Talkin with The Scribblers:
Dire Wit Films' Mark Colegrove
Mark Colegrove: We recently met our goal to raise funds to not only press our new movie Mutantis on DVD, along with a 2nd pressing of 7th Day, as well as T-Shirts, limited VHS copies of our films - and an awesome collectable Mutantis resin kit. We're extremely grateful to our friends and fans who made this happen! Making movies is an expensive hobby, and even though these films were complete, there's a lot of upfront cost to us to get all this merchandise made. So we're happy to be sending it all to the folks that contributed to our campaign out as we speak!
Mark Colegrove: We currently have 4 flicks - Mutantis, our latest, actually premieres on August 29th in LA, September 12th in Baltimore, and September 29th in Souix Falls. The DVD will be online shortly afterwards. We've also got 2 new ones in production and slated for release next year. There's Driven to Succeed, a comedy about a fucked up driver's ed school that I'm currently directing, and Pig Pen, from 7th Day director Jason Koch which is currently in pre-production.
We've historically self-distributed all our films, and with Isle of the Damned (Cult’s Review here)being the first film we REALLY distributed (Pleasures of the Damned we only sold at conventions before that) there was a bit of a learning curve involved - it took awhile to make it available through all the channels we wanted to. It's always difficult though, as the distribution landscape is constantly changing and evolving. Avenues that worked on 7th Day last year, might not work on Mutantis this year. It's really about persistence... we admit we make movies for a niche audience. But the goal is to deliver something that people might not get from a more mainstream film produced under studio constraints.
Mark Colegrove: Thanks for the love! Surprisingly censorship wasn't an issue here in the US. It did, however, get banned (for real) in Germany. The German language distributor, Emsch and the amazing folks at Illusions Unltd., are working on a cut version right now actually, and German fans can still import the full thing from Austria!
I'd love for it to someday find a wider audience, but I feel like with the saturation in the horror world these days it might be difficult, but who knows! We have THOUGHT about re-releasing a Blu-Ray, but at this point it's just not cost effective. We're always looking at new options for streaming though!
Mark Colegrove: I guess that explains the lack of the audience... we SHOULD have made their names bigger on the box cover and not hid them under hideous wigs and moustaches!
TDBS: Those wigs & moustaches are creep-tastic! Yet again in relation to Isle of the Damned (because I am such a fanboy) I believe I have a rough idea as to the influences for the film, could you please tell us a little about those influences and the whole idea behind the film's premise?
Mark Colegrove: We borrowed mostly from the Green Inferno. Just kidding - but I am looking forward to seeing Eli Roth's remake of our little flick! Actually it all came out of writer Mark Leake's demented brain, and it borrows from a hodge-podge of Italian cannibal nostalgia. The "civil savage" theme is ripped right out of just about every movie in the sub-genre, most notably Cannibal Holocaust (Feind’s Review here). There's also a fair amount of "Eaten Alive" in there, a dash of "Zombi 2" (the professor character), and "Indiana Jones" because hey - why not!
Mark Colegrove: Shane Vannest & Ian Potter will be happy to hear that... so thanks on their behalf! We're in Baltimore, and those guys moved to Pittsburg and Texas respectively, but we still keep in touch. These days we've been working closely with Aftermath FX here in Baltimore, which is run by the amazingly talented Jason Koch and Kaleigh Brown.
TDBS: They certainly did an excellent job! As a huge fan of the 'Video Nasty' period of cinematic history I have several gruesome favorites, this is also probably the reason why I tell everyone I come into contact with about your homage masterpiece (of sorts) Isle, what are your favorites?
Mark Colegrove: On the Italian side of the realm, I really love Lizard in a Woman's Skin, Zombi 2, and Tenebrae. On our side of the pond, Bloodsucking Freaks was a real standout for me. I remember showing up late to work at the restaurant I worked at at the time because I needed to finish watching it!
Mark Colegrove: The first thing that popped into my head is Peter Jackson's Braindead or Dead Alive. The lawnmower scene changed my life. Evil Dead 2 is another fairly obvious choice. Right around the time I made the decision to pursue film I remember Pulp Fiction and Delicatessen changing the way I thought about movies. And I'm a huge Star Wars fan - that's what I was raised on, and I grew up with all the action figures. The Empire Strikes Back is an amazing piece of cinema, and as a kid it just blew my mind that you could end a movie like that.
Mark Colegrove: Dune. Back to the sci-fi here. I loved the movie, but it felt incomplete, so therefore it needs to be redone right? Why remake something that was perfect the first time around.
On the low-budget horror end, I'm a huge fan of this little movie by Conrad Brooks (who appeared in every Ed Wood movie back in the day) called Jan-Gel. The movie is basically a tribute to Ed Wood in a lot of ways, and it features the longest rubber-snake fight ever committed to film. It's utterly ridiculous. Conrad and I were chatting a bit at one point about doing a remake/sequel, but he lost interest and we ended up dropping it.
Mark Colegrove: I wish I could comment, but I was never much of a Maiden fan... I was always more of a Black Sabbath guy. I CAN pick one of their albums though... Sabbath Bloody Sabbath.
Mark Colegrove: So I mentioned a couple immediate things that we're currently working on, but other Dire Wittee's Clint Kelly and Kelly Fitzgerald are also working on some new features that are in the scripting stages, also folks in the Baltimore area should come visit us at Mondo Baltimore, www.mondobaltimore.com, a monthly bad movie series we help run! Thanks for taking the time to help spread the word!