Monday, September 27, 2010

Dollar Bin Horror Spotlight - Nightmare Alley (Review and Interview)

Nightmare Alley is an indie film with a kick. It combines combines horror, comedy, gore, cheese, and nostalgia into one terribly awesome feature length film that will keep you laughing and shocked till the end. I got the chance to watch and review the film as well as sit down with the Director, Writer, and Producer, Walter Ruether, about the project!

Q: How did you come up with the concept for "Nightmare Alley"?

A: It was originally going to be called Dark alley but Laurence Holloway, the films co-director and producer, and I were talking and we decided Nightmare alley had a better ring to it, at the time we had no idea there was a 1947 film called Nightmare Alley as well. The concept came from just wanting to have a cool wrap around story so we came up with the comic book idea as a tribute to those old horror comics from the 50's and 60's and decided each short would be from the comic book Nightmare Alley, which is introduced during the prologue. It's totally inspired by Creepshow.

Q: Could you tell us a bit about the process of shooting a low budget horror film?

A: This particular film was an anthology so we would treat each story as its own little film. Basically, we made several short films and tied them all together with a wrap around story. First we would write the script, then we would go over the script as if it were a shopping list and got everything we needed as far as props wardrobe ect. We then hired the actors, scouted location and shot it, usually on a Sunday since we had regular 9-5 jobs. It took us about 2 yrs to finally finish. Then getting it distributed is a whole other ball game. A lot of people don't realize shooting the film is only half the battle. Distributors are going to need a lot more from you. For instance, various masters with and without dialogue (foreign markets), several discs trailers, script, cast and crew bios, release forms ect. There is a lot of things involved when making a film with distribution in mind.

Q: What got you into making indie horror films?

A: I grew up in Los Angeles in the 70-80's so naturally I wanted to be in the industry. As a kid I always loved horror films and my favorite music was usually guys like Kiss and Alice cooper. Being I always had a creative drive , I first drew and painted a lot then I tried to start a band. I finally realized one day while watching Herschell Gordon Lewis films and reading Fangoria that making B-horror films and becoming a cult status film maker one day was what I wanted to do. So far I have been in several films like Satan's Storybook, Gross Out, and Blood Moon Rising and I have completed 3 of my own films, 2 of which have been distributed.

Q: What projects are you currently working on for the future?
 I'm working on a new film right now called Scream Machine. We are trying to raise money on It will be directed by David C Hayes, who you may know from Machined/Reborn, Horror Vault 3, and Slices. He has a very impressive resume on imdb. Also myself and co producer/director Laurence Holloway will be on the project.
Q: Where and when will "Nightmare Alley" be available for everyone and where can they learn more?

A: There is a Nightmare alley fan page on Facebook. Also the film is Distributed by Brain Damage Films so you can get on their website and see the trailer there as well. It's also on and just about every major retail site online. You can also queue it on Netflix and blockbuster and watch it instantly on vod.

A big thanks to Walter for taking the time to chat, And Now for my review of the film! 

Turn down the lights, grab your popcorn and join your host, the master of the macabre Scarlet Fry, for a hellishly wicked fright-fest guaranteed to freeze your blood! Vengeful ghosts, walking dead cowboys, and other ghastly beings abound in seven tales of shock and terror from beyond the grave. Equally horrific and humorous, "Nightmare Alley" is an over-the-top exercise in shock. Presented completely uncut and uncensored, it will scare the living yell out of you!

This film can pretty much be summed up in four words, So bad, It's good! It's full of everything I love in a great bad film, cheap ass gore, bad acting, and funny gags. The movie is somewhat structured like Creepshow 2, with a host introducing each one of the tales. The opening scene is is a straight up ode to the old Tales from the Crypt comics, where the victim sees his demise in the pages of a comic. I thought it was the perfect way to start off the film and really introduces you to what to expect from the rest of the movie. It's the kind of film where you'll know if you're gonna love it or hate it within the first 10 minutes. Your "host", who reminds me a bit of a cheaper version of Rob Zombie's Living Dead Girl video, pops up between each story to introduce us to the next tales of terror and humor. The film is intentionally bad and puns itself along with other films. I really love films that don't take themselves to seriously, and this film is no exception. If your looking for a good time with a shit ton of cheese and gore, this is the movie for you! Check it out HERE.

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