We had a blast watching Camp Death III in 2-D! this week and had the feeling that whoever made it did so with a genuine love for the horror (and slasher) genre. Instead of assuming, we did our homework and did this interview with writer/boom operator/sound editor/director/editor/cinematographer/visual effects/producer and even actor (he was Scrotar the Squirrel #2!) Matt Frame.
B &S About Movies: Tell us about the process of making Camp Death III in 2D. I read that it took 14 months?
Matt Frame: Filming took 14 months. The post production (editing, vfx, etc) took me a further two and a half years. So from casting to final cut it was a 4+ year undertaking. Lots (and lots!) of obstacles to overcome in that time. But that’s nothing new for a low budget film. Especially one that is a weird and ambitious as this one.
B&S: How did you fund the project? Did you really walk all day with a coconut?
Matt: All day and night! 24 hours straight with a coconut strapped to my waist. My left knee is still feeling the effects. That brought in about $16,000. The rest was raised from my credit card and my poor suffering family 😉
B&S: What’s your favorite slasher? Is there one that you think is forgotten and you’d like to call attention to?
Matt: Favorite horror flick is Halloween III: Season of the Witch. Friday the 13th Part III 3D is my warm blanket slasher. As for forgotten films? Not sure if these are truly forgotten but my list would be: Alligator (1980), Christmas Evil (1980), Humanoids from the Deep (1980), Hell Night (1981), House on Sorority Row (1983), Psycho II (1983), The Hitcher (1986) and The Blob (1988).
B&S: Why was Friday the 13th Part 3D your main inspiration?
Matt: Probably the opening scene, the recap from Part II. Original idea was to have our heroine put the head of Ms. Van Damme on her hand and manipulate it like a puppet. However, by that point in the filming, we were totally broke so I settled for a real puppet. It doesn’t make a lick of sense but I love that about the film. We had to use creative problem solving to plug narrative holes so that’s why it’s so damn weird!
B&S: Did you have any plans to film this in 3D?
Matt: Not really. In fact, the title was changed from Camp Death III: The Final Summer to Camp Death III in 2D! only two months back. By that point, I really wanted to make an 80’s-centric 3D sequel. You know, gratuitous joint passing into the camera, eyeball on a string kind of 3D. So, this film’s title is a joke tie-in to the (unmade) sequel title, Camp Death III, Part 2 in 3D! Fingers crossed we’ll get the opportunity to make it.
B&S: How many deaths are in the film? How did you get so many of them done (and under budget)?
Matt: Oh, at least 75. We had a fundraising evening called ‘Night of the Living Deaths’ where we had aspiring actors choose a way to die. We had a murder menu with deaths ranging in price between $0 and $50. We then killed them on camera and included it in a murder flashback sequence during the campfire scene. We killed 68 in one night. Made about $500. Here’s a link to the event.
B&S: How are you planning to distribute the film?
Matt: We already tried Netflix but was given a thumbs down. Something about the ‘content’ didn’t sit right with them 😉
So we’re going the traditional route at present. We have submitted to 35+ horror themed film festivals, all of which take place before Christmas. By that time we should have a pretty good idea if Camp Death III has legs. It’s such a bizarre film that it’s hard to tell what we have on our hands.
Ideally though, Shudder would make a good home for it, in my opinion of course.
B&S: What are your next plans?
Matt: Hustle Camp Death III for the next 6-8 months, at least. It was such a struggle to finish the film that I remain highly motivated to make sure it’s given the best chance of success. When all is said and done the film might end up being a total dud but at least it would have been given a chance.
The dream, of course, is to make the sequel Camp Death III, Part 2 in 3D! I’d love another crack at this thing with a bit of a budget and with all of the lessons learned. Fingers crossed!
B&S: What are some of your current favorite horror (or any genre) films?
To be honest, I am stuck in the 80’s. I do watch modern films (just watched Hereditary — awesome and The Meg and Mile 22 — pure, unadulterated shit) but they don’t seem as important to me. My passion is for films made from 1975-1989 (especially horror) and so those are the films I return to the most often. The podcast ‘The 80’s all Over’ is my go-to.
B&S: What are your comedy inspirations? Is there a uniquely Canadian POV?
Matt: Parents are British so grew up on the absurdist UK stuff that we got here on Canadian TV in the 80’s. Monty Python, Fawlty Towers, Benny Hill, Two Ronnies, etc, etc. I think that played a big role in shaping my (admittedly) bizarre sense of humor.
Thanks, Matt! How awesome are his horror picks? I hope everyone gets a chance to see his movie and support it, as it’s a blast. Make sure to visit and like the Camp Death III in 2-D! Facebook page and watch the trailer below!