|Apocalypse Kiss writer and director Christian Grillo|
CHRISTIAN GRILLO INTERVIEW
Christian Grillo is the captain on Apocalypse Kiss, a trippy blend of action, thrills, suspense and film noir encased in an effects-clad canister. The film, featuring the likes of horror vets Michael Berryman and Tom Atkins, is available April 8.
Award for the coolest title of the year. Where did it come from?
Christian Grillo: Thank you. I wanted to come up with a name that felt good to say. Apocalypse Kiss is sexy and poetic.
What were the inspirations for the film?
CG: Richard Stanley created Hardware in 1990 with no computer FX, and I think it is the most brilliant Sci-Fi film ever made. I wanted to try to create a film that was as cool as his.
How did you attract such an iconic cast? Michael Berryman, Tom Atkins, Lloyd Kaufman (who plays a pivotal role); these are some great genre favorites in one spot.
CG: I had always been a fan of Michael Berryman and had already made friends with him at a Horror convention. He was interested in possibly being in one of my films and I was interested in writing something for him. The relationship still continues today. Michael has a role in our next film Sugar Skull Girls. Tom Atkins was a friend of a friend, and we contacted him, made an offer and he was interested in the role. Lloyd Kaufman should play the President in any film, he's the godfather of indie cinema. He's been doing it his way for three decades. Love the guy. D.C. Douglas was brought to my attention by my wife Carmela [Hayslett], he had an iconic role in the Resident Evil video game franchise. He is an incredible actor and the film would have not been the same without him.
Did Kaufman's work with Troma inspire you at all here?
CG: Of course, how could it have not? He makes movies for pennies and gets them out to the world. He has a dedicated fan base and has more energy than anyone his age. He pisses people off and apologizes for nothing. He should be anyone's hero. It was an honour to have him in my film.
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You like to work with some of the same people on each movie; does having that familiarity and existing relationship seem to work in the production's favor?
CG: Sure, if I am familiar with the way people work or perform I can use it to my advantage. It's like a home field advantage.
How long of a journey has this been for you - between script and release?
CG: One Year, Potent Media releases a new film every year.
The film obliviously exists to entertain, but do you think there's a message in it too?
CG: On a viewer level... NO. On a film making level YES. Apocalypse Kiss was produced for a total amount of $34,000. Top to bottom. Now, I don't lie to myself and pretend that I made a film that could be cinamatically compared with the likes of Blade Runner or Aliens, but I will say this... It is a goddamn good looking film for 34K. It's not a typical run-and-gun shooter you see in our budget level. There is a lot of “Movie Magic” in Apocalypse Kiss. My crew and myself worked our asses off to prove to the world that it's not just about making a movie... we wanted to show the world that Hollywood has a new rival... that rival is making movies for the price of their caterer and we're sitting right next to them in REDBOX, ONDEMAND and NETFLIX. A film like ours has more potential to make money than the 300-million-dollar flop you didn't pay $12 to see in your local multiplex. Apocalypse Kiss was shot on 12 sets, nine of them built by us, a space station, a back-alley market place with 60 background actors, costumes on every single actor in the film, beautiful lighting, set design and a planet that crashes into the earth while a reporter gives her final report. Yeah...you can guess that I'm really proud of this film and I can't wait for people to tell us how much it sucks compared to that 300-million-dollar flop. But I'll be smiling because at least our film got mentioned in the same sentence.
HorrorTalk would like to thank Christian Grillo for taking the time for this interview. Click the cover below to order Apocalypse Kiss from Amazon.
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