Jason Eisener Talks THE ABCs OF DEATH

Todd Brown, Founder and Editor
With massive horror anthology project The ABCs Of Death now available on VOD with a limited theatrical release coming March 8th, twenty six different websites had the chance to sit down and chat with each of the twenty six directors. Here at Twitch we landed Hobo With A Shotgun helmer Jason Eisener who, while under instructions not to spill any specific details regarding his piece delivered a typically fun conversation with the bearded Canuck.

Twitch: How did you get involved with the ABCs project? When did you find out what your letter would be?

I was approached when I was in the middle of touring with Hobo With a Shotgun, I received an email from Tim League, who said he was working on a strange little anthology film called The ABC's of Death and was recruiting 26 filmmakers, mostly of whom were Fantastic Fest veterans. He mentioned that Nacho Vigalondo, Ben Wheatley, Ti West and Yoshi Nishimura were all on board, and that he would love to have me jump on. So how could I say no? Those guys have made some of my favorite films in the last couple years. Tim League has always supported great filmmakers, so I knew the roster was going to be stacked, and that I would have to step up my game. Plus there's bound to be an epic Fantastic Fest Karaoke session with everyone, so you know I gotta get a piece of that!

Twitch: Hobo With A Shotgun obviously shows that you're a fan of 'splashy' on screen kills. What's your favourite of your own screen kills? What classics do you look back to and try to match or beat?

It's true, I'm a big fan of outrageous on screen kills that catch you off guard. There's a scene from the animated film Plague Dogs that changed my life. I couldn't believe what I was watching.

I don't want to spoil it for you, so check it out for yourself.
 
When you see a filmmaker do something so outrageous like this, you don't feel safe. It's a great feeling that sets a tone, that anything could happen. I try to emulate this feeling with all my screen deaths. I'm very proud of the death in our ABC's short. I think you'll either be weirded out by it, or have a good laugh. I also enjoy watching people's reaction to our Number to Heaven short.

EisenerSet.JPGTwitch: What can you tell us about your entry? What letter did you get? Does it match the style of Hobo or are you changing things up at all?

The same team behind Hobo With a Shotgun jumped on board, Rob Cotterill produced it, Jeff Wheaton operated camera along with Karim Hussain who came down from Montreal to DOP it. It's the first time I've made something with no dialogue. ABCs of Death features filmmakers from around the globe, so I wanted to create something that could work with all their audiences. I was also very lucky to have my favourite group Power Glove create the soundtrack for our short. I think it's the most fucked up thing we ever created.
 
Twitch: On a serious note, people talk about how the original Grimm fairy tales (which were pretty damn grim) served as cautionary tales for children, essentially trying to scare them away from areas that might be dangerous to them. Do you think violence in film serves any sort of similar role? Or do you just find exploding heads funny?

One day I'll sit down with my future kid and show them Wayne Kramer's Running Scared. It will help teach them the dangers of guns, pedophiles, drug dealers, and the awesomeness of Paul Walker.

I think violence can heighten a storyteller's message. If a filmmaker does their job well, a piece of violence can really drive home an idea and have a lasting effect. Violence has always been part of human life so everyone has a reaction to it. I enjoy seeing it done in a creative way, whether it's suppose to be hilarious, or played straight, it should support the story and characters in a creative way.

Twitch: Are you able to talk about your future projects at all? Word of Blatant Violence High got out a while back but things have been quiet since. Is that still happening? Do you have anything else in the works?

We wrote a couple drafts of Blatant Violence High - it's like Class of 1984 meets Double Dragon 2 - but it's very ambitious, so we put it on hold for now and will hopefully return to it someday. We started focusing on trying to get The Plague film off the ground. It's based on the bounty hunter duo we introduced in Hobo With a Shotgun.

We're working on the second draft and hopefully we can convince some crazy people to help fund it. That's our dream film right now.

Also going to a shoot a short film at the end of August that is going to be a major challenge, and in a couple weeks I head to Montreal to support the Turbo Kid team for Fantasia's Frontieres Co-Production Market. The RKSS crew created an amazing short film for the ABCs of Death contest called T is for Turbo. I believe they're Canada's secret weapon, and I really want to see them bring this Mega-Man meets BMX Bandits and Metalstorm film to life.

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