Hello Robert, thank you for your time and welcome to UK Horror Scene.
UKHS – You are a rocker turned indie horror filmmaker, how and when did you first become interested in making movies and why horror?
RNG – That’s a great question. Well where to start. The 1980’s were my day of thunder as the saying goes. I was what they would call a poor man’s rock star, that being having all the fun of the rock life with none of the money.
Most of my friends from that time started to outgrow the scene in the mid 1990’s and started to marry and have kids. But that was not my path to follow. So I drifted for a few years writing everything from gothic poetry to very dark tales of horror. I also still did the music thing on and off and indulged in the life style which was always a blast. Then I decided to go back to college and also traveled back and forth between the states for a while. I settled down to a normal or somewhat normal lifestyle around 2001 and in 2006 decided I was going to make a few short films because I always had a love of filming. I always did the video production work for the bands I played with and always loved it. The first 2 short films I did were both around 10 minutes in length were ‘South of Heaven’ and ‘Something Evil’ both shorts starred Suzi Lorraine and before anyone asks no these shorts are not for sale (LOL) they were my learning blocks that lead me up to bigger projects and productions. But ‘Something Evil’ was shown at an Italian film festival in 2007. So that is how I went from a 1980’s metal bad boy to the wonderful world of indie horror films.
RNG – I was asked by David V G Davies to be part of it. David even makes a quick appearance in my film ‘No Strings 2: Playtime in Hell’. I was honored when he asked me to do a segment for ‘Blaze of Gory’. Most of my films are fun campy throwbacks to the 1980’s horror scene, but for the ‘Blaze of Gory’ project my segment was the ‘Masque of the Red Rape’ a very dark and creepy tale of a man driven insane when he cannot accept the death of his beloved wife. David being the great man he is allowed me to tell the story my way, my interpretation of this wonderfully dark story. I introduced a dark figure in the beginning known as the VIDEO MADMAN (played by myself) who narrates the overall theme of the film while watching his vicious murder on VHS tape. The film then moves onto Victor (Damien Colletti) who is another man driven to the darkness of the human condition when his dead wife keeps calling him from the grave to kill in her name. Victor also records his murders and his latest victim is the beautiful Vania Bezerra. It is a pretty creepy film with a little hint of the supernatural at the end. We had a great time filming it.
UKHS – Some directors frequently choose to work with the same actors across several projects including you. Is it easier to work with actors you already know and trust or is it because their personality fits well with your style of direction?
RNG – Absolutely, working with amazing and talented people is the gold at the end of the rainbow. Like all directors I have had ill experiences with some actors and had to make the tough choice to replace them during a production and that is a nightmare to me because you lose priceless time on location. So when you have people who are so wonderful to work with and bring your films alive the way you envision them, then recasting many of the same people is an absolute.
RNG – I loved the 1980’s, everything from the music scene to the horror scene. So I make my films to reflect that wonderful decade. My mix for a film is beautiful breathtaking women, crazy, creepy and somewhat funny monsters and deals with the Devil or ancient curses being the cause of the mayhem, a perfect mix. Of my films to date my favorite is ‘No Strings 2: Playtime in Hell’. Larry the demonic clown doll is funny in so many things he does in the film and creepy as hell because he is one evil-looking MF.
He watches porn, masturbates and also rapes a stuffed monkey in one scene, pounds the stuffing out of it but he kills without mercy and then laughs his ass off with an evil giggle. He is my favorite creation to date.
UKHS – What would you consider to be the three main ingredients that you need to make a classic horror flick?
RNG – 1) A great story and fantastic locations. 2) Great actors that bring the characters to life. 3) A great monster with a great back story and is more than just a killing machine.
UKHS -You specialize in horror but what genre of film would you refuse to make and why?
RNG – I love all genres and I would love to make films from comedy to drama to horror. The only thing I would refuse to make is anything that shows the abuse of children or animals. I refuse to watch films that depict this. It sickens me too much.
RNG – I am working on the script for ‘Michael’s Room’ and look to begin production on it late next year. The film will be deep and deal with a young mother who has lost her child and the demons that feed on her anguish and pain. Plus a few short films, one to begin filming soon titled ‘A Sitting with the Devil’ taken from one of my poems.
UKHS – Thanks again Robert. Keep up the good work and good luck for the future , especially with your new projects.
pictures courtesy: Robert Noel Gifford