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Karie (site owner) Written by Karie (site owner)
Jul. 6, 2010 | 10:58 PM

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An Interview with Joshua Grannell director of ALL ABOUT EVIL

ALL ABOUT EVIL was obviously made as a demented, lovable valentine to film and movie palaces.  When and where did you first fall in love with movies?

I think it was probably when I was a young kid and first started going to the movies.  I can remember seeing the Robert Altman Popeye movie when I was five or six and just loving the experience so much that I became completely fascinated and obsessed with going to the cinema and was happy to see anything.  I’m still like that.  I’ll see practically anything and often really love walking into a movie without knowing a thing about what I’m about to see.

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What films and filmmakers inspire you?

Ohmygod, so many!  I love practically all of the films made by Russ Meyer, Alfred Hitchcock, Wes Craven, John Waters, David Lynch, Pedro Almodovar, Federico Fellini, Doris Wishman, Todd Solondz, Sam Raimi, and many more.  I could list movies for days.

How did you first become “Peaches” and start your midnight screening series?

Peaches Christ was born in my senior thesis film “Jizzmopper: A Love Story” at Penn State University.  In 1996, I graduated from Penn State and moved to San Francisco with my friend and sidekick Martiny.  We knew about the great history of drag and theatre with groups like the Cockettes and thought it would be fun to start our own midnight movie show.  We knew it would involve performances, costumes, and pre-shows.  At the time, there were no midnight movies going on in San Francisco.  They just didn’t work, so when we pitched our idea to Landmark Theatres we were somewhat surprised they agreed to produce that first season. 

When did you realize you wanted to move toward directing?

I think it was when I first understood what a director was and what they did.  I remember when E.T. came out and Steven Spielberg was getting all this press and he was on the cover of Time magazine with E.T. or something and someone explained how Steven had created E.T. and how he put the whole movie together behind-the-scenes.  That’s when I think I first knew it’s what I wanted to do.

What films and film references influenced ALL ABOUT EVIL?  I spied a lot of Mae West and Bette Davis in the film!

I’m definitely a filmmaker who loves movies and makes movies about movies so there were tons of things influencing me when making All About Evil.  Films like Theatre Of Blood, Demons, Carrie, and Female Trouble were really inspiring while I was writing it.  And Natasha Lyonne definitely pulled from Mae West, Bette Davis, Joan Crawford, and Clara Bow with some Tim Curry thrown in.

Great casting!  How did you go about rounding up the cast?

Some of the cast were friends of mine like Mink Stole and Cassandra Peterson who I’d known through doing shows together as part of my Midnight Mass event.  I just called them up and sent them the script and they said they’d do it.  I love them both soooo much!  And am really grateful for their friendship.  Thomas Dekker I met through producer Darren Stein and when I met Thomas, we really hit it off.  We love all the same weird stuff.  Natasha Lyonne was introduced to the project through our fantastic D.P. Tom Richmond who’d shot her in The Slums Of Beverly Hills.  We also did auditions in both SF and LA for remaining parts and I’m really proud of the whole cast.

I loved how female driven the film was!  You almost never see a film where the woman is the killer or depicted as a film director either…particularly in the horror genre.  Was that a conscious choice on your part?

Definitely, it was.  I really love women in film and am most often drawn to strong, fierce female performances. 

Where did you shoot the film?

It was entirely shot in San Francisco, which was really important to me and I’m glad we were able to do that.  I think it adds to the uniqueness and feel of the world the film takes place in.

How many days did it take?

It was a 28 day shoot.

What was the most challenging thing about making this film?

I think the biggest challenges were really trying to realize such an ambitious screenplay with very limited resources.  I wanted our effects to be practical instead of CGI and we’d often only have time and money for one take because they were unable to do a re-set.  That was stressful!

What is your distribution plan for the film?

Right now we’re doing and old-fashioned road show across the country via Landmark Theatres.  It will also eventually have a DVD and VOD distribution and maybe even a wider theatrical.

I love the concept of your 4D interactive experience!  Tell me more about your plans for that.

There will be a fully realized Peaches Christ show at those events, with old-school William Castle gimmicks, audience participation, and and an old spirit of vaudeville.  I’m really looking forward to doing those shows!

What is your next project?

Another movie is cooking in my brain, and I hope to begin writing it while on tour with All About Evil.  It’s in the same spirit, perhaps even more evil.

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