Roger had a chance to interview with the masterminds behind the awesome indie slasher film, “Don’t Go to the Reunion,” and the upcoming project, “Dismembering Christmas.” See what Kevin Sommerfield and Austin Bosley had to say.
The slasher hayday pretty much covered every holiday multiple times over. What is it about Christmas that appeals to you, and what sort of nasty little presents are you going to be bringing the audience?
Kevin Sommerfield (co-writer/producer): For me there is something special about Christmas because it is the time where we all go home for the holidays to spend time with those that we love. When the element of horror is added to the mix, it makes things interesting because those loved ones are the very people you are going to want to protect. Let’s just say, in this film, nothing will protect these teens for the grisly stuff that is about to happen to them.
Austin Bosley (director/co-star): I think that even though Christmas is generally considered a happy, family oriented time, it can have a very sinister dark side to it that can be a whole other kind of fun.
In “Don’t Go to the Reunion,” some of your influences were referenced and emulated in certain scenes. Can we expect more of the same in “Dismembering Christmas?”
Kevin: Don’t Go to the Reunion was very much a self-aware slasher that looked at the genre from its peak to the Scream-era of slashers. With Dismembering Christmas, the homage elements are there, but they are much more subtle. We will be playing with tone and atmosphere to give you a holiday slasher that you have never seen before, but with moments that will bring a smile to every slasher fan’s face.
Austin: Kevin and Steve did a really good job homaging films they loved with Don’t Go to the Reunion, but Dismembering Christmas is a different kind of movie. It’s less meta and more focused on suspense and fun, gory, hopefully memorable kills.
The passion you have for the slasher genre is so faithful to its roots. Do you believe that indie horror has more of an edge than the bigger budget, more “pretty” slasher movies of the last few decades?
Kevin: Thank you very much, that is very kind of you to say. We want to make slashers with characters you care about that aren’t the CW/model types that you might see in mainstream slashers. Too often in Hollywood horror the characters are so unrelatable, it is hard for the audience to take much interest in watching them live OR die. We want you to feel everything that happens to these characters and we want the look and the scope of the picture to match that.
Austin: I think most independent cinema is edgier than the typical studio film because independent cinema has no rules. You don’t necessarily have to go through the MPAA and final cut generally comes down to the filmmaker’s vision and relies less on test audience reactions or what ten other people want the movie to be.
After you released “Don’t Go to the Reunion,” how long did it take to decide that you wanted to make another slasher?
Kevin: We filmed Don’t Go to the Reunion in April and May of 2013 and released it on DVD in early Fall 2013. It was a very short wraparound time because we were so excited about the final project. We premiered the film at a few film fests and conventions and we knew that we wanted to dig back into the slasher genre as soon as possible. We always wanted to make a winter Friday the 13th and this is as close as we might come so we wanted to make it count.
What, if anything, can the fans and supporters do to help you create the best version of “Dismembering Christmas” possible?
Kevin: Spread the word! We are currently on Facebook as well as on Kickstarter hoping to raise the budget for the film. We only have a little over two weeks left and if we don’t reach our goal, the film will not be made. Help support indie slashers and throw in a couple of bucks if you’d like but please, share it with friends. The horror family is such a supportive one that it truly is great to be a part of.
Austin: Getting the word out about the kickstarter is our top priority right now and anything supporters can do to spread the word and/or donate is greatly appreciated. Once we reach our goal on the kickstarter page, it’s up to us to provide the best final product we can!
This next question is a two parter: Since you’re such genre fans, can I assume that the FX will all be practical? Who will be doing the dismembering (behind-the-scenes, of course..no spoliers)?
Kevin: Yes, they will be 100% practical FX. I believe CGI has a place in cinema, but I’m not convinced that place is in slashers. We love creating our own effects and we love to see the reaction the deaths get from an audience. Behind the scenes, we have the very talented Hannah Herdt and Marla Van Lanen helping out with the FX and I’m sure Austin and I will have our hands in the blood and gore as well and we may be working with some other artists as well. It’s definitely going to be a full-time project with lots of hands. It’s a bloodbath!
Last but not least, when can we expect to see the film and where can we be kept up to date on its progress?
Austin: We won’t be shooting until January and because it is a Christmas movie, we’ll have to stagger the release until the later portion of next year (2015). As of right now, we’re looking at a Halloween release, which would hopefully give us time to generate enough interest that Dismembering Christmas can become every slasher fans stocking stuffer! You can follow updates on the film through our Facebook page and our twitter page: @dismemberxmas.
Kevin: We just want to make the best slasher possible and we can’t wait to share it with all the slasher fans out there.