The Horror Channel is proudly sponsoring the FrightFest International Short Film Showcase this year. It's an eclectic and incredibly exciting mix of worldwide cutting edge short films with themes such as werewolves, bats, bugs, nasty orphans, zombies, homicidal blind dates and bananas that have gone bananas.
One of the shorts showing is Brutal Relax from David Muñoz, Adrian Cardona and Rafa Dengra which boasts probably the highest body count of the entire festival. It's also one of the funniest shorts of the Showcase so we chatted to David and Adrian about Brutal Relax and if there'll be more adventures of Mr Olivares.
HC: Are you and the other two directors' big horror movie fans?
DM: Of course, we all love horror movies! In fact we got to know each other after years and years of going to different festivals and conventions of fantastic and horror films. Here we discovered the kind of shorts that others do.
HC: Where did the idea for Brutal Relax come from?
DM: We were at Sitges Fantastic Film Festival with J. M. Angorrilla (Mr. Olivares) and Eva Ayats (co-producer and FX and Make Up on Brutal Relax), talking about how great it would be if we joined our talents to create the most bizarre and crazy film we could afford.
HC: It’s an imaginative piece to say the least, where did the initial idea come from?
DM: The initial idea was that we take J.M. Angorrilla and give him a big moustache with a friendly, but crazy smile. This was something really funny. J.M. said that he would love to be practically naked, covered in mud and killing demons all the time. Adrian lives in Ibiza, near the beach where we filmed it, so we decided that a crazy psycho that everyone fears at the psychiatric hospital gets a permanent holiday and decides to go to that beach, he covers himself in dirt and mud thinking it's therapeutic, and well… a bunch of creatures get out of the water and start killing people for fun. The idea came pretty easily.
HC: Mr. Olivares is deemed to become a cult movie figure, how does the actor that plays him feel about that?
DM: Angorilla has workd on some of our other shorts, specially in Adrian’s shorts, but he really loves this character (in fact we created it for him, no one else we knew could have played it), and very often he tells us that we should make a feature film about Olivares. It will be great, but at the moment that would be something really expensive for us.
AC: Angorrilla, in real life is sometimes crazier than Olivares! Many times he gave us ideas during the filming and we said, “What?!!! Are you completely crazy?” He loves the action scenes, fights and stunts. We have to stop him. Once he told me laughing, “Why the hell is this ugly and awful moustached fat man killing poor hungry demons?”
HC: Were the special effects very expensive to create?
AC: The SFX was the most expensive part of the short, but only because of the big quantity of them. The short (including not only SFX cost) had a 1,664 Euros budget so we could not afford conventional SFX, we did it at home. Most of the effects and dummies are made of recyclable garbage material; in many cases we used bottles, packages, cardboard, food containers, lots of plastic bags, glue and paint. It is not the usual academic way of creating effects but it worked for this kind of short and I’m so comfortable working with these materials. It was two months of hard work.
HC: The movie has an excellent stream of humour running through it, did you ever worry it was “too much” at times?
DM: “Too much” was never considered a problem, in fact it was the objective. The only thing we tried to avoid was introducing absurd humour, that is something we love, but we were conscious that even the insane crazyness of the story, everything must still seem as plausible as possible.
AC: We took special care in the tone of humour rather than the “too much” presence of it. We wanted to give a different point of view for the hero or create rare, visual and brutal ways of killing with a lot of colour and playful action. Our references are basically Braindead and Story Of Ricky but we sometime said that Olivares is the Mr. Bean of gore!
DM: Yeah, definitely Mr. Bean is a clear reference. I think that in his life, Olivares always tries to be polite and to be accepted by others but any situation he gets in, he somehow will ruined it and the inside psycho will get out.
HC: There’s three directors, yourselves and Rafa Dengrá, did you all direct different sections of the movie?
DM: No, we did the short together. We join providing what each of us is better at. In the beginning I wrote the script and Adrian prepared the corpses and SFX. Once finished, Rafa completed the colour timming and the digital SFX. But during the shooting, all three of us directed among other functions. Rafa was the director of photography, I was in charge of the shooting plan and some shots a human victims and Adrian plays a monster, co-ordinates battles, by night me and Rafa captured and viewed all that was filmed during the day and Adrian was preparing new corpses and bloody stuff for next day. It was a really low budget short, filmed in six days, so we had a lot of work to do.
HC: It must have taken a lot of post-production time, how long was it from filming the first scene until the final edit?
DM: Six months. We all have day jobs so everything was done in our free time. It was difficult to combine dates, also because we live in three different cities so a big part of the post-production (and all the pre-production) was done via email.
HC: Will the soundtrack be available? I love the song Mr. Olivares is listening too.
DM: If we finally can afford to edit on DVD all the soundtrack will be included, but meanwhile, on the Savvas Salpistis (the musician) myspace site you can hear practically all of the themes.
AC: The soundtrack is rhythmically sticky, we receive a lot of emails about Summer Time, fans demand it. Savvas did a great job. I think the music gave special charisma to the character of Olivares and to the short.
HC: How nervous are you about the film being chosen to play at FrightFest?
DM: We’re really proud that our low budget crazy son has been chosen to be screened at FrighFest knowing that only a few have the luck in making it into a high level program, so its really great to be one of them and we hope that people enjoy it!
AC: FrightFest is a mythical fantastic festival I’ve always considered it great and Brutal Relax has been chosen for this edition! It’s a very big privilege. Having a good time and a brutally, funny, gory experience was the first objective when we made the short so I hope the audience will enjoy it.
HC: So what projects are you working on next?
DM: As screenwriter I’ve been working recently with other directors on a horror script, two horror pilots for TV shows and with two pencillers for two fantasy comic stories. And, like the other two directors, I’m finishing another solo short film. It’s a little dumb and crazy story about golf players, head explosions and mutations. Oh, my God… I hope people like it!
AC: I want to finish some old unfinished projects and prepare a new short film for 2012. We will continue with our low budget productions.
HC: David Muñoz and Adrian Cardona, thank you very much.