I have to admit, when i first read the premise of Father’s Day, i almost gave it a pass. I mean, father rape? Can’t get more uncomfortable then that, but when I saw the trailer for the film and saw how 70’s revenge film this thing actually looked and that the very talented always hilarious Astron-6 were the directors i couldn’t put it off any longer. First off if you don’t know who Astron-6 is then get your ass over to their website immediately and watch their shorts http://astron-6.com/
I won’t even attempt to try to explain these guys because their work speaks for itself but let’s just say if you’re nostalgic for genre films that are ACTUALLY FUN to watch without the prissy polished look and pretentious attitude we see in cinema so much today then look no further then Astron-6…anyway enough ass kissing lets get back to the review..
Father’s Day follows the conjoined stories of Ahab and Twink, formally unconnected characters who are untied by their hatred and desire for revenge against the viscous deviant Chris Fuchman. Fuchman many years before murdered Ahab’s father in front of him and then brutally blinded him with a razorblade. Ahab thought he had defeated him when after a lifetime of training he had him cornered and shot him but Fuchman managed to escape, leaving an innocent man in Ahab’s path and tricking him into killing said man. Ahab served 10 years in prison then upon release became a hermit living off the land in the middle of nowhere and leaving his younger sister behind. Twink, an underage homosexual male prostitute witnesses his own father set ablaze and is forced to watch helplessly as the man burns to death and is then suspected of his own father’s murder when he reports that it was the fuchman who was responsible. Father John, a young preist befriends the boy (or attempts to) in order to help him in his time of great grief. An older priest, who raised Ahab after the death of his father instructs Father John to seek out Ahab and bring him back in order to kill Fuchman and stop the murders once and for all but is soon after killed himself, this enrages Father John who Joins Twink and Ahab on their quest. Which gets more desperate when Ahab’s sister is kidnapped by the Fuchman and it becomes more and more evident that the fuchman is much much more then just a cannibalistic murderous father rapist.
Father’s Day manages to surpass such mega million dollar “homage films” such as Planet terror or Machete in that it doesn’t once seem to be self aware. there’s not winking at the camera here as the actors deliver their lines (no matter how absurd) straight faced. And a true love for the genre is very evident. The special effects in this film (especially considering the tiny 10 grand price tag) were out of this world utilizing lighting and angles to make the unbelievable quite shocking.
What i liked most was that while the special effects were plentiful and well done the film didn’t play the lazy way out and rely solely on these features instead leaning heavily on the very talented cast and crew to really make this bad boy stand out. I agree with some of the reviews saying that the ending (which i won’t spoil for you) is a bit rushed and perhaps a tad anticlimactic but anyone who is a big fan of the 70’s and 80’s exploitation film era will tell you that even this rings true with the genre. This films serves less as a mockery to the genre (like many of the so called “homages”) and more as a love letter to the genre. It feels natural and not as contrived, and for that and the sheer enjoyment i get from this movie (hell from virtually all of the films made by Astron-6 and greypoint films)
i give this films 2 middle fingers cut off. there’s not a single thing i would change about this film other then the fact that it (in my opinion) is not viewed nearly as much as it should be.
Now lets check out Manborg
Do you remember the epic live action/ green screen intros to video games they used to have for some systems (the one that sticks out in my mind as a late 80’s early 90’s kid is sega CD)….No? well allow me to enlighten you, back in the hey day of Sega CD (all 20minutes of it lol) there were these little mini movies before (and sometimes during and after) the game where you’d see the heroes and other characters interacting with you, the player and telling the story of the game. They almost always overacted to the point of being comical, had very tripped out realer then life backdrops that had to be seen to believed and often were better and more enjoyable then the actual game was. Those of us who grew up on and loved these little intro movies wondered what a full movie like this would be, granted there were a few sci-fi films who kind of had the feel but never quite went full video game status…well, now someone did. that someone, of course being Astron 6.
MANBORG:tells the tale of a solider killed in the last battle against the armies of hell while facing Count Draculon, the worst demon of all. Taken from the battlefield the solider was rebuilt and put into suspended animation only to reawaken in the future that has been transformed into a sadistic futuristic yet devoid of life world run by demons. He is almost immediately cought were he meets up with Number #1Man, Mina, and Justice, a group of misfit resistance fighters who, like manborg, have been imprisoned and forced to fight in a mad max-esque fight pit with various cyborg demons. Manborg soon discovers the extent of his abilities and his creator Dr.Scorpious (who is being forced to work for the demons) and uses said abilities to stage a jailbreak, only for the group to return to the prison and fight the baddies to the bitter end.
Manborg accomplished what all the video game based films couldn’t in that it literally feels as if you are watching a game from the voices of the characters, to their movements and most of all the world the inhabit. it amazes me that the film only cost a grand to make, that these brilliant young team can do what Hollywood can’t with less then half a percent of the budget. the only complaint i had about the film was the fact that the Baron’s mouth didn’t move when he spoke, he looked really cool but the inability of movement the mask suffered from was hard to miss and took away from the character in my opinion, in fact I’m quite certain the mask itself was a refurbished mask used in an earlier Astron-6 short film entitled The Heart Of Karl (a modernized horror version of Of Mice And Men that is definitely worth a gander.
overall i still have to give the film no middle fingers up, considering the budget constraints the immobile mask is a small price to pay for such a wonderful film.
the first question i wanted to ask is one that a lot of my readers and friends that have seen the porkchop films and the zombie babys film ask and that is Eamon Hardiman you’re real name? and if so what ethnic background does the name originate with? if not where did the name come from?
Yep, that’s my real name. It’s Irish and fairly common in other parts of the world but a constant source of . It’s pronounced “Ay-muhn.”
lol now that that completely random question is out of the way let’s get down to some film questions.
A lot of people have pointed out that while porkchops and the sequels are cool and entertaining films they tend to have quite a few off screen kills and filler, how do you feel about this view and is it an issue you plan to work on in future projects?
Well, it’s tough when your shooting schedule is so short. We shoot most of these movies in under 10 days and are usually working around schedules with a very tiny budget and loads of FX bits planned that wind up having to be tossed out because it’s just not feasible. One person showing up two hours late or one person not getting things ready in time for a scene can mean “Oh shit, I guess we’ll have to cut that out.” Some stuff, however, I think it’s just more fun to have it left up to your imagination. I like gore but I wouldn’t call myself a gore-hound by any means.
what inspired you to make films and when did you start?
I remember my dad filming us with a Super 8 camera when I was a kid (not in a creepy Butterfly Effect way) and he would project the movies for the whole family and I always got a kick out of that. After he eventually tossed it aside, I fished it out of a file cabinet and played around with it…but just as a toy to torture GI Joes with. Later on, I messed around with his VHS camcorder and filmed little stop-motion things with Star Wars figures. Then one day I decided to make a short film with some friends. We borrowed someone’s little brother’s camcorder and started scripting out scenes. That was I dunno…high school I guess.
who would you say were you biggest influences?
Landis, Raimi, Kubrick. Anyone who ever directed an 80s comedy movie.
What is your favorite horror film of all time and why?
This varies but I guess at the moment it would be Idle Hands. I really appreciate the Argento homages in the use of color, it has a wildly unique cast (at least for the time), and it mixed comedy and horror (with an emphasis on the former) in a pretty great way. First DVD I ever purchased. I even own a 35mm film print of the trailer.
Now that remakes are all the hype, would you allow someone like say, Michael bay to remake the porkchop films? why or why not?
Yes, absolutely. I’m poor as hell and need to sell out as soon as possible. My car barely works, we live in a dirty apartment with junky second-hand furniture in the #1 unhappiest, unhealthiest city in America….I’d love to be able to not live in squalor. I’d like to have more than $17 in the bank at any given time. And anytime there’s a remake it makes the original film gain some kind of mystique. It would make them seem like some kind of lost masterpieces. I don’t think anything else would do that. Oh wait, sorry, I mean “Hell no! Remakes suck!”
In Porkchops there is a scene in which a teacher discusses the porkchop legend with his class but rather then hear the dialog we get music and an 80’sesque montague-like scene…was this a homage to random pointless 80’s montages or was it an issue with sound or somthing else altogether?
No, that part was planned out from the beginning. We wanted to occasionally just throw some insane moments in the film. That was one of them.
There’s quite a bit of humor to your films, how do you feel about darker more sinister horror films like Saw or Hostile?
I’m not a huge fan of the Saw movies. I really enjoyed the first one. I do like the Hostel flicks quite a bit, but those have a LOT of dark comedy. I watch every type of horror and I like a lot of it….I don’t know. I guess comedy has always appealed more to me as a writer. I don’t know if I could ever scare anyone but I feel confident that I can make them laugh at least once in a movie.
Does your company ever buy scripts from outside sources are you strictly within the company for things like that?
No, I pretty much write it all. We’ve tried to do other scripts in the past but our actors/crew never really gravitated towards them. I’m not sure why they want to do mine.
A lot of people point out that porkchops is very much like a remake to the first film (almost a second try) rather then a true sequel..would you say theres any truth to that statement?
Yes, we tried to make both Porkchops/Porkchop II: Rise of the Rind and Porkchop 3D their own stand-alone films, kind of like Evil Dead 2 and Army of Darkness. That’s why we originally titled it Porkchops instead of Porkchop II. But then the distribution company titled it Porkchop II and we just looked like assholes.
Where were the porkchop films actually shot?
Porkchop 1 was shot in White Sulphur Springs, WV and a bunch of other locations. 2 was in Charleston, WV and White Sulphur Springs. 3 was shot in Charleston and Fayetteville.
I’ve noticed alot of trouble with sound with your films which can be a deterent. what causes these issues and are you working to fix them?
We had a lot of sound issues on Zombie Babies due to a noisy filming location full of passing logging trucks every fifteen minutes, an inability to get the actors in to do ADR due to lack of funds, and a really bad dialogue track. Basically, the person overseeing the audio didn’t have his boom ops get in close enough to the actors with the boom mic and turned up their mixer to compensate for the low volume, creating ridiculous amounts of noise. Now we make sure to get as close as possible to the actor and don’t use a mixer. Sometimes when you’re out in a lot of outdoor locations, there’s just nothing you can do. The world’s a noisy place, you’ve just gotta go with it and hope the audience doesn’t get hung up on technical details and enjoys the ride.
Where do you get your ideas?
Lots of conversations with friends, lots of movie-watching, lots of showers. If I’m writing or editing I will take like seven showers a day. Each one usually yields the solution to a problem or some new idea that seems like a good idea at the time.
Will we ever see a prequel to Porkchop actually showing him killing and eating his parents and the slaughter that ensues at the camp after he escapes?
If someone wants to fund it and I can find the right child actor.
if porkchop is so adement about his love for pigs then where did he get the stitched together pigface he wears as a mask?
Well he saw his pet pig murdered in front of him by the person he trusted and looked up to and that kind of shit can warp the hell out of you. I think Porkchop is a mess of different feelings, slathered in rage. You can see a bit of those emotions in Porkchop 3D.
I’ve seen Porkchop 3d but honestly not all the way through because the film doesn’t work well with non-3D tv’s and alot of s fans want to knwo, if and when there will be a non-3D version of the film?
Yes. When? I have no idea.
What was the worst horror film you’ve ever seen and why?\
I honestly couldn’t tell you. Even a bad horror film is entertaining…if only because it’s so bad.
Would you ever consider teaming up with a larger independent company like Troma Team Video so you could get a slightly larger budget and larger distribution?
Troma picked up the overseas rights to Porkchop 1 and 2 but I don’t know when that’s going to happen. I’d make an original film for one of those companies in a heart-beat.
How did you feel about the review i did on your porkchop films?
No offense but bad reviews or good reviews, I’ve stopped reading them. If it’s on Youtube or something, I will usually wind up seeing it….but if it’s bad it just makes me angry or sad and that really isn’t going to do anyone any good. I guess a review is meant to either praise someone for doing something great, something exceptional or damning them for making something that person did not enjoy. I’m not sure low-budget independent cinema needs that. I’m not sure filmmakers need to be discouraged. I think that if a micro-cinema flick is great, there should be praise, sure. But if it’s bad? Of course it’s bad, it’s micro-cinema! There’s no budget, no time, usually no professional crew. How many Hollywood movies are good? Not many. And they have budgets, time, and professionals behind the wheel. It’s rare you see a fantastic, almost perfect Hollywood film. It’s a fucking MIRACLE when you see a micro-budget one. So we should praise those folks and encourage others but never talk shit, never tear down. It’s not going to accomplish anything except hurting someone’s feelings.
would you be intrested in submiting any other films to be reviewed by the site?
Sure, we’ll send along a copy of The Crawling Dead when it’s done.
What projects can we look forward to in the future from you and your company.
We’re working on post-production for The Crawling Dead right now and that should be out in Late May or early June. That one’s going to be a free web-series. We’re also trying to get funding for a free web series called pig girls
For more info on razor sharp studios and their work go to http://razorsharpstudioswv.com