May 2012 17

by A.J. Focht

In its second week in theatres, The Avengers broke over a dozen records, including tying with Avatar and Deathly Hallows Part 2 for fastest to a billion dollars. Considering in just two weeks it became the twelfth highest grossing movie ever, it should be no surprise that Disney has confirmed Avengers 2.

After the phenomenal success of The Avengers, Joss Whedon took some time to thank his longtime fans. Posting a letter on his personal site, Whedon thanked those that have stuck with him. After his heartfelt missive, he posted an interview with ‘Rutherford D. Actualperson’ covering some FAQ for his fans.

The Amazing Spider-Man is kicking up its advertising campaign. Now they have released a four minute preview of the film. It includes a scene where Spider-Man saves a child, but reveals his identity. Moments like this show the clear differences between this Spider-Man and the Spider-Man from the previous movies.

The newest news from The Dark Knight Rises is that Marion Cotillard has confirmed she is not playing Talia Al’Ghul. In a recent interview, the actress revealed that her character was a good throughout. This does not mean Talia Al’Ghul is not in the movie, but Marion Cotillard will not be playing the part.

The CW is moving forward with their new superhero television series, Arrow. Now there is an official synopsis of Arrow available. Some of it follows the traditional Green Arrow story, but there have been some changes, including the city, which has been switched from Star City to Starling City.

NBC’s Community has been green lit for another season, but they moved the show time to Friday nights. The series might be coming back, but it’s not clear if the whole study group will return. Both Chevy Chase and Community creator Dan Harmon have not signed on for the new season.

Jumping on the post-apocalyptic bandwagon, NBC is airing a new show next season called Revolution. The series follows the aftermath of a post-apocalyptic event where all electricity is shut off across the world. It clearly builds off the popularity of Hunger Games, and even includes a bow toting heroine.

In the video game world, Blizzard launched Diablo III at midnight on the 15th. Videogame developers at Bethesda are also looking to move in on Blizzards massively multiplayer online game territory. They have announced they are working on an Elder Scrolls MMO.

May 2012 16

by Daniel Robert Epstein

“A lot of actors become actors because they like dancing for grandma and putting a lampshade on, but that’s just not my personality.”
– Jodie Foster

Jodie Foster is one of the best actors planet Earth has ever given birth to. Her two Oscars, her performances that haven’’t been nominated for anything and the two brilliant films she’’s directed all attest to that.

Now she’s starring in the new thriller Flightplan, which is about a recently widowed woman who is flying her husband’’s corpse back to America in a giant plane she partially designed. Her daughter disappears on the plane and everyone seems to think the girl was never there in the first place.

Read our exclusive interview with Jodie Foster on

May 2012 15

by Steven Whitney

“How much better can you eat?
What can you buy that you can’t already afford?”

In Chinatown, private detective Jake Gittes puts those two questions to Noah Cross, perhaps the richest man in 1930s California. Those same queries, and others like them, resonant more than ever in today’s America.

How many cars can you drive? How many McMansions can you live in? How many diamonds and jewels and designer clothes can you wear? How many black Escalades filled with bodyguards does it take to make you feel important? Why do you need more when you already have so much more than enough? And most tellingly: how much do you fucking want?

The movie doesn’t provide answers – after all, who can explain rampant and uncontrolled greed? But it does offer a symbolic confrontation between the 99%, in the persona of Jake Gittes, and the 1%, represented by super-rich Noah Cross.

Jake is Everyman working hard to earn a decent living, perhaps with a dodge or two here and there, but living by a code in keeping with Raymond Chandler’s “hero” – a man who walks the mean streets who is not himself mean, a common man, a man of honor.

During a short stint with the police, Jake came to know Chinatown – a dark and dangerous place controlled by a few and impervious to change.

“What did you do in Chinatown?”
“As little as possible.”

Why? Because he knew it was a game played with a stacked deck, one he couldn’t win…and he never knew if he was helping or hurting.

As the story begins, Jake is hired to expose a love nest that will ultimately determine control of the Los Angeles water supply. While the scandal is false, it leads to an apparent suicide. But Jake senses that he was unknowingly set-up and that the victim was murdered. So he unexpectedly wades deeper into the murky waters and runs straight-on into Noah Cross.

Cross has gotten rich as Croesus by not making any positive contributions to society. He doesn’t create anything – he just buys things, forces up their value (often by illegal means), and then sells them at an obscene profit. Sound familiar?

To make matters worse, he’s everyone’s Moriarty – an old man of gross and unchecked appetites. Indulging in land fraud, assorted swindles, mayhem, murder, and incest. He is both father and grandfather to the innocent girl he now lusts after. This, of course, makes him the worst kind of fucker – worse than a motherfucker and even worse than South Park’s notorious unclefucker (but probably still not as bad as Dick Cheney). By every measure, Noah Cross is an uber-villain.

Imbued with a sense of fairness, of right and wrong, and of common decency, Jake tries to rescue a woman and the daughter who is also her sister from this psycho-sociopath. Tough, smart, and relentless, if anyone can stop Cross, it’s Jake. And, against all odds, he seems at times almost on the verge of winning.

But he can’t win. He can never win because the game is rigged from the top, with scant trickle-down benefits. You can’t fight City Hall, especially if Noah Cross owns it. Jake gives it his best, but he’s a man alone, fighting phantoms he can feel but cannot see as Cross wages scorched-earth warfare. Too late, Jake realizes the only way he can win is to kill Cross. But Jake’s not a killer…so he winds up back in Chinatown, impotent, losing everything, and bone-tired of the whole damn mess.

Cross manipulates Jake (and everyone else) like Republicans maneuver their base – holding out the carrot of the American Dream only to snatch it away at the last second, keeping all the spoils of victory for themselves. Jake, like the rest of us, has been played for a sucker.

In 2012, it’s not morning in America. It’s fucking Chinatown.

Unlike Noah Cross and his ilk, we don’t want it all, we just want a level playing field…with more education, equal access to quality healthcare, and economic parity. We want the freedom to create and control our own lives.

But freedom comes at a high cost. It can neither be given nor bestowed, and it must be fought for and earned, now and forever. If we don’t get angry, if we don’t fight as hard and as relentlessly as the opposition, if we don’t learn to vote for our own interests, if we don’t deploy every weapon at our disposal, our lives will become mere ceremonies of loss in which our rights, our freedoms, and our opportunities are eroded, little by little, until the final whistle blows…and the American Dream is officially dead, stolen by Noah Cross and his brethren of the 1%.

And then we’ll all suffer Jake’s tragic fate – a purgatory of futility.

DARKNESS DESCENDS. MUSIC UP: A noir melody, light tinkling on a piano, backed by lush woodwinds, and then…a mournful trumpet solo, wailing a plaintive cry of helplessness.

“Forget it, Jake. It’s Chinatown.”


May 2012 15

by Daniel Robert Epstein

“In drama you worry and in comedy you really worry.”
– Steve Martin

Steve Martin is a god, not the G-d, but a god nonetheless. When I try to remember my childhood, I mostly come up with images of The Man with Two Brains and The Jerk. But in recent years, his work has turned to the more complex with such theater plays as Picasso at the Lapin Agile and the novella Shopgirl.

Next month Touchstone Pictures will release the film adaptation of Shopgirl with Martin writing, producing and starring. It tells the story of Mirabelle [played by Claire Danes] who oversees the rarely frequented glove counter at Saks Fifth Avenue in Beverly Hills. She is an artist struggling to keep up with even the minimum payment on her credit card and student loans. She keeps to herself until a rich, handsome fifty something named Ray Porter [Steve Martin] sweeps her off her feet. Simultaneously, Mirabelle is being pursued by Jeremy [Jason Schwartzman], a basic bachelor who’s not quite as cultured and successful as Ray.

Read our exclusive interview with Steve Martin on

May 2012 14

by Daniel Robert Epstein

“No, any actor with any semblance of sanity or insanity, biggest fear is to go anywhere near who you are.”
– Johnny Depp

Johnny Depp always has been one of our favorite and best actors, but even he remembers his bad reputation. While we doing our interview a tray of glasses was dropped in another room with a loud crash. Johnny laughed and said, ““You saw me here. I couldn’’t have done it! I’’m going to get blamed for that.””

Even just using his voice in the stop-motion animated Corpse Bride, the power of Depp comes through. The movie is set in a 19th-century European village and follows the story of Victor [Johnny Depp], a young man who is whisked away to the underworld to wed a mysterious Corpse Bride [Helena Bonham Carter] – while his real bride, Victoria [Emily Watson], waits bereft in the land of the living.

Read our exclusive interview with Johnny Depp on

May 2012 11

by Daniel Robert Epstein

“All animators are somewhat anal, because it is all about detail.”
– Helena Bonham Carter

Helena Bonham Carter is stunning in person, both her looks and her wonderfully acerbic personality. For someone that’’s done mostly serious roles, it’’s very cool to hear her make fun of herself. She obviously enjoyed being the titular character in Corpse Bride not only because her partner, Tim Burton, made the film but because it’’s an exceptional dark tale that surpasses it’s predecessor, The Nightmare Before Christmas in every way possible.

Read our exclusive interview with Helena Bonham Carter on

May 2012 10

Long time friend of SuicideGirls, director Darren Lynn Bousman (who helmed the Saw franchise through films II, III and IV), recently took to his blog in defense of Mothers Day, a film that got trapped in Hollywood Hell. Here, Bousman explains the sheer horror he experienced while fighting tooth and nail to get his labor of love to the big screen. – SG Ed

by Darren Lynn Bousman

”Time does not change us…It just unfolds us.”
– Max Frish


On Friday May 4th, my film Mother’s Day is released in Los Angeles, New York, and Chicago. A few days later, the movie is released on DVD. It seems like a lifetime ago that I shot Mother’s Day. In reality it was just 3 years ago…


Something I think we all wish we had more of. In my life I think time has become my biggest enemy. 24 hours is nowhere near enough time for me to do what needs to be done. While on The Devil’s Carnival Road Tour, our lives have become slaves to the clock. We have a preset schedule, and one that we can’t deviate from. Five minutes late to something throws off our entire day. I find myself constantly running to catch up… Answer emails…Finish scripts…Spend time with the family. Time moves forward regardless of how much I protest…

In some cases however, the passage of time is a blessing…Time heals all wounds, makes us forget, or, allows us a chance to reflect. Three years is an abundance of time. A lot can happen in 36 months: wars have been fought and lost, relationships have blossomed and then been destroyed, children have been conceived, born, and taken their first steps. In the case of Mother’s Day, 3 years was the amount of time it took me to become disillusioned with the filmmaking process.


We wrapped production in 2009. At the time, we had all hoped to have the film done and completed for a Mother’s Day 2009 release. However midway through production it became clear that that would never happen. We all decided to take a breath, and do what was right by the film, make the movie perfect and release it in 2010.

After the festival circuit we sold the movie to a company, who will remain unnamed. Said company gave us a sweetheart deal and promised us the world. 1,000 screens. A sizeable P and A (prints and advertising) buy. Things were looking good.

Things began to look better in 2010 when we tested the movie in Chatsworth and we exceeded what the company was expecting. For those out there unaware on how the testing process works, take a seat and allow me to shed some light onto the filmmaking process.

Once you finish a movie and sell it, the company who buys it usually requests the film be ‘tested.’ What this means is they want to gauge how a film plays to ‘Middle America.’ As a filmmaker, it’s one of the most nerve wracking – vomit inducing – wanna blow your brains out experiences. Literally they recruit an audience, and play your film, and then ask them to rate it, and give mini reviews on it.


But in the case of testing, this score that is produced from the test screening holds so much weight it makes me physically ill. What is worse, as the director, I have to silently sit in the back of the audience and blend in, and listen, as this audience picks apart every aspect of the film. I have learned to cope with the testing process with the help of my good friend Jack Daniels. He has gotten me through many an awkward screening.

After the misfire testing of Repo! The Genetic Opera – I was considering bypassing the Jack Daniels and going straight to the Heroin. When we tested Repo!, we scored a jaw dropping 13. To put this in perspective, of the audience that came out to see the test screening, only 13 percent approved of what they saw.


This was the first time since being kicked in the balls with REPO that I had to journey back to Chatsworth and put my soul out to be judged with 300 theater-goers who would basically determine the fate of Mother’s Day.

The next two hours were the single worst two hours of my filmmaking career. So much was riding on this one screening. So much would be determined based on what this one audience thought. I didn’t have the courage to even sit in the theater. I found a bar in the parking lot, and nursed drink after drink trying to work up enough courage to hear what the audience thought of my new endeavor. My head was POUNDING. Nerves were shot.

I have seemed to thrive in the cult film world. Repo propelled me forward with my rabid fan base of cult musical lovers. I owe them everything. But nothing would make me happier than having one mainstream hit – just one film that propelled me forward that was not SAW.

When I arrived back at the test screening, the movie was ending and the questionnaires were being filled out. Mr. Daniels, please don’t let your courage juice run out. The next 15 minutes were unbearable. The waiting. Did I have another REPO score on my hand? I had so many feelings raging through my body. But the reality was my fate was already determined. I was powerless to stop what was coming.

I am a fan of Mother’s Day. I really am proud of this movie. I was proud of it going into the test screening, but I became infinitely more proud of it when the scores were revealed and we had almost double the expectations given to us from the studio who purchased the film. Our score was considerably above norm. And my highest tested film.

I remember looking back at the studio’s reaction when the score was read. It was a mixture of bewilderment and excitement. Part of me wanted to high five the film’s producer Richard Saperstein. But instead, I sat there cool and collected. Of course it tested well.

When the audience left the theater, and the business men were all that were left, a feeling of jubilation overtook the empty auditorium. “We’ve got something here,” the main guy said. He winked at me. I remember that moment like it was yesterday. For the first time in years, I really felt confident in the future, and in my career.

The next morning I received an email informing me that the company had decided to expand its theatrical commitment from 1,000 screens to 2,000 screens. They also were upping their P and A budget! Finally, something positive.

For the next few months I was on cloud 9. At that point in my career I was just a director; my job is to direct a film, and edit the film, and finally turn in a film. Once the movie leaves my hands I have little to no control left. I moved on to other projects. I moved to Spain and starting filming my new movie. I didn’t realize until almost 10 months later something was rotten in Denmark. My emails were not being answered, I was seeing a lack of promotion for Mother’s Day 2010. Panic set in.

I will spare you the ugly dramatics. But to shorten a very long story, the company who had picked up my baby had internal issues. “Issues” is as far as I will go in explanation, but their issues crippled the Mother’s Day 2010 release.

It was a knife to the gut. Like being stabbed by a friend. For over a year we had worked with this company who sold us all a bill of false goods. Rage would not be a strong enough word for what I was feeling inside. I had been promoting the hell out of this movie. I had been to festivals. I had done countless interviews promoting a date that had come and gone.


Once a film misses its date, a stigma is attached to it. Something MUST be wrong with it. But for me, what was much worse than looking like a douche promoting a film that had missed its date, was letting down the actors who all had turned in AMAZING performances. I had become close with the entire cast, and in my opinion there was not a weak link in the entire ensemble. We had all been anxiously counting down the days for our premiere. We were all proud. We had surpassed just working together. We were friends. The cast came to my wedding. They were my friends.

It was the first time in my career where I actually felt ashamed. Utterly embarrassed. Mortified even. I had been hyping this film for over a year now. I had been teasing the cast with this amazing release we were going to have. In one moment, everything shattered.

What do I tell Rebecca DeMornay? Rebecca had just turned in this tour de force that was nothing short of riveting. What do I tell Deborah Ann Wohl, or Shawn Ashmore? What about Jaime King? This girl gives one of her VERY best performances, and she was counting on this. What the hell do I tell Frank Grillio? Or worst yet, what will Brett Ratner think of me? This guy trusted me. He trusted that I would deliver him a hit.

What was worse than missing our date, was not knowing WHY we missed our 2010 release. And what did that mean to the fate of our film? Months passed, and then more months. No new dates were scheduled. I found myself becoming more and more of a recluse, as I dreaded showing my face anywhere and inevitably getting, “Yo bro, when’s Mother’s Day coming out?”

Every single I interview I did always would start with, “So Darren, can you talk about what is happening with Mother’s Day?” I dreaded doing press. I dreaded seeing my friends. I dreaded seeing the cast.


You are only as good as your last film. Repo! was considered a commercial failure. And now my next film was on its way to being a paper weight on some shelf.

My career is over. Offers stopped coming in. Movies fired me. Literally fired me. Why? My foreign sales number dropped.

As a director you are only as important as your foreign numbers. Repo! tanked overseas, and now my latest film was missing its release in America – thus affecting its foreign overseas value. Thus hurting my business. My business is my name. All I had worked for was crumbling. I bleeding out. All WE had worked for was lost. I was watching the world change around me. Doors were not only closing. They were locking. How did this happen? Mother’s Day is good film…


I have a reputation in Hollywood of being difficult. There, I said it. I get it. I am difficult. Very difficult. I send TONS of emails and cause a raucous when films I have worked on for YEARS get dismissed. Thrown out, and discarded. I fight back. I get in a van. I drive across the country. I create an Army. I make noise.

But isn’t that my job as a director? Not to accept. Not to be complacent. Fight as hard as I can to get the ART seen? I will never be the guy who sits back and accepts. Not any more. Not ever again. When I believe in something, I fight for it. People were counting on me. Investors, actors, producers. Lloyd Kaufman was counting on me. Troma was counting on me. My failure was Epic.

In 2011, after I had all but given up on anyone in America seeing the film, Anchor Bay stepped up to the plate. By this time we had left Studio 1, realizing we had already been burned numerous times. Two years had passed, and there was such a complicated and dramatic stigma attached to the flick, I was not only surprised, but amazed by their balls taking on a project that had basically been homeless for years.

Here we are now, Mother’s Day 2012, and the film is FINALLY seeing the light of day. Granted it’s only in 3 theaters, but that is three more theaters than I was expecting given the hardships the film had faced. I applaud Anchor Bay for breathing back life into a film that I truly think deserves to be seen. They are my Knight in BLACK GOTHIC ARMOUR. Thank you for allowing Rebecca DeMornay’s performance to see the light of day. Thank you for putting out a film, in which I truly stand behind every single performance.

I will be first to say, this is not going to be everyone’s favorite. In fact, there are numerous critics out there who proclaim this is “BOUSMAN’S WORST!” But let them call me names, and attack my “amateur directing” all they want. I don’t give a fuck. I am proud of Mother’s Day.

Some things are worth fighting for.

Mother’s Day was worth fighting for.


Pre-order Mother’s Day on DVD here.