The biggest thanks goes to our fans new and old for their support of Independent Horror!