When I first got a video camera for a Christmas present, I wanted to make movies. But what I decided to do instead was to go to shopping malls and interview people saying that I was a college student and I was doing some sort of sociology project for school. The first couple of questions were relatively normal like "What brings you to the mall?" and then they'd turn left somehow. What I intended to do was just to fill a two hour video tape with interviews like this and then once I had two hours, I'd make copies for everybody who was in the video. That's what I did for a little while. On top of everything else, I didn't know about signing release forms and stuff like that. None of it was really commercially available. I ran into some derelict friends from my childhood one late night when I was in the supermarket. For some strange reason I had fake beards in my trunk and we decided to go out and hit every place that was open. I don't know how your city is out there but over here, there's always something open. It's not really like New York City. That city never sleeps but there are places that are open all night. The poor people that work there. We just went in there and said we're the Oakridge Boys and did all these crazy things and again, nothing was ever signed. It was like a very violent kind of Candid Camera but we went to this Halloween party and we just wanted to see what these antics looked like. I wanted to show everybody who was involved and little by little, other people kept coming in and staying. We thought it was only funny to us. To the people who were involved. It turns out that a lot of people thought it was entertaining and people were actually asking me for copies. That was the first time that I actually thought about giving this to people who were complete strangers. Putting in stores on consignment. Then I went to skits and I thought that skits were better than Candid Camera kind of stuff. I really regret that because of people like Steve O and Jackass. I really thought that I matured. That I grew from that but I was mad and I knew so many people who had done the worst damage to themselves just for a laugh and I lost contact with them. They got pretty pissed off that I said they had no acting ability. They can hurt but they can't act. From skits I wanted to put out a full length movie but the thing is, I didn't know how. I made some skits that were very bad, very boring, and if a skit is not funny, that's okay because that's only five minutes of wasted time. If I make a movie that's not funny, then that's just going to be too much heartache. I wanted to avoid that so I read a book by a guy named Syd Field. Basically a how to write a screen play. I didn't even know what a screen play was back then. Someone just told me I have to read this book. Now I understand when I see commercials on cable TV that all TV shows are the same. They follow a three act structure. I know what that is now. Metalheads was the first full length movie I ever made and it was basically done while learning how to write a movie. I guess you can tell me if it turned out okay.
I thought it was hilarious. That was just crazy.
Really? Okay. I didn't expect to hear that because that movie gets so many mixed reviews.
My friends enjoyed it because you had chicks in it masturbating. Everyone thought that was bonus. I think you succeeded.
That's the funny thing about the movie. The book that I mentioned states that there should only be a scene in the movie if it moves the plot forward. Those girls masturbating are like a speed bump to the plot. They have nothing to do with the plot at all and I kind of tested that in a movie I did called Metal Radio where there's a nine minute scene of a girl doing something that has nothing to do with the movie at all. The thing that started the girls being in the movies is I'm friends with, I guess you can call them scream queens and these are naughty scream queens. They're not the girls who get bitten by vampires and get bloody. These are girls who do very erotic kind of movies like Planet Of The Apes. That's not really horror or anything. Pretty much movies like that. It had a weak plot and every 10 minutes girls would have some sort of fake lesbian soft porn going on. I guess that's what people wanted. They told me that I should start out doing movies that way because let's say you buy my movie for $10 and you hate it. You think it's stupid. If you're a guy, you're not going to return it if it has enough boobs. They're the ones who kind of talked me into that. My latest movie, which is right now in the process of being made into a DVD, I only have four minutes of gratuitous nudity in there instead of 20 minutes. The reason for that is, everything else is as shocking as can be. I play a black guy. I have to tell you, I had a screening before I had the DVD out, this is the first time I ever did this in my life, just because I needed to see if this movie is comedy or is it propaganda. Every stereotype is goofed on in this movie. I had to make sure that the crowd couldn't get mad. It's okay to be offended because it's like cinnamon gum. People still chew it. That makes no sense. Cinnamon gum stings. I guess people get offended but they still continue to watch or to listen. You're not forced to watch or listen. It was cool, however a lot of people who are in the movie didn't come to the screening. I was so mad. At first I was worried. What happened? Was there traffic? They all chickened out. They don't want to get beaten up at the screening. That I think you have to see because it's my first movie without excessive nudity and maybe it's time. Remember I told you, the scream queens told me if I want to sell my movies, put boobs in there. I guess I'm going to put a chapter in there that's just nine minutes of girls dancing but as a separate chapter at the end of the movie.
With gratuitous boobs.
It's nothing but boobs for nine minutes but that's got nothing to do with the movie. It's just a bonus chapter or a boner chapter. I don't want to be like one of those bands that change style. Like if people for whatever reason expect to see boobs in my movie, they would be disappointed without them. We have the boob chapters for them from this point onward.
Boob chapters. That's a good one. Metalheads was a cool movie. Especially during the drug scenes. That was so cool the way you did the camera work. I really got a kick out of that.
Some people who haven't even been drunk, it's very hard for them to relate to the tripping scenes in there.
I've never used drugs. I've known people who have but I never had any interest in that shit. I'm assuming that's what it looks like when you trip.
First of all I have to apologize because that should have just been a minute but it was five minutes. I just wanted to convey that acid is not thinking you're Superman. It's a distortion and for some reason it's like a laughing gas. Like a laugh potion except it's not like a laughing gas you get at the dentist. For some reason you think that you have the secret comic knowledge of the universe and you see how it's magically funny. Like "Oh my God, I can't believe he rested the coffee cup on the table like that. That's so hilarious." Some people when they're on that, do nothing but laugh for six hours.
Holy shit. I've heard about that but damn.
By me saying that, I'm not saying go out and try it. It's not like beer. Definitely not the thing you do in arcades. Have you watched Dirtbags too?
Yes, I did. It's funny in a sense when you really understand what's going on. You've taken every kind of asshole out there and threw them all into one film.
I get a lot of complaints. Well, not a lot but more than Metalheads. Metalheads, people told me they didn't understand it. Probably they didn't understand a lot of things. They probably wouldn't be able to compute the sales tax when they're doing shopping. But Dirtbags left some people confused. They thought that the plot was complicated. The plot is complicated but I thought that it was pretty easy to follow.
You took every asshole out there, whether it's someone really racist or someone really sexist or what have you and lumped them all together. One of my friends made the comment that there probably are people out there that are really like that.
They're all based on experiences I've had with people. It's not any one person. Just like the stereotypes movie I mentioned before. I'm not inventing anything. I'm just showing the real thing. I guess when you're a polite person, you kind of pretend you don't see that in a person so I just thought it would be kind of funny to put that under a microscope instead of looking away. I've actually been giving a reward to people through my website. I accidentally recorded over something that I did in public. I had a guy in a wheelchair. He's not really in a wheelchair. He's just a heavy guy. We put him in a wheelchair and put a blanket over his lap. Do you know what a rope chain is? Did you ever stand in line for tickets like at a movie theater? We stole one of those. I don't know why but these are the kinds of people I hang out with. We just thought it would be funny like "let's take this." He looks like sort of a teddy bear. Like what a snake would be but if you chopped off the head and tail and put these metal clasps at the end. We decided that this was going to be the fake arms of the guy in the wheelchair so he was wearing this jacket and the rope chain extended three feet past the sleeves. No one is going to believe these are his fake hands. We got this fat guy in the wheelchair with these fake hands that are just a rope chain and we put a baseball hat on as tight as could be and then lifted up the visor so it pushed his skin back and made him look a little Chinese. We wheeled him around the mall. He was saying Merry Christmas. It wasn't Christmas. A camera was following 20 feet behind and this guy started flailing his arms and actually hitting people. The camera caught this girl saying "that cripple hit me." Getting back to the point, you're taught not to stare if someone's in a wheelchair or someone's just screwed up in some way. We took this test further and we actually had him fall out of the wheelchair. People dropped their coats. It was incredible. They helped this fat guy which is no easy task back onto the wheelchair. The wheelchair is from the 1930's or 1940's. We got it from this abandoned insane asylum. It was quarantined for tuberculosis back in the past but it doesn't exist anymore. It's a wheelchair that's completely rusted. You can tell something's wrong with this picture. Nobody could. People ripping their pants bending down to help this guy back into his wheelchair. They don't realize that his fake hands, his prosthetic hands, they're not real medical prosthetics. It's a rope chain. There were just so many things wrong that would have given any intelligent person a clue like this is a gag. This guy is not really a fat cripple. But no, every single time we whipped him out, people dropped everything and helped fatso back up into the wheelchair.
People don't really pay attention to details.
I think if I ever had a shot at making a million dollars that was the sort of stunt that did it. It can't be duplicated. That's why I'm giving a reward to anyone who has it. I know I've given out a couple of copies because whenever I shoot something, I let it float out amongst certain people to get their feedback like is this funny. Someone out there has it. Of course to be recorded over in every instance. Terrible stuff. Now I make sure to be very careful and guard everything that I ever videotape.
Yeah you pretty much have to. The death metal documentary you did was pretty interesting.
Are you a fan of Peter Steele?
I don't really get into his stuff but I have friends who like him. He's pretty good at what he does.
I was just wondering what the Peter Steele fans think of his performance. That footage of him was taped in his basement by the way. He seems to be a very misunderstood character. He should do stand up comedy. Honestly. When I first was hanging out with him, I don't think I ever stopped laughing. Just telling me his daily routine itself is a funny thing. Maybe he's in the wrong profession. He would make for a very good stand up comic but I guess people are different when they're just hanging out and talking to you and when they have to put on a performance.
Hanging out with friends is one thing but when you are on stage, you have to have this image. The funniest thing was interviewing Shagrath from Dimmu Borgir. When he's on stage he's all black metal and growling. When you talk to him off stage you have to listen to him very carefully because he's very soft spoken.
There's a guy. I don't know what his infernal name was but he was a red headed bastard. His name was Jamie or something. He's just crying about how Americans don't respect anything. I don't think it was really from the viewpoint of someone doing serious work who was surrounded by people who failed to appreciate his genius. I just think he was used to playing to a tougher crowd. I guess some of the bigger festivals over in Europe. People get caught up in how great it is, the whole environment like everybody is happy. I guess when you're playing aggressive music to an American crowd, especially industrial cities where people don't really have a reputation of having good manners, people are not going to respect weakness. It's just a thing that he had to learn. I didn't want to tell him that he sounded like a little bit of a baby for not being able to handle the disrespect. Respect in certain circles has to be earned. I don't really care about that kind of respect. All I really want is to make people laugh. Not to really be respected. If I ever decided to go into artistic movies, into that field, I made a comment like that, I'd really appreciate it if you shot me. As a woman, you weren't offended by any of the footage that you see?
I'm not easily offended. I understood the humor behind it. You were poking fun at a lot of that macho, male stuff.
Interesting. It baffles me that people are easily offended. You've got to want to be offended in order to be that offended. That's something I believe or you're just that stupid. I think being offended is a matter of intelligence. I think you can laugh at anything and of course I've gone the offensive route. I'm kind of disappointed that you're not offended by anything. All my movies are low budget and they're the ones I hope that you'll find to have a better production but I can't compete with any independent film maker because they have lush budgets in the hundreds of thousands of dollars. Some of them when they say low budget and they're crying about how they couldn't afford this and that, they still have a budget of $50,000.00. I don't have that so I have to offer something that these people can't. They can give you the beautiful footage, the expert camera work, and all that stuff but they're not going to use racial slurs. They're not going to have date rape drugs in their movies. Being offensive and using politically incorrect humor is my only advantage or the only thing that I can provide that competes with them because they can't touch that.
That's one thing that I found rather interesting. You made the comment that you can go places Hollywood can't and that's pretty true.
Yeah but unfortunately those places aren't store shelves. I've been learning things. I guess I'm still learning things. Do you rent movies often?
No, if I dig a movie I'll just buy it.
Okay. I started going into the horror realm. I started renting movies from Blockbuster and Hollywood Videos. It amazed me that a lot of the horror movies that I was renting were done by people like me. How did they get into Blockbuster? How did they get into Hollywood Videos? Someone explained to me that the contract you have with them is you provide them with let's say 4,000 DVDs and then you only get 50 cents a rental. I guess it adds up. The thing is, how do you get in there with such a bad movie? I recently discovered that part of what helps is having really good packaging.
And a lot of blood, gore, and guts and shit.
Yeah, I heard that if they watch the screener that you send them for evaluation and it doesn't grip the person watching within 10 minutes, then it will be thrown away unless it has gore or boobs.
So now you know where people's attention is.
I made this one movie that's pretty much all boobs. A little bit of gore but pretty much boobs all over the place. It's packaging is very good. I'm actually going to have a graphic designer, and none of the people on the cover will actually be people from the movie, make some kind of bogus cover and see if that gets into Hollywood Videos or Blockbuster.
The people who are in your movies, are they friends of yours?
Yeah, they're all friends. Recently for the horror movie that I just made, I actually hired people through actresses websites. These people were I guess total strangers until they did the movie. The horror movie I'm talking about, I was told there's no way any actress is going to be in this movie. Are you out of your mind writing a story like that? The funny thing is, I actually had a bible sized folder of resumes. Some girls would send me their pictures and resumes. It was unbelievable. I don't know if it's because real actresses are starving for work. I don't know what it is. I don't know if they just didn't read the script and they just heard movie.
Maybe they just wanted to do something crazy.
I don't know what it is. I'm glad that the girls who were in that movie still talk to me even though the movie was so bad. I decided maybe that I'm going to attempt something similar in the future. Instead of making it horror, make it comedy. I'm going to call it Jesus, The Daughter Of God. That's a movie that I know would be a comedy right off the bat. I wouldn't have these pressures on me to make it horrifying. I'd be making fun of Christians. I think I told you, I never thought that the things that I do would ever actually be enjoyed by a stranger. It just baffles me. I'm glad that you liked it because I guess our attitudes and the way we act here in New Jersey and New York is probably different from your everyday life over there. I thought about getting the movie on store shelves. The three movies that you have, they've actually been picked up by distributors. I don't own the rights to those movies.
Somebody bought them?
Yeah, somebody else owns those. That was a big stepping stone because that now has short distribution of every title since then except for one.
There's nothing wrong with poking fun at things. I think the reason why a lot of people get easily offended is because they have no sense of humor to begin with. It's hard to deal with that sometimes.
I think humor has it's own I.Q. There's different types of intelligence. There's quantitative where you amass knowledge. Not just one type of intelligence. It always makes me sad when I run into people who don't laugh or who don't find things funny or don't visibly react to humor. I'm wondering. This person is functional in all other ways. I guess there's a social intelligence. There are different kinds of comedy too. Not everybody gets sarcasm. Not everyone likes sarcasm. Is it something that's so hard for people to understand? Are they animals? Because animals don't laugh. They may not have souls. Is it stupidity? I have to admit that I love getting those people mad. They deserve getting mad. I was a little disappointed at my last screener. Nobody walked out. I feel like I lost my touch. I was always able to get somebody mad. You notice that I have a very poor sense of focus. You asked me if the people in my movies were my friends. I guess I'm talking to you like a politician would. Totally evading your answers. Not answering directly. Why did you want to know if they were my friends?
I was curious if those folks were friends of yours.
I didn't realize this before but some of the people in my movies are people I don't like. I get mad. People think these characters are cool. They're not cool. They're assholes. You think a cool person would play that kind of character? Nah, I'm just kidding. It's been a problem in the past. Sometimes I don't put skits into my movies from the past just because certain people are in them who I can't stand. Then other skits I think does it really matter. I hate these people getting rewarded. They should just get cancer and painfully die.
I noticed that you died in both of your movies.
Yeah, I die in a lot of my movies. I was going through this phase where I was acting like the guy from Dimmu Borgir and I decided that I was going to be pretentious and create my own style that everyone is going to admire. That style is going to be fatalistic comedy. Like in Shakespeare's comedies, everyone gets married. In my comedies, everyone dies.
In a lot of his works, people die.
Yeah, but those are his tragedies.
People always talk about how there is so much sex and violence these days. I always ask if they've ever read a play by Shakespeare. You want to talk about sex and violence?
People rip off Shakespeare's ideas all the time. Americans don't really have a Shakespeare background so they don't know. Also my beloved Laurel And Hardy, some of their ideas have been stolen in TV commercials.
I like how that Hardy puppet was going around killing people. That was cool.
Which one is that on? That's bonus footage I know.
That's bonus footage on the Metalheads.
That's funny. I totally forgot that was on there.
You have little skits on there and there's this one Hardy ventriloquist dummy basically killing people.
You know what's funny about that? At the screening for that, that was actually part of a skits video that I did before I put out DVDs, this one black guy who is in a popular hardcore band was present at the screening and he said "Bill Zebub is an asshole." He was pissed off about something that he had watched and I'm trying to think what he could be pissed off at. The reason he was mad is that he didn't know that was an Oliver Hardy doll. He thought it was a Hitler doll.
How could you make that mistake? It was so obvious to me that it was a Hardy doll.
Remember we were talking about the average I.Q. before?
Of course and people not paying attention to details.
You were asking me about the people in the movies being actors or my friends. I thought where you were going with that is because they obviously can't act.
Now I didn't say that.
Which movie did you see first?
John Waters did some really crazy movies in the past. I found out that he thought that non-actors had a certain charm.
You really like that. I was wondering if that was part of the enjoyment for you.
Yeah, it was. It was so obvious that these people aren't trained actors. At the same time it looked like they were having so much fun doing what they were doing. I think that's what really added to the humor.
Nobody in the comedies is an actor. They're all people I've met at bars. Sometimes I'm desperate. Maybe I should tell you something about Dirtbags. I'll give you an example. This is an exclusive confession. You heard it here first. In Dirtbags, in the beginning scene, there's a guy with a pretty long goatee. A black goatee.
Yeah, wearing an AntiSeen shirt.
Yes, his name is George and he's from the band George Is Dead. He flaked out while shooting the movie. Every scene that he's in was pretty much done in one day. Then we were going to shoot the rest of the scenes on another day but he flaked out. I was desperate because in a lot of the scenes, let's say there are three people in the scene. Chances are that they probably all live an hour away. They're people with lives who are just doing this on a volunteer basis. If the scene calls for that many people, if one person doesn't show up we can't do the shoot. George flaked out pretty late in the day so I just went from bar to bar begging people to be in my movie to take his place. The guy who played the person who is allergic to the bees, the guy who wears that long wig, I didn't know that guy. It was actually almost like a Cinderella story. It was last call and out of total desperation I begged him to be in the movie. That explains why he's in the movie and has never been in any of my movies since.
He did a good job hamming up the dying from the bee sting.
But the thing is, I learned that that's actually a good skill like if I ever become a real director or a real film maker because things always go wrong and you have to quickly think of a work around. The guy in the wig who is allergic to bees, he never left his house except for the one time when he actually got stung. It's better for him to be played by a different character. He's in his house the whole time during the whole movie. Never leaving the house because he's afraid of bees and then when he ventures out, he gets stung. That adds to the tragedy.
His dad accuses him of being back on drugs again and disowns him.
You caught that. I still haven't broken out of the everybody dies thing. My latest movie, everybody in the whole movie, not just the main characters, was supposed to die. I made it such an intricate plot but as I was editing it, I was at almost two hours. No comedy is two hours so I had to cut it down massively and it's still 98 minutes which is kind of long for a comedy. Most comedies are 80 minutes. I cut out my death scene. That movie was a little bold because the main character is a white supremacist and three people in a row flaked out or chickened out. They did not want to be a white supremacist. I said look, this movie isn't really mainstream but as you go through, this guy is a certain way and the movie is basically about a character fighting his obstacles. Then at the end, does he succeed or does he fail? This movie, we begin by the white supremacist encountering stereotypical minorities and getting really pissed off. His best friend is a Jew and it doesn't really mix. What is a white supremacist doing? His best friend is a Jew. What's going on with that? I wanted to show the denial, both on the part of the Jewish friend. Why is he hanging around with a white supremacist? It goes on. Especially the kind of music that I cover. There are these shows sometimes where there's a racist black metal band and they're hanging out and talking to them. Black people. There's denial going on. Both sides. I'm sorry. I was being pretentious and gay about that. Getting back to the real thing that I was trying to get across, the white supremacist then for most of the movie goes through his various obstacles and it's not his racism. He has other things that he's battling in this movie. Then the resolution is, he realizes that yeah he's had irritating experiences with minorities but the people in the movie who screwed him over were all white. He goes through this realization that he shouldn't judge a book by its cover. It's not unrealistic. It isn't like he turned over a new leaf completely but at least his eyes are widening. They're opening. He realizes that the suckiness of his life can only be blamed on him. He dropped out of school. That's the main transformation that he undergoes. Right after he undergoes that transformation, there's a knock on his door. It's a guy who gives him a certificate and he says that the white supremacist is 1/16 American Indian blood so that entitles him to free college tuition anywhere in the country. In a sense that's good. That's like an immediate reward. This guy has matured and now he gets to go back to school. He gets to start life on a totally new path. He'll be educated but in the script as he's looking over the certificate that entitles him to all these benefits, a KKK guy burns down his house because he's 1/16 Indian. "We don't want any of those non-white people in our neighborhood." Me being the white supremacist in the movie, I didn't die. I decided to just keep it at that. The funny thing is, I wasn't supposed to play the white supremacist. I was supposed to play the black guy and I did.
So you played two roles.
Yeah, as the black guy I was supposed to die too. The way the black guy dies is he becomes a cop and he pulls a car over. It's sort of like one of those circus cars where 100 clowns comes out but everybody who comes out of the car are white and they beat him up sort of Rodney King style. That scene didn't work so I also thought it would be funny that although the black guy doesn't die, society will because he's not qualified to be a cop. It's not because he's black, it's because he's a total moron. He's only a cop because of a certain racial incident that happened in the movie.
You're taking on a lot of serious societal issues. While you put a comic twist to them, it really does make people think. It makes them think about people they know or about themselves and their attitudes.
Yeah, actually I like what you said. One of the people at the last screening liked the movie and the comment was bizarre. He said that he identified. I consider the newest movie I did to be the most absurd but there's a very annoying character in the movie. I tried very hard to make the stereotypes of the movie characters based more so on real people than any other character in any other movie before. I thought these were just people that I experienced. When I tell people what my day is like and the kind of encounters that I've had, their reactions show me that I'm the only one who lives this kind of life and talks to these kinds of people. It's cool to realize that I don't have an alien perspective on things. That the way I see things is the way they are. I don't have this paranoid schizophrenic idea of what people are like. It just reinforces your point. I think it's cool that you see that I'm making people look at things that they usually don't want to look at and having fun.
A lot of people might be offended by that because they're being forced to look at things in a different light and they might see some of that in themselves. Maybe that's what pisses them off.
There is a prejudice against a long-haired guy in society over here at least.
People are so retarded about that. "He has long hair and he's wearing earrings." I always comment on how sexy that is. Boy, that pisses people off.
Whenever I've been employed in a company, it's either because I guess my personality conquered or I knew somebody. There have been so many interviews where I just really felt subhuman and it's not a paranoid thing. I've had people scowl at me and not even say a word. It didn't help that I farted at the time but maybe that's why they scowled. Nah, just kidding about that. It's really something that I expect in a corporate environment. Not something that I would expect in New York City. I was recently in New York City to take care of some legal problems. I was taking care of this legal matter where I had to pay a fine. I decided instead of taking a taxi back to the bus stop, I would walk for a couple of hours and I would hand out some of my movies. I think that's more efficient than advertising in a mainstream magazine because people actually get to have a DVD in their hands and then judge for themselves. My witty little thing is "if you don't like it, sell it for crack or bring it to a video store and sell it used. Get a couple of bucks." On my two hour journey through New York and I went through different social strata of New York, no one would take a movie from me. No one. You know how densely populated New York is. I wanted to say I'm not homeless. I don't want anything from these freaks. It didn't matter what the movie was. The cover of Metalheads, you wouldn't say that that's porn but I have comedies that look like porn. Like the back of Dirtbags, you would think that's porn.
Because of the naked chicks in the hot tub.
Yeah, the number one question that's asked of me when people are picking that up, when I'm a vendor at a horror convention, is "is there any penetration in this?" Maybe I mislead people.
I got a kick out of all the wacking off scenes. That one guy would have ripped his dick off in real life.
In Metalheads, the blonde who is the object of affection to the jerker offer, I didn't videotape that. It was her husband. She was in Georgia. I just instructed her to tell her husband to shoot the video as if they're just going out and he wants to capture footage for the times when she's not there. I wanted it to look like that's the kind of tape that it was and that's exactly what happened. Of course the scenes go on and on and on but I was told that you have to show the boobs. Show the T&A to sell the movie. I wonder if there's ever going to be a re-edit, if I should cut that down. Did it bother you that that footage kept going on and on?
It didn't. I think about every movie I've seen on Cinemax or Showtime. There is always the obligatory tits and ass scene in there. Of course my female friends and I wonder why we can't have an obligatory dick and ass scene. Someone was wondering if maybe in your next movie we'll have a dick and ass scene.
There was almost a dick scene in my new movie. My own. One of the locations where the movie was shot is a house that was for sale. My friend is selling his house. We were just wrapping up these pain in the ass shots, just me and him. He went to use the bathroom and right by the front door to the house I have this camera on a tripod. The camera is exactly at head level of a girl giving a blowjob to me. I wanted to do a point of view shot of what the girl sees. The camera is pointing upward and I see through a separate TV monitor. I have a professional camera now so I have this cool setup. I experimented to see how much of my region I could show and I was experimenting more and more thinking "all right, I'll just show the top or bottom two inches of my pee-pee to the camera. I can do that. I think I can get away with that." I'm playing around with how much pee-pee I can show and all of a sudden the door opens. The front door of the house and these two girls come in. I was so shocked I didn't know what to do. I just froze holding my pee-pee in front of the camera just like an inch away from the lens. I didn't know what to say. The two girls were realtors and I didn't understand that when you're selling a house, they have the keys to the house. They come in any time they want I guess during business hours. How perverted to them I must have looked. The camera could have had a blonde wig. It wouldn't have made the situation look any worse for me. I just knew that there is absolutely no chance that any of them will have dinner with me that night. There was no point to even try and be friendly so I just walked in the other room and let my friend deal with them and like an asshole, he did not explain to them why I was like that.
That will haunt them.
That was definitely a dinner table conversation. "How was your job today?" "Well, this guy...." It didn't really help that there was a video camera at this guy's house. They better not have told anybody that I'm gay. Metal Radio is a movie that I shot very fast. What I like about that movie is it's got a heavy anti-Christian vibe to it. Nothing says anti-Christian more than one Jesus doll giving a blowjob to another. That is a screener where people walked out. The point of that was, remember I told you I had a real radio show until recently, I had an on air discussion about if we had a Jesus Christ action figure what kind of powers would he have. Would he have a kung fu grip? A couple of my listeners actually sent me Jesus action figures. I didn't understand what is meant by gliding action. Put his arms out, does he fly? Is that how he does it? But he has gliding action because he has wheels underneath him. I have no idea why he's Jesus on wheels. I really don't. I was filming in a radio studio for the movie Metal Radio and I just wanted to show a passage of time between me smoking a joint and being high. I wanted to show that some time passed and I thought it would be cool to have marijuana smoke rise by one of the Jesus action figures. The one of Jesus on a cross and one of Jesus with gliding action. I couldn't decide which one I wanted to use. I mean they both looked cool with the camera really close to them and I experimented by them playing with each other. I just set up a camera on a tripod. I didn't mean to use the footage but I started having them perform sexual acts on each other. Could you imagine a non-crucified Jesus blowing a crucified Jesus? It's unrealistic. Whenever I get hurt like a girl bit my nipple once and I lost my erection so if I'm crucified, there's no way anyone's blowing me. The reason why I used that is when I was doing all this, someone actually came up to the floor and was stunned. He didn't see the camera. He just saw me having playtime with Jesus dolls. He thought I had serious problems. What kind of adult man plays with Jesus dolls having sex with each other? When he saw the camera, then he laughed. Up until that point he thought this guy has to be escorted to human resources. I'm filming in a real radio station after hours. I don't need to get busted. When I reviewed the footage I'm thinking this is much better than cigarette smoke going up a Jesus doll. When I had the movie screening in a public place, I totally forgot about that. One of the reasons I forgot about that is, I'm just very desensitized. I've been trying to incense people so long I forgot what it's like to be normal. To have an average sensibility of what's funny and what's not funny. I didn't think anything of it especially since it wasn't supposed to be in the movie anyway. It's not like a major part of the movie. When that came on, the audience was split. Half of them laughed, pure delight. They couldn't be happier seeing one Jesus blow another. The other half were mad. It's funny because I had just become friends with a cop and he came there with a girl. He was excited. He finally got to bring her out on a date. She's a born again Christian. She stormed out. She never wanted to talk to him again. One of the girls in the movie, she was actually a co-worker of mine in a corporate job that I had. I told you that I'm in the computer field. She told me that she was an art student and all this stuff. I thought she had pretty open minded views about things but she said that if I had told her that that scene was in there, she wouldn't have been in the movie. Before she was in the movie I told her I make very politically incorrect movies. There's probably going to be aberrant sex. There's probably going to be rape but comical rape. Don't worry about it, it's funny. All these other bizarre themes. Why would she be offended? She was okay with everything else. Why that one scene?
You have people who take religion so seriously. You have other people who find it so outrageous that it's hilarious. It's interesting to see people's reactions to something like that. I don't take anything seriously. It's funny to see people go apeshit over something like that.
In that case, I was happy that people got mad. That was just cases of stupidity. How can you be mad over something like that? Pretty much anything can be laughed at if you choose to interpret it that way. The same goes for pretty much anything can get you offended. Which one makes you a better person? Someone who can laugh or somebody who's going to be a baby and get mad and cry?
I think laughter and humor is something that will help you get through a lot better than being totally serious about everything.
Is life really meant to be lived doing everything right? I think there's a lot more adventure in taking a risk. I don't know how this is going to turn out but I'm going to take a chance.
To me life is a series of adventures that you go on and sometimes they have a good ending and sometimes they don't have such a good ending. Later on you laugh about some of the ones that didn't end up so well.
Do you think that your attitude is generalized well to the public? Do you think that most people would enjoy watching a movie that is obviously made by non-actors?
I think to a certain extent, yeah. Non-actors are really not self-conscious. They don't feel like they have to prove themselves in a movie so they can get that next role. Or get that Hollywood agent interested. It seems more real with non-actors.
I used to do Jackass kind of stuff out in public. I like how the people who were doing this, you could tell that for some reason they were talked into doing these stupid things. It's not like they were forced into doing it but I'm sure that you've had experiences in your life. You've caved into pressure or did something that was suggested for you to do. Then looking back you asked yourself why you did that. I was just thinking that that's pretty much happened to anybody who has had some kind of social life. That's part of the socialization process I guess. I was thinking since everybody identifies with that feeling of "oh no, how did I get here", I thought that that would definitely increase the value of stuff like that. Unfortunately I thought that the Jackass stuff was stuff to move away from and sometime in the next year I'm going to compile a bunch of Candid Camera kind of stuff. I don't like to really say candid camera anymore because there are a lot of people who weren't around during Candid Camera. Maybe it shows I'm an old fart. I would do Candid Camera my own style. A little bit more violent. I'm still not sure about the legality of what I had to do but cops have told me that a church is considered a quasi-public place so they said I could do this but people could sue if I used the footage. I really have to talk to a lawyer before I do this. I want to wait until church is in Mass and I want to walk in there in a loin cloth with a life sized cross and go down the aisle and just fall down and yell "I've fallen and I can't get up." I'm thinking maybe I have about 30 seconds. I look like Jesus. They might think it's a special play or something that the church did until I say "I've fallen and I can't get up" and then I have to run out of there. The hilarity of it is the way people react so I need to get three video cameras in there and I figure we do it during a winter month and go in there with big coats and everybody would have a signal. Like "are you ready?" I'd have the signal to go parade in there. I just hope nobody takes my towel off. I think that that is a unique kind of Candid Camera that normal wouldn't do. I also plan to go to low income housing, a very black neighborhood where there is a basketball court and I want to wear black face and try to get in on a basketball game. "Yo, let me play."
I hope you don't get shot.
It was explained to me that I would probably get more than a beating for something like that. I think what I'll do is, I'll start up at a more diverse playground and just gradually go into the poorer neighborhoods. If I really get beat up then I'll stop because I don't want to really want to be physically altered for a joke. It was explained to me that if I have security that the security has to be all black. It can't be white people. Do I want to get shot or stabbed? I don't mind taking a few hits because that in itself is funny too. I know that it will happen. If I can make that a little funny. I think that the Jesus thing from what I've learned, that might stop it from going mainstream. There's just so many things I don't know about this whole marketing stuff. Like I said before, I never planned for this to get anywhere. I was just trying to have fun. If I'm going to get my ass kicked, I want a lot of people to see it. I want that to be on store shelves. If I'm going to get banned from a store, I need to have a backup plan to make some kind of publicity happen. I can't just let the narrow minded Christians win.
My whole opinion is, if you don't like it then don't watch it. Turn it off or change the channel.
You have to give me credit. I've been selling comedy at horror conventions.
Some of those horror flicks are pretty comical.
I was trying to make horror movies but they're so bad that they're comedies. I can admit when I've done something stupid or something that failed. These other people take it very seriously. They do not want to have their movies called comedies. The scream queens who are in my movies are really the reason why I'm at horror conventions. They've got these horror names. Maybe just on the East coast. I don't know. They're the ones who got me renting tables at these events and I've always got girls sitting at the tables and I guess they could be selling anything. They could be selling Bibles. People will buy them just to take a picture with them.
Why did you decide to do a documentary on death metal? Itís an interesting music scene.
The thing about that is, I was starting to write more full length movies. I got in touch with some people who made me believe that they were professionals but they were actually lower on the totem pole than I was. It was explained to me that places like the Independent Film Channel like documentaries. I actually believed all this crap. Maybe they do. HBO has documentaries on hookers. Theyíre pretty wild whereas the Independent Film Channel documentaries are pretty normal. I noticed in magazines for independent filmmakers, the people who are in documentaries are like letís say, people who revolutionized rice farming in Cuba. Just silly things like that. Who would watch that? Why? Iíll do that if it gets me $100,000.00. I was thinking about how to pool my resources from my magazine. Iíve met a lot of people in death metal through the years and theyíve actually given me permission to use their music for Metalheads. None of the artists on there asked for money. They just did it because they were cool. Itís because I have clout with them all these years even though I call them gay. One of the ways I was thinking about using all these advantages I have is to make a documentary about death metal. Itís not like somebody from Hollywood going up to these bands. The bands wouldnít trust those people but they would trust me because theyíve talked to me for so many years or heard of me. If somebody in death metal doesnít know me, we probably have mutual acquaintances who would vouch for me. My first thing was, how do I make a death metal documentary? As far as I knew, no one has ever made one and I was making one that has mainstream appeal. People might be delightfully shocked at the lyrics of death metal or the antics of death metal. The violence that sometimes happens at shows. It fulfilled all the criteria. It fulfilled the intellectuals of the Independent Film Channel and the shocking for HBO. I made an outline of it and then I decided that Iím going to make a demo and the delusional film making people said that for me to get a budget, I would need to have letters of intent from celebrities. Thatís a little bit of why Peter Steele is in the project. Heís a celebrity. His name is more easily recognized than letís say the singer of Suffocation. I decided I donít need any of that for a demo. Plus Iím approaching these people as a friend. Iím not approaching them as a business person. I made the demo and the demo is about 50 percent of what you see. What you havenít seen is there are some Earache Records people talking about death metal from the record label standpoint. I talked to three record labels and the deal was pitch in a quarter of the price to make the DVD. Then you get a quarter of the DVD. It was a demo that was inexpensive for me to make because all the bands who were on that version were touring or I had audio clips from them. The weirdest thing about that was, Earache Records sold all of their DVDs within an hour. Then a little birdie told me where the DVDs went. I had thought they had went to 250 different people. Only 1,000 of these were made. They sold them all to one particular distributor. I called up the video distributor and said Iím the guy who made this. I forgot to mention that when Earache sold their allotment, they asked me if they could have 500 more. I told the video distributor that he would have to wait at least 10 business days for me to make more. He said why make more. Why not buy the rights from me. I wanted to tell him no, Iím going to get $100,000.00 as a budget to make a real documentary. It was my jackass acquaintances who had me convinced that this is a highly marketable idea. That Iím going to get a budget. In that conversation I learned that there are no guarantees of getting a budget for any kind of project, let alone a documentary. A documentary about death metal is essentially a music video. Itís not really a documentary. Iím glad that I didnít have any sort of ego and I started learning that these jackasses never accomplished anything. Everything I do, I put my own money in. That conversation changed a lot of things that made life better for me because I did sell the documentaries but I asked them if I could re-edit it. It looked too raw. The re-edit, the bands told me to get rid of the Earache guys. Part of the reason for that is, record labels didnít shape death metal. They just took money from bands in death metal. I guess that sounds a little bit hateful. Some bands really do have record labels. Itís a relationship that has to occur to a certain degree. The bottom line is, they showed me that record labels did not shape the scene. Thatís what the documentary was about. Also I had to take a step back and think is this documentary for fans of death metal? If it is, I donít want to tell them what they already know. If itís for people who are curious about death metal, in that case I canít totally leave out the basic stuff. What you see is the result of that little thinking period and I got some bands to contribute to the other stuff. All of the live stuff, I shot personally. It opened my eyes. It made me someone whoís a known documentary editor or someone with more clout. Professional clout as someone who put together a death metal documentary. Another thing about this project is, I wanted the bands to tell the story. I didnít want any narrator in there. At first I was worried that people would be confused. When youíre normally looking at a documentary of any kind, thereís a narrator putting things together or he cuts the meat for you. There are some documentaries youíve seen where a person like an artist is making statements but the narrator will chime in or finish the sentence. I didnít want to do any of that. I didnít want to cut anybody off. Everybody speaks in complete sentences and nothing is taken out of context. There are different attitudes in there. They might be hard to tell apart but I think it painted a pretty good picture of what death metal is. Another thing about the death metal documentary, I wanted to also convey the death metal attitude. Itís all about death metal people being the kind of people who on tour will hang out with you at the bar. Thereís no separation of fan and band. Even a band like Cannibal Corpse. They make a living off music but pretty much every show Iíve been to, thereís no reason for them not to hang out. You can just go up to any of them any time. Theyíre hanging out there. Theyíre watching the other bands on tour. Thereís not really a rock star attitude. I guess some people are a little shocked.