Cult Favorite CRINOLINE HEAD Director Tommy Faircloth is Back in Horror Business with His New Short Film THE CABIN, Issuing it on Limited Edition VHS and Announcing Plans for CRINOLINE HEAD 2 and the Creation of CRIMSON SCREEN FILM FEST!
Tommy makin' the movie magic happen. FOCUSSSSSSSS.LM: How’d you get involved with making films? TF: I knew since I was young that I wanted to work in movies. Even when I was like 10 or younger, I used to have a cassette recorder that I would make “radio movies” with. I would get all my friends and we would make up stuff on the recorder, and play it over and over. I once memorized the entire film WILLY WONKA AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY and recited it word for word, with me playing the entire cast. Once I saw the movie MOMMIE DEAREST, that is when my productions began to take a turn for the darker… I would
Poster artwork for Tommy's insano 90s slasher parody. HOPE YA GOT SOME COCKTAIL SAUCE TO GO WITH THOSE CUH-RABSSS.Well, that was groovy of him! What happened next, man? While in film school, I began writing a little script for a slasher (CRINOLINE HEAD) I wanted to do. I was working in the art department for a big budget movie, DIE HARD WITH A VENGEANCE, and decided that once I was finished, I was going to go for it and shoot my first film during the summer. So I got all my film school friends together and we went out to a lake house and shot it in about 9 days. I had signed up to take an independent study during the summer so that I would have access to all of the school’s equipment.
Redux poster artwork for Tommy's 2001 film. This is a great one to watch when you CUT class. OHHHHHHHHH. That's right.That’s the way to do it for sure. What happened after you wrapped CRINOLINE HEAD? After I completed CRINOLINE HEAD, about a year later, I did my second film GENERATION AX. I was having issues with my distributor with CRINOLINE HEAD and decided that once I finished AX, I was going to release it myself. I sold off the foreign rights to various places, but kept domestic myself. Then I took CRINOLINE HEAD back and ended up releasing them both on VHS in the late 90’s early 2000’s. I had ads in Fangoria, in issues where they covered the films. I was pleased with how well they did, the reviews etc… but the cost to shoot on film and the time spent doing it over the past few years completely exhausted me. I took a break from horror and did a lot of roller coaster and theme park related videos and documentaries. So after all this time away, a lot changed in the film world. Cameras, internet, distribution… so much stuff that if it had been available when I was doing my first two films, I would have never stopped. There was no internet really, no Facebook, no DVD, no Amazon…. So in the beginning of 2013, I started to get email requests from different people, asking about the rights to CRINOLINE HEAD and GENERATION AX. People wanted to re-release them on VHS. I saw where old copies on eBay were selling for like $70, $80 plus. I was like WTF? People would still message me about those films and still liked them. I decided that I would re-released them on DVD since they had never been on DVD except in Germany. I also decided that I was ready to get back into filmmaking and was ready to do the sequel to CRINOLINE HEAD.
An original ad slick slash order from for the CRINOLINE HEAD VHS. Sourced from the super-rad Critcononline.com!Tell us about your new film THE CABIN. What’s it all about? It’s a simple story and idea, and the fact that it literally could, and does happen is what people connect with. I actually thought of the idea from different stories that I came across in the newspapers and online… about internet connections going wrong. And the MTV show “Catfish” is really popular, also. So I wondered what it would be like if there was a horror version of that story. So before I jumped head first into a new feature, I decided that shooting THE CABIN film might be a good idea. To get my feet wet… get back out there and try and gain some followers and get some exposure to new horror fans. Plus, I wanted to test out some cameras and lenses, and see what I could do with little as possible. So I wrote this short story in March and decided that I wanted to shoot it in June. I would then submit it to some horror film festivals and see what kind of reaction I would get. Hopefully, I would gain some followers and maybe they would want to help out when it came time to shoot a feature. So I began casting it and met Jason Vail. I had seen him in Elias’ feature GUT and ABRAHAM LINCOLN VS. ZOMBIES. He really liked the story and wanted to do it. I was like, “you know this is just a short film right?” and he was still excited. He loves horror and loves to work, so I cast him and then began looking for my female lead. Morgan Monnig walked into the auditions and I immediately knew I liked her. Again, she loved horror movies and she and Jason read great together. So in June, we started shooting THE CABIN in South Carolina, North Carolina, and Tennessee. We shot this thing in 2 days, in 3 states, and never had more than 4 people on the set. I had it edited by day 7 and started sending it to festivals immediately. We premiered in San Antonio at the Horrific Film Festival where we also won “Best Short”. From there we have been to 17 festivals and won 4 more “Best Short” awards as well as Jason Vail picked up his first ever “Best Actor” award at Fear Fete Film Festival. In total so far THE CABIN won “Best Short” at Wilson College Horror Film Festival (by audience vote), Freak Show Horror Film Festival, Fear Fete Film Festival, San Antonio Horrific Film Festival, and Scared Stiff Halloween Film Festival. My actors Jason and Morgan were both nominated for their roles at the Horrific Film Fest, as well. Also exciting is that Shorts International contacted me and offered us a worldwide broadcast deal for their cable channel “ShortsTV” to begin in 2014 for 3 years. They saw it at the Fear Fete Film Festival and thought it would be a great addition to the channel. This will be great exposure for my cast and will be seen all over the globe. This little experiment of a film began to gain this crazy momentum and I was really happy with the reactions I was getting from people who saw it. I really like the idea that this story is one that could happen to anyone.
The super-groovy poster / VHS artwork sewn together by the most bodacious Sadist Art Designs! DIG IT!Any particular style or era that influenced you while creating THE CABIN? I wanted something that was creepy and something that made you jump. Something like THE STRANGERS. I like horror movies with simple stories and simple effects. Something like where people can say “this could really happen to me.” This was nothing like my past two films so I wanted to try and see if an audience would appreciate something from me that was a little more serious.
The Limited VHS release featuring the kick-ass art, limited to 100 and signed by Tommy. MMMM, GIMME DAT.Why put this flick on VHS? The package is pretty bodacious, with killer cover and poster work from Sadist Art Designs. Can you give us the full low down on what the package is all about? I am a huge fan of the 80s horror films. My first film CRINOLINE HEAD was a total homage to that whole era. Movies like SLEEPAWAY CAMP and FRIDAY THE 13th were movies that influenced my style while making it. THE CABIN is new, but it could very well be a movie that takes place in the 80s: A guy and a girl in a cabin in the mountains. I wanted to have a poster that gave it the look of an old 80s movie and Marc Schoenbach
The logo for Tommy's upcoming fest. Lookin' GOOD.What do you think about the resurgence in appreciation for the format? What’s next for you, Tommy? Anything else you’d like to shout out to all the Tapeheads out there? I think it’s great that so many people are out there seeking movies on VHS. I mean, that love for VHS has helped me and my movies gain a ton of new fans and new appreciation for my films. My close friend filmmaker and author Paul Talbot is the one that turned me on to the VHS groups on Facebook. He let me know that people where posting pics of their copies of my films and I thought that was awesome. Next for me will be Crinoline Head 2. I will be launching an Indiegogo campaign this month for Crinoline Head 2 and I am very excited about it. I have another film I want to do also, but I knew that I had to do CH2 first. It’s been 18 years since the first one and this one is going to be awesome: Lots more blood, and kills, and insane characters. I have spoken with Debbie Rochon about playing this great role of a foul mouthed groundskeeper and she is really excited about it. Jason Vail will be in it, as well, playing the role of Paul… one of the survivors from the first film; Morgan Monnig will make an appearance also. The campaign will feature some great perks like being able to work on the set, or even get killed on screen. I am also doing a limited release VHS of it, as well. THE CABIN is still touring festivals and I hope to have some new dates to announce soon. You can also see THE CABIN on Vimeo for a while and the VHS copies are selling fast. Over half are already gone since we launched it. Please also like my production company Facebook page and also the page for Crinoline Head 2 so you can keep up to date on production news. AND you can get copies of GENERATION AX or CRINOLINE HEAD on DVD and yes, we have a few original VHS copes left on our web site or on Amazon. My partner and I have also created South Carolina’s only horror film festival called “Crimson Screen Horror Film Festival”. It will take place April 19th and 20th in Charleston, SC and we are in our regular deadline now until January 17th. We have had some amazing films submitted so far. More info on that can be found at www.crimsonscreenfilmfest.com and on the Official Facebook Page. We are hoping for a really good turnout and keep doing it bigger and bigger every year.
Man, Tommy sure is busy, eh, Tapeheads?! You know I can dig it. Personally, I think the fact that a renewed (read: visible) interest in his films on tape were a major factor in his inspiration to get back behind the camera. Just another reason why VHS is STILL the best there is, the best there was and the best there ever will be. Nah’mean, mang!? Be sure to groove on over to all of Tommy's sites, give him some love and GRAB A VHS COPY before they is gone! You'll be glad ya did, mang!
Groove and Groove and DON'T GO IN THE WOODS WITHOUT WEAPONS.