KING OF THE WITCHES TAKEOVER!! Chris KOTW Announces His Newest VHS Edition and Interviews Filmmaker James Bell of Very Fine Crap Videos as He Prepares to Stun and Shock with His Sordid Style and Art House Ideals! WARNING: NOT FOR THE FAINT OF HEART.
In my tenure as a Videovore or Cinemaphile or whatever you want to call it, I've always sought out the darker depths of film. That being said, I've seen some serious shit. Recently, I stumbled upon an independent filmmaker named James Bell, who had completed a project that he had been working on for several years. Upon exchanging emails, he sent me a copy of the film and I was taken back. I go into most independent films with low expectations and they're usually met… not everything can be SLAUGHTER TALES. But as rough and shaky as James' film was, it had a certain poetry to it that immediately won me over. It's not an award winning film; it's definitely the work of an amateur. But the amount of personality and character that this project packs is enough to make up for all of that. I recently got a chance to do a small Q&A with James Bell about himself and his film DOG DICK. Here it is...
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CHRIS KING OF THE WITCHES
It's about to get real weird in here. As if it weren't weird enough already...James Bell: My name is James Bell. I've lived in Michigan my whole life. My company started from my third YouTube account. I kept on making strange animations and really obscene videos that would get my accounts deleted… so I eventually thought of the name Very Fine Crap Videos, and it just kind of stuck, and I went with it. It started evolving into more serious videos. I started using it to test lightly edited parts of DOG DICK to see people's reactions to it before it was complete. King of the Witches: Can you explain your film, DOG DICK, and what it's all about? Growing up, throughout my teens and twenties, I'd write these crazy screenplays and try to talk my friends into doing them. Nothing would ever pan out right and everything I've ever tried doing with a narrative plot, when I had to rely on other people, it just always fell apart. So, I kind of figured out just filming people in real life and just editing it together. Originally I was going for more of a documentary style of film, but then it just seemed boring. So I just went with more of an artistic, kind of raucous, rowdy, punk rock feel to it. I wanted it to be different; I tried to make it not boring. That was my main point to it all. Originally it was going to center around the death of my father, who's been on drugs his whole life and numerous claimed all kinds of nonsense. But, I don't know… when my grandmother died, she choked to death in bed, my mother kept her around for a couple of days, so I assumed that with my father, the same insanity will happen. We'll see what happens with that when it happens. I got impatient and went with a different type of story or lack of story with DOG DICK.
Filmmaker James Bell all fuzzed out and feelin' it. DIG IT, MANG.What was your main inspiration in making DOG DICK? How long had you been working on it, and what made you feel like it was finally finished? I'd have to say it definitely is inspired by GUMMO. I definitely tried not to make it a complete rip off, especially because none of it has a narrative. Also, AMERICAN MOVIE originally inspired the original “what I was going for” type of feel. Films like BUM FIGHTS, FACES OF DEATH, TRACES OF DEATH, all of that shockumentary stuff… it's definitely inspired by that, as well. Even though it doesn't really have too much of that type of stuff in it… It kind of does, in a way. I'd been working on it... The trailer on YouTube is three or four years old... I made that trailer about a month into working on the original version. I kept having going through a series of computer problems, losing footage, and eventually, I was just so scared that I was going to lose the whole goddamn thing, I couldn't even put ending credits on it. My computer was acting up so badly in editing that I just had to call it done. My computer pretty much gave me no other choice.
James' DVD release for the double D. This is what the stack would like after about 5 - 8 beers. Find THAT filter on Instagram, man.Are you happy with the final product? If you could, would you change anything about it? Overall, I am pretty happy with it. I'm not going to watch it every day or anything... I don't think it's the best movie ever made or anything… but you know… it is what it is. It's the work of one person. If I could change anything though, throughout my computer problems I lost some footage and some of that stuff was just so insane... it's just too bad it's gone. How has the general reception been? Any death threats? Actually, people have been really positive about it. I've been kind of surprised. A lot of people who I didn't expect to like it did. Even the negative things I have heard about it… it's just that people have been repulsed by it. It's not that they were bored or that they weren't entertained, but they were just sickened by it. But yeah, people have responded to it quite well. I used to get a lot of death threats on YouTube… online people like to threaten me a lot. I think it's kind of funny. I show them something that terrifies them, so they threaten me, but in all reality... I would probably murder them... and they know it... Were you worried about releasing it with the graphic animal scenes? At first I had a little hesitation about it. But in all reality, I don't kill any of the stuff. I have the kitten to prove it. All of the other stuff died on its own, except for the bugs that I lit on fire. But I also lit myself on fire at the same time. So if people are mad, they can be mad, but really I didn't do anything. I just witnessed stuff. I fucked around with some dead animals, whatever. It's nothing.
Another look at James' release of DOG DICK. Dig that DIY shizz, brotherrrrr.Were any of the people that you featured in the film upset that they were filmed? Your sister seems to be a pretty prominent character. Were your parents upset that you filmed her? Have any of the people who were in it seen the final product? Most of the people in the film didn't really realize… well, they knew I had cameras… nobody really took me seriously as far as what I was working on goes. I didn't really explain it to anybody. So when I'd be videotaping shit, people never really thought much of it most of the time because they just figured it was bullshit. A lot of the filming around my parents house, I did without them realizing it. But at the same time, some of it I did right in front of them. They just don't really acknowledge it. I don't know… it's kind of weird. They haven't seen it. A couple of the people that were in it have seen it… like the guy that swings the deer around… he saw it and he enjoyed it. But you know, he's part of the ruckus… so I guess that doesn't really count. Do you have a girlfriend? Does she think you're insane? I've actually been married for about ten years now… yeah... she kind of thinks I'm insane. But at the same time, I kind of keep it all separate from everything else. All of my movies and stuff are in a room that only I go in. I keep all of my stuff separate. What's next for you and Very Fine Crap Videos? I'm looking forward to the upcoming King of the Witches VHS release of Dog Dick. I've been working on promoting it as much as I can, I'm kind of limited as far as that aspect goes. I've still been filming things, so there's still more to come in the future.
The unofficial artwork for the upcoming King of The Witches VHS release of DOG DICK. Don't like it? MAKE YOUR OWN! (See below, dude.)Like you said, KOTW is going to be doing a VHS release of DOG DICK. Do you want to talk about any of the extras on the tape? There's going to be an intro on the tapes that isn't going to be on anything else, and I'm going to supply a bunch of other stuff so it's really up to them to pick and choose what's going to be on there. Any last words? Thank you for giving me this chance to do this. You can buy copies of DOG DICK on DVD or contact James Bell on Facebook at Very Fine Crap Videos. We here at King of the Witches are really excited to be able to work on such an interesting project and look forward to being able to collaborate with James in the future. We would like to have it ready to go before Christmas, and we'll also be supplying Very Fine Crap Videos with a special DVD version of the film to sell… but he won't know that until he reads this interview. We'd like to thank James for the opportunity to work with him, and we support him and his endeavor wholeheartedly. Other King of the Witches releases to look forward to in the upcoming months: Chris Power's Long Pigs Ron Decaro's Brightside Trilogy on DVD. Nick Bougas' The Goddess Bunny. David Markey's Desperate Teenage Lovedolls & Lovedolls Superstar Also a slew of other analog annihilators. And check this out, too. As you all know (from reading this interview) we're working on a release of DOG DICK. A film that many of you probably haven't seen. And most of you would probably be offended by. We're going to be doing a standard cover. But we would like to have an alternate cover. That's where the contest lies. What good is a VHS without insane cover art that has nothing to do with the movie? You're right - it's no good. We typically work with the same stable of incredible artists for cover art, but for DOG DICK we would like to open up to the entire world... or something. So starting today and ending on December 23rd. We will be accepting submissions for DOG DICK alternate cover art. You can use any medium, crayons to digital, to paint or even human blood. Anything. And every good contest has good prizes right? The winner will not only have their art featured on the alternate cover, and mini poster included with the package, but they will receive an undetermined amount of copies of both the VHS and DVD of DOG DICK, 20 prints of their own art to do whatever they want with, the recognition of being the person who made the DOG DICK alternate art, and bragging rights. The winner will be picked on December 23rd. Votes will be cast by The Video Pharmacist, Secret Lair, Uneasy Archive, VHS Is Dead and filmmaker James Bell. All submissions can be sent to mangehomevideo