Sunday, February 19, 2017

Digging Up the Dirt with Kill Dozer and Kevin Sommerfield of Slasher Studios/ Dismembering Christmas

Last Christmas, I received an early present from KillDozer. KillDozer knew of my love for microbudget horror and found a film he thought looked interesting and ordered it. This film turned out to be Dismembering Christmas. The DVD arrived with several extra goodies the biggest bonus being a 11x17 poster of the awesome cover artwork. After screening the indie holiday slasher it became clear to KillDozer that he needed to talk to whomever was behind all this...
-Lord Battle

KillDozer: So tell me a little about yourself and your role in bringing Dismembering Christmas to the screen.

Kevin: Dismembering Christmas started the day the new (still to be made) Friday the 13th remake/reboot/sequel was announced. I said to my writing partner, "Why haven't they ever done a Friday the 13th set during the winter time?" The idea grew from there and eventually became Dismembering Christmas.

KillDozer: Why a holiday horror? Were you making a statement, just having fun, or a little of both?

Kevin: Definitely fun. Horror is a genre that takes itself very seriously. Don't get me wrong, I love a great, serious horror. However, there seems to be a fun aspect that is missing from the genre today. Particularly the slasher genre. We wanted to make it as Christmasy as possibly so we tried to go all out with everything.

KillDozer: The practical effects used for the kills were awesome! Did you design those? Did you ever feel held back by budgetary constraints when working on effects?

Kevin: Thank you! We designed everything in-house. We knew right away that we wanted original weapons as well as deaths that celebrated the season. When I first started writing the script, I had only one rule: every death has to be either winter or Christmas themed. Once we came up with ideas for some creative deaths, we built what we needed from there. As for budget, it's all about being creative. We made our own body casts, designed our own "killer wreath" and made our machete hockey stick. It's all about making the best with what you have to work with.

KillDozer: Was it at all hard to work in the cold climate?

Kevin: It was pretty brutal. The first week of shooting, we didn't have a single day where the high temperature was more than a single digit. I believe our first day of filming it was -22 with the wind chill. We were also filming right on the lake so we had to deal with snow drifts and lots of wind. Also, the roads were terrible! I don't think there was a single day where we didn't have a car get stuck somewhere.

KillDozer: What was casting like? Do you prefer to work with the same talent or hold auditions?

Kevin: Casting is always fun. We try to mix it up. We placed ads on Craigslist and did some Facebook posts to find some local talent. Our director, Austin Bosley, came from California to make the film and he brought some of his fellow cast & crew members on board. Others like Marla Van Lanen (Joan) & Johnathan Krautkramer (Justin), I had worked with before on our first feature, Don't Go to the Reunion.

KillDozer: How long did the film take to complete from start to finish?

Kevin: The shoot lasted for two weeks in January 2015 and we finished the film for final release that September. It was a pretty quick turn around time. So quick, in fact, that we had to rush ship the DVD's so we could have them the day we left for Horrorhound.

KillDozer: The DVD came with an amazing poster. Who did the artwork for the film?

Kevin: We held a Facebook contest and the three artists with the most votes received their artwork featured on the DVD, Blu-Ray, and VHS releases. Tony Hartman created the DVD art, Austin Hinderliter created the Santa skull art for the bluray, and Jeffrey Quick created the cabin the woods art for the VHS. There were so many fantastic pieces submitted. We were really honored and thrilled that people cared so much about the project to submit art.

KillDozer: Slasher Studios has a few titles in its catalog, can you tell us about those and the direction you hope to go in 2017.

Kevin: Irrational Fear is the next project we currently have it store. The script is finished, we've locked our location, and we are currently raising funding via Kickstarter. It's a supernatural slasher centered around a group of therapy patients that are forced to face their irrational fears. The deaths we have planned are INSANE. I think people are really going to like it.

KillDozer: What is funding like on a project like Dismembering Christmas?

Kevin: We raised the majority through Kickstarter thanks to our very generous backers. The rest we raised through promotions and presales. Campaigning is definitely hard work but well worth the time and effort when you are able to produce the film you want to make.

KillDozer: Do you see yourself revisiting the holiday season or any other holiday?

Kevin: I'd love to do an obscure holiday horror. Something like Arbor Day or Black many potentials!

KillDozer: Have you been able to screen the film at any film fests? If so how has the reaction been?

Kevin: We've screened at about a dozen film fests and the reaction has been great. People get the tone right away. It's over-the-top and fun but with a bit of style (thanks to our two wonderful cinematographers).

KillDozer: How can we follow Slasher Studios?

Kevin: You can find us on FacebookInstagram, and Twitter.

KillDozer: Now for some quick fun questions! If you could re-make any film but with a micro budget what would it be?

Kevin: The Burning. All practical effects set on a real location. I'd LOVE to try to recreate that raft scene.

KillDozer: What's more iconic to you, Freddy's glove or Jason's Mask?

Kevin: I'm going with Freddy's glove here. As cool as the mask is, it can't kill!

KillDozer: What Disney movie do you think would work better as a horror film and why?

Kevin: Definitely Snow White & The Seven Dwarfs. Turn it into a slasher and make Snow White a kick ass final girl. You can't lose!

KillDozer: What is your favorite movie collectible that you own?

Kevin: I have a fan art poster that features all of Wes Craven's iconic characters that was signed from Wes. I had it in a binder and took it out, framed it, and hung it above my bed when I heard the news that he passed away. Nightmare on Elm Street & Scream were both my childhood and my teenage years. I wouldn't be a filmmaker without him so now I can look at the poster and smile knowing what an impact he made.

💀 🎄 💀 🎄 💀 🎄 💀

You can get in contact with Slasher Studios and find out about their future projects, as well as get film reviews and other horror related news at their site and  by following them on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram!


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