Van Gore Interview – “You Won, You Son Of A Bitch!”

van gore

Credit: River Rogue Productions

How far would you go for your art? Would you tap into some blood, sweat, and tears to achieve truly avant-garde textures and to satisfy a beatnik culture? No? Well, Van Clark (aka, Van Gore) does and nobody knows the depth of his passion better than his subjects. Actually, Van Clark’s passion is two-fold; first he’s a serial killer and dedicated to his method and, second, he’s an artiste who uses organic material (aka, blood) to compose his works.

As you may or may not know, Van Gore is the fake trailer with a $1,000 budget that won the Jason Eisener Hobo with a Shotgun fake trailer contest, which was somewhat of a pay-it-forward contest since Hobo started off as a faux trailer for the Tarantino/Rodriguez Grindhouse films before going on to become the latest cult hit in exploitation films. Van Gore, written and directed by first-time collaborators Keith Hodder and Peter Strauss and cowritten by Jerrad Pulham (who also did the cinematography), follows a psychopathic killer/artist as he seduces victims and makes bloody art. It’ll appear as a trailer on the DVD release of Hobo with a Shotgun when it gets released on July 5th.

Our three filmmakers attend Ryerson University in Toronto, Ontario, and, despite their recent push into the horror spotlight, have no intentions of dropping out before graduating. Actually, as far as we know at Yell! Magazine, Keith is the only one who feels like he’s “come so far and [would] like to play it safe.” Jarred, however, would drop out “in a heart beat.”

Van Hobo Dream Team

It’s interesting to note that both Keith Hodder and Jason Eisener are from Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, and one might like to think that Van Gore won due to some sort of fraternal love, but there isn’t. However, the two “plan to get together when he [Eisener] flies back this summer.” We at Yell! would like to see the two locked in a tomb somewhere with a case of Alexander Keith’s (even though Hodder doesn’t drink) to hammer out (or saw off) some ideas for a collaborative work – perhaps some sort of maritime ghost story since their corner of the world is rich with such legendary folklore. And since we know that Van Gore was conceived in a few short days (“the story just came up while I [Keith] was doing research and it evolved in three days”), we’re pretty sure that these two guys could get something going in a couple of hours.

So there’s a bit of history, now…

Van Gore Interview – Take 1 and 2

We here at Yell! Magazine had the fortunate opportunity to talk to two-thirds of Van Gore’s makers (Keith and Jerrad) on a Friday night and, because our voice recorder didn’t pick up the interview, we got to speak to Keith a second time on Sunday night. All we can say that we are grateful for their patience, which they have in spades and isn’t surprising considering their humble and kind demeanor.

Actually, how do such nice guys wind up making such a brutal Grindhouse-style fake trailer? We’re not sure if we were able to resurrect any lurking signs of dementia to answer that question, but we certainly got a few things out of them.

Van Gore-field

Van Gore stars the esteemed Toronto-based actor Garfield Andrews, with whom Keith has worked previously on the short Interception. But when Andrews read for Van Gore Keith “loved him right away.” The love affair between these two started well before this latest project as Keith explained to us that one of the attributes of this theater-based actor he loves best is his “distinct voice” and his ability to get into character as “when he came into the audition [for Van Gore] he cried.” Another change to the short that was actualized with the addition of Andrews was showing the audience Van Clark’s face: “Originally we had him wearing a mask to hide his face, but once we had Garfield cast we knew we couldn’t hide his amazing facial expressions.” We’re happy that decision was made, because while hiding Andrew’s face worked in the spy-themed Interception, seeing the manic, almost Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde qualities of Andrews’ face works much better in Van Gore.

With the evidence of Keith Hodder and Peter Strauss’ love for Garfield Andrews in hand, we couldn’t help but to ask if they would keep him as their lead if Van Gore was ever picked up for a full-length feature, avoiding the shift from David Brunt to Rutger Hauer that their inspiration, Hobo with a Shotgun, made. “Most definitely. All the work Garfield has done for me has been for free and I would definitely want to cast him as the lead for a full feature Van Gore.”

If Keith’s dedication to Andrews does continue into the future, will they become a duo like Scorsese and De Niro or DiCaprio? Time will only tell.

Find out why Jason Eisener called Keith Hodder a “son of a bitch” after the jump…

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