Horror is the life blood for so many, myself included. So when I sat with P.J. STARKS to talk about VOLUMES OF BLOOD : HORROR STORIES, I really felt we were on the same page. There is different horror for different people and with VOLUMES OF BLOOD, there is a little something for everyone.
Why horror? What is it that you love about the genre?
It’s versatile. Horror is the only genre where you can make a romance, drama, comedy with werewolves in the old west and find a way to make it all work. I just love it.
Was it the first genre you ever tackled?
My first two features were dick and fart joke comedies in the vein of Clerks. In 2003 I tackled a short slasher called Into Darkness for a college class. I was always a horror fan at heart, but that was the project where I fell in love with the process of making horror.
Will you stick with horror or is there an itch to try something different soon?
I’ve already had my moment where I felt I needed to prove I was more than blood and guts. I was still fairly new to making film so I was uncertain of where I really wanted to go or what I wanted to define my film career. It was a psychological drama and did fairly well on the festival circuit and got some glowing reviews, but it wasn’t my passion. I went back into the horror genre and that’s where I’ve stayed.
How did you get into filmmaking?
My grandfather bought me my first VHS camcorder, but my love for horror goes to my grandmother. My mom really pushed me and told me to always follow my dreams. It really does take a village. I don’t make films full time, however, I’ve followed my dream and never gave up. It’s been a pretty incredible ride thus far.
Was this your most professional and accomplished production?
By far. I think every project needs to be bigger, better and more polished than your last. There’s no point in doing anything if you can’t grow while doing it. I always say that I came up with the concept for Horror Stories, but it didn’t stop with me. There’s tons of supportive, talented and passionate people in front of and behind the camera that made the Volumes of Blood franchise what it is now. It’s very much a collaboration.
How is Moses Moseley to work with? Is he open to suggestions?
Moses was, as he would say, “awesome” to work with. We met him at a convention several years ago and just started talking to him. We met him several more times at cons and at one point I asked him if he’d be interested in taking part in Horror Stories. He said I couldn’t afford him and he’s right, but I think he was kidding… or maybe he cut us a discount? Anyway, I sent him the script for ‘Feeding Time’ and he really seemed to dig it. The next thing I knew we were on set together. I didn’t direct him, but Moses is very laid back and down to earth. You always hear that about certain actors, but Moses really is a super nice guy. He’s always laughing and smiling, even when completely douched with blood. It was an absolute blast to work with him on the film.
What was it about Moses that appealed to you?
Obviously I’m a huge fan of The Walking Dead, but that was never the reason why I asked him to come onto the project. Granted his performance on TWD was limited due to the immense prosthetic work on him. I’d done my research and watched several audition videos’ he’d done. He has one where he does Malcolm X that particularly sold me. Moses is a strong actor on top of just being a very cool person. His abilities mixed with his fun personality made the opportunity to work with him very appealing.
By the looks of the set pics, it looks like you were filming in some fun locations?
Our main location was an old Victorian style home in the historical district of Owensboro. The home was built in 1904 and was perfect for the film. The cellar for ‘Deathday Party’, the bathroom for ‘Blood Bath’ and entire downstairs location for ‘Fear, For Sinners Here’ were all in the home. We did go off site for a few sequences like a warehouse and the woods for ‘Murder Death Killer’, the local movie theater for ‘Haters’, an entirely different house for ‘Feeding Time’ and even the backyard of Eric’s house for The Face’s new killing spree.
Did you have a fave location?
The cellar was probably my favorite shooting location. It was always cool and we did some great death sequences including a death in ‘Blood Bath’, where we built part of the set in the cellar to double as the bathroom. Also there’s a slew of kills in the film we shot in the cellar that get great reaction from audiences as well as being one of the most fun death sequences I’ve ever written.
Do you have any locations in mind for a sequel, should there be one?
We are in the writing phase of the next VOB and it takes place mainly in a police station. We’re currently writing the other sequences that range from homes to an apartment complex to another warehouse. We start full blown pre-production in October and that’s when we’ll start nailing down all the locations.
What about ideas for a sequel?
I don’t want to give away too much. The next instalment is called Devil’s Knight: Volumes of Blood 3 and covers everything from psychosis, killer kids, werewolves, revenge and masked killers. It’s gonna be another fun ride through the macabre.
Besides promoting this movie, what’s next?
My producing partner Eric Huskisson and I are taking about some potential spin offs that take place within the Volumes of Blood universe. One is called Post Trauma and deals with our main antagonist The Face and another called Flesh for the Harvest which sees our masker slasher The Harvester returning. We also have a table top card game in the works from Mythmaker Games based off the VOB universe. Aside from that I’ve been doing a lot of producing. Right now I’m producing in various capacities on Close Calls, Gnawbone, Angel, Butcher the Bakers, 10/31, Cryptids and Deimosimine. It’s been a very busy year to say the least.
Volumes of Blood : Horror Stories is now out from Dark Cuts