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Spencer Gray on Without Your Head Horror Radio

Recap of Spencer Gray on

Without Your Head Horror Radio, 03/12/2015

by Vic Schiavone

Hosts Nasty Neal and Terrible Troy welcomed Independent horror director Spencer Gray to Without Your Head Horror Radio.  Among the topics of discussion was Spencer’s award-winning short film, “Snake with a Human Tail”.

 Highlights included the following:

 WYH:  The name of the short is very catchy.  Was “Snake with a Human Tail” always the original title for the short?

SG:  “Yeah.  I wrote it as a feature but I never really could get it financed…because everybody would shy away from the subject material when it came time to write a check…I had some other scripts I was trying to get financed as well, and people kind of did the same deal even with a drama I wrote; kind of intense.  So I said, screw it.  I’m just going to shorten it down and make it a short and finance it myself with some kindness of some other people, some other investors and a lot of actors and crew that donated their precious time which I’ll appreciate to the grave so they know who they are.” 

 WYH:  Do you think doing a short will help you to be able to make a feature at some point?

SG:  “Yeah, actually I've already been hired to write and direct a feature.  It’s called “Left Hand Lords”.  It’s a financed feature and we start pre-production in May tentatively anyway…  Having a product out there of any kind; I hate to call it a product but everything in the end boils down to that even if it’s not commercial really, it helps people take you seriously I would guess and you start showing at festivals and conventions.  If it’s got high production values, even if it’s rough as “Martyrs” or “A Serbian Film” or something, people are going to stand up and take notice.  I think shorts are making a comeback because there’s not a lot of money floating around out there right now because of the big Hollywood Godzilla monster that’s remaking everything...You know, you get frustrated as an artist, and you say you know what, I’m just going to make a short.  With “Snake with a Human Tail” I really just kind of put my middle finger in the air and said you know what, if this does anything, great, and if it doesn't, then maybe I’ll go teach somewhere or something.  I was kind of at that point where I had heard the word ‘No’ or ‘Not Right Now’ or ‘This is not commercial enough’ or ‘This isn't marketable enough’ for the last time.  I’m not going to water something down; that’s not what I want to be known for…That’s not for me.” 

 WYH:  Do you want to give a synopsis of “Snake with a Human Tail” without giving too much away?

 SG:  “Well, I don’t want to give away too much.  There are a lot of plot twists; I’m sure the cat’s out of the bag by now.  It’s basically going to make a long complicated story short, and it is a very big story condensed into 31 minutes.  This priest, Father Fulci; he’s a convicted pedophile. He’s also a priest, a man of the cloth, works for the Vatican, Holy See, and he’s on his last go-round.  They've gotten past moving him from parish to parish and paying off the families, and he’s gotten so out of control that the court finally puts him on probation and says you need to see this psychiatrist, and that’s the way the movie opens. To me, there’s no violence in it, it’s just these two men having a conversation, and to me and a lot of other people it’s the most intense part of the film, before all the action even happens.  The crux of the story is that he had molested this little boy named Henry for years and even had an affair with his mother, and then the kid disappears.  Fulci can’t understand what happened to this kid, he goes on with his demented twisted little life and he starts seeing this transgendered prostitute he just can’t turn down, and it turns out that the little boy had grown up and changed his identity and his gender to get close to this priest as an adult. That’s not the twist, it’s easy to figure out, the twist is the revenge part, the way the movie ends.  I love being in an audience watching people.  I can’t be at all the showings and screenings, but when I am it’s really cool to watch people’s jaws hit the ground, because what she does to him has never been done before in any movie I know.  So, the revenge part of it is what gets people off and makes them go ‘Hell, yeah!’  It’s kind of hard to talk about the ending, it’s such a delicate little flower; I don’t want to give it away.  You just can’t help but smile to yourself.”

 WYH:  Being in Texas, how do people react to the religious themes in the movie?

SG:  “Man, you should see my hate mail.  Or my hate e-mail; I don’t think there’s such a thing as hate mail anymore.  They’ll send me a friend request on Facebook; they’ll send me a nasty message.  I don’t ever unfriend them, though; I just never hear from them again…I just consider the source.  I’m not trying to cause unrest in your little religious community; I’m trying to point things out in our society.  I’m trying to start a conversation, not upset anyone.  If it upsets you, well maybe you needed to be upset.”

 

Other topics discussed included:

 ·        When was it that he decided he wanted to be involved in movies?

·        Was he always a fan of horror movies or just a fan of movies in general?

·        What are his thoughts on remakes overall?

 

For the latest information on showings of “Snake with a Human Tail”, go to  

https://www.facebook.com/snakewithahumantail.  

 

This interview is available for listening at

http://www.withoutyourhead.com/viewnews.php?autoid=108942