I recently had the pleasure of connecting with Andy Palmer, Director of The Funhouse Massacre and Badlands of Kain, and I have to say he is kind of amazing. His credits include writing, editing, producing, and directing. Andy Palmer is one of the presidents of Petri Entertainment, a production company focused on producing high-quality films at low-cost, and they are totally nailing it!!!
What I find incredible is how Director Palmer can achieve different styles of horror without compromising suspense and intensity while sticking to a lower budget. If you haven’t seen any of his work, I highly recommend you do. He is definitely one to look out for as he is setting the bar for low-budget films!
See what he had to say about his transition from Badlands of Kain to The Funhouse Massacre.
NN: In the Funhouse Massacre, Mental Manny points out how desensitized the people are in the crowd. Now a days people are criticized for being too sensitive, was that scene meant to highlight that being desensitized isn’t necessarily a good thing? Showing that we need a level of sensitivity in order for our natural warnings signals to go off and protect us from harm?
Andy Palmer: I think we’ve become a society of extremes more than anything else. The middle ground seems to be the road less traveled. I think everything offends but nothing shocks anymore. We were trying to show that we have a problem with being so preoccupied with documenting moments, that we have lost sight of living them.
NN: We see a guy enter the gates while heavily engaged in his phone, presumably texting or playing some app and we don’t see him again until the very end, walking out of the gates, still engaged in his phone. Is that a play on society’s dependence on cellphones/social media and being totally oblivious to what is happening around them?
AP: We actually see Brian the Texter three times. He trips Mikey in the game section, which ultimately leads to Mikey getting his brains bashed in at the strong man game. But again it was just a little subtext, at the folks that are so consumed with life in our handheld computers we don’t see what’s happening right in front of our face.
Okay, enough with the heavy……..
NN: What is your favorite on-set moment with “The Funhouse Massacre”?
AP: The Diner Gang (Morgan, Laurie, Jason, Christina, Mikey and Randall) as we called them on set became incredibly close during the making of the film. They all had their own dressing rooms and all just hung out in one. The problem was they would often bring that summer camp vibe to set and have a bit of trouble getting into the scene right away. So I started to scare them for real. Every time they were all together in the funhouse, on a certain take I would have someone scare the crap out of them. It was hilarious, and really snapped them into the moment, and we were ready to roll after that.
NN: Your follow-up film ” Badlands of Kain” is a much more slow and suspenseful film, with a strong Hitchcock and Twilight Zone vibe. How was that directing experience different from that of the chaotic, fast paced film ” The Funhouse Massacre?”
AP: Badlands of Kain is actually the film I did before Funhouse, it just happened to get released in between the theatrical and DVD release of Funhouse. But you are right, they are totally different. Even though the scope of Funhouse was bigger, I think Badlands of Kain was more of a challenge for me. I’m very comfortable in the comedy realm and feel very confident in directing those types of scenes. For Badlands of Kain, it was much more performance and tension based, which is both scary and exhilarating for me. The most important thing was figuring out what each actor needed from me to get to the right tone of the scene. It is a movie that I’m really proud of and so honored to have worked with such amazing actors.
NN: Paul Soter is known mostly for his light- hearted, comedic roles in Broken Lizard’s productions. How confident were you in him taking on the deeper, more mysterious role of Terry?
AP: I’m a huge fan of comedic actors in dramatic roles, and after meeting with Paul once I knew he was going to knock Terry out of the park. He’s an incredibly intelligent guy and he and writer Rachelle DiMaria worked a lot on the script to bring Terry from this very boisterous intimidating character that he was in the first draft of the script, into a very understated and creepy character that Terry became, which I think was ultimately a much better choice.
NN: You have written, directed, produced and edited films. Which of these do you prefer and why?
AP: Directing all the way. I’m addicted to it. It’s fun and scary, stressful and fulfilling all rolled into one. There’s really nothing I don’t love about it.
NN: Most of your work contains horror elements. What attracts you to this genre?
AP: I just love good stories, and I’ve been lucky enough to find films that beyond being good horror movies are just stories with great characters. Actually what I love most about horror movies is the horror community. They are the greatest movie fans in the world. They are passionate, opinionated and just out of this world fun to interact and hang out with.
NN: Lastly, without giving too much away, can you give us some insight on your upcoming film “Fatal.”
AP: Fatal is in very early development, but is a fantastic script written by Andrew Saxsma. It’s a very interesting take on the slasher genre, and I’m really freaking excited to work on it.
After viewing some of his work, I am truly a huge fan of his style. I am crazy excited to see what he does with his upcoming film “Fatal.”
If you are a fan of short films, take a look at his short film ” The Last Call” (2010)
>> Click here<<
I would like to personally thank Andy Palmer for taking the time to chat with us and answer some questions. I wish him the best of luck on future endeavors and look forward to seeing more of his work!
You can find him on Twitter at: https://twitter.com/PetriAndy
Funhouse Massacre and Badlands of Kain – Trailer Below