This week FDTC writer Adam Holtzapfel had a chance to chat with Billy Pon, the man behind the madness that is Circus Of The Dead about the upcoming home video release and his upcoming projects.
Adam Holtzapfel - You run Def Con 1 Haunted Warehouse and Circus of the Dead Murder Maze in Odessa (Texas), how long have you been doing the haunted attraction?
Billy Pon - I've been doing haunts my whole life. I got started doing them in elementary school. My mom was in the PTA and I volunteered doing the haunt for the Fall Carnival. When I moved to West Texas in '98 I started Def Con 1 Haunted Warehouse and I think around '05 Circus of the Dead: Murder maze was born.
AH - Running the haunt led to the Dollboy short, what made you decide to make it into a feature film?
BP - Doll Boy being a character in our "Circus of the Dead" world gave us a good opportunity to get our feet wet making a horror short first before diving into a feature. The test went well as the short itself was a huge hit!
AH - Bill Oberst Jr. stole Circus Of The Dead as Papa Corn, how did you go about casting for the film?
BP - We started making a short list of actors. Once we stumbled onto Bill I contacted him and sent him the script. He called back later that day and said he loved it. Casting Bill into the role of Papa Corn the Clown was like stepping up to the plate and hitting a gran slam! Watching Bill work and perform his craft is one of the highlights of my life that I will never forget.
AH - It’s taken almost two years for a home video release to happen, what was that process like?
BP - The process is honestly complete and utter bullshit! If you're an "indie" filmmaker, you better be doing it because you just love doing it because the business side will test that love to it's limits.
AH - Are there any plans to release Dollboy on home video?
BP - Actually, yes... that's happening ASAP I hope.
AH - What’s the next project you’re working on?
BP - Honestly, I'm in the middle of leaving my day job of 20 years to become a full time filmmaker. So you'll will have to ask that question again in 4-6 months... If I could have my way I'd like to do a horror/western called "Cowboys From Hell", "Circus of the Dead 2" or "Mister Fister".
AH - You’re also part of The Billy Hendrix Experience, how did that get started?
BP - The Billy Hendrix Experiment happened because of a local advertisement award show was having a "Woodstock Theme"... I wanted to dress up like Jimi and play guitar through a little battery operated amp. Then I had the bright idea of adding a bass player and drummer friends from a cover band that I'm in to join me. We ended up playing that show and having so much success that we ended up getting booked up solid for two years after!
AH - Last but not least, what are your top 5 films of all time?
BP - TOP 5 Films (no particular order) 1. Unforgiving, 2. Texas Chainsaw Massacre '74, 3. The Road Warrior, 4. No Country For Old Men, 5. Halloween '78
(Images taken from Facebook)