WILLKOMMEN ANDREAS: DIRECTOR ANDREAS SCHNAAS GOES STATESIDE by Owen Keehnen

Hamburg Germany based director Andreas Schnaas is finally bringing his brand of splatter horror to a wider audience. He’s been directing and shooting terror films since he was a kid. Viewing his work it’s clear this guy has experience and that he was heavily influence by the Italian director gore-Gods, primarily Lucio Fulci. Primarily that means this guy is over the top…and I love it that way! His first US feature is ‘Nikos The Impaler’ (with Joe Zaso, Felissa Rose, Darian Caine and Andreas himself as Nikos) which was shot in NYC. Some of his previous titles include his big homage to Fulci ‘Demonium’ – which he also produced and which also features Joe Zaso, ‘Goblet of Gore’ (Schnaas also wrote the screenplay), ‘Anthropophagus 2000’, the gut-turning ‘Violent Shit’ trilogy (which Andreas also wrote) featuring the German gore-icon ala Freddy and Jason “Karl the Butcher”, ‘Zombie 90: Extreme Pestilence’, ‘The Horror Game’, etc. The man likes doing the Hitchcock thing, having roles in his films as well. He even did some pure acting with Lloyd Kaufman and Debbie Rochon in ‘Parts of the Family’. It will be interesting to see where his career will be headed next. One thing is certain -- this guy is incapable of being boring.


 

Owen:Nikos The Impaler' has been your first film shot in the U.S. How does shooting her differ from shooting in NY to your native Germany?

Andreas: I think that Americans in general are more show business oriented and therefore more open to the whole filming process. The motivation of the whole cast and crew was the highest I have ever experienced.

Owen: Does shooting in English greatly enhance the distribution possibilities? 

Andreas: I thought so but to my big surprise it does not seem to be a big difference.

Owen: Joe Zaso appears in 'Nikos the Impaler' as well as in your previous film 'Demonium'.  What about him made you seek out his talents a second time? 

Andreas: Joe and I are very different but are both really independent filmmakers, so we share the same multi functional abilities. Besides acting he had about 10 jobs while shooting NIKOS.

Owen: Felissa Rose was also in 'Nikos'.  Were you a fan and well aware of her 'Sleepaway Camp' fame? 

Andreas: I wouldn’t say a fan but I had heard of her and seen Sleepaway Camp. She was nice. 

Owen: Somewhat going along with that is it very easy to get US horror films in Germany? 

Andreas: Yes, no problem at all.

Owen: Speaking of New York, tell me about your experience before the cameras in 'Parts of The Family' with Troma honcho Lloyd Kaufman and Debbie Rochon.

Andreas: It was a fun project. I traveled to Belgium , had a few scenes and a lot of fun with Lloyd and Debbie. We met occasionally and I like those crazy Troma people.

Owen: I have heard you mention in several interviews that your greatest directorial influence was the amazing Lucio Fulci.  What were the main things you learned from watching and studying his films?

Andreas: I always thought that he had his own style and was very consistent in his films. I liked his style. Nowadays there is a new standard of films but to me the Italian movies of the 70s have a very own glamour and confidence next to all these American big budget movies.

Owen: Tell me about 'Zombie '90: Extreme Pestilence'.  Was that homage to Fulci?

Andreas: Yes and it is more than 15 years ago and still people ask about it - fascinating. I think the crazy dubbing gave this movie a very special touch and therefore people are so obsessed about it.

Owen: Your films are so wonderfully excessive when it comes to the gore.  Which do you feel is the most violent of your films and what do you feel is the most disturbing scene you have ever filmed?

Andreas: Violent Shit 3, it is just so over the top - I cannot take one special scene to point it out. The whole movie is just so extreme - wonderful!

Owen: Another favorite of your movies is 'Anthropophagous 2000'.  Were you happy with the finished film? 

Andreas: Yes, it was my first experience working with professional actors. We filmed in Tuscany, Italy in the middle of nowhere in a 1000 year old house. It was like a camp, a lot of work, a lot of arguing and a lot of feelings. I slept 24 hours in one stretch when I returned to Hamburg.

Owen: Any chance that your great character Karl the Butcher (from the 'Violent Shit' trilogy) will be redone for a new American film?

Andreas: I don’t think so. If somebody can afford a big budget - I AM HERE! But on a low budget basis I think VS3 was the ultimo.

Owen: Tell me about your film 'Goblet of Gore'.  What was the most memorable part of filming it? 

Andreas: When the producer fired and re-hired me. It was very turbulent behind the scenes: Splatter underground people vs. art/punk scene - a lot of differences. But a very original and stylish movie with fetish kind of scenes. Gross and crazy.

Owen: Which do you find the most frightening and why - zombies, vampires, psychos, aliens, or creatures?

Andreas: Ghosts. To me still an old empty house with scary sounds and appearances is the worst thing. All the other guys can be killed.

Owen: What scares you in real life?

Andreas: Spiders and tax authorities.

Owen: Thanks for your Andreas.