California-based director Aaron K. Carter’s latest gory masterpiece “An Hour To Kill” was released just last year and now he’s given Last Day Deaf a few moments of time to cover everything from Glenn Danzig, “Dead Kansas” filming decisions, the Miss America pageant, and most definitely “An Hour To Kill”. So scroll on down for Mr. Carter’s answers…
For those who have yet to watch “An Hour To Kill” and haven’t seen the trailer either (but they’re going to the second they finish reading this interview), how would you describe the film in ten words or less?
“Pulp Fiction” meets “Creepshow“. Like nothing you’ve ever seen before.
There’s 10 words! Bam! The official summary for the film is as follows: Two assassins have an hour to kill (so to speak) before their next hit. To help pass the time, they entertain themselves by sharing horror stories with one another. With bizarre titles such as “Valkyrie’s Bunker” “Assacre” and “Hog Hunters” – which hit-man’s story will be deemed most disturbing when all is said and done?
One of the stories in “An Hour To Kill”, entitled ‘Assacre’ inspired this two part question: Have you ever been involved in an eating competition, if so any memorable moments from it? And if not, would you ever or has directing that particular bit of film turned you off? Also, favorite hot pepper?
I’ve never been in an eating competition… at least not professionally. The actors in the ‘Assacre’ segment told me the burrito served to them that day (via Mucho Mas Restaurant) was one of the best burritos they have ever eaten. Not a fan of hot peppers.
“After a slew of monotonous jobs in mailrooms, warehouses, and shipping/receiving departments” you chose to start making indie films. Was it something that you always wanted to do or was it the monotony of those dismal jobs that brought out your inner horror aficionado? How did this all begin?
I have a Bachelor’s Degree in Cinema Arts. So yes, it’s something I wanted to do. Unfortunately, I kinda got stuck in warehouse positions and never pursued it more seriously. I tried shopping a script I wrote called “Dead Kansas” around. No one even wanted to look at it. After a bunch of rejections I decided to just make it myself. “Dead Kansas” is super indie, but it got some attention in the film festival circuit.
What and/or who are your inspirations? Whether or not they’re related to this industry.
I always looked up to Arnold Schwarzenegger. He dominated in body building, went on to be a super action hero movie star, and then a well-respected politician. What a career! I also have a lot of respect for singer/songwriter Glenn Danzig. From Misfits, to Samhain, to his own super-band Danzig; Glenn always stays true to himself and never sold out. I have all of his albums – and they are all amazing.
What is your all-time favorite film?
That’s a hard question. It’s like trying to decide who’s the most beautiful woman in the Miss America pageant. The hotness factor increases with each contestant, where to choose just one is damn near impossible. However, to answer your question, I can narrow it down to about ten films or so: “Back To The Future“, “The Empire Strikes Back“, “Night Of The Living Dead“, “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre“, “Halloween“, “A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors“, “Evil Dead II“, “Jaws“, “Predator“, “Hobo With A Shotgun“… I can go on for a long time. I love movies.
What were the differences in directing “An Hour To Kill” versus “Dead Kansas”?
“Dead Kansas” was a post-apocalyptic film, taking place in the country. We filmed on location in Los Angeles, and had to avoid filming in busy areas with a lot of street-noise. In “An Hour To Kill” the city is an integral part of the story, so having cars and people in background only enhanced the vision I was attempting to put on screen.
Why do you think “An Hour To Kill” hasn’t received as much festival attention despite being an equally neat movie?
That’s an intriguing question. Perhaps the film offended some people and touched on some subjects that are taboo in this easily-offended and politically correct era that we find ourselves living in. In the ‘Hog Hunters’ segment alone, we tackle bestiality, S&M, homophobia, cross-dressing, slight racism, plus-size women jokes, alcoholism, rednecks, rape, and murder – all in under 15 minutes. But, at the end of the day, I submitted “An Hour To Kill” to HORROR film festivals. There’s no reason it shouldn’t have been considered or accepted.
Looking back on “Dead Kansas” six years later, is there anything you would add to it as either a writer or a director?
Due to a pregnancy, I had to replace the lead actress about mid-way through the film. So, now there are two actresses playing the same character! I should’ve either kept filming with the original, or re-shot with the new girl. I regret not doing that, but it was an executive decision on which had to be made. I also wish I had more footage with actors Irwin Keyes (“House Of 1000 Corpses“) and Ben Woolf (“American Horror Story: Freakshow“). Sadly, both guys died shortly after principal photography was completed.
Do you have any films you’re working on currently or anything you’re contemplating directing?
I’m currently writing a futuristic sci-fi / horror film called “The Hub” that deals with the homeless problem in L.A. – as viewed through my distorted lens.
“An Hour To Kill” social media links:
AMAZON PRIME (USA): https://www.amazon.com/dp/
AMAZON PRIME (UK): https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/
“An Hour To Kill” movie trailer: