Chris, can you start us
off with a visual and describe the room where you
are answering these questions?
The room is a clutter of
many years of inspiration. The walls are papered
in movie posters, pictures and memorabilia, and
there are various oracles and trinkets that I
picked up along the way. There are some unique
things like Mexican "Day of the Dead"
statues and a tortoise named Spanky that peers
out at me from his glass jail cell. I contemplate
renaming him OLDBOY after seeing that wonderful
film from Korea. There's my workstation (computer
and editing equipment). There's also a wall of
shelves loaded with books and movies and other
shit. I remember seeing Ray Bradbury's office on
a television program where he wrote his stories
and it seemed like this wonderful junkyard of
textures. I suspect that's what I'm trying to
achieve because within all the clutter you can
choose an item as the basis for a movie. That
item can spark the brain for a great story. At
least that's what Bradbury did and it seemed to
work for him. Who knows? Maybe I'm just making
elaborate excuses for being messy.
First off let's discuss
your documentary Horror Business.
This film chronicles 5 indie horror film
directors, who operate more from passion than
from a business perspective. Is that the reason
for Horror Business as the title as
opposed to The Horror Business?
Business," it's an absolute
struggle through and through. I'm referring to
the horror of filmmaking and the long laborious
process of making it work with very little money
and support. Any true independent filmmaker will
tell you the same... For the first time in
cinematic history there's an entire generation of
filmmakers who struggle to make films from their
homes. Post-production studios are rapidly
becoming a thing of the past and we're going to
see many films come from out of nowhere. I
believe this is happening more than ever before.
marks this very important place in the annals of
What do you want your
audience to come away from this movie feeling?
My main point was to
de-glamorize the idea of becoming a filmmaker and
to expose the current state of the art for what
it really is. Let's drop the bullshit and take a
look at what we're really dealing with here
because this is a story of mice and the gods who
inspired them. I want the audience to understand
these people a little better because as of right
now society looks down on the truly independent
filmmaker... And there are usually two types (of
filmmakers) you'll come across. One is the type
that doesn't really care about cinema. He
decided yesterday that it would be
"cool" to make a film and "get a
girlfriend" and then he proceeds to crank
out the worst banality imaginable. The other is a
struggling artist that's serious as hell about
his craft and probably spent his whole life
sacrificing and trying to find success as a
filmmaker. This one will either become a god or
get caught in the mousetrap.
Was there a quote or moment
in the film that summed up the entire indie
horror movement for you?
Sure, it's the quote from
Orson Welles that's at the opening of the film.
Welles said: "It's two percent movie making
and ninety-eight percent hustling, and it's no
way to spend a life."He said this as a
caution: Filmmaking is an uncertain profession.
It's a dark highway. Even if you're a graduate
with top honors from the most prestigious film
school in the world, that degree cannot assure
you a profession. It doesn't guarantee that
you're going to be a filmmaker
have to do it, and keep doing it until your dead.
Was editing what I
imagine to be a lot of footage a daunting chore?
I love the editing
process... I love the shooting process, the
writing and directing... The daunting part for me
was dealing with minimal equipment and limited
time, which again is another one of the pitfalls
of making a film with very little money. The
editing process was very slow because the
computer is slow. With a little more money that
problem can be solved. I truly adore the entire
creation process. However there were times that
were difficult because I was working with 75
hours of footage, and every second is different
from the last. The 75 hours were eventually cut
down to 82 minutes. There's no guideline
(screenplay, storyboards) to follow for this type
of filmmaking so essentially I was creating
something from scratch.
So talking to these five
guys as well as others along the way did you see
some sort of psychological common denominator or
something? Something that seems to draw people to
a love of horror?
Yes, and the common
denominator is youth. They all seem to have been
obsessed with horror films and cinema in their
youth. That obsession is so strong that it
carried on throughout their teens and their
twenties and before they knew it, they were
thirty-years-old and trying to break into the
most competitive field in the world. It's an
addiction and it can ruin lives... It can also
Tell me a bit about how
your short film Inside which was
featured in the first Fangoria Blood Drive DVD.
is an eight-minute short about possession and
suicide... I've experienced the horrible effects
of suicide in my life and I felt like saying
something about that... I've always been
fascinated by that moment that occurs for a
person where all becomes clear for them that
suicide is OK. I see that as a form of
possession. I made Inside
specifically for the first Fangoria Blood Drive
contest. I shot it in three days and edited the
film in a few more.... I think the budget was
just the cost of the lights and the make-up. I
like how it turned out....
In addition to
filmmaking you're also the guiding force behind
the indie horror zine Are You Going?
How did that project come about?
Going? partially began as a
promotional piece for my film project of the same
name. The film (Are You Going?)
is a gritty revenge horror story about a single
African American father whose son is murdered by
a group of racist skinheads and in a blood red
act of vengeance; he takes on the persona of his
son's favorite superhero "Sgt.
Silence. He then proceeds to
brutally murder the skinheads one by one. It was
a script that I first began to write about seven
years ago. Then I rewrote it again two years
later. The magazine eventually became a true
obsession and I continued to publish five
additional issues. I wanted to publish a magazine
where respected persons in the industry wrote
articles about their craft every issue. It would
be geared mostly toward the independent horror
filmmaker. It would be informative, educational
and entertaining... I'll bring the mag back one
day and make it exactly how I envisioned it. I
also plan to make AYG the movie one day but the
script needs to be reworked again. I'll probably
rename it "Sgt. Silence.
Horror Business the natural
continuation of an interest that was sparked from
that magazine project?
Yes, it was. And after
film school I quickly began to realize that
filmmaking for a living wasn't going to be easy,
and that was the concept that fueled the idea for
the documentary. Horror
Business is a very personal essay
on how I feel about breaking into the
professional filmmaking world. The magazine was a
precursor to my film.
Do you have any other
upcoming projects you would like to plug or
inform the www.racksandrazors.com
Yes, actually I'm working
on getting several projects into motion. A couple
of new feature length documentaries (which I've
already shot a ton of footage for) include Son
of Horror Business and The
Horror of Dante Tomaselli as well
as a fictional film titled Misfortunate
Son is a very unique horror-drama
about a U.S. Marine combat vet who comes home
from his station in Africa and begins to lose his
grip on sanity and reality... Eventually he turns
a quiet, peaceful suburban neighborhood into a
bloodbath. Edwin Neal (Texas
Chainsaw Massacre) who is an
incredible actor is slated to play Blake, a
Vietnam vet who provokes the main character
"Johnny" into a rage of violence and
murder. I'm in the pre-production/casting stages
I imagine you always had a passion
for horror movies. Was it always in the same
capacity? In other words, did you always want to
be the one in control, the one in the director's
Yes, since I understood
what movie making was, I wanted to make my own...
As a horror fan do you
have a favorite sub-genre? What does it for you
Christopher and why- vampires, haunted houses,
zombies, psychos, werewolves, aliens, creatures,
As long as it's done
If it's thoughtful and it considers
that there may be an intelligent audience
watching, I think any film regarding any topic
can be good. I hate horror films that insult the
audience... I think Freddy vs.
Jason is a great example and no
offense to the make-up crew or Fred Murphy, the
Director of Photography. Seeing that film made me
want to light the screen on fire and throw shit
at it. I still want my money back! Because the
filmmakers automatically assume that this movie
must be made stupidly because "That's what
the audience wants." That's not what I
want!! Fuck you! Think about how great that film
could be if the people who made it actually took
the subject matter seriously. Chan-wook Park
for Mr. Vengeance) is a great
example of a filmmaker (who makes genre films)
and doesn't insult the audience. We need more
filmmakers like him.
Now we're pulling the car into the
Christopher Garetano Drive-In
horror flicks are featured on the triple bill and
what goodies are they going to be serving at the
Well, the first would be
The Texas Chainsaw Massacre...
it is my all time favorite horror film.
Concession stand: Homemade
Texas Chili and fine beer
The second would be the
original Blob with
great drive-in material.
Concession Stand: Swedish
Fish, Gummy bears, and Soda Pop
The third is David
Durston's I Drink your Blood.
It's the perfect crowd pleaser.
Concession Stand: Meat
Pies and LSD!!
What makes you go
psycho in real life?
Passion. I feel drunk when
it's around me. And if you mean what makes me
angry, then it's people who have everything and
and even worse people who have
nothing and do nothing.
What scares you in real
Losing my mind, going
nuts... that's scary as hell.