Last month, I ended up with a copy of Kevin Strange’s horror-comedy, "Dream Reaper." Mere moments after popping the film into my DVD player, I realized that director (and star) Kevin strange was a pretty eccentric guy, with a twisted sense of humor. Though I admittedly didn’t enjoy the masturbation-fest that is "Dream Reaper," Kevin definitely sparked my interest. Who was this sick S.O.B.? Is he as obsessed about masturbation as the characters in his film? And most importantly, what are his future film making goals? Luckily, Kevin turned out to be a pretty cool guy and willingly went along with this interview, despite my negative write up about his feature-length film debut. (But as they say, there’s no such thing as bad press, right?) Kevin as it turns out is very energetic and passionate about what he’s doing, and I had a blast interviewing him. His enthusiasm for making movies is downright infectious and he had plenty of interesting things to say concerning ultra low-budget film making.
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First of all Kevin, thanks for allowing me to interview you, even though I wasn’t a big fan of "Dream Reaper." I expected you to turn down this interview after reading my review to be quite honest.
Nah dude, no harm done. Not everyone is going to be into a movie so full of masturbation. It’s just something you’re into or something you’re not. The thing about your review that I found amusing was how bad it seemed that you wanted to like the flick, but then someone else would jerk off and you’d get pissed. That’s priceless! Hahaha! I really appreciate you taking the time to interview me, especially considering you didn’t dig the flick!
Can you tell me, and Rogue Cinema’s readers, a little about yourself, the creation of Hack Movies, and what inspired you to become a low budget film maker?
I realized I wanted to make movies way back when I was about eight and saw Ron Jeremy’s "Casting Couch". The acting was excellent, the camera work was above average, and the ass to mouth was inspiring! I knew from that moment on that hardcore pornography was my calling.
Actually it was about 1999 when I first saw "Toxic Avenger 4." I had a roommate at the time that wanted to be a screenwriter and he would always talk to me about making movies. Back then, making movies to me was what I read in Bruce Campbell’s book "If Chins Could Kill." A ten-thousand dollar adventure that required a 35mm or at least a super 8 camera and somewhere to process and edit your film. In a word, unattainable. But after watching the making of Toxie 4 featurette, "Apocalypse Soon," I realized that anyone with creativity and drive, and the ability to take a huge amount of cock down their throat for money, could make movies. So my roommate and I began to collaborate on projects and even shot the short film, "The Pumpkin Menace," that’s available for free download at HackMovies.com.
It was around this time that I started becoming aware of the power of digital video and desktop editing. As my plans for Hack Movies formed in my head, it became apparent that the roomie and I didn’t see eye to eye on where our careers were headed. So we parted ways on good terms and I formed the "Voltron" of No-Budget Horror, "Hack Mother F*cking Movies." The world will never be the same.
Can you gives us more info about Hack Movies’ mascot, the Pumpkin Monster? Is he relative of Pumpkinhead by any chance?
If by relative you mean he’ll make one cool movie and then spawn a series of awful sequels that involve GINORMOUS fake foam monster hands, then yeah, he’s a pretty close relative. What’s with that huge fat guy getting laid at the beginning of Pumpkin Head 2?
Hahaha! I dunno! I always wondered the same thing! Anyway, I scanned through the Hack Movies website not long ago, and noticed the collection of short films that you and the Hack crew made. Any chance that these will all be appearing on a single DVD in the near future for Hack fans and curious viewers to check out?
Well as of now, they’re all available to download for free in .WMV format or you can stream them using Flash. The idea behind the shorts, our commercials, convention documentaries, dance off, Hack chick section, and the rest of the silly free crap at HackMovies.com is just to give our fans some shit to veg out on when they visit our site. A lot of movie sites just play some crappy music and give you a trailer, cast bio and screen shots.
HackMovies.com strives to be an interactive site for fans of our flicks to visit on a regular basis and have something new to check out. We will continue to make short flicks between our features and put them up for free on the site. As far as a DVD release of those shorts, well if there’s enough demand for one, I don’t see why not. Hell, if there’s enough demand to see me suck my own penis on the site, bet your ass I’ll be taking yoga classes in no time!
Hahaha! Moving on, let’s discuss your feature-length film, "Dream Reaper." The film’s plot borrows a lot from "A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master." (Which you openly admit in the audio commentary for "Dream Reaper.") What other films, TV shows, and/or film makers influenced the creation of your film debut?
The plot for Dream Reaper came to me while I was shopping at the mall a few years ago. In between stops in the Girl Gap to try on women’s underwear and Clair’s boutique to buy new jewelry, I went into one of those alternative stores and saw a shirt that read "I Love Dick." For some reason, I thought about the montage training scene from "Nightmare 4." I guess it was one of those visions from the horror movie gods or some bad Chinese food. I thought it would be hilarious to take a band, give the chick in the band the I Love Dick shirt, murder them all in their dreams ala "Nightmare on Elm Street," and in the end, make the male hero do the montage training scene from "Nightmare 4," only he has to wear this I Love Dick shirt. That’s funny right?! Right? It’s funny to me.
Actually I got a laugh out of the montage scene with the "I Love Dick" shirt. Rest assured, that was funny. However, one thing that didn’t make me laugh so much was the main running gag in your film, which involves masturbation. In fact, every single character in the movie rubs one out at some point. What’s with the fixation on constant masturbation?!
Haha! Man you hated the jerking off. I love the jerking off. The cock pulling creates a real division among people who watch "Dream Reaper." Some people laugh till they almost puke at the running gag, other can’t stand the film because of it. Before I go to sleep, I jerk off. So I thought it only natural that a movie about a sleep demon in which people are constantly falling asleep should, well, be constantly jerking off before bed! Haha! Hilarious! No?
Personally I’m a fan of masturbation (what guy isn’t?) but I think you went a bit overboard with it in "Dream Reaper" Kev. While the excessive "pewter-polishing" in your flick turned me off, there were some saving graces. One of my favorite moments in "Dream Reaper" is when Hwang Johnson kills a ninja in his dream by stomping on the kung-fu assassin’s head. Was your head-crushing scene a nod to the head-crushing scene from Troma’s "The Toxic Avenger" (which also utilized a watermelon for the effect)?
Absolutely! Except instead of putting a wig on it or cutting away quicky, I show the plain, uncovered melon being crushed. In slow motion! I figure, if you’re going to go that route, you might as well do it to the extreme. There’s no question he’s stomping the shit out of a watermelon!
Since we’re on the topic of the film’s special effects, what exactly did you use for the blood and guts?
Anything that wasn’t bolted down! Hahaha! We’ve been dissed and praised for the gore in Dream Reaper. You truly cannot please everyone. It’s amazing to me how polarized reviews of the movie are. We’ve got a review saying the Melon Crushing scene was the worst special effect in a movie ever, and reviews saying that the melon crushing scene was the funniest special effect in a movie ever. To each his own, right?
The main recipe for the gore in "Reaper" is the tried and true Troma blood formula: Karo Syrup and food coloring, with bits and chunks of paper towel and toilet paper thrown in the mix for consistency. But you have to understand, I go for comedy, not realistic gore. If you want that, check out ReelSplatter.com. Mike Lombardo is an FX genius. I, on the other hand, make my FX quick, dirty, and cheap.
For the disembowelment scene I bought a pack of thirty-nine cent pink women’s panty hose and stuffed them with Polyfil. The end result makes it look like this chick has bright pink balloons being extracted from her stomach.
The end of "Dream Reaper" is very reminiscent of classic horror films like "Phantasm" and some of the "Nightmare on Elm Street" films. Judging by the final scene of your film, it would seem that Willy Nutsack’s fight against the Dream Reaper isn’t over yet. Do you have plans for a "Dream Reaper 2?"
Well I can’t give away the ending for all the RogueCinema.com fans that are going to run out and buy a copy of the flick after reading this electrifying interview, but I will say that one of the two definitely won the fight and the first scene of "Dream Reaper 2: Dream F*ck" will explain everything.
Clearly you and the rest of the Hack Movies crew had a blast making "Dream Reaper," but looking back, is there anything you would’ve done differently in the film? For example, did you wish you could’ve shot certain scenes differently, or were there some scenes that you had to cut for the film’s final edit, or were there scenes that you wanted to shoot but never did?
When you’re shooting a flick for a couple of hundred bucks with your friends in basically your backyard, there’s hardly anything on the written page that translates over to the screen. You just have to take what you can get. My vision for "Dream Reaper" looked absolutely nothing like the finished film. But you know what? I still think it’s a fun ass movie and I can wait to get the gang together to shoot another one. There is nothing in the world as fun as writing these retarded comedies, shooting them, creating artwork for them, promoting them and traveling around the country selling them.
This is my true calling in life and I could not be happier. Long live Hack Movies!
Currently you and the rest of the Hack Movies team are working on your next feature-length film, "It Came From My Pants." What’s the plot of this newest Hack Movies production and how soon can we expect to see the completed movie?
The basic plot involves a guy named Mikhail Smallbottoms who has an incredibly small penis. After acquiring a mysterious penis pump from a traveling salesman, Mikhail’s donger grows to an enormous eleven inches! But soon people start turning up dead and it’s up to Mikhail and his friend’s Kirk and Julie to figure out how to stop this Demon Dick before they all fall victim to it’s semeny wrath! I’m shooting for a Halloween release, but hell, you never know. Keep watching Hackmovies.com and myspace.com/hackmovies for updates on our progress.
According to the Hack Movies site, "It Came From my Pants" will be shot on digital video! (Plus you guys have a boom mic now!) Will this be the first time that you’ll be filming with digital video? And what other upgrades will your most recent production have that your previous films lacked?
A real plot. Hahaha! No, this isn’t the first movie to be shot on digital video. They’ve all been shot on a three-hundred dollar Sony digital 8 handycam up to now. For "Pants" we’ll be shooting on a Cannon Optura Xi with a mic port for a boom mic. We’re moving up in the world baby! WooHoo! All thanks to the newest member of the Hack Crew, Nick Head, who provided us with this awesome new equipment.
Ok, I have to ask this…. how much masturbation can we expect in "It Came from My Pants?"
Hahahaha! The masturbation in "Reaper" was a running gag in that one movie. While you may see masturbation in future Hack Movies releases, none will have the dubious title of most male masturbation in any horror movie ever. That title will retire with "Dream Reaper."
All I can say to that is PHEW! Hahaha! So, once "It Came from My Pants" is completed, what project(s) will you be tackling next?
The Sequel to "Dream Reaper," "Dream Reaper 2: Dream F*ck" starts production in January with a February or March release on HackMovies.com and all ten Slackers CDs and Games locations. After that we have an action comedy set for summer called "The Art of Fist in Ass" which involves a "Kickboxer" type plot concerning a young man who’s brother is killed by a gang of thugs who shake his neighborhood down for "protection." The young man must learn the ancient fighting technique "Fist in Ass" if he hopes to defeat the gang and avenge his brother’s death.
Hahaha! That sounds awesome! So it’s obvious that you and the Hack Movies gang enjoy mixing genres, especially horror and comedy. Is this what your low budget film company will focus on entirely, or will you guys begin to eventually branch out and make straight horror films, comedies, dramas, action pictures, etc?
Comedy is my shit, but I like to mix it all together like the 80s movies I’m so fond of. You’ll see a lot of different horror, action and sci-fi movies from us in the coming years, but no drama. F*ck drama.
Right on man! F*ck drama right in the ear! Well that’s all I’ve got Kev. Thanks again for taking the time to answer my questions, as I know you’re very busy making low-budget cinematic history! 😉 Before you get back to work, do you have anything else that you’d like to say to our readers? This is your chance to tell the world! 😉
Yeah, Don’t listen to this asshole, the knob polishing scenes are hilarious! This poor guy was obviously caught doing the dirty deed by his mom when he was a wee lad and now, today, has no sense of humor about it whatsoever! 😉
Ouch! Hahahaha! I guess I deserved that. 😉 By the way, do you have any humorous stories concerning one of your movie shoots?
Any Hack Movies shoot is humorous because we don’t know what the f*ck we’re doing. At the beginning of each production day I have to sac
ifice three small babies to Satan just to get the crap-ass footage you end up seeing on your TV screens.
Hahaha! Do you have any movie-making hints or tips you’d like to share with the readers?
If I can do it, you can do it. Believe that.
Ok, lastly, do you have any premonitions of the future?
Hack Movies will be a household name in 2057 when I finally get so sick of the bad reviews that I commit suicide by starting my car in my air-tight garage and sticking the exhaust pipe up my ass, thus becoming the first human ever to die from carbon monoxide poisoning of the anus.