|At what age did you see yourself
as a horror filmmaker?
Probably about 12
or 13. I knew that it was something
I'd love to do.
brought up the idea to make 'Grandmas
Secret Recipe' and using your
real family in it?
was a kid, my sister & I would occassionally
spend a Friday or Saturday night over Grandma's
house. She would take us to the local video
store and let us rent anything we wanted.
We always chose horror movies because my parents
didnt want us watching them at home because they
knew we'd end up sleeping in their bedroom from
being scared. lol. It was these wonderful
times I spent over Grandma's house that gave
me the idea to set the story at
Grandma's house. As for making her my lead
actress: My Grandmother was destined to be an
actress, as I'm sure you can tell from her
performances. But life just never lead her
in that direction. I wanted to share her
amazing talent with the world, so I wrote the
role specifically for her. My other
family members were easy to write also because I
just took their real-life personalities and
amplified them times 10.
Now you seemed to be on your own making the film
as well as editing, writing, producing and
composing for it.
stressful for you?
stressful because I enjoy doing all
those aspects of movie making. It's
what I love to do. The stressful part was
that it took 3 years to do the whole thing.
When you're doing it all yourself and your
entire cast & crew are contributing their
efforts to help you, you have to schedule
everything around everyone's normal everyday
lives. And this can present a challenge.
But we did it and I'm proud of it.
What was the toughest scene to shoot?
The toughest scene
to shoot in "Grandma's Secret Recipe"
was probably the scene where Susie
gets ice-picked to death. That scene
required a lot of stop and go work. I'd
shoot Grandma stabbing her with the ice
pick, then stop to add blood and make-up fx
work...shoot a piece, add make-up &
blood...over and over again to really make the
audience feel like she was being stabbed to
death. But it was fun to shoot it and to
pull off the effect.
The toughest scene in "Sloppy Seconds"
was probably the scene where Grandma plays Cat
and Mouse with Gina on the farm. The farm
that we shot this scene on was HUGE and required
a lot of physical work for Grandma. It's
not easy for an almost 80-year-old woman
to walk around a gigantic farm all day with
pitchforks and brush cutters. lol.
Do you have memorable experiences you'd like to
share with us while shooting the film?
all very memorable. We all had such a great
the keyboard sound effects you composed sounded
great. Were you wanting that 'Halloween'
type feel to it?
definitely. Since the movie took place on
Halloween, I wanted the music to reflect that
atmosphere as best as possible. I like
haunting little melodies and have always thought
they work well.
(Barbara O Connor) has had experience doing radio
before she started a family. Has she done horror
radio plays at all?
any horror stuff. At that time they didn't
do much horror stuff on the radio. But she
has always been a lifelong horror fan.
How did she relate to
her part as the demented Grandmother?
Some times, she got so into the character that
people were afraid she might really slice them
with a knife accidentally or pound them with
Seriously. Nobody could play that
character the way she did. She was destined for
Has she ever seen 'A Nightmare On
Elm Street' or
'Leprechaun' to get her humorous
side while doing away her granddaughter and son?
see some of the "Nightmare On Elm
Street" movies and enjoyed them. In
fact, I saw NIGHTMARE 2 for the first time over
her house when I was only 9 or 10 and I remember
her being a little disappointed that it wasn't as
scary as the original.
did you use for the guts etc while she was
gutting her son?
actually bought real livers, meats, and bones
from the grocery store for the viscera.
Nothing looks more real than REAL meat.
Of course it was a treat towards the ending when
Felissa Rose came on to make a special appearance
to play a news reporter named Angie Angel and
Robert Hiltzik having a cameo as a nextdoor
neighbor named Mr. Myers as you shot that in
Texas during a Sleepaway Camp Reunion which you
are the moderator for at www.sleepawaycampmovies.com How did you find the
time and location to do so?
Felissa, and I were sent down to Austin Texas for
3 nights of Midnight SLEEPAWAY CAMP
screenings. The screenings didn't take
place until midnight so we had 3 daytimes to go
sightseeing, goof around, and do
whatever. We used one of those afternoons
to shoot Felissa and Robert's scenes for the
movie right at the hotel we stayed at.
Of course we all know
Felissa's name was of course a joke to her
character in SC but was Hiltzik's name Mr. Myers
used from the character we loved in Halloween?
no. He wanted his name to be "Mr.
X" but I felt that was a little bit too
comic. Sure this movie is a satire, but
part of what makes the satire work is making all
the normal everyday things (like names and
locations) appear normal. Then the
characters can be nutty as long as their
environment is realistic. So he actually
came up with the name "Myers" to use
and I dont think it was because of Michael, but
you never know.
Now your short
peremiered at the SCI fi & Horror Film
Festival in Chicago with a double bill of 'Sleepaway
Camp'. How many people turned out
for the show?
were a lot of people there. It was the
biggest movie theater I have ever seen and
the turnout for both movies was really good.
other movies were shown there?
HO-TEP' with Bruce Campbell was premiered
there that same weekend. 'BLOODFEAST
2' premiered there that weekend with Herschell
Gordon Lewis in attendence. 'CANNIBAL
HOLOCAUST' played. And there were some
others as well.
Will we see this flick on DVD at all?
to put out a Double-Feature DVD that will contain
both GRANDMA movies. It's all in the
Now you made a sequel titled 'Grandmas
Sloppy Seconds' which was alot of
fun to watch as well. How long did it take to
shoot that one?
As I explained previously, when you are
doing it all yourself and your friends are
contributing their talents...you have to organize
shoots around everybody's real-life
schedules. But we did it.
Now Granny gets more menacing in this one. Did
you feel it was necessary to slash away more
A lot of people who saw the first one said that
they enjoyed Grandma's kills so much that they
wished she had even more people to
kill. They wanted to see the story go
on. The first one layed down the
groundwork for the characters, so now with
the second one, we can jump right into it and
watch Granny knock-off even more "bad
it difficult for Barb when she used the chainsaw
to kill away one of her victims?
chainsaw wasn't too bad. The chainsaw we
used wasn't too heavy and she was comfortable
What was awesome as well, you used Daryl Wilcher
from 'Sleepaway Camp 3: Teenage
Wasteland' as a news host named
Riffley Rogers. Where was his scene shot as he
lives in Georgia and you're in Massachussettes?
sent a storyboard of the angles I needed
shot. He filmed it for me in Georgia
and sent me the footage.
What was required for him to play his scene?
He just needed to
know his lines and make sure that his scenes
were shot from 3 different angles. I sent
him the script, asked him to do his best NEWS
ANCHOR impersonation, and sent him a disc of how
I wanted him to say some of the lines. He
did an amazing job and I am thankful that he
was able to do it. He's a good friend
and enjoys performing very much.
You of course shot Felissa's scene on set of the
long awaited sequel 'Return to
Sleepaway Camp' as she reprises
her role as Angie Angel. Was this to let people
know that 'RTSC'
will be out before we know it?
thought it would be great to shoot her scenes on
the actual set we used for 'RTSC'. I
thought it would be a nice homage for Felissa's
fans to see her back at camp as "Angie"
The film premiered at THE ELM DRAUGHT HOUSE
CINEMA in MILLBURY, MA as you rented out a
theatre. Was it shown to a public audience?
How many people turned out to see it?
I'd say about half
the theater was filled. It had one of
the biggest turn outs for any independent movie
ever premiered in this area.
Will it be shown anywhere else?
year I'm gonna start sending it out to some
of the horror festivals.
Will both movies get distributed?
to do a double-feature dvd which features both
movies on it. I may go with a dvd company
or I may just do it myself through the website.
there be a part 3 coming along? I hope so it's
gotta carry on like any other slasher film. Will
Daryl and Felissa reprise their roles and do you
think we'll see new faces invvolved from SC like
Jonathan Tiersten, Karen Fields, Katherine Kamhi
or even Kyle Holman?
as I'd love to do part 3, I don't know if it will
happen because Grandma is getting up there.
She's experiencing some of the problems of
old age, as most people eventually
do. I do have a concept for another
one but I guess only time will tell. If I
don't do another GRANDMA movie, I
will continue to produce
Now speaking of 'RTSC' you
were one of the producers from that film and when
you first got in touch with Hiltzik you
encouraged him to make a sequel. How did you
convince him to do so?
When I first
talked to Robert, he basically thought SLEEPAWAY
CAMP was dead and buried. I told him to go
look at the website and it really got his juices
flowing. He thought it was amazing that
people from all around the world wanted to
read a current interview with Jonathan
Tiersten or Felissa Rose because of SLEEPAWAY
CAMP. Then I told him that it was going to
eventually be released on DVD. He got
excited again. I told him I was going to
try and arrange to get some bonus stuff on there
with him and he told me that he would take part
if I could make it happen. All
this was really gratifying to him and he
agreed with me that it was time to do another
one. I threw out some ideas and he already
had many of his own since he had written a sequel
to SLEEPAWAY back in 1986. He decided to
dust off his old script and rewrite it.
I talked him into bringing back some
characters from the first movie, as his original
sequel script didn't include any of them. It
was an exciting time.
Now how did you get people like Isaac Hayes, Adam
Wylie and Vincent Pastore to be in the film?
was one of Robert's first choices for Camp
Owner. He liked him on "The
Sopranos" and thought he'd be great in the
role. And he was right, Vincent did fit the
role very well. Vinny met with Robert for
dinner, they discussed the project and Vinny
was in. Vinny had told me on the set
of RTSC that he thought the original SC was very
innovative for it's time. I believe Adam went in
for an audition. We got lucky again with
What was the experience like shooting the whole
It was a
dream come true for me. I grew up as a big
fan of the SLEEPAWAY movies and it was my dream
to work on a sequel to one of my
favorite horror movies. The hours
were LONG. We worked 12 to 14 hours a day
for 5 days straight, got 2 days off, then back to
it again. We did this for 2 months. But,
because I was so enthused about the project, the
hours just flew by and most of it was just plain
FUN. I wouldn't have wanted to be
anywhere else in the world at that
time. I LOVED the atmosphere. It was
amazing to be living at camp for 2
I heard you have
a cameo as a counsellor in it. Is that true?
also a Paintballer.
Its been a long time since shooting has
wrapped. Many people ask home come it's taking so
problems encountered during Post-Production have
been CRAZY. First their was a problem with
the original digital CGI-FX which had to be
scrapped and totally redone. Then we had to
wait for the executive producer to raise more
money to get the new digital FX done
properly. It has been nuts.
Is there finally going to be a deadline
when the flick will be released?
I know of.
Tom Van Dell said to me that there is going to be
a true part 3 titled 'Sleepaway
Camp Reunion' which will shoot in
the summer of 2007. Will you be involved in the
just talk at this point. We need to get
'RETURN' out first. But Robert is working
on the script for "Reunion" now and if
he decides to do it, I would certainly
consider being involved in it.
true Deiree Gould will return as Aunt Martha and
Karen Fields may return as Judy since she wasn't
proven dead? Also, will Tiersten be back for the
talked with Robert about Aunt Martha. I
really think she needs a return. I
expressed to him that there are numerous
possibilities for that character and that
the fans would LOVE to see her come
back. He is not opposed to the
idea. So we'll see. As for Judy and
Ricky... these are also possibilities.
Now here some fun stuff: What are your favourite
I have so
many of them. Obviously the SLEEPAWAY CAMP
movies, the HALLOWEEN movies, the ELM
STREET movies, the FRIDAY THE 13th movies, TEXAS
CHAINSAW movies, MOTHER'S DAY, SALEM'S LOT
(1979), SILENT NIGHT DEADLY NIGHT, THE SHINING
(1980), THE CHANGELING, the PSYCHO movies,
AMERICAN GOTHIC, THE BLOB (1988), DEADTIME
STORIES, WRONG TURN. So many of them.
If you were a top filmmaker for one day whether
he was alive or dead who would he be?
What are your ambitions?
point: To keep working on movie and music
projects...because that is what I love to do.