AN INTERVIEW WITH DUSTIN MILLS, THE MASTERMIND BEHIND ‘SLAUGHTERHOUSE SLUMBER PARTY’

 

 

Since Dustin Wayde Mills released his debut feature THE PUPPET MONSTER MASSACRE in 2010, he has written, produced, edited, and directed over a dozen feature films and numerous shorts, often also making his own practical and digital effects. His films range from the Troma-esque insanity of EASTER CASKET to the bleak and extreme horror of HER NAME WAS TORMENT and the even more family-friendly chills with the anthology HALLOWEEN SPOOKIES. Now Mills is gearing up for his most ambitious project yet — a wild hybrid of Wynorski-esque horror/exploitation and the sort of faux documentary popularized by The Office, with a healthy dose of eye-searing supernatural hijinks inspired by ’80s supernatural comedies like BEETLEJUICE and GHOSTBUSTERS.

 

SLAUGHTERHOUSE SLUMBER PARTY reunites Mills with a number of his frequent ensemble of collaborators in front of the camera — Joni Durian (HAUNTED HOUSE ON SORORITY ROW, HER NAME WAS TORMENT 2), Kayla Elizabeth (BLOOD RITUAL, DON’T FUCK IN THE WOODS 2), Haley Jay Madison (HEADLESS, IN MEMORY OF), and Erin R. Ryan (BABYSITTER MASSACRE, APPLECART) are all veterans of Mills’s previous productions — as well as behind the scenes. Marcus Koch, whose practical effects have astonished and grossed out audiences in dozens of films, from the AMERICAN GUINEA PIG series to MOHAWK and WE ARE STILL HERE, is on board to help fuel more nightmares. Given how ambitious SLAUGHTERHOUSE SLUMBER PARTY is, it’s no wonder Mills and his team are looking to Kickstarter to help raise funds for the film’s production. Daily Grindhouse spoke to Mills about SLAUGHTERHOUSE SLUMBER PARTY and bringing something new to the independent horror scene.

 

 

Daily Grindhouse: Where did the concept for SLAUGHTERHOUSE SLUMBER PARTY come from?

Dustin Mills: I think it started out as a desire to make a simple “sexy girls vs. a killer” type thing, like HARD TO DIE or any of those old Wynorski movies. Then (like most of my ideas) it snowballed out of control into this insane supernatural horror version of Parks & Recreation. From there, I tried to do the thing that all artists should do; I perceived a niche and tried to fill it. Movies likeBEETLEJUICE and GHOSTBUSTERS and even BIG TROUBLE IN LITTLE CHINA don’t get made anymore. I thought if I could successfully combine that sort of cartoonish, over-the-top supernatural comedy aesthetic with something akin to The Office or Parks & Rec, I might have something really special.

 

 

Daily Grindhouse: How long did it take to complete the proof-of-concept trailer from conception to the version being released in the Kickstarter campaign?

Dustin Mills: We shot the fake trailer back in April, but that wasn’t the original plan. We had set aside dates to film the entire movie in about three days. I was going to self fund it, and then as we got closer to filming I realized it wasn’t feasible. Everyone had planned to be there April 28thanyway, so I rented a house for a night, grabbed some fake blood, fake teeth, a few Tinsley Transfers, some booze, and we were off to the races. The plan became to shoot a faux trailer, and then try our damndest to get the funds for the full movie.

 

 

Daily Grindhouse: You mentioned in the Kickstarter video that you and Marcus Koch will be using a combination of practical and digital effects. Could you talk a little more about how you’ll be blending these approaches in the movie?

Dustin Mills: I don’t want to ruin anything, but we have some really exciting stuff in the works. I sent him this long message on facebook that was basically like, “I think this will work… tell me if this will work…” to which he responded, “Call me.” So I did and immediately he said, “YES! YES! THAT WILL WORK! I LOVE IT!” The basic idea is that we have concocted a way to digitally combine flesh and rubber and blood in a way that I don’t think has been done before. It’s one of those things that is so stupid simple that you wonder why it’s not being done all the time. It’s going to make the movie seem much bigger than it really is, and it is my favorite kind of thing to do.

 

 

Daily Grindhouse: You’ve worked with a number of cast members in SLAUGHTERHOUSE SLUMBER PARTY in previous projects, including ones that required them to go to some really dark places. Are they excited to be able to goof around in this movie?

Dustin Mills: You’d have to ask them, but I really hope so. I know that I am. That stuff can take a toll. I am ready to do some funny, sexy, stupid shit. I need it in my life right now. To be honest, I think the world of horror needs it. The world feels pretty ugly for a lot of us right now, and I think something lighthearted and inventive like SLAUGHTERHOUSE SLUMBER PARTY has the potential to let us all breathe a little bit and just smile for a second. The truth of the matter is that the gals I’ve chosen for this flick are fucking funny. They are sweet and hilarious people. I’m excited to give them the opportunity to make fart jokes and puns and stupid faces.

 

 

Daily Grindhouse: And one for the slasher fanatics: SLUMBER PARTY MASSACRE or SORORITY HOUSE MASSACRE, and why?

Dustin Mills: SLUMBER PARTY MASSACRE, for sure. SORORITY HOUSE MASSACRE 2 is a Wynorski gem, but the first one is a snoozer. SLUMBER PARTY MASSACRE is fun and goofy and has that weirdly innocent ’80s nudity that you don’t really see anymore. I really dig that movie. I especially like the denim-clad villain. They don’t even bother with any mystery. They’re just like, “Here he is folks… Mr. Denim… he’s bad and he’s gonna get the girls with his penis… DRILL!!! I MEANT DRILL!!!”

 

 

 

Check out the censored (but not necessarily safe for work!) proof-of-concept trailer for SLAUGHTERHOUSE SLUMBER PARTY below, and head to the project’s Kickstarter page for more information:

Jon Abrams

Editor-In-Chief at Daily Grindhouse
Jon Abrams is a New York-based writer, cartoonist, and committed cinemaniac whose complete work and credits can be found at his site, Demon’s Resume. You can contact him on Twitter as @JonZilla___.
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