TRASHMONGER VIDEO Unleashes Indie SOV flick SCRAPBOOK OF BLOOD via Fresh VHS and Prepares to Feed Your VCR Even More Magnetic Magic with their Mix-Tape Release ANAL LOG! DROPS TODAY! DIG IT!
The radical hand-drawn logo from Trashmonger Ben Kepley! SHIRT, PUH-LEASE!!Tell us a little bit about the Trashmonger crew. How'd you guys become buddies and start making movies? Well, Trashmonger more or less consists of myself (Trevor Bather), Ben Kepley and Tyler Antoine, though we have a constant flow of help from our family and friends, as well. Basically, when Ben and I were 8 years old, his family moved into my neighborhood, Viola, DE, where both of us still live. We met not too long after that and immediately bonded over our mutual love of horror movies. At that time, I was begging my parents to take me to the video store every weekend. They had no problems renting any video I handed them, so I was able to see films like Basket Case, Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer, the Friday the 13th movies, etc. at a pretty young, impressionable age. The first film Ben and I watched together was The Evil Dead and we basically never stopped watching horror. We went to our first convention when we were 14 with Ben's brother Daniel Kepley, who's also a rabid, lifelong horror fan. Then in high school we met Tyler, who lived a few towns over. We developed our sensibilities throughout high school and college, expanding into early underground stuff like the Kuchar Brothers, Kenneth Anger, Robert Downey Sr., early John Waters, etc. Then around 2008, something huge happened: A tri-fecta of SOV madness entered our lives. Tyler picked up a copy of The Last Slumber Party at the Goodwill and brought it over to my house. I had just recently seen the Death Nurse films and was sitting on a copy of Redneck Zombies. Seeing those films in such close proximity changed the way we thought about "making movies." All of a sudden, it was not out of our grasp to write a movie, shoot it, and edit it. Very similar to hearing the Ramones for the first time and realizing that music is not some kind of unattainable magic thing. I mean, it is magic, but it's also attainable, same as film. So we ebay'ed ourselves a VHS camcorder and wrote some scripts.
The Trashmonger Crew! From Left to Right: Trevor Bather, Ben Kepley, and Tyler Antoine! SMOKE'EM IF YA GOT 'EM!Scrapbook of Blood has an awesome analog era authenticity, man, from the unadulterated SOV atmosphere to the dead-on DIY feel of the packaging. What flicks were your biggest inspiration when making this anthology? Can you give all the Tapeheads an idea of the plot in case they've totally missed it so far? (ED NOTE: you should NOT have missed it!) Thank you! We really love the visual aesthetic of video, the way VHS captures a scene is endlessly fascinating to us, but more than that, there's a feeling that emanates from the great SOV films like Splatter Farm and Boardinghouse where reality subsides and something infinitely more disorienting, challenging, and ultimately satisfying, takes its place. Stuff like Sledgehammer, Tales from the Quadead Zone, Pieces of Darkness, even though I've spent my whole life exploring the horror genre, these movies felt completely new to me. Another huge influence on us at the time was Tim Ritter, especially Killing Spree and Creep. Tim Ritter and the Polonia Brothers, those were our spiritual guides, if you will. As for the plot, it's an anthology film containing three stories. The first story involves two teenage rebel girls who leave their homes to become satanic lesbians, only to have a serious wrench thrown in their plans when a drifter passes through town. The second story is a coming of age tale of a father and son, the rapture and ultimate freedom run amuck. The final tale revolves around an unnamed woman, a rich hermit who lives to look down on poor people, alternative lifestyles, and youth scenes. It's a satire.
Here's the analog beast that helps Trashmonger make the magnetic magic happen! A Panasonic VHS Reporter AG-125! YUS.How about the process of shooting and editing all the way to the final product? Who did the artwork for Scrapbook? Well, we shot all three stories about five years ago, and then shelved them. Lots of life stuff got in the way of productivity and they languished for years. Everyone in my life who had seen the footage urged me to finish the movie, but it just wasn't happening, for a slew of reasons. Cut to a year or so ago. I finally got on the Facebook (something I really hesitated to do) and discovered the Horror VHS Collectors Unite group. I realized quickly that something had happened. There was a whole community of people who were seeking out SOV films, obscure trash (the form and language within cinema, not a judgment on the quality of the film) and there were at least a couple dozen new VHS companies specializing in releasing films on video. To me, it all felt like a perfect world to delve into. So I called the guys, told 'em I wanted to turn the movies we'd shot into an anthology and start our own video company to release it. It didn't take much convincing for them to get on board. All of the artwork for our releases is done by Ben Kepley, co-founder and head of all graphic design. He's easily my favorite artist of all-time. I have hundreds of his drawings all over my house, my car, everywhere. When we were in high school, we spent every day together and he would just draw incessantly. His body of work is so crazy, so expansive. One of the most exciting prospects of starting a video company was the idea that we could finally get Ben's art out into the world. Believe me, the world needs it.
Stack o' SCRAPBOOK OF BLOOD on top of one mean playback machine! The handmade title screen for the flick makin' an appearance, as well!You and the dudes have been keeping busy in the meantime, mang! What’cha been cookin’ up? I know Anal Log comes out like any minute now. Tell us about that tape! We're trying to stay busy as hell, idle hands and all that. Just this last weekend we went into production on our next anthology feature, Demonator 4. It's gonna be a blast and we're really trying to work ourselves out of our comfort zone of heavily scripted, satirical horror. The wraparound, without giving too much away, is heavily influenced by a combination of Bowery Boys/East Side Kids style comedy and David “Rock” Nelson backyard monster movies. We're working on making masks for that right now and shooting one of the shorts for the film, revolving around the daydreams of a married couple, completely devoid of dialogue. So we're really trying out alotta new stuff for this one, new ways of shooting, new ideas to explore. After almost five years of not shooting anything, it's exhilarating to be back at it. In addition to that, we've got our first compilation release, Anal Log, due to be released Friday, December 5th (ED NOTE: That’s TODAY Tapeheads!). It's basically an educational tool put together by Tyler, designed to bring the viewer to a deeper understanding of womanhood and the feminine myth. All aspects of femininity are covered, from fashion and shopping to child-rearing and socializing. It's dedicated to his mother and each copy will come with a photograph of Tyler's mom, signed by all three Trashmongers. After that, our biggest project has been working with legendary 90's SOV filmmaker Carl J. Sukenick to bring a bunch of his unreleased movies out on video. Carl's one of those directors, a lot like David “Rock” Nelson, who's managed to completely create a world within his films. All of his films are tied together. Working with him has been a crazy dream come true. I saw his debut film, Alien Beasts, a while back and was elated and baffled in equal measure. I immediately set out to find him in hopes that I could snag copies of some of his other movies. I got that and much more. Some of his movies I really can't even believe. Our first release of his, which we're hoping to have available by January 1st, is a movie called Mutant Detector 1000, also known as Mutant Zone (both title cards appear in the film). Watching it, for me, was an experience equal to seeing El Topo or something like that for the first time. It blew my mind so hard I didn't recover for a week. We're very excited to present it to the world.
There it is! AVAILABLE TODAY, MANG! Go tell Trashmonger ya want one already! This will undoubtedly RULE.Why do you wanna shoot and release flicks on video? Why does the VHS aesthetic appeal to you so much? We started shooting on VHS because we hate HD and DV, the modern consumer-grade equivalents to video. Some guys can make those formats work for them, like David Lynch, but we just always knew it wasn't for us. We're convinced that technology and horror films both reached a sort of high-point in the 80's and the world's just been messing it up ever since. Hence, we decided right from the beginning to never have cell phones, computers or anything like that in our movies. It's not that we're trying to make 80's throwback films so much as we just have a general disdain for modern living and try to refute it in every way possible. Sadly, the internet in 2014 is a necessary evil for no-budget filmmakers like ourselves and we've met alotta great people through video collector circles, but I don't even own a computer. Technology has a lot of advantages, but it's scary as hell, too, so I try to stay clear of relying on it too hard. In terms of what drew us to VHS, for production and distribution, we grew up in video stores, all three of us. I fell in love with the horror genre at the video store. I never even bothered with any other section. My favorite memories of my childhood are in the video store or watching videos. Seeing videos like April Fool’s Day, the Slumber Party Massacre series, Night of the Demons… those images swirled around my head all day as a kid. Now, lots of stuff is getting re-mastered and released on DVD and Blu-ray, and that's great, especially stuff shot on 16 and 35mm, but with the budget and the scale we're working with, film is just outta the question. So in a sense it was necessity that brought us to VHS, but it's the results that have kept us shooting on video. As soon as we started to get our bearings and figured out how to light a scene and how to shoot on the video format, we fell in love. I'll shoot on video forever and always find new ways to create images that please me. And releasing our stuff on video was just a no-brainer. Video is the ultimate physical rendering in product form of a movie. A luscious clamshell with beautiful artwork will trump a lousy DVD case any day of the week.
Some isnano rare analog glory courtesy of ALIEN BEASTS creator Carl J. Sukenick. The world needs more of this. And more DAVID 'THE ROCK' NELSON!!If you had to snack on one snack for the rest of your snacking days, what would it be? You can also have... *in a booming god-like voice* ONE BEVERAGE! Man, I'll tell ya, I'm really into granola right now… been eating it all damn day while shooting for Demonator 4. When you're making a movie, the last thing you wanna do is eat a full meal, ‘cause it weighs you down. Snacking's the name of the game. Back when we made Scrapbook, we ate alotta peanuts, jerky, anything fast and non-filling. And for beverage, I gotta go with Mountain Dew. I don't think we drank anything else through the whole production of Scrapbook of Blood... which is terrible in retrospect, but DAMN it tastes good, and peps up the cast and crew nicely.
One more (closer) look at the beee-uuuuu-tiful slab o' analog that is SCRAPBOOK OF BLOOD. Damn, I love this.DO THE DEW, DUDE! Where's the best place to hear the crazy beat of the Trashmonger, mang? I think that beat can be heard at thrift stores across the country, dirty dogs sifting through piles of videos for demented religious educational tapes, Z-grade action flicks of the 80's, any video with blood in the title. I think there's lots of Trashmongers out there, itching for a fix. Absolutely agreed, brohammer. Anything else you wanna shout out to all the edacious analog addicts out there?! Keep searching through yard sales and thrift shops! There are worlds of trash out there left unexplored. Guys like Bleeding Skull are unearthing it left and right, and they're heroes doing God's work. Also, I think alotta people mistake idiosyncrasy for ineptitude. There's a huge epidemic among people who claim to be "fans" of SOV and trash who talk about these films like they're worthless garbage, good only to laugh at with their drunk pals. "Trash," it seems to me, is merely a separate language within the dome language of cinema, characterized by absurdity and surrealism, alive in a way that very few mainstream movies could ever be. Films like Tales from the Quadead Zone should be praised and revered as what they are: refutations of vacant, lifeless Hollywood filmmaking. If "good" is Forrest Gump and "bad" is Boardinghouse, it's not hard to pick a side. And most of all, VHS forever! Read Lunchmeat! Support Independent VHS! Be good to your family and friends! That's all I've got.
Damn, man, that’s all you need! The almighty analog VHSpirit LIVES at Trashmonger Video HQ, my friends, and this Videovore right here just can’t wait to see the rest of their video vindication come to be. And speaking of that, there’s a new slab from Trashmonger being served up RIGHT NOW! Contact TMV via their Offical Facebook for your fix of magnetic mix with ANAL LOG! It's only 10 BONES! That's a veritable VHSteal! Hopefully, it’s not already sold out! If so, tell ‘em to make some more! And be sure to give ‘em some thumb love on the old Facebook to stay updated on all of their analog era avenging. If ya don’t, YOU’RE GONNA MISS IT ALL!! Low-budget, no-budget, mind-melting trash cinema 5EVA and EVA. Analog Always, Stay Independent and PARTY TIL YOU CAN'T.
Groove and Groove and STAY WARM.