James is loving life at Best Buy!
A few weeks back I had the pleasure of meeting James Balsamo, the monster behind Hack Job, I Spill Your Guts, and his newest work, Cool as Hell! James was nice enough to send me a copy of I Spill Your Guts and it gained Fister favor. As a rapid lover of horror, I endure countless hours watching terrible horror flicks, and I can tell you with certainty that modern horror (for the most part) is a formulaic chance for actors, directors, and studios to cash a check. James’ commitment and heart are obvious, it doesn’t matter if this is a low-budget film or a multimillion dollar offering from Lionsgate – soul is soul is soul – it’s essential. So, I’ll end my rambling and get down to the q and a James was kind enough to share with us all.
What sparked you to venture into the world of film making?
As a youngster, I knew what I wanted to do when I “grew up” – follow in the footsteps of my star slasher icons, Freddy Krueger and Jason Voorhees. Fueled by my ambitions, I convinced my parents to enroll me in acting school. As a student in many prestigious New York acting schools, including Lee Strasberg, my passion for film and acting continued to grow. I’ve been a New Yorker all my life, so when it came to continuing my professional career, I attended Professional Performing Arts High School in New York City. Eventually, I grew tired of theatrical acting after high school and I knew it was time to make the transition to the big screen. Leaving my Shakespearean tights at the door, I spilled big screen blood all the way through film school.
How did Acid Bath Productions come to be?
I started making short films back in 2004 under Tortured Soul Productions, my first production company. When I started planning Hack Job, I wanted a company with a less pretentious name. A bit of name throwing went back and forth with the team and eventually Acid Bath Pictures was a creation. We hired an artist to develop a logo – the girl sinking into the bathtub as a skeleton. The blood that drips onto the tub was supposed to read “Pictures”, but lines were crossed somewhere, and we ended up with “Productions”. The animation was too awesome to be changed, so we adapted to it. Ever since then, Acid Bath has been budding a name around the indie horror movie scene.
“I Spill Your Guts” is a throwback to the old NYC trash films. What about those films inspired you?
Besides the over-the-top gore, sleaziness, and gratuitous nudity, you ask? I enjoy the performances from people. In a lot of trash films, actors aren’t used as much as regular people. Sometimes the scene works better with “Uncle Harry” rather than a Hollywood actor. It’s not always the case, but when it does, it comes out awesome.
Hands down – the best horror movie ever made?
That’s a loaded question. I feel like the right answer is “Psycho”, but I also feel like a lot of people say that. So I think I’ll go with “The Bird with the Crystal Plumage”. A film with beautiful cinematography, an awesome soundtrack, and brutal gore always tops my list. It’s definitely a must see for any horror fan or film aficionado.
What’s the future of horror now that found footage isn’t new any more?
Honestly, I really hope it’s monster movies. I personally love creature features and I feel that there really aren’t enough of them. There was a slight resurgence with “Cloverfeild” and years before that “The Host”, but I think the world needs some new monsters and less remakes.
Who influenced you as a writer/director?
As a horror junkie, there really was no one specific writer/director that paved the way for me. My influence for filmmaking was sort of created the same way as Freddy Krueger – in the way that I’m the creation of 100 maniacs. I’m really influenced by a lot of Italian horror directors and I try to pay homage to them by naming characters after them in my films.
Tell the readers a little about the future of of Acid Bath Productions and the Exclusive Fister Roboto Clip.
Acid Bath Productions is currently working on “Cool As Hell”, a Horror/Comedy that features Tom Savini, Frank Mullen from Suffocation, Laurence R. Harvey from “The Human Centipede 2”, and David Naughton from “American Werewolf in London”. “Cool As Hell” hits stores worldwide February 19, 2013, so be on the look out!
Synopsis: Rich and Benny are having trouble with the ladies, until they befriend a demon named Az. It’s a non-stop party until a soul hungry beast leaps through an open portal from the underworld and starts terrorizing the town. It’s up to Az and the boys to send the creature back to the depths where it came from, and look good, while doing it in “Cool As Hell”
In this Exclusive Acid Bath Productions clip: Rich looks for a weapon to fight a horde of zombies in “Cool As Hell”!
You can find James and Acid Bath Productions all over the web. I ask you to check this guy out and remember how important it is to support low-budget American horror! It doesn’t get any more legit than this.