Matthew Gunnoe is a director who is about to make his mark on the wonderful world of horror with two new films and a web based series. Not one to hold back, Gunnoe believes in showing everything on screen as honest, and upfront as possible, and he will certainly not hold back on nudity and violence if its plays a part of his films story. His upcoming new films, The Pit and Creeper look delightfully nasty, and you can see much more on both of those films, and the web series Contempt, by clicking here for some clips and trailers.
Matt Wavish recently had a bit of a chat with Gunnoe about his two new films, his web series, and also about the problems which can arise while making a film. Not only did Gunnoe have poor weather conditions and the odd difficult cast member to contend with, but while shooting The Pit, everyone fell under the attack of the local wildlife too! The DVD of The Pit will come with a directors commentary, and it is highly recommended to listen to it. I haven’t heard it yet, but on the basis of this interview, I would imagine Gunnoe will not hold back on his thoughts, and will be very open with what he says.
Gunnoe is a man who believes in telling it like it is, he is upfront and honest, and he is not one to beat around the bush. The following interview is a fascinating read, and it is clear that Gunnoe is a man of heart, passion and dedication to his trade. The movie world would be a much better place if there were more directors out there with the drive and vision to do things right. Read on for what Matthew Gunnoe had to say: there will be swearing!!!
Hi Matthew, please introduce yourself to Horror Cult Films: tell us a little about yourself and what got you into the film business.
A) Hey guys, hope you really like my new films! I’ve been into movies since my mother took me to the drive-in as a child. My dad was foremen at Chevrolet, and we would go to the nearby drive-in and wait for his shift to end.
Who would you regard as your influences, and do you have a favourite director?
A) I don’t consciously have any influences as I try to be as original as possible; however, some of my favs are Hitchcock, Spielberg (when starting out) and Ridley Scott.
Tell us a little about your new film, The Pit, what can our readers expect to see from this new sadistic horror?
A) The Pit is about these hot chicks that get lost in the Florida wetlands while on vacation. They soon get caught by a group of psycho-meth-heads and discover drugs aren’t the only things they’re hiding on their land –They’re in cahoots with the government to experiment on an alien that crashed in their swamp.
Your new film, The Pit, looks incredibly nasty with a good amount of comedy thrown in, where did the idea for the film come from?
A) I was speaking with Angela Polk at SyFy and she said she wanted a “creature feature”. You have to have some level of comedy in all horror films to even the pace.
Do you have any release details you can share with us for The Pit?
A) After nightmarish weather in Florida, we are close to release. It should be out in January (SyFy willing).
Whose choice was it to cast three very good looking ladies, including Playboy model Amber Sym, as the three ladies who get into trouble while on holiday? I am sure you all had great fun deciding who would play those characters?
A) I cast all my films. And to be perfectly honest, it was not fun at all. I decided to use unknown talent for the show, ya know, give local talent a chance to be in a cool little horror flick that’ll actually be seen. But most of the people that showed up to audition were absolute flakes.
I had one chic for the part of Moe (the meth-head girlfriend). She was great for the role. She looked the part top to bottom and could act. She thanked me for the opportunity, yada, yada, yada –bullshit! After doing a bunch of prep, artwork, rehearsing etc., she decided that partying and slumming were her priorities -this idiot had never had a real part in anything and pissed away an opportunity for nothing.
Others would show up for a little while, but when they saw it was actual work, that they would actually be directed, and that it would take longer than the usual bullshit-two-day productions they were used to, they disappeared!
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that this is the next Avatar, but it’s not frickin’ McBurger King where you just don’t show up one day either.
Next was the ‘local’ icing on the cake. Two of the original cast decided to squeeze me for money by refusing to finish only a few days from completion if I didn’t pay. Now keep in mind, these girls had zero talent when I first met them. I trained them for months and brought them up to a level of acceptability. This greedy low-life knife in the back is what I got in return. So I did what any intelligent Producer would do –I fired their dumb asses!
I was going to scrap the whole ‘local’ idea and bring in pros from California to fix the hole they had created. At the last minute though, I lucked out and got some really great talent including Monica Chambers, Rohnja Morrow, Victoria Wyberanec and Caitlin Bond. Let me tell you, all of these guys put their heart into this, and busted their asses!
After seeing some of the footage, it is very gory with some great over the top special effects. How were these effects achieved on a low budget?
A) Thanks! All of the effects, practical and digital, are done by yours truly.
With the horror market currently saturated with gore and violence, where does your film, The Pit, fit in, and what fresh ideas will this bring to the horror market of hungry gorehounds?
A) The Pit is not gory for the sake of gore, but it actually fits into the storyline. I believe that the film will stand out because of its original storyline and unusual turn of events.
You have said that making The Pit was not exactly easy, and you were faced with many problems (including adverse weather conditions), would you be so kind as to share some of those ‘experiences’?
A) Aside from the whole casting thing, the two biggest problems were weather and time. First was the wind. A lot of people don’t realize that wind doesn’t only affect sound, but when you have a reverse from a calm shot to one that looks like it was shot in an F-4 tornado, all of the ADR in the world won’t save it. Then came the heat… It was so hot in that jungle, we would drink nothing but gallons of Gatorade and sweat it out –no one pissed! Then the rain… One time the production was delayed for five weeks straight for consistent rain. Then of course, you have the creatures. Did I mention those? Everything from biting water beetles, deer flies and scorpions, to pygmy rattlesnakes, water moccasins and wild boar where a daily annoyance! Here’s a fun little fact: All of the animal bones you see in the film were from actual animal carcases we found. So I hope everyone appreciates our efforts.
What are your thoughts on the state of horror right now? Do you have any favourite films?
A) I like all kinds as long as they have a story. Not enough films incorporate an actual story.
You have another new film in the pipeline, Creeper, tell us about it?
A) Creeper’s about these spoiled rich bitches that decide to have some fun with a half-wit on the social website ConnectMeNet. They really put him through the wringer of humiliation, all the time recording his deviant acts. Finally, they release it in an internet clip titled “Revenge on a Creeper”. The video goes viral, and the girls become famous -even getting their own reality show, ‘Creeper Watch’, while his pathetic life is destroyed, sending him into hiding.
Now it’s the 1st anniversary of ‘Creeper watch’, and the one creeper that started it all returns to start his own show -but in his, the situations are deadly real and only cast are the girls fighting for their lives.
Creeper see’s a group of girls taking a sort of revenge on perverted men who enjoy seeing naked girls on the internet and in films. Since both your films feature an array of ladies, at times completely naked and vulnerable, how do you feel Creeper justifies your ideas?
A) Well first of all, they’re not getting revenge on “perverted men who enjoy seeing naked girls on the internet and in films.” What red-blooded man doesn’t like seeing naked girls on the internet and in films? That doesn’t make someone a pervert. The girls are seeking revenge on creeps that harass them on the social sites with lewd behaviour, i.e. sending naked pictures of themselves, trying to lure them to secluded locations etc.
The nudity in the films is realistic, period. I absolutely hate when a film dodges the whole nude thing. Example: A couple just finishes screwing around. Now it’s irrelevant whether or not nudity is shown in the sex scene; however, afterwards, when the chic grabs a sheet or towel to cover up for dialog; or even worse, the sheets magically cling to her boobs, it’s ridiculous! It completely takes you out of the movie and ruins it for the viewer. Then you have the flipside. Example: Halley Berry in Swordfish. I have never seen a more pointless boob shot in a film, nor have I been more embarrassed to be a guy, than when all the dudes in the theatre sighed thrillingly when they popped out. Bottom line: If there should be nudity, show it. The Director should have the balls to cast people who can do the job.
When can we hope to see Creeper released?
A) January 2013
You also have a new web series in the works called Contempt, please explain what this is all about.
A) Contempt is about a mysterious stranger simply called unknown. He has an island where he punishes those above the law, crooked judges, prosecutors, lawyers etc. He won’t kill them outright, they actually have a chance to live if they can withstand his deadly trials.
Do you feel that web series’ will continue to become more and more popular?
A) I’m not sure… I did this one just for fun, and it turns out that I’m converting it to a full film.
The idea for Contempt is not exactly new, however you have put your own highly original idea to it. Where did the idea come from, and is this also a message from you to corrupt so-called stand-up members of the community?
A) You see it played out every evening on the news. I know that sounds cliché, but it is true. Via DNA, you constantly see people released from death row after having their lives ruined, and nobody seems to be outraged! Even the poor sap that’s released harbors no anger, simply because he’s so grateful to be alive. He ignores the shattered life corrupt, incompetent officials have inflicted him with –never mind the fact that ‘they’ tried to kill him! So he’s thrown a few bucks, sent on his way and everything is forgotten. What about the idiots that arbitrarily did this to him and others! That’s a good genesis for a film, and that is what I have done.
How hard is it to make it in the movie business these days, speaking from experience. Is it something you would recommend to up and coming filmmakers? What would be your advice to them?
A) Very! Don’t think you’re a filmmaker simply because you bought a camera from Best Buy! That’s like buying a stethoscope and calling yourself a doctor –It ain’t so. Don’t be delusional. You’re nothing special. If you want to make a film, you owe it to the public to learn and hone your skills. If you’re not willing to do this, may I suggest McBurger King?
I realize, of course, that this sounds harsh; however, these are the cold, hard facts of life. I absolutely can’t stand the no-talent wannabes that haven’t learned, and most importantly sold anything. They simply pull pseudo-greatness out of their ass. Besides creating an advanced format, which eases the filmmaking process, the fucking digital age has ruined cinema forever. Now everyone’s a filmmaker.
Fifteen years ago you could be nobody with a film and get a meeting with the head of acquisitions at any of the majors. This was because fifteen years ago if you had a movie, it was shot on film which requires a considerable amount of money, skill and time. They knew you were serious. Today, you can’t take a piss in a public restroom without someone sliding a dvd of their crap ‘movie’ under your stall. It’s worse than wannabe screenwriters and actors.
You have said that you strive to be original and come up with new ideas in your films, do you have any ideas for future films which may not have been done yet?
A) Plenty, but I can’t divulge those concepts now, or I’d have to… well, you know…
What is your favourite horror film of all time, and why?
A) The Exorcist. No holds barred originality and actually scary.
Is there a particular genre of horror film you enjoy more than others?
A) I don’t get into the torture porn stuff. If there’s no story, I’m not interested. Anything with a story fits the bill.
Who do you believe is leading the way in modern horror?
A) Yours truly. Just kidding. I actually don’t know because it’s all over the map right now.
Finally, if you were able to spend the night in a pub talking film with any director, alive or dead, who would it be and why?
A) Hitchcock. Because we could get sauced while bitching about what a fucking pain-in-the-ass SOME actors are. Then again, I’m sure every director could do that. It would just be more fun with Hitchcock because he was the first to openly display his contempt.
Matt Wavish and Horror Cult Films would very much like to thank Matthew Gunnoe for taking the time to do this interview. We appreciate that the director is very with all his cool stuff going on, and we would like to wish Matthew every success with his projects.
Those readers interested in pre-ordering either The Pit or Contempt can do so at www.pitcreeper.com. These are limited Unrated Convention Editions that include a bunch of cool stuff, listed on the site including free autographed posters, so best get pre-ordering before it is too late!