First of all, this film looks incredibly awesome. What inspired you to come up with this?
My last film was very minimalist and I felt I had drifted away from my maximalist sensibilities, so I decided to make a film that is just a huge send up of horror and basically just had everything I could possibly think of happen. Furthermore I wanted to make something that is not just a movie but a theatrical spectacle, so I have musical numbers, lots of special effects, explosions, rock stars, monsters, zombies stunts and a lot more. It actually all started with “my next movie needs to have a sword fighting skeleton.”
Did you write a script or is a lot of the dialogue improvised?
I wrote a plot outline which contained much of the dialogue but a lot of it is improvised by the actors.
You have an impressive number of films under your belt given your age. How long did this take to film/edit?
This one actually took me a year. We started shooting it in June and it’s just coming out now so that pretty much constitutes a full year although including pre production that would be longer.
What artists provided music for ReAgitator?
Oh, goodness, that’s gonna be a lot of people! Well I did an original song with a fantastic musician named Vandal Moon called Dark Dancer. I actually just performed the song at Facebook’s New York headquarters to promote the movie. Anti folk sensation Jeffrey Lewis contributed the song “Nonsense” from his band Jeffrey Lewis and the Jrams, he is an incredible musician who I first saw years ago in a church basement and now he is everywhere, and really has a good message to send. We have the hit song “Who Dat” by HYM and Kalypxo, two very talented rap artists, Hym just played on the same bill as Brandy recently. Alan Merrrill who also stars in the movie contributed two of his songs, Child of the Night and Fire in A Wax Museum two 80s style very catchy rock songs. We have an original theme song from the incredible Nathan Miller and original instrumental music from Captain Morris who I think is the next David Byrne. There’s the original song “Pamphlet Messiah” from my good friend Matt Ellin who is a very very talented young person who I think is soon to be the next big indie phenomena sort of in the vein of Mac DeMarco who I also had the pleasure of directing. We also have music from Purple Pam who’s done a lot of music for horror films and Troma films, Patti Rothberg who’s music video “Inside” was a big player on MTV in the 90s and played with her solo band on Letterman, and of course Matt and Laurel Katz-Bohens solo project Pastel Confession contributed the song “Mysterious”. Matt is in the Broadway version of Hedwig and the Angry Inch and is the keyboardist for Blondie, his and Laurel’s solo EP “Pastel Confession” is very very good and I recommend it. Oh and izzy and the chimera did a song called Spider Love that is fantastic, very folky and eerie. Kurt Dirt, XII Boar, there’s several more, sorry but this has probably gone on for a mile now, there are a lot of musicians we have, most movies only have a few artists but we’ve got like a million. That’s why I’m saying our movies aren’t just movies, it’s like going to a concert as well because there’s just so many bands.
What was it like working with Aurelio Voltaire? He seems like a fun, personable guy!
Working with Voltaire is such an incredible experience, because it’s like working with a grand movie star and crooner who just stepped out of the 1920s and into the room. He is a true gentleman and just such a fantastic emotional actor who really knows how to channel his feelings in his acting, he literally leaps out of the screen, and yes, I said literally. He is the real deal, a truly larger than life independent artist and a great guy.
Is there anyone in ReAgitator we would recognize from your previous films? Aside from Lloyd Kaufman, of course.
Absolutely, you will recognize many of the Disck Pictures superstars, Amanda Flowers stars as Claudia Merryweather in an incredible entrancing performance, Jurgen Azazel Munster stars as Dr. Orbert Wescraft, in probably one of the craziest most off the wall performance of all time. He did all of his own stunts and literally ran through a window. Sofe Cote who starred in Dark Prism, which CVLT Nation also covered is back as Margaret East. Max Husten returns as the Information Man, this time in a starring role. Mickala McFarlane is back, she’s been in every single movie I’ve ever made from the very beginning, and Yolpie Kaiser who starred in Dark Prism as May West is back as a spunky reporter who cracks the case along with Mickala.
How did you create the monster? I’m looking forward to that the most!
I literally drew a terrible crude pencil drawing and then practical effects wiz Evan Parra actually made it out of – I think latex? I don’t know! I’m sure he could provide further insight. He also made the skeleton! He’s a genius, his instagram is @evanparra everyone should follow him!
Can you tell me about the other special effects used in the film? Judging by the teaser trailer there seems to be a lot of them!
Great question! We used a lot of miniatures in the movie and we had a blue screen studio for one day thanks to Brooklyn Fire Proof Kenneth Filmer and Thomas Burr Dodd so we green screened the actors into the miniatures, many of which were constructed by Neva Gentlman from scratch. She is so talented she’s both a dancer and an artist and she made these sort of yellow submarine esque buildings. We have a scene where a church blows up which I achieved by taking a real photograph of a church in my neighborhood and I took a lighter and blew a bottle of WD-40 through a hole I cut in the door from the back, so fire was spraying through the door and really gave it this three dimensional explosion effect. We also have a lot of laser effects which is a hand drawn animation I composited over my actors. Another favorite special effect of mine is when Alan Merrill is a disembodied head; the effect was all in camera, inspired by the tricks of the great George Melies. We dressed Alan in all black and had Brenda Dunns character holding him by his hair. We had them in front of an all black background effectively making his body look like it had vanished because it camouflaged against its backdrop.
Is there anymore info you can give us about the movie before its release next month?
Yes! ReAgitator will have its world premiere at the legendary Anthology Film Archives in the Lower East Side of Manhattan, New York City. It is on July 1 and the event will begin at 6! It is only 8 dollars for a ticket and it will double as a raffle ticket to win cool merchandise! If you want to play ReAgitator at your theater or venue, even if you just run a little space, a small dive bar, a cardboard box, we are happy to help you! Please message the ReAgitator Revenge of the Parody Facebook page or my instagram at thisisdylanmars and I will personally respond to you. Finally, our next movie comes out in 2018, and is called Spirit Riser! We have already begun shooting with Lynn Lowry and many other wonderful actors including many of the same cast from ReAgitator.