Cory J. Udler – Filmmaker
Y Spy: Who are you and why are you here?
Cory J. Udler: My name is Cory Udler, and the reason I’m here is because I work for Full Moon Entertainment out of Hollywood, California. I come and schlep Angry Dolls and shit like that to fans at conventions, but I’m also here because I wrote and edited and directed “Incest Death Squad,” starring the lovely and talented, sexy Lloyd Kaufman of Troma fame.
Y Spy: What is an Incest Death Squad?
Udler: That is a brother and sister duo who obviously love each other a lot, and kill tourists in the name of God.
Y Spy: How does Kaufman fit in?
Udler: Lloyd is a newspaper editor who wants more stories about dead hookers, and he’s very upset that people haven’t gotten stories about dead hookers. They’re doing stories on spelling bees, but he wants more dead hookers, butchered in bathtubs.
Y Spy: What about dead hookers in spelling bees?
Udler: You know I never thought about that, but Lloyd is here, so you should ask him if that’s acceptable!
Y Spy: Did Lloyd go method for this role?
Udler: I think he did. I think he went totally method, and by method I mean he was on meth when he was doing it. But Lloyd is so funny, because he’s insane. He’s going nuts, and you think he’s going to burst a blood vessel in his head, but then afterwards he’s very nice and soft-spoken and very gentle and intelligent. It’s funny because it’s a big contrast. But I know that Lloyd likes dead hookers and crush porn and reach-arounds and all of these wonderful things, so he fit right in with “Incest Death Squad.”
Y Spy: How did you get a hold of him?
Udler: How it went down was I had written the script for “Incest Death Squad” years and years ago, and I always said that this is a Troma movie, whether Troma produces it or I produce it myself. They had on the website a thing that said, “Lloyd’s looking for the next film script! Send it in!” So I sent him the script to “Incest Death Squad,” and I’m waiting, and a month later I get a phone call from Lloyd. He goes, “I love this script! It’s wonderful! It’s fantastic! We don’t have a billion dollars to produce whatever we want, but if you ever do it, good luck, keep in touch, and I’ll come and be in it for you.” That was the catalyst for me to make the movie, and he held true on his promise. We shot with him in Chicago a year ago.
Y Spy: How easy was it to put the movie together?
Udler: For me it was easy, because I went to school for editing and videography. I had a vision in my head about how I wanted the movie to be, and I was in charge of everything. I wrote, directed, produced, and cast it, and then I got it done and edited the whole thing as I went along. We finished shooting in June and I had the entire post-production done by the middle of July.
Y Spy: How much did you doing everything yourself affect the film’s cost?
Udler: That saved me a ton of money! Any independent filmmaker: learn to do as much as you can! You will save incredible amounts of money, and headache, too. I know a lot of guys who just want to do the vision and direct it, but then they need somebody to DP, and edit, and do sound design. All the technical stuff. It costs them a shitload of money and it takes forever to get it done. The budget for the movie was about $8,000 tops, and that included new equipment. To make the movie itself was about $2,500 to $3,000. No budget, and that’s because I did everything.
Y Spy: How did the increased availability of high-grade technology affect that?
Udler: If you have $200, you can go online and download some free editing software, scriptwriting software, and you can get a camera. I have a little Samsung that I bought at Best Buy for about $140, and you could make a feature on it. It all depends on what kind of movie you want to make. As a low-budget filmmaker you have to be realistic about what you can do. You can write a script that has a massive zombie invasion of the Prussian Army, and you go, “I can’t really do that, so how am I going to make it work? Instead, I’ll have a brother and sister who fuck each other and kill tourists, and I’ll pop Lloyd in there.” There’s your exploitation!
If you have a camera and you can get some of this stuff for free, that’s the best way to do it. Like Lloyd says, just make your own damn movie! Anybody right now can make a movie. I know a lot of people complain about that, but the guys who complain are guys who came in when it was 35 mm. They made movies at a time when you had to prove to people that you weren’t going to lose their money. Now anybody with $2,000 can make a movie. I think that’s great!
Y Spy: Does that redefine the old term, “B-movie?”
Udler: The term “B-movie” comes from the drive-ins. There was an A-picture, which was usually “Star Wars,” and there would be a B-picture, which would be “Alpha Incident.” Now, I don’t think that B-pictures exist anymore. You either have a budget or you don’t.
Y Spy: You’re either a big studio, or everyone else.
Udler: You’re either “Avatar,” or you’re “Incest Death Squad.” There’s nothing in-between. It’s incest, or it’s blue Smurf things flying around in 3-D. Hopefully we can do the next one in 3-D.
Y Spy: What else have you been up to, and what are you planning to do next?
Udler: Right now we’re in production for “Incest Death Squad 2.” We just started; we’ll probably have the premiere in September. I’ve also been writing movies for grindhouse legend Ted V. Mikels. I wrote his last two movies, which were “Demon Haunt” and “Astro Zombies 3.” I write films, I work for Full Moon, I just finished a documentary called “I Made My Own Damn Movie and Lived to Tell About It.” That will be on the “Produce Your Own Damn Movie” box set from Troma.
Y Spy: How has the reaction to “Incest Death Squad” been?
Udler: Amazing. We’ve gotten a tremendous response from around the world. We’ve sent it everywhere, and everybody gets back to us. That’s the one thing that I say: please just let me know what you thought. Good, bad, or indifferent. It helps you grow as a filmmaker. People get back and say: “I can’t believe this! I can’t believe what you did in this movie! It’s crazy, it’s insane, it’s sick, and I love it!” It’s really been gratifying to see people embrace it and make it their own. As a filmmaker, you make it, but once you turn it over, it’s theirs.
Y Spy: What’s the worst reaction you’ve gotten?
Udler: The worst reaction and outrage I got was from Fangoria Magazine. The dude who reviewed it freaked out! He freaked out because he knew incest survivors to begin with, so I had one strike there, but he hated everything about it. He said it was like a home movie, like I shot it with my friends, that the direction was terrible, some of the acting was okay, the stunt casting sucked. What was great was people started defending the movie in the comments section. Fans of the movie stepped up. It’s not about the reviewers.
Y Spy: How much of the negative reaction is solely due to the title?
Udler: They’re done! They’ve already made up their mind. But the title more often than not sells it to people. They see “Incest Death Squad” and say: “I’ve gotta own this!” For the exploitation crowd, they go nuts for it. Nobody embraces stuff like the horror community.
Y Spy: What’s your favorite psychological horror movie?
Udler: “Texas Chainsaw” always got under my skin. “Night of the Living Dead” I liked. “Exorcist” of course is always frightening. I don’t know if it’s a horror movie, but “El Topo” from Alejandro Jodorowski, and also “The Holy Mountain” from him was crazy. But if you go back and watch Ingmar Bergman’s “Virgin Spring,” that’s a creepy movie! There’s a lot of stuff outside of the horror genre that’s creepier than the stuff that horror folks are doing.
I used to watch “The Incredibly Strange Film Show” with Jonathan Ross. He would interview all these crazy filmmakers, and that was what turned me on to these weird, crazy movies. Basically I like the grindhouse/exploitation movies more than horror movies, so that’s what I really embraced. A lot of the stuff that’s popular now are zombie movies, slasher in the woods, teeny vampires. So when a movie like “Incest Death Squad” comes out, there’s no ambiguity. This is as graphic and grotesque and offensive and smutty a film as I could make, and the second one’s going to be even worse.
Y Spy: What scares you?
“Incest Death Squad” can be found at www.incestdeathsquad.com. “Incest Death Squad 2” comes out September 17th.
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