• Martyn Wakefield

Christian Grillo (INTERVIEW)

Christian Grillo wanted to thank Blade Runner for keeping him entertained throughout his youth... so he made a movie that plays homage to it. We talk to the director of Apocalypse Kiss, starring horror icons Tom Atkins and Michael Berryman, about one of the funnest horror/science-fiction films of the month.


Cool title. Who came up with it?

I did. I wanted a name that sounded like a song from the 80s.

It's said you're a bit of a rebel filmmaker, making films outside of the studio system - wearing most of the hats yourself. Would you agree?

Yes. Hollywood won't let me in. I have to do most things myself because I can't afford to hire people to do it. Besides I'm a bit of a control freak.

Do you think those that do make their movies independently, and without all of Hollywood's expertise, have a more pleasurable experience?

That's a double edged sword. I don't know if it's more pleasurable. I would love to walk on set and find someone who is in charge of making sure the wardrobe id ironed, or that the celeb talent is getting picked up on time or that when something on set isn't working there is 3 people who know how to fix it but that's not the case most times. Most times I hear my name called out 10 times a minute because... well... we're not professionals. I take on 20 hats because I have to and well... I like to get my hands dirty, I just don't like when I can't concentrate because I have to think about 10 things at once. As far as the second part of that question... Iron Man 3 had about 2000 people working on the digital fx of the film. I would think that they can do a better job than me and David Gechman can and get a much better result. But... I take pride that David and I are the only ones who did the FX and it looks as good as it does. So there Hollywood... Fuck you.

What kind of filmmakers were you influenced by growing up?

I loved Ridley Scott till I watched the behind the scenes of Blade Runner. He seems like a diva with too much money. Hmm... I loved Romero. His films were imaginable on a low budget. I would watch those and think... Hey I can do that.

Tell me if I'm wrong but Blade Runner seems to have influenced Apocalypse Kiss. What was it about that movie that made you keen to play homage to it?

First off, films like Blade Runner set a standard. The blimps, the noir detectives, the lighting. I chose Blade Runner because it was soooo grand. If your gonna pay homage to a film go big or go home. I see so many people in the indy world paying homage to films that were made with a similar budget 20 years ago. Where's the achievement in that? With the technology today we should be able to out do a low budget indy from 20 years ago. Not match it. So... if I'm gonna exploit an influence in my film than I'm going big. I'd rather fail trying something amazing than succeed at mediocrity.

Some great names in here. How did Tom Atkins get involved?

I emailed him, he wanted to work.

What are you working on now?

The Sugar Skull Girls. A kids film that will be similar in design of the 80s kids films I grew up with.

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