When you become a vendor at any convention it’s a gamble. I don’t mean how well your product sells, but on who your booth mates might be. It’s 72 long (sometimes more!) hours and nothing is worse than getting stuck to a couple of gassy, weird sandwich eating, crackpots! Fortunate for us we got plopped down right next to Fear the Crooked Corpse. A new horror/thriller directed by Aaron Russman and starring Rick Dethlefsen. Rick and Aaron were damn cool dudes to be next to all weekend and we had a blast with them. I just hope that Rick and Aaron didn’t think we were gassy, weird sandwich eating, crackpots…. Shit! Well anyways they stopped by our booth and chatted about making Fear the Crooked Corpse….
SJP: Here we have sitting with me Aaron Russman the man behind the movie Fear of the Crooked Corpse. Writer, Director pretty much everything?
Aaron Russman: Editor and Cinematographer.
SJP: Are you having a good time at Motor City Nightmares?
Aaron Russman: It’s going really great. This convention thing came out of nowhere but it seems like it’s been a great success so far for our film.
SJP: Tell us about Fear of the Crooked Corpse?
Aaron Russman: Lead character Rick Dethlefsen plays Edgar. His daughter is murdered and he tries to take revenge on the murderer yet the murderer takes his own life. So Edgar goes through the film feeling this sense of revenge but he doesn’t know where to place it. He starts to lose his mind. A disturbing character starts to visit him in his dreams. The man leads him to believe that he should take his revenge out on an old man with a creepy eye. It’s a suspense film that keeps you on the edge of your seat with a ton of horror aspects.
SJP: What was your inspiration for this film?
Aaron Russman: It’s my take on a very popular Edgar Allen Poe Story. I won’t say which one because I don’t want to spoil the ending for everyone.
SJP: What got you into film making?
Aaron Russman: Ever since I was a kid, me and my four sisters would make short films. When I was nineteen I went to film school for a year. Since then I’ve tried to shoot as many things as possible: shorts, music videos, television pilots, anything I could, and now I’ve moved up to features. Fear of the Crooked Corpse is my second feature.
SJP: What experiences do you think made you most ready to direct your own feature?
Aaron Russman: Just writing, no matter what it was. Keep writing, keep writing, and keep writing. Eventually you learn how to put a story together and it translates so well when you want to take on a production that’s the size of a feature. If you know how to tell a story and the story comes first it all comes together in the end.
SJP: Do you have any good stories to tell while filming took place?
Aaron Russman: We shot in Iona, Michigan west of Lansing. There was a lot of yelling and screaming outside. We had a lot of neighbors stopping by wondering what was going on. Rick’s character Edgar is yelling at the door to try to get the guy to open the door and one of the neighbor’s walks into my shot. The guy had no idea we were shooting. He then tells Rick it’s alright the back door is always open.
SJP: He told a guy screaming at a door he doesn’t know how to get into the house?
Aaron Russman: Exactly, he was very helpful
SJP: Thank you so much for stopping by Aaron. Where can people get info on Fear of the Crooked Corpse?
Aaron Russman: Checkout the Facebook page: facebook.com/crookedcorpse
A couple hours later SJP’s new man crush and star of Fear the Crooked Corpse, Rick Dethlefsen, stopped by the booth and Jake was able to chew his ear for couple of minutes. Rick only made our love for him deepen….
SJP: have sitting next to me Rick Dethlefsen. He is the star of the film, Fear of the Crooked Corpse. Can you tell us about the film and your character?
Rick Dethlefsen: I play the lead character Edgar. Edgar’s daughter has been dating someone he doesn’t approve of and he ends up killing her. The character is in search of some kind of resolution to her death but before he can get his closure her killer ends his own life. So Edgar attaches himself the killer’s father and slowly goes insane as he is trying to solve his daughter’s murder.
SJP: Was it tough tapping into a character you described as being insane?
Rick Dethlefsen: It was different, I usually do comedy. Although, I have done drama. It was different in the aspect that I had to dig down deep and think of my experiences as a father. How I would feel if something like that happened to my daughter. At the same time he’s trying to get his life back to normal.
SJP: I can tell you have done comedy since we have had the pleasure to spend all weekend with you at the table next to us. You’re funny as hell Rick.
Rick Dethlefsen: We are having a lot of fun with Slack Jaw Punks.
SJP: What else would you like to share about the movie?
Rick Dethlefsen: It’s completely made in Michigan. Most of the actors are from Michigan. It was filmed in Iona, Michigan. It is a pure Michigan product and we are pretty proud of the job we have done. If you are a fan of Edgar Allen Poe I think you will recognize some of the story line.
SJP: Any on set stories you would like to share?
Rick Dethlefsen: This is my first horror film. I had no idea that the blood we were using was made of chocolate syrup and strawberry syrup. I’m covered in this concoction of syrups and it just so happens to be one the hottest summers in Michigan. That week we had a couple of one hundred degree days in a row. On top of that we are filming in a historic mansion and its boiling hot inside. So decide I needed to get some fresh air. Every mosquito in Michigan must have bit me.
SJP: That’s great. How long have you been acting Rick?
Rick Dethlefsen: I’ve been acting since I was fourteen; well maybe I won’t tell you how many years. I’ve been acting for forty five or fifty years. I’ve done a lot of theatre and a few other private films. I was in the Army for thirty years so I did a lot of stuff overseas.
SJP: That’s awesome. What got you into acting?
Rick Dethlefsen: It’s interesting my teachers would tell my parents Rick is a really nice boy but he talks too much. I had a teacher who approached me about acting in a play and I fell in love with it. I’ve been doing it ever since and I’ve been helping teach children’s theatre to give back.
SJP: Where can we go for more info on the movie?
Rick Dethlefsen: Go to facebook.com/fearofthecrookedcorpse