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Bloody Good: Slaughterhouse Cinema's Joe Castro PDF Print E-mail
Written by Written by Joe Sherlock   
Apr 24, 2005 at 02:00 AM
Joe Castro has worked for years as a special effects artist on projects big and small. He's also produced, written and directed a string of gory, gross-out movies like MANIACAL and TERROR TOONS. He talked to DARK GALLERY about his latest effort and a bit about his bloody past!

DG: Tell us about your latest movie, Jackhammer Massacre - how did the project come about?

JC: Aarron Gaffey (Jack) came to audition for a role in my previous movie, "NEAR DEATH", and eventhough he did not fit the part, his skills as an actor were fantastic and I knew I would use him in my next feature. The story came about when I saw this man who lived in a drug rehab, near my home, carry a jackhammer in and out of there every single day because he used it to make his living demolishing homes...you know like Extreme Home Makeover...anyways, I thought that was a great original premisis..a drug addict gone mad and killing his family and friends with a jackhammer but also being influenced by his drug halucinations.

DG: How was the shoot? Any funny stories or mishaps?

JC: Well all the drug locations are real drug dealing places in LA and drug dealers even showed up on set to grab a stash of dope they had hide in the bushes where we were shooting.

DG: You grew up in Texas on a goat ranch which made it possible for the slaughterhouse to become a set for your early VHS shorts. Do you think that helped you get into gore effects?

Joe Castro: Of course! From the age of two I remember watching family members chase a herd of goats around a goat pen until one of the animals was singled out and then cornered. You know like my dad and his brothers would pounce on the goat and hold it down. One of the men would tie the animals legs with twine so that the goat would not get away. Then the animal was carrried into the putried blood stained wooden shack, just one big room, the slaughterhouse. Sometimes there were intestines and goat-hides still rotting in a 5 gallon bucket in the corner of the shack. the place was aways swarming with flies...Like a real swarm in the Texas heat. As the men brought the animal in the room it would scream out loud endlessly. The screams always sounded human to me.

Sometimes the noise was so unbearable I would leave and run in our home (which was atleast a block away) but, I could still hear the shrieking wail from my bed room. If you think I am making this up I'm not. But let's say I stayed to watch this time instead...They would lay the goat on a slaughter table with its' legs up, in the air and, with one clean stroke, they would slice the goat's neck wide open so it had a quick painless death...it only lasted about 10 to 15 seconds at most...I mean the animal would still kick and twitch but my dad assured me it was already dead. Then it was skinned. Then the guts were pulled out from the ribcage etc...so yeah I had "gore" on the brain for a long time.

DG: You won a special effects contest at age 15. Tell us about that.

JC: I was 15 when I won first place in a national Special Effects Make-up contest for Forrest J Ackerman's sequel magazine "Monsterland". The publishers flew me to Los Angeles were I met Joe Dante on the set of "Innerspace". Joe Dante actually chose the winner of the contest...I was honored that one of my idols had chosen my work over the hundreds of submissions. While out in LA, I also was introduced to Brinke Stevens as "Evila"...a spokes woman character for "Monsterland". Brinke and I have stayed friends for all these years and now she is the name talent in my latest feature "TERROR TOONS: THE SICK AND SILLY SHOW! This film is a sequel to the original "Terror Toons" released in 2002.

DG: After you moved to LA in 1989, you began work in a number of TV and movie projects (Wishmaster, Son of the beach, Mighty morphin power Rangers). Any good story from behind-the-scenes you care to share?

JC: No all the fun stuff was happening on the porn shoots I was directing.

DG: Nuff said. What is the hardest part of doing horror movies with today's low budgets?

JC: The dumb, unconstructive, and uneducated criticism that idiots and jealous film wannabes put on IMDB about other peoples movies. Unless you can make a movie for under 10 grand and get it into Blockbuster, Walmart, Best Buy, Netflix, and Target, not just Hollywood Video...I mean all of them...you should not be able critize the work of others if you can't even do it yourself...and if you can then do it and shut the fuck up. This goes out to all the losers that spend time dissing movies online...I know the only reason you talk about other people is because your own life is just a bore...If you can't say something nice or constuctive at least then, go fuck your mom.

DG: I know you recently finished up the sequel to Terror Toons. What can we look forward to in the future from you?

JC: I have 5 new projects in the works. One of them is a Sci-Fi film and the other one is another sequel to TERROR TOONS. For more information, please go to: www.jescofilm.com/joecastro.html


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