CofC: You have carved your way to a successful career in Horror film making beginning with your debut Dead Hooker In A Trunk ; What films inspired you to start making your own horror films?
S: Grindhouse was the film that really inspired us to pick up a camera and make a film, in particular the Jason Eisener segment, Hobo With a Shotgun. We always felt inspired to make films from Robert Rodriguez’s Ten Minute Film Schools and when we saw a Canadian make such a cool faux trailer, we wanted to make something too. We didn’t realize it was horrific while making it, we just put in stuff which we found cool like evisceration.
J: We are hugely inspired by Robert Rodriguez. Not only are his films so cool, and stylish, and unique, but he is one of the few directors that always shared his “how to” tips (Ten Minute Film Schools) and challenged indie filmmakers or aspiring directors to stop talking about making a movie and go out and do it themselves. His book, REBEL WITHOUT A CREW, is a must have.
CofC: How has the perception of the twisted twins changed over the last few years as your success as horror writer/directors mounts ?
S: I think it’s evolved like we have with all of our different films. We have now made four feature films and a segment in the ABCs of Death 2 and every time we make something I feel we change. I’m really happy that people have been watching our films and supporting us – it’s extremely cool. We never do the same thing twice and I think people are starting to notice that more. We have a lot of different stories we still want to tell.
J: Being identical twins, it’s always been rather easy for people to just label us as one thing. Like with AMERICAN MARY, I believe that people aren’t just what they appear to be. In fact, no one fits into just one stereotypical category. When we first came out with DHIAT, people assumed we could only do Grindhouse. So then we came back with our polished AMERICAN MARY. And to keep people guessing, we went on to ABCs of DEATH 2 and SEE NO EVIL 2. People say we’re evolving but we’re really just showing them what we’ve got. We’re only just getting started.
CofC: Regarding the writing process – How do you both share this and who generates the germ of an idea ?
S: I put in a lot of the really weird and dark shit. Jen puts a lot of the comedy in it. Not that we don’t both swap between writing those elements. We come up with everything very collaboratively. We flesh out the characters, the kills – if we are killing someone, actually someone always dies in our movies to date – everything, then we tag team the script going between writing and gaming.
J: It’s split down the middle. With our original scripts we’ll pitch each other back and forth until we find a concept we’re both equally excited about. Then we take it from there. We break down the rough story, the reason behind the film existing in the first place, the characters, and then we jot it down all rough in a three act structure. We decide who gets to write what and play tag team. Usually the other plays video games.
CofC: How did you both become involved with See No Evil 2 ?
S: American Mary was a huge reason why we got the job. WWE Studio Head Michael Luisi loved the film and reached out to us. We had a conference call with both studios were we needed out over how ugh we love Glenn “Kane” Jacobs, and the script, and both their companies, and what we would like to do with the sequel. We were convinced there was no way we were getting the job, but we did.
J: We were sent the script and were super excited it was from the WWE, being long time fans of both WWE and Kane. We’d seen the first film and wanted to capitalized on some of the film’s missed opportunities. It was a dream come true to be able to recreate Jacob Goodnight and in doing so create our own masked man from the mask down to the theme music.
CofC: How was it working with Glenn Jacobs? Was he surprised to be reprising the role of Jacob Goodnight after 8 years ?
S: Once he met us, he knew that they had to wait 8 years for us to be ready to make the sequel. Glenn is the coolest guy on the planet. He brings this incredible physical presence to the role and has this lifetime of performance under his belt. He’s like what you would expect working with a Superstar to be like – it’s like working with a super human. What a lot of people don’t know about Glenn is he is really funny, excellent comedic timing and magnificently well spoken. I cannot wait to work with him again to get to show off those aspects.
J: At least half the reason we wanted to work on the film so bad was for the opportunity to work with Glenn. I was a Kane fan going in, but I am the biggest Glenn Jacobs fan now. I think he didn’t think it would happen. SEE NO EVIL did really well for the company but they waited so long to make the sequel that he just kind of assumed that was that. I think they secretly waited so they could hire us, ha ha
CofC: You have cast genre favourites and friends Katherine Isabelle & Danielle Harris in See No Evil 2, did they have a great time making the film?
S: I dunno – we tortured the hell out of them! Ha ha. No, seriously, Danielle is a real life amazon. I think in real life, Danielle would rip Jacob Goodnight apart – she’s just so badass. It was physically and emotionally draining I’m sure because she always gives it her all, she’s directing her own films now so you see that mindset in her while she’s acting. She is masked man pedigree, horror royalty. This is our second film with Katie, but it just kind of feels like we’ve always known each other. I loved what she did in American Mary and as I worked with her more, I realized how incredibly versatile an actress she is, but there are certain roles you just never see her playing. Her performance made the whole movie fun.
J: Danielle and Katie are at the top of their game. They’re fan favorites because they are so insanely talented and charismatic. We’ve worked with Katie before on AMERICAN MARY. She’s a total pro. She brings such life to the characters she plays. There isn’t anything she can’t do. Danielle is a legend. We’ve been dying to work with her. She’s a filmmaker herself, too, and I respect the hell out of that. She is the ultimate final girl.
CofC: How important is it to satisfy horror fans and keep up appearances at horror film festivals : FrightFest etc ?
S: The weird thing about film is if you want to see how people react to your film, you have to go to festivals to get that experience from people who truly love the genre. FrightFest has always been so kind and supportive of us, what they do to support filmmakers so that their films can get out there is fantastic. There is no experience like going to these genre festivals, they have the coolest crowds and raddest flicks – it’s a great time.
J: I love getting to travel to different festivals and conventions because it gives us the opportunity to meet the amazing people who watch and support us and our work. They’re just such better people than everyone else. It makes us so happy to get to hug them and thank them for watching. We try to travel us often as we can and to as many places as we can.
CofC:You cast your parents Agnes and Marius in American Mary – Any future roles for them ?
S: Yes, lots. We try to put them in everything. You watch your own film so many times, especially in post – I like to see people that I love seeing in my films. It’s one of the same reasons why you’ll keep seeing us work with the same talent time and time again.
J: ha ha, I love my mum and dad! None of this would be possible without them. They’re the most supportive parents in the world. I would love to keep giving them little cameo places. I love seeing people I love in my films. It just makes it all that more personal and I’m pretty sentimental that way. I love to sneak in our crew, too.
CofC: What horror franchise would you both absolutely love to take a shot at directing: Halloween, Friday 13th, Hatchet 4 etc.
S: I would love to make a franchise from the Twisted Metal game series. It’s so pitch black and so utterly violent. It’s Saw meets Fast and the Furious.
J: That’s a hard one. There are so many incredible franchises. I’d be honored to have a chance at directing Clive Barker’s new HELLRAISER script if he doesn’t want to direct it himself.