July 7, 2009

Interview - Back Woods (2001) Writer / Star David C. Hayes

How did you get into the business?
I had always wanted to be in the business but, with that good 'ol Midwest upbrining, I was convinced that success at the end of the day was completely tied into being a doctor or a lawyer. I moved to Chicago and discovered theatre. My first "pro" job was in a cross-gendered, musical version of Stephen King's Carrie called Scarrie. I played PJ Soles character, Norma. We ran for a year and I was hooked. After that, I picked up a film role as Tor Johnson in Ed Wood's Devil Girls. After that, there was no looking back.

Can you tell us how you got involved with the production of Back Woods?
The genesis of Back Woods is pretty unique. Pretty much me, and a few film school friends, decided to make a movie. I had my sister's prom dress (that fit me) and we were all fans of cheesy horror films so, logically, I wrote a script about a redneck, transvestite, mass-murdering retarded genius. Gregg Elder, the producer, and I have a bizarre sense of humor. We thought we could get in, shoot quick, and get out with an award-winning piece of cinematic history. We were wrong.

How long was the shoot, where was it shot?
Back Woods was shot in a forest preserve outside Chicago. We shot the film over a long Memorial Day weekend for a total of about 36 hours. We didn't have power out there so shooting at night was out of the question so, as you probably noticed, Back Woods is a daytime thrill ride.

Do you know what the Budget of the film was?
You probably won't believe me, but $900. Seriously.

What was it like working with the cast?

The cast was great. We were all friends to begin with so it was like hanging out and having fun. Everyone had worked together before so we were pretty tight already. Our biggest star was Dave Lawrence. He played Frank in Slumber Party Massacre III.

Any problems with the production?

Only a couple. During the scene where Mara is tied up and I eat her boobs off (how many times do you get to say that?), she was screaming loudly. Someone called the police. We had a permit and everything was in order, but they stormed in and asked, "Where's the gang rape? We gotta call about a gang rape!" It was the tail end of the day and I was tired so, dressed as Luther, I calmly told the officers that, "This isn't my gang rape dress, that's at home." A couple of the cast shoved me into a car quickly and Gregg dealt with the 5-O.

Your thoughts on the film?
Fun. That's it. We weren't seriously making a great movie (and didn't, so there). I do think it succeeds where some larger budget films fail, though. In Back Woods, you can feel that everyone there is having a good time. It's ridiculous, stupid, low brow and not very well made... but it's fun. I think it is on it's fourth DVD release so someone has to like it.

How do you feel about critics of the film?
Critics? There are no critics. There are only people that weren't allowed in on the joke. I feel sorry for them, mostly.

Where those really the Executive Producers at the end of the film?
Yes. Sadly, yes.

Can you tell us about Abnormal Ent. and working with Kevin Moyers?
Kevin and I have been working together for years. My wife calls him my platonic life partner. That makes me cringe. Kevin is great and always there. Right now he is doing some more comedy shows and pushing his new CD "Miserable Bastard" and book, "Brain Farts" both available at Amazon.com.

Can you tell us about Cinema Headcheese?

CHC is a little side project that Kevin, myself and our friend Jeff Dolniak from Ban 1 Productions (the 42nd Street Forever guys) are putting together. Essentially, we take movies that are bad, real bad, and record a comedic commentary tearing the movie up and are looking for a DVD home for it. We'll see what happens. It's kind of like MST3K meets a few drunk fraternity guys. So far, we've done "Secrets of Sweet Sixteen," "Don't Go in the Forest," "Teenage Mother" and "Super Argo" for CodeRed DVD and have signed "Night of the Chihuahuas" and "Eating the Sun" for our own release.

It seems like you have done allot of work with Brain Damage films, can you tell us about your relationship with them?
BDF is a great place. Small distributor with lots of fun product. They are local to me so I can head down to the offices and hang out, which is something you don't get often with distributors. I've been in a bunch of flicks that have found distribution with BDF and wrote and produced "Dark Places" for them. Recently, Jeff Miller directed my script "Vampegeddon" for BDF. From what I've seen it looks great so don't be surprised if we win an Oscar... Meyer.

You have written many genre films as well books can you tell us some of your favorite films and authors?
That list could take forever. My favorite film of all time is John Carpenter's Halloween. It is nearly perfect. Many people don't realize that there isn't much gore... Carpenter scared us with blocking and music. He's a genius. My favorite directors, in no particular order, are Alfred Hithcock, John Waters, Peter Jackson, Eric Stanze and, of course, Ed Wood, Jr.

You do so many things You act, write screenplays, write books, do standup, model, produce, direct, is there one thing in partciluar you consider your main passion?
And is there anything else you hope to add to your extensive resume in the future? I think writing is my favorite. I do theatre as a hobby and recently placed in the 2009 International Cringefest with my play "Swamp Ho," so I get an Off Broadway run in New York. That was something I wanted on the resume. I have this pre-40 list of things that I need to accomplish before four decades on Earth. I've checked off quite a bit, including professional wrestling, so we'll see what happens in the next few years.

Any future projects you would like to talk about or promote?
Of course! We've got Blood Moon Rising debuting on DVD on October 13th, written and directed by Brian Skiba, featuring myself and Ron Jeremy. I produced that film. Slices is out August 4th starring me and Chuck Williams. Vampegeddon will be out soon and we just wrapped on The Prometheus Project, which I co-produced and Sean Tretta wrote and directed. I'm featured along with Louis Mandylor, Ed Lauter and Tiffany Shepis. Probably something else I'm forgetting, but that is the short list.


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