An Interview with Tomaz Gorkic, Director of Killbillies
Your new movie – in a few words, what is it about?
It is about mindless hate between people, what is hidden in the personality of people and what these same people can do to other people in the name of base pleasures. I wanted to tell a story about the morality of our society, which morality is right and who’s got a right to judge about right or wrong. There is a story behind the story, but you have to see it by yourself.
How hard was it to get a horror movie off the ground in Slovenia in the first place?
I think it was no harder than any other movie. You see, Slovenia is really small country, with really small market and of course with small investments.
In my review of Killbillies I’ve written it’s “heavily influenced by genre classics like The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and Deliverance” – at all a fair assessment, and/or other sources of inspiration for dreaming up Killbillies?
It is a fair assessment. Both movies are really good movies, made by great directors and the other people involved in the process of making those films. With Idila/Killbillies I didn’t want to copy them or in any way use their ideas as a copycat, but the staples of the backwoods genre are for sure in those two movies and you can’t go around them. Of course in my movie there is also a big part of Slovenian mentality and cinematography, which is I believe quite unknown for the rest of the world. Hidden danger behind nice nature.
What can you tell us about your movie’s approach to horror (as in suspense vs sudden shocks, atmosphere vs all-out gore and the like)?
In fact, not much. It is just the way I see it. Probably each filmmaker has their own way to tell the story. This is mine.
For the sake of the gorehounds among my readers, do talk about the bloody bits in Killbillies for a bit, and how were they achieved?
With prosthetic, CGI and fake blood. Movie is an illusion captured in picture. No real killing or torturing. At least not in my movie. Sorry.
What can you tell us about your overall directorial approach to your story at hand?
Hmmm, a lot of thinking about details. Story is also made by details, and if you don’t see them all as complete base of story, then maybe you will be confronted with difficulties. So, make the story 100% understandable and the directing is easy. If you don’t know what to say, you probably also don’t know how to say it.
Do talk about your cast, and why exactly these people?
Because most of them are really good professional actors and work with them was really easy. No stress, without any psychosis. And of course visually they looked like the characters which they were playing.
You of course also have to talk about your wonderful locations, and what were the advantages and challenges shooting there?
One of advantages of the locations was for sure production value of movie. The locations were free and around the corner. Nature locations were also part of the story. In idyllic country everything is wrong. If you get too relaxed in this nature you will end in liqueur. But of course how to get at those locations with all equipment is completely different story.
Do talk about the shoot as such, and the on-set atmosphere?
Never mix pleasure with work. It is too expensive.
Anything you can tell us about critical and audience reception of Killbillies?
It is hard to say. Some people really like this movie and of course some people really, really, really hate it. I don’t understand all those haters. Ok, I can understand that you don’t like the movie, but I don’t understand all this hate (energy to hate) which someone put in. Are people’s lives really that empty?
Any future projects you’d like to share?
Soon I will finish short science fiction thriller – Apoptosis. The future belongs to a corporation. And right now I’m also in a middle of raising founds for my next feature film. Psychological thriller with elements of horror and drama.
What got you into filmmaking in the first place, and did you have any formal education on the subject?
I don’t have any formal education for anything. But I have a lot to say and I think that film is an excellent medium through which you can say a lot, or maybe even everything.
What can you tell us about your filmwork prior to Killbillies?
I made few short movies, eight if I’m exact. I could say that they are all about senseless violence between people, caused by church or government.
How would you describe yourself as a director?
Filmmakers who inspire you?
Uff, a lot of them. For sure Tobe Hopper and John Boorman are two of them.
Your favourite movies?
… and of course, films you really deplore?
Your/your movie’s website, Facebook, whatever else?
Anything else you’re dying to mention and I have merely forgotten to ask?
Can God feel teeth?
Thanks for the interview!