The Girlie Massacre (2016)
In October of 2016 I was approached by a horror author friend of mine who also is a Scoutmaster for her daughter’s Girl Scout Troop. She asked me if I could show the girls some FX demonstrations and help them edit the scripts they wrote for their Writing and Digital Moviemaking merit badges, so I invited the whole troop over to Reel Splatter HQ for a Halloween field trip. They interviewed me about making movies, I showed them how to make fake blood and guts, the basics of zombie make-up (they were all very big fans of The Walking Dead), and then myself, Erik Myrnes, and Randy Rock helped them shoot their script, a horror movie titled The Girly Massacre. The girls impressed the hell out of me not just with their script, but also their acting, they were naturals! A great time was had by all and they were excited about everything they learned. The biggest excitement though was when Decay Magazine saw the short online and contacted us to do a big interview about the film.
For our part in the production, Randy, Erik, and myself were awarded Digital Moviemaker merit badges and honorary Girl Scout status, something that I am immensely proud of.
Fast Zombies Suck (2015)
In 2008, I became a co-founder of Drunken Tentacle Productions: a film troupe headed by Brian Keene, Matt Blazi, Jeff Heimbuch, Mike Antonio, Dave Thomas. and Dylan S-C. Our original aim was to adapt various authors work into short and feature length films. Several projects were discussed and eventually it was settled that we would use Brian Keene’s short story, Fast Zombies Suck as our first short. Fast Zombies Suck premiered at Scares That Care Film Festival July 30th, 2015 and was followed by a live Q&A that was recorded for an episode of The Horrorshow With Brian Keene. I decided to be brutally honest at the Q&A about the miserable experience that making a movie can be, and while it can be occasionally disheartening to listen to, I feel like it’s a valuable thing for aspiring filmmakers to hear.
Fast Zombies Suck went onto play at the 2015 Imaginarium Film Festival in Louisville, KY where it won 3 awards: Best Short, Best Genre Short, and Best Screenplay.
Zero Lives Remaining (2014)
I was approached by Shock Totem Publications about doing some work for a very unique limited edition of the book, Zero Lives Remaining by Adam Cesare. It’s the story of a haunted arcade where one night things take an extremely violent turn. The idea was to make the hardback look like a VHSs tape, complete with an actual plastic clamshell box and art. I was hired to recreate several scenes out of the book as “movie stills” for the back of the box. Two of my favorite things on this earth are 80’s VHS artwork and arcade games so I jumped on this big time. It didn’t hurt that the actual book was fucking awesome to boot. I snagged Dylan S-C — who shot the footage for The Stall, the opening ghost movie segment of Long Pig, and most recently I’m Dreaming of a White Doomsday — and contacted our old buddy Dave Brady (who we had shot the Brady’s Games and Antiques Zombie Commercial for many years prior) about shooting in his shop, and enlisted Kaleigh Brodbeck (of Chew-Toy fame) to model in the photos. We even got author Adam Cesare, Shock Totem co-founder (and excellent author) John Boden, and Dave Brady himself to cameo!
Things went so well that I was hired to shoot a book trailer as well, so we recreated one of my favorite kills in the book with Dave and John, which you can watch here:
In keeping with the dedication to authenticity, the book included a trifold insert with an “interview” with the lead actor about his sordid experience on set, and instead of a standard signature sheet, a series of “movie still” lobby cards (with the fictional arcade’s logo created by Reel Splatter alumnus Julius von Brunk) that were signed by the cast and crew of the project were included too. The book was limited to only 100 copies and ended up taking over a year to put together and publish, but I can honestly say of all the projects I’ve been hired to do I am most proud of this one. It has been called one of the coolest limited edition books ever produced and I can’t say I disagree. The book has long since sold out, but here is the original page for it.
In 2013, during the production of The Stall, Skot Shaub approached me once again with a music video project for Testosteroso, this time in the style of a 70’s B-movie. My FX duties on Chew-Toy were most notably to create a realistic penis that could be bit off, as well as playing a doctor/surgeon trying to reattach the errant member. The guy who plays the poor fellow is none other than Erik Myrnes, who was fresh from his role as the Cultist in The Stall and had composed the soundtrack for Long Pig, The Stall, and most recently, I’m Dreaming of a White Doomsday.
Check out the uncensored video here (WARNING! Not Safe For Work! Graphic violence and nudity!):
Testosteroso Theme Video
Long time friend and collaborator Skot Shaub (star Womb For Two, and The Stall) has an awesome band called Testosteroso, a hilarious comedy rock group. In 2010, Skot took the lyrics we had written for the fake band Gorthox and The Bloodsuckers in Womb For Two and adapted them into an actual song for Testosteroso’s Four Fathers album and used it as their theme song. He then spent months building sets and props for an epic power rangers style music video. I provided the FX as well as playing the lead villain, Dr, Kaporkian, an evil Pigman who sends his henchman after our heroes and from his secret underground lair and eventually has a giant kaiju fight with Mecha Testo!
Masters of Doom: The Animated Series
Back in 2006 I picked up a copy of Masters of Doom by David Kushner, a book detailing the creation of the legendary Id Software who were responsible for games like Wolfenstien 3D, Doom, and Quake among others. I grew up playing Wolfenstein and Doom so this book was an absolute joy to read and I pretty much read it aloud to my good buddy and creative soulmate, Julius von Brunk, who is also a rabid fan of Doom and Wolf 3D. Talk of the book spawned a series of running inside jokes where John Romero and the gang had their own goofy sitcom. Julius was doing a lot of flash animation at the time and we realized we could actually bring the show to life. It was a grueling process, but I can honestly say it was some of the most fun I’ve ever had working on a project. We were able to go into full old school video game geek mode and filled the cartoon with references.
We debuted it on Newgrounds.com on March 26th, 2006 and made the front page before voting even concluded. We were actually in first place for the day, but the huge amount of extra exposure attracted the attention of Newgrounds’ infamous trolls who mounted a campaign to downvote us. We still managed to come out with a 3rd place win and stayed on the front page for over a month. The real trophy for us though was getting emails from Doom creator John Romero and the author of the original book, David Kushner telling us how much they loved the cartoon. It was years before I stopped being giddy from it.
An interesting side note in Reel Splatter and Doom history: There is a joke in the cartoon with Bill Gates popping out saying, “These games are getting really realistic!” and having his blown off with a shotgun. This was inspired by an actual promotional video that Microsoft made with Bill Gates clad in a trench coat holding a plastic shotgun green screened into a Doom level. It was done for the Microsoft Halloween party where developers from several companies were present at Microsoft HQ talking about how Windows 95 would be the future of gaming and used Doom as an example. The video aired at the party and Gates was so embarrassed he ordered the tape taken and never shown again. This is all detailed in the book, but at the time, the video had never been seen by anyone outside of that Halloween party. Using the names I learned from the book, I mounted a several month search, emailing everyone I could find contact info for trying to find the video. I finally found the man who shot it and started an email correspondence with him. After a week of exchanging emails, he sent me an attachment that said, “I just made you the most popular on the internet. Enjoy.” We posted the video on the Reel Splatter site and it went viral, we made front page news on every Doom and Id fansite on the net that month and countless parodies of the video were created
It has been uploaded all over the internet at this point, but here’s the Bill Gates Doom video: