Category_Collecting, Category_Groovy Stuff, Category_Horror, Category_VHS -

Sick Slice Cinema Unleashes the Matty Calhoun / DEAD/BROKE PRODUCTIONS Backwoods SOV Horror DEAD END DRIVE on Limited Edition VHS!

It all starts with a consumer grade camcorder swiped from your parent’s closet. You stay up way too late, pound cans of sugar water to stay awake and just kind of make it up as you go, using your favorite slabs of analog excellence as a sort of road map to arrive at some sort of gory end. That’s how Dead/ Broke Productions got started, and while over the years Matty Calhoun and crew have evolved with their filmmaking, the VHSpirit remains the same. It’s all about no-budget, horror-drenched homemade flicks made with your friends, if only to gather around and rewind the times to have laugh at your bud’s sugar-drenched acting efforts. Then, sometimes, you make some true magnetic magic, and it deserves to be presented via VHS for all the other Tapeheads out there to get in on the fun. Enter Sick Slice Cinema who is again jumping into the analog arena and unleashing a Limited Edition of Calhoun’s 2007 backwoods slasher Dead End Drive: a love letter to some of horror’s grittiest classics. And did I mention the edition comes with a totally amazing custom action figure modeled after the gas-masked killer? Because it totally rules. Read on, my fellow Videovores, and find out what can happen with just a few friends and full battery on your camcorder…


The radical low-budget DEAD/BROKE Logo. Nothin' beats a skull, mang.

Tell us a little about yourself, and your filmmaking. Well, I guess it kinda started back in the late 80’s. I remember when my dad bought a VHS camcorder to record my little league games and family vacations. I was probably around 7 or 8 years old; I remember making short Star Wars inspired films (I wanted to be Boba Fett!) and comedy skits with my older brother Brady and my cousin. Fast forward a few years later: while in high school I had become good friends with Jeremy Clark and Shaun Kettell and we started coming up with ideas to make short horror and comedy films. I believe the very first movie we ever made was back in 1996. I was 15 years old at the time. The title of the film was Cyclops Killer. It’s only about four minutes long and it pretty much consists of me (wearing an old cyclops Halloween mask) following some unsuspecting guy (Jeremy) around and then ripping his arm off. Yep! That was it, end of movie… . At the time, we actually filmed that with the intentions of making it into a longer movie down the road, but unfortunately it just never happened. Fast forward to about 1999 or so, we had got a few more friends on board and we were making more short horror films, usually anywhere from 15-30 minutes in length. The funny thing about these films is that we would all get together one evening with the intentions of making a movie but we had absolutely no clue as to what kinda plot it would have, so we would come up with a quick idea then start filming and just go with the flow as the night went on. It was honestly a blast to stay up all night and make a movie like that. We would normally end up editing it on the spot either on the camera itself or with an old Sima video editor that I had. Keep in mind that this was all done with NO budget…well, besides the money spent on the case of soda we would drink to help keep us awake for the night . After we had filmed a couple of these movies, we were trying to come up with a production company name. While there were plenty of ideas being thrown around, we finally thought, “Hey! We’re pretty much broke and have no money, but we LOVE making films…so let’s call ourselves- Dead/Broke Productions!” The rest is history; we kept making films off and on over the years (including Dead End Drive, and most recently Death Dummy). I attended a couple colleges including Penn State where I got my bachelors in Film/Communications. I guess we (Dead/Broke) have definitely evolved as a film crew. Script writing, better special effects and an actual budget (albeit very, very low) is now a part of every film that we make.


Matty all up in that Cyclops mask, mang! The Grain! The Grit! The ANALOG GLORY!

When did you make DEAD END DRIVE? What was the inspiration, and how was the experience of making it? We filmed Dead End Drive back in the summer of 2007 at my friend’s old farmhouse - which is probably around 100 years old or something; it hadn’t been lived in for years so you can imagine how pretty dang creepy it was to hang out there. The place is obviously just perfect for a horror film setting , though, so we used it as much as possible for this film as well as a few others we’ve made in the past. I would have to say the main inspiration for Dead End Drive is the 70’s classic - The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. I always loved the grittiness and feel of that movie- the atmosphere is nothing short of amazing! I guess we kind of wanted to make a sort of “homage” to that film yet with a lower budget and slasher feel to it. My buddy’s old house and back woods setting was just plain perfect for it. There were definitely a slew of 80’s slashers, as well as another classic - Motel Hell (Gotta love that pig head and chainsaw scene-perfection!) that gave us some inspiration also. The overall experience of making the film was awesome; it’s always a great time getting together with some friends and making a homemade movie… then getting together to watch it and laugh at how bad each other’s acting skills are.


The Killer in DEAD END DRIVE about to bring the hammer down. Watch the flick to see what happens next, dude!

What inspired you to put it on VHS? How did you hook up with Hayden Hall / Sick Slice Cinema? The inspiration was pretty much my love for the VHS medium as well as low budget horror in general. It’s only been 8 years or so, but back when Dead End Drive was filmed, none of us really even imagined that we would have any kind of release let alone an insanely cool looking VHS! Hayden and I became friends and started chatting on Facebook awhile back; he had grabbed a VHS copy of Death Dummy (another one of my films) from me and said he really enjoyed it so we pretty much got to talking about making films and doing releases and now I’m here doing a cool interview for the great Lunchmeat VHS Fanzine! Hayden definitely put his awesome artistic skills to work and I along with my friends couldn’t be happier with the killer looking artwork he’s done for the release.


A full look at the VHS art for DEAD END DRIVE from artist Hayden Hall / Sick Slice Cinema. Lookin' GOOD, mang.

Tell us about the release itself. It’s coming out on the Sick Slice Cinema label? Limited Edition? Well, I’m pretty sure the release is limited to 30 copies (so you SOV hound’s and Dead/Broke fan’s grab em while you can!!!) and gonna be in some nice clamshells along with some cool extras, as well. I believe Hayden and Sick Slice has put out a couple other releases (a couple of their own homemade horror films) in the past, but this is their first release of someone else’s work, so we’re definitely both very excited!


A close-up of the KILLER custom figures that come with each VHS edition. These totally RULE.

What’s next for you, mang? What’s happening in your VCR right now? Dead/Broke Productions definitely has some insanely cool plans for a couple upcoming films. We plan on making our first feature length horror this summer, so we’re very much looking forward to that! I’ve also been working with Adam Taylor of Psycho Video on a compilation release. It’s most certainly gonna be fun, it’ll consist of 5-6 films of ours (including Dead End Drive) as well as Death Dummy which was just released on its own and also a handful of other shot-on-video, no budget slashers we made back in the early 2000’s - all of which have only been seen by a few close friends, so I hope you SOV fans are ready! The title will be “Dead/Broke Productions No Budget Collection” and it should be out on VHS sometime this year courtesy of Psycho Video. Adam has done some great work on his past releases, so I’m sure this one will be killer! Right now my beast of VCR is playing the Polonia Brothers’ 1986 SOV- Hallucinations. It’s some great stuff for sure. Besides the cool fact that they’re fellow Pennsylvania filmmakers, their work has definitely been an inspiration for me. Mark and the late John’s (RIP John!) movie making style, direction and ability to make fun and entertaining films on a very low budget is nothing short of amazing. Some of my favorite SOV’s have been made by those cool dudes. Anything else you wanna shout out to the Videovores in Lunchmeat Land?! I just wanna give a huge thanks and VHShout out to Hayden and Sick Slice Cinema for the collaboration, and also to everyone for the interest and support! It’s so much fun to make these films, to be honest it kinda seems surreal even thinking that they’re making it onto some awesome looking tapes for others to enjoy. But in the end, that’s what it’s all about- sharing something that I love with all you Videovores and horror fans out there! Just remember to keep that VHS vibe alive and continue to support indie filmmaking. Oh! And to all you horror fiends out there in VHS land - keep those magnetic beasts of yours hungry: Dead/Broke Productions has some killer stuff on the way that’s sure to satisfy that hunger!

Bring on those analog eats, Matty! You know every Videovore’s VCR is most voracious and always looking for new slabs of magnetic flesh to unreel within its rewind-inclined anatomy! The Limited Edition VHS release of Dead End Drive from Sick Slice Cinema should be ready any minute now, so be sure to groove on over to the Official Sick Slice spot and grab yours before they get all gobbled up, mang! This is one slab of low-budget analog celebration you just don’t wanna miss! And that custom figure from Hayden? Too damn groovy, mang. Your VCR and your radical rewind extra shelf will be most pleased, indeed, Tapeheads! This one is destined to be fresh VHS dope rarity, no doubt.

Groove and Groove and DRINK ALL THE SODAS.

Josh Schafer

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published