Hey, everyone. ”Moriarty” here.
You’ve really got to check this one out to believe it.
First, we got the attached interview sent into the primary AICN geek e-mail address, and there’s a disclaimer attached to it:
Ah, Vern, how do I love you? Let me count the ways.
Only Vern would have done this interview. Only Vern would have made it such a great read. And only AICN has the good fortune to be publishing it this morning.
Lucky, lucky you.
Ladies and gentlemen,
As an individual who tends to write about movies on the internet I get a few emails.
And every now and then those emails are about some low budget undistributed independent movie somebody made, asking if I would check it out. I usually say sure, if you want to send it to me I’ll take a look. But then I say that I can’t guarantee I will review it. And so far I never have. If it doesn’t blow me away there’s no point in reviewing it. I feel bad because these are all nice people and they’ve worked hard on these things, but usually I’m not patient enough to watch. If there are people who are good at watching those things to look for hidden talent then I’m not one of them. I like a good low budget movie, but to me low budget is EL MARIACHI or above. BAD TASTE maybe. Preferably TEXAS CHAIN SAW MASSACRE. I’m not the best guy to appreciate what you shot on video with your friends, no matter how good a job you did.
So when I got an email from a guy called Scotty JX about his movie ACTIONGIRLS: SOLDIERS OF THE DEAD PART 1 I was kind of surprised. Because he included pictures, and it looked like a real action movie. There was a fiery explosion or two. Some sweaty babes with guns. Some evil musclemen and bloody Nazis. And they looked like people that would really be in a movie, not just somebody’s buddy they had to settle for because they had no money. In some dusty closet I have an old VHS tape I bought at Woolworth’s or Fred Meyer or somewhere called THAT’S ACTION!, and it’s nothing but clips of explosions and shootings from low budget 1980s commando movies I never heard of before or since. And this ACTIONGIRLS looked like something that would be on that tape.
When the package arrived there was a disc, some printed information and some glossy promo shots printed off from a computer. I was looking over the stuff and some of the names on the credits sounded familiar. Susanna Spears for example, I think I’d heard that name. And Adriana Zarcova too. There was somebody named Lilian Tiger in it. And a guy named Mr. Haleek, that’s kind of an odd– HOLY SHIT, this is a porno! No wonder the director’s name is Scotty JX! I know people give McG shit for his name, and mink (Steven Seagal’s INTO THE SUN), but I don’t think any director would be called Scotty JX unless there were butts and boobs involved. With that realization it seemed to make a little more sense why I hadn’t heard of this movie. All the pieces of the puzzle were coming together like a bunch of penises sliding into a bunch of vaginas.
Whoah, double metaphor.
Some quick research showed me that the movie does not in fact depict the union of penis and vagina. This is not a porno, you can’t even really call it a softcore porn because there aren’t sex scenes at all. But Scotty does find many ways to have his female characters walk around with no pants on. This is a T&A action movie mostly starring women who were established as nude models on the internet. It’s an extension of the websight Actiongirls.com, which apparently shows naked girls in action movie scenarios. They pose with guns, in front of tanks and rockets, covered in mud. Susana Spears has a cowboy drifter character but instead of “The Woman With No Name” she’s “Cold Hearted Bitch.” There are animated gifs of naked girls jump roping and lifting weights. When you search by genre the categories include “Water and Fitness,” “Bikes, Cars & Tanks,” and my personal favorite “Shooting Guns Movies.” It reminds me of that “Chicks Who Love Guns” video Ordell Robie uses to demonstrate his merchandise in JACKIE BROWN.
With all due respect to the Suicide Girls, if the Actiongirls had to fight them they’d probaly pull out their nipple rings and laugh at their tattoos until they cried. Then they’d get on their police motorcycles and do donuts around them, kicking dust in their sad raccoon-eyes.
In my review of SUPERBAD I mentioned my theory that they don’t bother to put nudity in non-porn movies anymore because the internet made it obsolete – nobody’s gonna go fast forwarding through DVDs trying to pause on Shannon Tweed’s boobs when they can find ten thousand free blowjob mpegs in the same amount of time. The days of that one scene being worn out on the VHS rental of BASIC INSTINCT are over. But Harry told me he’s heard from directors and actresses that the real reason is Mr. Skin and his colleagues who take the nudity out of the movies and put it online. So Halle Berry, for example, is not gonna be as likely to go topless knowing that the scene will end up out of context on some jerkoff page instead of as one piece in the full artistic statement of, uh, SWORDFISH.
In other words, they’ve used the internet to take women who have worked their whole lives to be movie actresses and turn them into nude models. What Scotty JX has done is the opposite: he has taken women who work as internet nude models and used a movie to turn them into actresses. Or at least stuntwomen.
Now, I wish I could tell you that SOLDIERS OF THE DEAD PART 1 is a great action movie, or even a really good one. There were parts that impressed me, I felt like it could be molded into something really entertaining. I saw all kinds of potential for goofy shit to happen with the story. I’d write the novelization. But due to my code of honor I can’t bullshit you, friends. In my view the movie doesn’t work, this is not that movie I’ve been waiting for that blows me away. But I still wanted to write about it because even if watching the movie wasn’t that interesting I was interested in why a guy would make a movie like this.
I had asked Scotty JX if I could interview him, but after I watched the movie I was a little worried. I didn’t want to pretend like I loved the thing. When I told him I didn’t he admitted that “it’s not GONE WITH THE WIND.” Which is accurate, in my opinion, although I’m not that into GONE WITH THE WIND either. He was still gracious enough to explain his background and what he was going for with the movie.
ACTION GIRLS: SOLDIERS OF THE DEAD PART 1 writer/director Scotty JX (clothed)
Sorry to ask you this, but could you explain the “JX” in your name?
Now, could you explain what Actiongirls.com is and how you went from doing that to making this movie?
Actiongirls started as the website Actiongirls.com. The site launched in the summer of 2003 and has taken some years to really get where I wanted to take it. It’s a constant work in progress. Actiongirls is a blend of hot babes and hot action. I try and focus on the babes and the action giving the viewer a different experience than what he might get in a Hollywood movie. People go to the internet to see what they can’t see in the movies or on TV. I’m aiming my products at a strictly adult audience. Rather than water down my movies for the masses to gain the largest audience I’d rather focus on a niche audience that is tired of 90 minute formula that’s done over and over again.
Of course I don’t have the deep pockets like Hollywood has and I would be stupid to try and compete with them on their level. Besides I prefer to shoot the fun stuff. I would kill myself if I had to shoot hours of dialogue. I prefer to shoot babes and action, it’s like the best paid holiday I can think of. I like to watch movies of course. I’m a fan of many genres, especially horror and action. It has been my dream since 10 to make feature films. I moved from Michigan to Los Angeles in 1995 to pursue that dream and learned quickly that the system in place was not something I wanted to follow. For example kissing ass to rich guys was not my dream. Going to the parties laughing at bosses jokes is not something I felt comfortable with.
So anyway, the original premise behind Actiongirls was:
“Based in the future, the world as we know it has been destroyed. Menacing gangs ravage and loot the cities and towns searching for new members. Follow the Actiongirls each week in their ongoing story of survival, alone and outnumbered they must do what it takes to survive in this hostile world….”
For the first year I followed this basic premise – it’s mainly a theme for the photosets and the video. In this post-apocalyptic future gangs ravage the cities searching for new members. Women treated the worst of all are collected by leading gangs and made into slaves for whatever purpose the gang seems fit. Of course they would like the most beautfiul women as their prizes just like any guy. Some of these beauties choose to train themselves to fight these gangs rather than give in easy. Anyway this was the premise when the site launched. But this was only a base.
Actiongirls is much more than one plot, it has many layers. Since then I have added an Actiongirls Western for example that has nothing to do with this plot. Actiongirls is a niche in itself and as we go along the definition is changing. I have shot girls with all sorts of fire power flamethrowers, all sorts of machine guns, pistols, rifles. I have added tanks, a variety of army vehicles, mostly Russian. Babes and Harleys, fitness video girls swimming, jet skiing, nude sports like basketball, tennis, boxing etc… in 2005 I launched the Actiongirls.com DVD series. There are curently 5 titles,
Actiongirls.com Volumes 1-4 and Actiongirls.com Water and Fitness and now Actiongirls.com SOLDIERS OF THE DEAD PART 1.
Basically Actiongirls does what Hollywood doesn’t. For example Hollywood sells sex as much as porn sells sex. But the number 1 money maker for Hollywood are family movies, or at least it appears that way based on statistics out there from Yahoo and Boxofficemojo, but Hollywood walks a thin line, not to cross the porn line for example. They will give you movie like HOSTEL, TEXAS CHAINSAW etc… that shows the most graphic violence, but when it comes to T & A too much will get you a NC-17 and maybe an X. And hey, nobody wants that – why? Because then the mainstream press won’t cover a story on you! But meanwhile Anna Nicole Smith dies and it’s on the news every night? Hmmmmm….. Paris Hilton makes a sex tape and gets her own series… hmmmmmm… but hey dont show tits ohh… My guess is that the general public isn’t comfortable with sex on the tv screen with the family around, but hey – head exploding – that’s ok! Anyway sorry to go on and on… but if anything I hope this explains why I choose to cut to the chase a bit on my movies. My movies aren’t made for someone looking for witty dialogue or a plot twister.. as I said on volume 4 box art I cut to the caveman scenes to give the viewer simple instinctual pleasures – in other words Action and Girls, not much in between. When I played Devil May Cry I never cared about the plot, I just liked chopping up and blasting the bad guys. I skip the in-between scenes so in the same way my movies are more like a video game than they are a Hollywood movie. The Volume series are a collection of music videos that take place in the theme explained above (post apocalyptic)
Anyway the decision to make a movie was simple…. a collection of music videos can’t get an R rating and without an R rating you couldn’t until recently get into Walmart, Best Buy, Blockbuster… and in some cases Net Flixxx. But movies like BORAT and JACKASS, HOSTEL, TEXAS CHAINSAW remake and many others have helped pave the way as they have an R cut and an Uncut. For the past decade since Bush took office and even under Clinton NR was banned from stores, and movies that don’t have a plot don’t get an R. A lot of those rules are still today for example to get an R you must have a story. Playboy, Penthouse and Mature has been dead, the Adult stores don’t carry softcore product as they say it doesn’t sell (what a joke), and mainstream stores dont carry Adult. Blockbuster knocked out all the Mom and Pop video stores for a while and the only place to get Adult has been specific stores that supply it that are restricted by local governments to industrial areas. So where do you buy Mature DVDs? Well Tower Records is gone, and there are 4 Virgin stores… The internet has kicked the shit out of the DVD retail physical stores. Netflixx has a huge impact on this as well! Netflixx does carry uncut but not mature, once again you have to have a story!!! Hence, ACTIONGIRLS SOLDIERS OF THE DEAD PART 1 is born! To gain larger distribution channels!
The internet has become a standard now, it isn’t the little guy anymore, it’s a player! And what’s big online will start to grow in other areas! If JACKASS and BORAT can make 100 million dollars then I would say something is changing. Where’s the plot twist in JACKASS? Some people out there want something different! And don’t like to be treated like children! Tarantino’s GRINDHOUSE they say bombed but really its only the budget, had it had a smaller budget it may have been a great success. Okay, maybe not like SPIDER-MAN, but you know what, I don’t need to make a billion dollars to feel successful. Give me the 20 million I’m ok with it:)
Do these characters and storylines come out of Actiongirls.com, or is it a separate thing you made up for the movie?
Yes they come out of Actiongirls.com the site to some degree. Susana Spears, Adriana Zarcova, Jirina James all are in the Actiongirls site with many other storylines and photo layouts. Not all go with this same plot line.
I have a section in the site for genres so you can surf by genres and I have a storyline navigation that connects certain stories. There are also uncut SOLDIERS OF THE DEAD music videos featuring the stars of the movie, more nude and more sexy. So you can see the stars of the film up close and personal and much more sexy! It’s like this: imagine after watching an Angeline Jolie movie being able to log on and see her totally nude at the movie website. Now there is something I would pay for:) This is partly why the movies stars are models and not actors.
The movie is very episodic. Did you start with a full script or did you kind of make it up as you went along?
I made it up as I went along. I started with the action scenes, then built a plot around it, no storyboards. My script is a scribble of ideas written on backs of envelopes and paper laying around! I dont have money to plan like Hollywood. I can’t paint a barn in the shot blue cause I don’t like the color. I plan on what I can afford. I have hundreds of ideas and I use the ones I can afford.
I feel like it’s a world that I throw you in and this is what happens in that world. I’m not worried about 90 minutes, trying to wrap it all up by the end. I’m not worried about trying to make you cry like every movie made these days, and I don’t care about Shakespeare or how a story is suppose to be told. Movies have been following the same formulas since the beginning. It started with the Action, as that is my favorite parts to shoot and over 3 years I had to assemble a bunch of scenes so it would makes sense. I like this style as I feel it makes for a more original movie. For this reason you will love it or hate it! And if you hate it that’s fine as there is no lack of movies out there that follow the exact same formulas over and over… for example… everything is happy in the beginning, then suddenly something goes wrong and one man must fight to reverse it all in 90 minutes. Or a group of teenagers go somwhere and get trapped and get staked by the evil bad guys or guy, or serial killer or crazy hillbillies… or aliens or monsters or germs. Who the fuck knows, same shit over and over… I’m more influenced by the old Italian Horror movies for example.
Let me say this as well.. When I was a kid I didnt know the formula of a Hollywood movie. I actually believed that the main character might die, that’s why it was exciting. But after you grow up you find out that this is a formula that they use over and over as no one wants the main character to die. But what I think we lose as we grow up is movies that are unpredictable. To me there is no right or wrong way. And yes there is a formula that will get more check marks in the good movie column, but I didn’t make a movie to get brownie awards. The movies knows its audience and will find it and for those who don’t like it there are no lack of movies out there they will like. Again, this movie was not made to please the masses.
You said you were influenced by Italian horror. Are there any other movies or directors that influenced the movie?
Do you think calling it part 1 could jinx it? I believe there was a cartoon in 1999 called DOUG’S FIRST MOVIE, now it’s eight years later and Doug hasn’t even begun preproduction on his second movie.
In the hardcore porn world people are always impressed when they throw in some stunts or effects, so a movie like PIRATES can be a huge sensation. Were you ever tempted to just throw in some hardcore screwin and pray for some AVN awards?
I liked how there were almost no cheap-o digital effects in this thing, most people these days would’ve thrown in a bunch of cheesy computery shit. But without it it seems more like a throwback to the AIP action movies and stuff like that. Was that deliberate or did you just not have the facilities for it?
How did you cast the movie? The names all sound like porn names, and it looks like you got a couple bikers in there.
Yeah, the whole movie features basically models, most famous from Men’s Nudes Magazines. Adriana for example has been a nude model for 9 years, featured in hundreds of men’s magazines, same as Susana. Emily Kova however is NOT, she is a stunt woman working in the film business. Helmen, played by Mr. Haleek, has starred in many movies with bit roles in many mainstream movies. [Note: I couldn’t figure out which ones since he’s not on IMDb under that name, so I will just guess that he is in THE ENGLISH PATIENT and THE REMAINS OF THE DAY.] And my cast of zombies are all stunt men that have worked on numerous hit Hollywood movie in the Czech Republic where the movie was shot. The reason for casting models is that I wanted to shoot with some good editing. You can make anyone fight, of course it might have been better if I used all stunt women but stunt women aren’t always hot and arent going to to be naked. And plus I want it to be more real so Susana, Jirina did all of their own stunts, no double! These Czech girls aren’t afraid to get dirty! They aren’t super snobs. And there is nothing to hide, they have smoking bods!
Imagine – all these girls get nude! Awesome! what could be better? Hey women, if XXX starring Vin Diesel came out with a DVD with extras of Vin naked would that be such a bad thing? C’mon, sex sells… girls drop dead looking at Brad Pitt. Imagine a naked fighting scene – they would have a heart attack!
Adriana Zarcova’s character wears a Nazi gestapo type outfit. Is she actually supposed to be a Nazi or does she just like the outfit?
What about Emily Kova, who wears kind of a Daisy Duke version of a cop uniform. Is that just what she wears or is she actually supposed to be a cop? And if so is she the only cop left?
I’m glad in this future all the naked girls still get to wear boots. I bet whoever broke into the shoe stores after the plagues is making a fortune.
How did you convince that gal to do a naked scene with rats crawling on her, and did you feel bad about it?
Now, if I was a pro at this I would follow that Butterfly Effect rule of not messing with the filmatist, giving them tiny ideas that could potentially change the course of cinematastic history. But I am a lone wolf and don’t have to follow those type of protocols so I started trying to nudge him with my personal crusade for today’s upcoming directors to tighten their visual storytelling skills. In 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY it’s not just the shot of the bone, or the shot of the space station, it’s the magic that happens when you cut from the shot of the bone to the shot of the space station. It’s like a chemical reaction. I think we’re starting to lose that in modern movies and with his first movie here Scotty has not yet caught it. (I guess this shouldn’t be surprising since he admitted that he only wanted tell a story so it wouldn’t be classified as porn.) He’s best at chase scenes, and admittedly they make up most of the movie. But before the chasing he doesn’t have much momentum, there’s no drive to it, you don’t really know what these characters are trying to do or exactly what stands in their way or why you should care. Just like the eight sex slaves Susanna Spears has licking her boots, this movie needs discipline.
Let me give an example. The opening of the movie has a scroll like STAR WARS explaining the post-apocalyptic world it takes place in. After the text rolls all the way off screen a line fades in that says “The most notorious of these gangs was known as Helman’s Death Squad.” And then it fades into a shot of these guys who are obviously Helman’s Death Squad and you think, “Okay, we’re ready now. Here we go, Helman’s Death Squad.” But then over the footage we have more text explaining what the deal is with Helman’s Death Squad. This goes on for almost two minutes before it fades to black and then more text starts scrolling up! It ends with the promising line “This is the story of those few strong women…” and then “ACTION GIRLS: SOLDIERS OF THE DEAD PART 1.” Very good. And we finally see our lead Actiongirl.
But then she does 2 minutes of voiceover explaining what the story is gonna be about!
To be fair, some of this stuff is entertaining. During the monologue she takes a shower, defeats other naked women in gladiatorial battle, rides a motorcycle, and pretends to be evil in order to get closer to her enemy. She sits on a throne wearing little more than a leather harness, eight naked girls cowering at her boots, and narrates dryly, “In return my sweetheart gave me slaves. Girls to have sex with. It was weird.”
You see what I mean? I see here the raw material to make a fun movie, but in my opinion it’s not put together right. It’s the ingredients with no recipe. I like what he said about how these movies usually have too much talking and not enough action, that is smart. But I think he also needs to learn how to create more of a story and how to tell that story better. All of the movies he mentioned, like MAD MAX and TERMINATOR for example, came up with smart concepts and tight structures that drew you in despite the low budgets. But they require discipline and economy. They’re put together with precision. If they were written on napkins the handwriting was very precise and the napkins were very well organized. Scotty should keep his rebel attitude but then he should shoplift the ancient secrets of storytelling to use for his purposes. I want him to make this type of movie but make it knock me on my ass. Force me to write about why I love the movie, not why I love what the movie is trying to do.
So maybe I’m wrong, maybe it’s not my business, but I took a shot at pointing Scotty down the path.
I don’t know if you know this, but before he did movies Michael Bay directed at least one Playboy Video Centerfold [Kerri Kendall, 1990]. Now he is one of the top directors of big expensive action movies, but he never took out time to improve his visual storytelling. He still thinks if you show tits and then show ass it counts as a movie as long as both shots are nicely lit. What steps do you intend to take to grow as a visual storyteller?
If you could only pick one which would you have in SOLDIERS OF THE DEAD PART 2:
a) even more hot women
b) tighter, more exciting action sequences
[There’s not much talking in the movie, but in the screener I watched when there was dialogue it was subtitled. The audio was very quiet and I couldn’t tell if they were speaking gibberish or some European language I was not familiar with.]
What’s the deal with the dialogue? Were you having sound problems or was that the plan from the beginning?
I know these are models and not actors, but if the movie’s gonna be cheesy anyway wouldn’t it be more fun with some stiffly delivered dialogue here and there? I wonder if you would consider a little more for part 2 because when I read what the story was it sounded pretty cool but I didn’t pick up on all that from watching the movie.
I know you are very proud of the nudity in the movie so I wanted to ask you some questions about that. First of all, what are some of the problems it has caused you in marketing the movie?
Well for example, I haven’t passed it by the MPAA yet, I have enough to make an R rating I think and hell, the porn movie PIRATES had an R MPAA version so I think I will be okay with an R version. It’s tough promoting the movie as people label it as porn and throw it off certain sites. For example Dailymotion and Videosift threw the trailer off even with the blurred nudity! Which is crazy as regular tv shows blurred nudity – Playboy’s Girls Next Door and Reno 911 among many others. Limits have been pushed, even in the JACKASS movies a leech takes off the balls of Steve O among numerous other scenes.
Yet everyone has their definition of what’s acceptable – some think Playboy is porn. For example Maxim US version is one of the only versions in the world that doesn’t show nudity! People in America are still uncomfortable with nudity most likely due to religon. Mainstream press have not covered anything on the movie. I have emailed numerous mainstream magazines, not even Maxim US has covered it. But Maxim France has, for example. It just takes a few bold ones to get the ball rolling, but thus far it’s like pushing a heavy car uphill. I won’t be surprised if many will never cover it.
Take a look at GRINDHOUSE – the trailer says it pushes sex… where? The girls are hot but there is no nudity! It’s hard to believe an exploitation with no nudity. Yes, the brunette is a stripper but she isn’t nude. I still like the movie but this is why I revert to the 70’s movies more. The bottom line – if you’re funded by someone else, a studio or what have you, they are the boss and they make the decisions. Yet we live in a JACKASS world! 14 year old girls are wearing Playboy clothes today! So to answer you question, it’s the nature of the beast. I’m glad that guys like yourself have more of a voice thanks to the internet! The internet seems to be the last free place, at least for the moment.
Let’s say you’re in the editing room and you’re deciding between two takes of a scene. One of them you think has a way better acting performance and advances the story better, but it’s in closeup. The other one is passable, but there are 5 naked round asses in the foreground. Which do you choose?
There’s alot of movies now, SIN CITY comes to mind, or you mentioned PLANET TERROR from GRINDHOUSE. They have a character that logically should be getting naked but then they hire an actress who won’t do nudity. The idea is that Jessica Alba’s acting performance will make up for the ludicrousness of having a fully clothed stripper character. My question is, acting chops-wise how do you think your nude models stack up against Jessica Alba?
Do you foresee a day when late night cable shows movies like this instead of those sleazy thrillers where Shannon Tweed seduces somebody?
Do you see this softcore type of action movie as a possible stepping stone to other types of movies, or is this the end goal, to start a genre of these types of things?
It’s not that shocking to see naked gladiatrixes or a girl in a Gestapo uniform with no pants, but what about drama? Could you pull off a court room or medical drama with this type of nudity? Maybe terrorists have poisoned America’s pants supply and these brave heroes have to find an antidote.
Other than your own SOLDIERS OF THE DEAD series, if you could do any sequel, remake or adaptation (nude or clothed) what would you want to do?
Do you have the whole series planned out? How many do you want to do?
How do you think Part 2 will improve on Part 1 (if applicable)?
I think more action on a larger scale for part 2, a bit more gore!! I have some major action sequences I couldn’t afford to put into part 1 so I plan to have them in part 2. I think more like Soldiers of the Dead is a world so part will be re-entering that world again. I like the idea that the movie is a bit shapeless… it’s a world rather than a movie… I don’t like to follow a 90 minute “let’s wrap it all up” timeline, I’d rather keep it a bit free… It’s ok if you zone out a bit… if you like that world then you’ll enjoy it. Like I said before I like games like Code Veronica and Devil May Cry, the atmosphere was great even when you weren’t fighting the bad guys. I like the these desolate large locations as they really let you enter that world.
I have some new Actiongirls from the UK and Australlia that I plan to work into the story. These girls and a few others are good with speaking and acting a bit so I plan to work them in so I can have a few more lines.
I will keep the series fun as that’s the bottom line!
Why do you think you want to make movies? What drives you?
Well, I’ve known what I wanted to do since 10. I’m 34 now, it’s taken some time as I figured out if you’re going to make movies then you need to make movies. I think too many people try to be perfectionists. Nobody is perfect and you won’t become perfect unless you try. So my goal is to always improve and make the best movies I can for the money as well as to make movies that make money, otherwise I won’t be able to afford to make movies as a career.
I love movies, my life is movies, I watch at least 1 movie every day, sometimes 2 usually before bed. Of course I’m distracted from time to time by other entertainments but I watch around 4-5 movies a week, sometimes new ones and sometimes the same ones I have seen a 100 times. So I’m always analyzing as I want to make something different. I have a burning passion inside to make movies but I want to try my best to have a message. I’m tired of the typical formulas. Alot of people want to go to the movies to see something that is formula as they can relax their brains, I got no problem with wanting to relax. SOLDIERS OF THE DEAD for example isn’t brain surgery. But if you’re going to have an opionion, especially one that’s different, it’s important to understand that some people will not like your films. Which is something Hollywood probably has a conflict with as they want to sell to the widest audience possible, especially on the big budgets, it wouldn’t merit the 300 million dollar budgets unless they can get everyone to see it. I want to make movies with flavor so my passion is to make something different. There are so many ideas that pop up in my head on a daily basis. I try to write them down as I want to see these ideas heard and seen by people.
My number one motivation is anger.. Im fueled by anger… I try and use my anger as a motivation. Usually Hollywood movies make me angry, when I see movies that are identical copies that get praised by critics this really motivates me. Even on a movie critic level many critics will agree on a film just because it’s easier to agree than to disagree. Marketing definitely has its effect on all of us, even critics. Amovie like HOSTEL will get more reviewed than SOLDIERS OF THE DEAD becuase I don’t have the deep pockets like the studios. There are more followers out there than leaders and more people who copy than think original.
For example I’m tired of a bunch of teenagers that go to some place and get taken out one by one by the bad guy or bad guys. TEXAS CHAINSAW, NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD, FRIDAY THE 13TH, HOSTEL for example. I understand that the formula sells and there is always a new audience out there that hasn’t seen the originals but for god sakes where are the new ideas? I’m not saying my movie is a masterpiece, it may be reminiscent of many movies. But if anything at least it’s not stupid college students who break down in the desert. Because of this 2 hour formula these movies are all identcial and have 90 minutes to get to the end without knowing if the movie will be successful. Im sure that’s what made 24 the series a hit: it’s something different, follows a different timeline.
Look, I’m not saying I dont like these movies, I do. I love TEXAS CHAINSAW (the original), and alot of the others , but they invented this formula a long time back and its seems in 2007 we should be trying to make new movies. The problem is most of these directors are not the bosses of their movies, the people who gave them their money are their boss. And if you don’t have control of your movie then it’s really not your movie. Of course I have to follow alot of the same rules, it is important to make money with my movies as well, but it’s my money, that makes it different. It gives me more creative control.
For me I have one thing to be extremly grateful for: the internet. It cuts out so many middle men and lets you deal directly with the customer. If anything I feel very happy about making movies independently.
On the same level I’m brainwashed too. I’m not going to tell you I’m perfect. Movies are meant to entertain, and even if they are identical they can still entertain which is the bottom line sometimes. I don’t want to think, I want to be stupid too and drink a beer and have a laugh:) But I’m motivated to create movies I feel close to. I’m attracted to the Actiongirls project! Of course, working with smoking hot babes in the nude is great! But I like a balance between the Action and the Girls and sometimes both at once. Sometimes it’s like a perfect date where everything happens you wished would happen on a date. For example, how do you get your women to get nude on a tank on the weekend, then fire machine guns? What I have found and I hate to say this but it’s better to pay for your perfect date, otherwise you won’t get what you want!
Originally posted at Ain’t-It-Cool-News: http://www.aintitcool.com/node/33816
View the archived Ain’t-It-Cool-News Talkback
Aug. 29, 2007, 5 a.m. CST
what the frak is this?!!
Aug. 29, 2007, 5:02 a.m. CST
whoa, first, thanks vern…
but seriously, I didn’t read any of that; way too long. The pics seemed to tell enough of a story…sort of. I’ll be sure to watch it.
Aug. 29, 2007, 5:02 a.m. CST
Aug. 29, 2007, 5:24 a.m. CST
Jean Luc-Goddard < Scotty JX
by Guy Who Got A Headache And Accidentally Saves The World
As a film watcher and game player, it’s pretty amazing how formulaic a lot of this shit is. Especially videogames, which for a comparitively young medium, didn’t take long to get a Hollywood type mentality. I may be a basement dwelling sociopath who hates women, but anyone just trying to do what they like and create some variety is alright with me. Good interview.
Aug. 29, 2007, 5:28 a.m. CST
Wank fantasies for meathead gun-nut pituitary retards
Aug. 29, 2007, 7:39 a.m. CST
W T H?
Dudes, there’s much easier and less expensive ways to get your porn fix than to watch a movie like this. What a dumb idea. lol
Aug. 29, 2007, 8:02 a.m. CST
vern = genius
that is all
Aug. 29, 2007, 8:16 a.m. CST
Finally, the glass ceiling is broken.
Mostly naked models in fetish with guns.
The Wachowskis cheated us in those Matrix movies
Of course they were just afraid of the Bush Administration, so who can blame them.
Does the blonde get to drop the F-bomb? That is so McClane everyman.
Aug. 29, 2007, 8:45 a.m. CST
That was awesome!
I like that guy, he’s straddling the line between genius and insanity pretty well.
Nice review, Vern. :^)
Aug. 29, 2007, 8:46 a.m. CST
…I meant *interview*, of course.
Aug. 29, 2007, 8:55 a.m. CST
Vern, or whoever can edit this..
Right above the Michael Bay question, where you talk about how you’re going to try to influence Scotty JX to become a better filmmaker, it’s in the wrong format or something.
It looks like it’s still JX talking, like Scotty just developed a second personality during the interview and that personality started talking about the first personality. It might be a good idea to fix that.
Aug. 29, 2007, 9:26 a.m. CST
It’s great you’re lending advice to DTV directors
by Neo Zeed
DTV could be so much more fun than it usually is. The thing thats missing from these movies (besides decent budget and good acting. lol) is a tight script. The funny thing is that if the director of this movie likes Rambo 2 or Mad Max, then he should be deconstructing those screenplays… instead of having no story whatsoever. Find out about linear storytelling and when and where to place action. DTV action movies today have ZERO structure. The non-action scenes don’t build towards action. Hollywood action flicks are like that too. I’ve heard War with Statham/Li is a boring piece of shit with brief action spurts and a meandering storyline. Others are the opposite, with brief spurts of alleged storyline and long meandering action(Transformers). People should study James Cameron or the guys who wrote Robocop or Darkman. Movies where the action/story are well blended together. There’s no need to be Tarantino or the Wachowskis. No need to rewrite all the rules. Keep the structure linear (look to the 80s for story templates), have character development, (give the character have an emotional problem that’s solved throughout the course of the action. Like Riggs in Lethal Weapon or even that dude Van Damme played in Timecop) and add all the crazy action when it’s time. Action directors need to get back to basics. Maybe then I can sit through more run n’ gun action films (DTV or otherwise). Great article Vern!
Aug. 29, 2007, 9:57 a.m. CST
WHATTAHELL? WHO CARES ABOUT THIS?
Seriously, I love Vern, but who can possibly give a shit about what this Scotty JX has to say?! C´MON!!!
Aug. 29, 2007, 9:58 a.m. CST
Prequel about Helman’s Death Squad.
We need to know the tragedy behind what made them who they are.
Complete the saga!
Helman shot first!!!!!yea.
Aug. 29, 2007, 10 a.m. CST
“Whoah, double metaphor.”
Actually, it’s a simile. English: 1 | Vern: 0. Don’t worry though bro, you’re still fucking hilarious and this was a great piece!
Aug. 29, 2007, 10:05 a.m. CST
more of this type
by Gatsbys West Egg Omlet
its good to know about anything outside of the mass marketing machine of america. might not be my cup of tea, but i’m sure it is someones’.
thanks for running this, AICN.
Aug. 29, 2007, 10:12 a.m. CST
Vern, I’m enthralled
by Dr. Butthole
This guy seems like he wants to be talented but also appears to be in a great deal of denial about what he’s making. His inspirational material is great stuff but how good can his movie BE? What was the vibe that you got from this guy? Vern, did he seem genuinely interested in making a REAL film some day or is fine with making this or what? He’s an enigma to me!
Aug. 29, 2007, 10:44 a.m. CST
Technically, there was one metaphor (pieces of this puzzle) and one simile (like a penis etc.), so currently the English language and I are owning all your asses. ;^)
Aug. 29, 2007, 11:05 a.m. CST
great interview Vern
this guy is nuts. Scotty if you’re reading this come on in to the talkbacks we won’t kill ya. maybe some TFD but no killing
And surely there are some American models out there, even one or two that would be intrested in doing this shi…stuff.
and I know I saw erica Campbell, maybe not on the Actiongirls.com site but on doing a similar pose, gun out looking like she was in an action film..hmmm Erica Campbell…
Aug. 29, 2007, 12:14 p.m. CST
Do more interviews, Vern.
That was fun. Scotty is living his dream, for sure. Now to investigate his website…
Aug. 29, 2007, 12:29 p.m. CST
i don’t know if i should laugh or cry
it’s nice to see the hot chicks and to know that stuff like this is being made, but the worlds a different place. When I was in middle school/freshman in high school (early 90’s) there were the cinemax porno’s that played on friday and saturday nights and that was just about the only porn/nuddity guys my age could witness unless they knew someone brave enough/old enough to own actual porn movies or magazines. Looking back i guess it was a good thing because now it’s over kill, kids that age just have to have access to a computer and about ten minutes free time to see hardcore stuff i didn’t get to see or even in some case stuff i hadn’t heard of until was like 17 or 18.
Aug. 29, 2007, 1:45 p.m. CST
So he’s asking why he can’t get media attentention…
by The Garbage Man
…and one of his top priorities for the sequel is to actually WRITE A SCRIPT THIS TIME.
You just answered your own question, Chester. Good luck with that.
Aug. 29, 2007, 3:30 p.m. CST
this is Stupid
I cant believe this dude just mentioned movies like star wars & terminator, etc. in an interview about his rat shit of a movie. does he actually think of actiongirls as art. plus euro models bore me. Vern’s IQ just got rockbottomed by watching this thing.
Aug. 29, 2007, 4:03 p.m. CST
Susanna Spears is my favorite online girl, and I WILL see this movie when I get the chance.
Aug. 29, 2007, 4:19 p.m. CST
I’m a big Erica Campbell fan
by Spandau Belly
and she’s in Action Girls 4, so I’ll probably order that eventually.
Aug. 29, 2007, 6:01 p.m. CST
somebody get this chopped up. the questions were great, close up or butt shot, michael bay shooting for playboy, great shit…
but come on, cliff notes were needed for that guys windbaggy-ness
Aug. 29, 2007, 8:25 p.m. CST
It’s cool to see less mainstream stuff getting coverage
Thanks AICN & Vern. Especially in this day and age, with digital video and all, it’s always interesting to hear about some of the more obscure and specialized pieces of the larger film world.
Aug. 29, 2007, 8:44 p.m. CST
by Dollar Bird
I’m really quite pleased that AICN ran this interview. It has nothing to do with the mainstream “cool news” but was like this weird little slice of life story. Good job, Vern. Also, loved the “woah, double metaphor” line.
Like TELF said up there, this guy is living his dream, and it’s always interesting to see what happens when the “dream” is realized. I remember going to comic book cons and seeing the guys who were self-publishing their own books. I never really liked what I saw, but there was something admirable about someone who knows what they want to do and they go out and do it. Clearly, Scotty JX is making his dream of nude women shooting with flame-throwers movies a reality. Good on him.
Aug. 30, 2007, midnight CST
We need more nudity in America!
Everybody get nekkid! :P
Aug. 30, 2007, 1:09 p.m. CST
I love you Vern
Man you turn lead into gold, bro. By the way: You still haven’t answered my question: WILL YOU FATHER MY GRANDCHILDREN????!!?!?!? Need some Vern in the trombone gene pool.
Aug. 30, 2007, 5:37 p.m. CST
Hey Spandau Belly
don’t know if you’ll read this or not, but thanks for the ActionGirls 4 info with Erica Campbell, I know I had seen pics of here in that or similar now I know what to get
VERN has been reviewing movies since 1999 and is the author of the books SEAGALOGY: A STUDY OF THE ASS-KICKING FILMS OF STEVEN SEAGAL, YIPPEE KI-YAY MOVIEGOER!: WRITINGS ON BRUCE WILLIS, BADASS CINEMA AND OTHER IMPORTANT TOPICS and NIKETOWN: A NOVEL. His horror-action novel WORM ON A HOOK will arrive later this year.