Interview: 'Some Guy Who Kills People' Director Jack Perez On Being Gory, Hilarious And Heartwarming
Nothing says scary like a movie madman fresh out of the loony bin. But add to it some wry humor, colorful characters and a pinch of heartwarming drama and you’ve got the highly entertaining new flick "Some Guy Who Kills People," out now on DVD from Anchor Bay Entertainment. The film stars the underrated Kevin Corrigan as former mental hospital attendee turned ice cream counter jockey Ken Boyd, a quiet man who dreams of getting back at the school bullies who tortured him. The rest of the fabulous cast is filled out by the likes of Leo "Kids" Fitzpatrick, Barry "Rocky Horror" Bostwick, Karen "Trilogy of Terror" Black and even the lovely Lucy "Shaun of the Dead" Davis. The film itself is helmed by Director Jack Perez, who successfully creates a movie that really keeps the audience guessing in both story and tone. We got a chance to chat one-on-one with Perez, who talked about the films’ wacky title, working with Kevin Corrigan and the rest of his eclectic cast and his clever use of practical blood and gore effects in the film. Without further delay, here’s the guy behind the guy who kills people...
DIRECTOR JACK PEREZ!
Right off the bat – was that the true title of Ryan Levin’s script and did you ever have thoughts about changing it?
JP: It actually was. It was the title of the script when I received it and there was some talk early on by some of the other producers to change it to something that they would deem less comical or less weird. I was adamant saying please don’t because the title sums up the tone of the thing for me perfectly - I couldn’t think of a better title.
The press release describes the film as gory, hilarious and surprisingly heartwarming – how would you describe it?
JP: I think it’s pretty apt. I’ve always said the thing that struck me about the movie was that it had really believable characters that you cared about. Even though it has a healthy dose of splatter in it that ultimately the only reason I was invested in the script when I read it and why I wanted to do it was I really cared. These people make me laugh, I care about their relationships, I wanted Ken’s relationship with his daughter and Stephanie to succeed and that was the virtue of the script. So I always had a love of horror movies, but I guess I’m past the point where it’s just the thrill of coming up with creating ways to kill people is not as high on my list as finding a movie where you actually care about the people. It is an apt description of the whole thing – I enjoy all aspects of it.
Kevin Corrigan is one of my favorite underrated actors who can convey different meanings with a single look – how did you come to cast him?
JP: I’ve known Kevin for many years socially. He did a film many, many years ago for a friend of mine and he was a fan of an early independent film that I had made, so we always liked each other’s stuff. We always said we should do something and when this script came along I just saw him in the part and sent it to him. He responded right away – he just got it. He’s a very sweet guy and he plays a lot of underworld sleazy characters, but he’s a really warm person and I wanted that quality to come out in the character.
The rest of your cast is exceptional – can you talk a bit about each one...
The great Leo Fitzpatrick?
JP: I can’t remember how Leo came up, but he was somebody I’ve always admired too. I think someone had suggested him and I obviously loved him in "Kids" and Hal Hartley’s movies and stuff, so I was like yeah, that’s a good choice. It turns out Kevin admired him as well – they’re both New York actors. So there was this thing about Leo that everyone was into right away and it turned out great!
The hilarious Barry Bostwick?
JP: Barry is one of those guys now that I want to put in everything because I hadn’t met him until he came in to audition and he came in and killed it. He came in acting like teenage actor, he was rolling around on the floor playing this part and both Ryan and I were just smitten right away.
The iconic Karen Black?
JP: Karen was the same way – our casting director had connections and brought her in. It was like this amazing stroke of luck to have Karen Black and Barry Bostwick come in to audition. We didn’t even know they were coming in. If I had known I would have given them the part. (Laughs) So I was an enormous fan of Karen’s – I grew up with all of her movies. It didn’t matter if it was "Five Easy Pieces" or "Airport 1975" or "Trilogy of Terror," I was just a fan and it was a real thrill for me to get to direct her. She was very sweet and always wanted to do the best job possible - to play with one of your idols is very cool.
Young Ariel Gade?
JP: Ryan and I were scared of getting a kid that was too precocious or too superficial. She just happened to be someone our casting director found and when she came in she was head and shoulders above everyone else – it wasn’t fake. She even looks like Kevin and Karen, which is another coincidental happy accident.
The lovely Lucy Davis?
JP: She was awesome. I’m a huge fan of the original Ricky Gervais The Office and I knew her from Shaun of the Dead and so when she walked in to read again I was like Jesus! I’m also a big fan of British actors in general and one thing I didn’t want to do was have her do an American accent. Her own accent was so much a part of her personality that we just rewrote that she’s a Brit.
Also I loved the DVD featurette that showed you guys using practical effects – are you more of a fan of the blood and gore old school movie methods?
JP: I don’t know, but I grew up with early issues of Fangoria and really in that period of the early 80’s with splatter. Obviously the original "Dawn of the Dead" brought it to the forefront, Tom Savini’s work in that, but I was reading Fangoria when the original "Maniac" came out and all those practical effects films were heavily covered in Fangoria. I became interested and that’s how I learned effects and I was turned on by how they were done practically – that’s just a generational thing probably. But it’s also cheaper to do it that way and more practical because once it’s done it’s done. For me CGI gore has to be done really well to fly with me - not that it hasn’t but I wasn’t sure we’d have the resources to do it that way.
So what’s next for you?
JP: I just finished a movie with Barry again – I cast Barry Bostwick in a movie called "Blowing Vegas Off The Map." It’s a Syfy original movie and it just wrapped a few days ago, so it’s a big supernatural disaster movie. But it deals a little more with character, so that was the appeal of that.
"SOME GUY WHO KILLS PEOPLE" IS AVAILABLE ON DVD NOW FROM ANCHOR BAY ENTERTAINMENT.
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