INT: Philip Cruz

The Arrow interviews Philip Cruz!

Director Philip Cruz is the duder behind the Ron Jeremy starring and hot chick filled, gore jamboree DEAD MEAT, cumming soon to a DVD Player near you. Personally, I really enjoyed the flick (read my review here) where it catered to my "cheap fun times" cinematic affinities. Time will tell if it comes through for you. Till then here's a little chit-chat session I had with the lad!

What’s your favorite horror movie?

Petey Wheatstraw: Devil’s Son In Law. Its Dolemite verses Satan. Need I say more?

You’ve directed a feature before DEAD MEAT called THE BIG BANG. What type of movie was it and did it ever get proper distribution?

Well THE BIG BANG wasn’t a group sex flick, you sick bastard! It was a character driven dark romantic comedy that takes place in my hometown, Lakeland, Florida. It showcases a small ensemble of characters- a petty thief, paid escort, female bounty hunter, and a street mime that kills people with his finger, like a gun. Death Wish meets Marcel Marceau! The film was a small success you could say- it won some festival awards and a subsequent worldwide deal with Echelon Entertainment.

DEAD MEAT looks like a boys’ night in with beers type of genre flick. Did you write it the same way? With a hooker on your lap and a brew in your hands? In all seriousness; describe your writing process for the feature?

HAHA! Well our budget really couldn’t afford hookers, so we just dangled Britney dolls from our belt buckles instead. This is the 3rd feature script I’ve collaborated on with my partner in crime since high school, James Hyde. Our technique is simple for all scripts- spend hundreds of late night hours at Denny’s with pen, paper, french vanilla lattes. The local hillbillies supply all of the inspiration.

What was your goal with this film? What type of horror ride did you want to deliver?

My goal was to make a successful film, get more, bigger paying gigs out of it, and pay off some fucking student loans man! Well horror is the hot genre right now and I knew the film had to stand out among the competition a bit. I’m a goofy Filipino bastard, so my instincts always tend to steer toward humor. But after all the spoofs, remakes and ironic horror flicks we’ve seen in recent years, its just not enough to be goofy and gory anymore. I wanted something with a strong thematic core also when its all said and done. True, Dead Meat features hot girls, freaky deaky, bullets, blood, guts, and porn stars- but the film ultimately turns out to be about sin, redemption, and faith. Something for everybody!

How arduous was it to lock the financing for the movie? How long did it take you?

Acquiring funds is perhaps the most important and also the least creative part about filmmaking. It’s the biggest obstacle any filmmaker ultimately faces and this is where most projects die. Was it hard to get financing for this movie? Damn right. Remember back in high school how hard it was to get 20 bucks out of dad for a Friday night? Now try getting hundreds, thousands of dollars from strangers to finance a low budget independent film! What are the odds you think? But just like in high school, you have to plead your case and also beg. James and I developed our script and budget plan over several months. Then we pleaded our case to investors. Then after that- script conception to film completion took roughly 20 months!

Porn King Ron Jeremy is in the film. How did his casting come about?

Funny thing- I was in the middle of a Jenna Jameson, Asia Carerra sandwich when Ron walks in. I was like,”Wassup RJ? Wanna be the bad guy in my next movie?” He said,”Sure thing Phillatio.” He dove in and the rest as they say- is history.

Was he easy to direct on set? Did his ridiculously huge dick ever get in the way?

Ron Jeremy is incredibly professional, easygoing, and just a fun cat to have around. He has very good manners, he’s respectful of everyone especially the ladies, he’s got a healthy appetite and he’s also a very good actor, and martial artist even! He lent a lot of creative thoughts to the scenes, most of which we ended up keeping in the film. There’s a scene where he gets his arm blasted off by a shotgun then he licks the bloody stump. Always thinking with his stomach RJ is- but that was something he thought up on the spot and its just a damn hoot. His schlong only got in the way when he was throwing some vicious crescent kicks for the climactic fight sequence. The damn thing popped out of his trousers and knocked over a few c-stands.

Where is the film now in terms of distribution?

We just began the distribution process, but there is already plenty of genuine interest from some very reputable companies, which is quite dandy. Note to all distributors: Dead Meat is currently open to all territories (Jan 2005). Get it while its hot kids!

Is a DEAD MEAT sequel feasible?

Hell yes! Ron Jeremy comes back from hell with a vengeance- and a killer pent-up 2-year erection. DEAD MEAT 2: 12 inches of sheer terror!

What’s net on your plate directing wise? Any projects lined up?

There’s a good chance you’ll see something with lots of martial arts, laughs and boobs for my next one. And maybe a plot too! It’s an outrageous action/comedy called SWEATING BULLETS. Check back for updates kids.

What was the first drink you downed at the Rap Party?

You know- we actually haven’t had our wrap party yet. We’ll have it with our premiere pretty soon here. But with what our leftover budget is at this point, its gonna be Pabst Blue Ribbon for everybody baby!

Looking back on the film; any regrets?

I only regret we couldn’t pay everybody more. The cast and crew really busted ass on this film and it shows. Thanks peeps!

I'd like to thank Philip for dropping by and for the funny/smutty/gory ride that was DEAD MEAT. NOW GIVE ME A SEQUEL!





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