An Interview With Horror Director Tom DeNucci – Part 2

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Tom DeNucci is a horror actor/ writer/ director, who has been responsible for two full-length feature films in 2013, “Self Storage” and ”Army of the Damned”, the first of which is currently available on Netflix. He recently (October 19th) premiered “Army of the Damned” at this years Rock N’ Shock horror convention held in Worchester, Massachusetts and talks to me, Dr. Morbid, about his past and future projects.  Here’s the second part of Dr. Morbid’s interview with him.

Dr. Morbid: Did you learn anything from your first film that you incorporated into your second film, ”Army of the Damned”?

Tom DeNucci: I learned so much from Storage to Army that I could probably write a 100 page thesis paper on the progression. My first time out I made a lot of mistakes, there’s no question. But I learned from every single one and found ways to manage them and not fall into the same traps on the next one. I still made mistakes on Army, but there were a lot less of them. I’ll still make mistakes on my next movie too and the one after that as well, but things will keep getting tighter and tighter. That’s the progression any artist hopes to experience, by just going out there and doing. That’s the only way to get better.

DM: What is ”Army of the Damned” about? How was your experience on that film?

TD: Army is about a group of small town cops that respond to a domestic disturbance call. Upon entering the house they quickly realize it’s like no call they’ve every been on. I don’t really want to give away a whole lot, but rest assured this is the best film Woodhaven has made to date. I had the time of my life on this project. There was a feeling on set that words just can’t explain. The entire crew was so vested into telling this story and it really shows on screen. Also we were able to bring in some new key players on the crew side of things to bolster the production value of the project. Guys like Sam Eilertsen, Jonathan DelPonte, Ben Bornstin, Branden Maxham, Joe Cantor and Jonathan Schermerhorn really bled for this movie and brought it to a whole new level.

DM: Explain how your experience was for the movie premiere of ”Army of the Damned” at Rock N’ Shock 2013. How did the audience respond to it?

TD: Rock N’ Shock really puts on a hell of a show and we were happy to be a part of it with Army of the Damned. The premiere was very surreal for me. We were lucky enough to have pretty much the entire cast at the event, which is like catching lightning in a bottle just because everyone’s schedule is usually so tough to coordinate. Standing in back of a jam packed theater, watching the crowd pop to the movie was truly an electric feeling that I’ll never forget.

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DM: You did a Q & A before the premiere. Did you receive any odd or humorous questions?

TD: Someone actually asked Eric Roberts what it was like to work with Ja Rule. I thought that was pretty random and funny.

DM: After the premiere of ”Army of the Damned” you went to a bar and performed Karaoke with Joey Fatone. That sounds amazing… so what was that experience like?

TD: Hahaha, yeah believe it or not it wasn’t Karaoke, there was a full live band that happened to be playing that night and our producer Chad Verdi got Joey and I up on stage, so we had no choice but to sing a little Elvis. To cap it all off the Red Sox beat Detroit to get into the World Series!

DM: I was happy about the Red Sox as well.  Are there any specific directors or films that have influenced you or your career?

TD: There’s so many of them! Of course I love Scorsese and Tarantino, that’s just like home cooking. The Coen brothers films always get me thinking. On the comedy side of things, The Farrelly Brothers movies definitely showed me what “funny” was growing up. I’d even say guys like Harold Ramis, John Hughes and John Waters had a big effect on me. So it’s kind of all over the radar, but those are my guys!

DM: Also, are there any specific actors that you still want to work with?

TD: I’d like to direct Ric Flair in a movie, that dude is so loaded with charisma. I think he could do some really funny stuff in the right situation. I’m a bit of a pro wrestling junkie.

DM:  Is there any advice you would like to give to aspiring independent filmmakers or writing tips you would like to share with aspiring screenwriters? And while you’re at it, any advice you would like to give to up and coming actors?

TD: My advise to all of the above would simply to be tenacious. The only way to make any head way is by doing. Going out there and getting after it. Be willing to work for free to prove your merit. If you want to be an actor, find a theater and take acting classes, study the craft. Put yourself on tape. Practice random scenes you like and film them. Look for student films and audition for parts. You want to write? Keep writing. Shorts, comic books, screenplays, whatever, just write. Same goes for directors. Get together with your friends, write short films, produce them, it doesn’t have to cost money, you can shoot them on your iPhone and cut them on a free ap if you want. Just create.

DM: And last but not least, a stupid question. Which horror movie would you personally like to remake and why?  It has to be something that hasn’t already been remade.

TD: I would love to remake Killer Klowns From Outer Space. C’mon, who doesn’t get freaked out by clowns!?

Thanks very much for the interview.  Check out Tom’s “Self Storage” on Netflix and us here, at Morbidly Amusing, will keep you updated on when “Army of the Damned” will be available.