Tuesday, February 26, 2013


I don't know about you, but I had one fantastic morning. What's that, you want to hear all about it?! Well, I aim to please. Let me proceed.

It's worthwhile to point out I'm coming off the high of the past weekend. Dead Weight screened in three different states; at the Nevermore Film Festival in Durham, NC, the Gadabout Film Fest in Bloomington, IN, and a special screening in Kansas City, courtesy of my good friend, Jill Sixx of Slaughter Movie House, and the fine folks at Down Right Creepy. Adam and I hopped in the car with cast members Joe Belknap and Jess Ader for the (somewhat) daunting trek to KC. Needless to say, the weekend was filled with awesome people, lots of laughs, even more bodily releases, a super rad screening, delicious foodstuffs, and so much more. Seriously, KC and everyone in the city showed us one hell of a time.

Let's get back to the topic at hand, this morning. For starters, I am not a morning person. Primarily because I am such a "night owl" (aren't all owls night owls?), I don't go to bed until some get up for work in the morning. However, Adam and I were guests on Wisconsin Public Television's show, Director's Cut, and we had to hit the road at 7:45am. Normally, I would not be so thrilled about getting up that before 7:00am, but when you have a good reason to, things aren't so bad.

On the drive down, thanks to modern technology, I checked my email and discovered that Dead Weight is nominated for Best Independent Film in the 11th Annual Rondo Awards. For those who might not know, the Rondos are kind of like the internet Oscars for all things horror. However, there is no Academy, rather those who matter, the fans. I've been voting in the Rondos for the past six or seven years, and to be nominated is just absurd, and immensely humbling. Side note: feel free to vote for Dead Weight, if you'd like. Anyone can vote!

If life was a video game, I would have leveled up at this point. Speaking of video games, we happened to talk about Mortal Kombat for part of the drive.

Skip ahead a bit, we park and shuffle along to the studio amongst hordes of Madison college students, where Adam and I entertain ourselves by trying to talk like college students. A fine example of such nonsense (since you're obviously dying to know):

John: "Did you study for the poli-sci exam?"
Adam: "No, dude. I don't need that shit. Where the fuck are your sweatpants?!"

Okay, maybe you had to be there. Or just sleep depraved. One of the two.

Going into this taping (we were kindly reminded by the crew that it's not "filming"), we had two TV experiences under our belt. The first was on Fox 11's Morning Show (did a quick spot for the premiere), and a great episode of Dairywood for TitanTV (at UW Oshkosh). Even so, we were getting all kinds of giddy walking onto the set. Our lapel mics were clipped on, and then comes the cue, "Fifteen seconds…"

Why did our interview have to be limited to twenty-three minutes?! What a god damn hoot it was. Doug Gordon was a great host, so engaging, we got to talk about some really interesting aspects of the film, and when they showed clips that we talked about, for the first time in ages, I got to experience parts of the film objectively. Feeling removed from the project, even if for just a minute at a time, was quite overwhelming, actually. This huge feeling of pride for everyone we worked with washed over me.

Although, I did make a total ass of myself. Well, maybe not "total ass," but I sure said something stupid. While discussing all the back stories of characters and excessive info we wrote about the outbreak (which never appears on screen), I said "exstential information" rather than "extensive information." What the shit, what does that even mean? IT'S NOT EVEN A REAL WORD! In making fun of me later (we both were), Adam put it best, "When that happened, I thought, 'yep, there's the Pata moment." Words, must you be so difficult and why do I suck with you?

Sadly, our time on Director's Cut came to an end, and we said our farewells to Doug and the crew… And to the seventh floor we went! Wisconsin Public Radio piggybacked an interview with us, so we sat down with Terry Bell to flap our lips about Dead Weight. This time around, I didn't say anything utterly idiotic (at least in my opinion), and matter of fact, said some stuff about character-based horror that I feel darn good about. Yeah, take that, words!

Before we split town, we decided that food and records should probably be in our future. Adam had a coupon for buy one, get one at Noodles & Co. (he sure like that place, we had to eat at one on the way home from KC), so we hit up the one on State St. Believe it or not, the women sitting next to us bought me dinner, too! Alright, fine. She didn't technically buy me dinner. Instead, she ate about a third of her mac & cheese and left the rest sitting on the table. What a total waste, right? I did what any other cheap fucker with no shame whatsoever would do; grabbed a take out box and filled it up. Thanks for the grub, blonde woman in the red sweater with a bright green iPhone case who doesn't understand the concept of taking food home!

Next stop, one of my favorite record shops, Earwax Records. I still remember my first time going to Earwax. I was in seventh grade and I bought Operation Ivy's Seedy (never saw it before, totally freaked out in excitement) and a Rancid Radio t-shirt (which I still wear to this day). Even though their punk rock section is smaller than it used to be (curse you, invisible oranges!), I still have luck, and if anything, love going into a true record store. If you've never been and find yourself in Madison, go there! Without fail, I walked out with five records for just over seventeen bucks. Boo-fuckin'-yah.

Top it off with a satisfying cup of tea for the road, and I had one absolutely enjoyable morning (something strange for me to say). To quote that one Ice Cube song, "We don't wantcha standing on my roof with a rocket launcha." Ha, bet you thought I was going to quote Today Was A Good Day, didn't you?!

On the set of Director's Cut.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013


I met Aaron Christensen almost six years ago. I was promoting my first film, Better Off Undead, and he was pimping his first book, Horror 101 (which received incredible reviews upon its release). We got along incredibly well, and established a strong friendship which has lasted to this day. He's a dude I respect immensely, have a huge man-crush on, and was honored beyond belief to work with on Dead Weight

He's at that book thing again, this time around with Hidden Horror. It's a collection of essays by horror fanatics about films they believe to be underrated/overlooked. For some odd reason, he asked me to be a part said book. Since I'm no fool, I gladly accepted his invite. 

We do dumb stuff together.
As of just about an hour ago, I finalized my essay for my hidden horror selection, Pieces. I'm in some amazing company; some I proudly call friends, and others I can't wait to call friends. This is my first time being involved in a major book project. And who knows, it could be my last time too. Regardless, I'm humbled as hell to have this opportunity, and couldn't ask for a better commander-in-chief. 

Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to some "smoking pot and fucking on a waterbed at the same time" to do.