As one half of Kinetic Filmworks,
Jeff Miller has a slew of genre projects ready to roll and a number behind
him as well. Read on for the latest on his project 'The Last Horror
Picture Show' which will star Robert Englund, Kane Hodder and Gunnar
Your background is rooted in
journalism and creative writing. When did you first get into
I first drew comic strips as a kid. In junior high school I started
writing a “serial” called “Dragon Quest,” where I put my friends into the
story. Every day or two there was a new chapter that would be passed
around class. Everyone wanted to know what happened to their character.
I wrote more short stories and novellas. In high school I got into
journalism and won some awards. My senior year I started my first
Did you see it as a way to
express yourself when you were growing up?
I always liked telling stories.
You received much praise for
your writing and started writing for the industry at a young age, how did
you get “noticed”?
I still haven’t really gotten noticed, not in a big way. I got an agent
at a young age and my first paid screenwriting job at age 23, but I have
yet to get an A-list picture made.
You worked extensively on the
movie FREAKSHOW. How did you become involved?
In college I had heard that some local guys made a movie called CAMPFIRE
TALES. When it came out, I think I was the first one to rent it at the
local video store. I consulted one of the movie’s creators, Paul Talbot,
for advice on my own script I was trying to get made. After college I had
moved away but kept in touch with Paul and heard they were doing
FREAKSHOW. They had already shot some of it. I said I may have access to
some money and asked if I could come aboard as Associate Producer. I
moved back and started working on it.
What was the experience
It was great. I learned a lot.
Did you ever think that you
weren’t cut out to make it in the movies?
"I just wanted to make a
What do you remember about
working with Gunnar Hansen and Veronica Carlson?
Gunnar and Veronica are both real troopers. Veronica was very polished
You then worked on HELLBLOCK
13 again with Gunnar (I see a pattern emerging here). How was your
experience with that particular production?
It was a good experience. I was involved in that one from the
In 2000 you completed HEAD
CHEERLEADER, DEAD CHEERLEADER. How long had you been working on the story
and what had inspired you to write it?
It’s a long story, but the original HEAD/DEAD was supposed to be a Super
8mm. I shot much of it in 1993. (Actually, this is an interesting side
note: Michael Kelly, who played the lead security guard C.J. in the DAWN
OF THE DEAD remake, was the male lead!) Unfortunately, there were major
camera problems that ruined most of the footage. I still loved the title
(which a friend of mine came up with), and years later I decided to just
make the damn thing. I wrote a new script, keeping only the title, a few
character names, and some props. I just wanted to make a SCREAM-type
The film opens with a phone
call from an angry mother warning you not to make the movie. Did you get
a lot of angry calls like that?
That was the only one. That was also a leftover from 1993. That woman
called back another day and left another message, but I think I misplaced
that one. I always wanted to play it if there was a sequel.
How did the shoot
Okay. It was broken up in sections, as money was put in.
Was the majority of the cast
Yes. With the exception of Debbie Rochon, I think everyone was from North
or South Carolina. Bill Roberson (from FORREST GUMP) was a joy to work
with. He was in HELLBLOCK 13 as well. Also, Bobby Cerutti and Bob Carter
were a pleasure. The young people were all great too. Tasha Biering, the
lead, did an extraordinary job, especially considering she was cast only
two weeks before shooting. The lead actress who had been cast couldn’t do
it, and Tasha bravely accepted the role and had to quickly learn ALL that
How did Debbie Rochon get
I had such a great experience with her on HELLBLOCK 13. She endured
freezing temperatures on that one with never a complaint, so I knew she
could do anything.
What was her reaction to the
idea that she would have her breast cut off in her now-infamous death
I don’t think it ever came up.
The film suffers from an
uneven tone. What were your thoughts on horror vs. humour as you were
writing the script?
Okay, here’s the deal on HEAD CHEERLEADER, DEAD CHEERLEADER. I started
making it before any money had really come back from HELLBLOCK 13. At the
time, I thought HELLBLOCK 13 would do well. Well, as is often the case,
the filmmakers didn’t make much money off of it. The distributors did, I’m
sure, but not the filmmakers. By the time I realized this, I had already
shot maybe a third of HEAD/DEAD. I waited a long time to finish,
realizing that I may be throwing good money after bad. I financed half of
HEAD/DEAD with my own money. I knew I had to finish it, but I realized I
had to do it as quickly and cheaply as possible. The market just didn’t
seem to be there. I had written pages of telephone dialogue that took
place in one house. I always loved the opening scenes of SCREAM and WHEN
A STRANGER CALLS and thought, “What if almost the whole movie took place
in that one house, with a bunch of phone calls?” Well, of course, later I
realized – too late – that it can easily become boring. At the time I
thought I could make it more claustrophobic than it ended up being. But
in the end, I didn’t have the time to do it justice.
"Yet another good reason to NEVER give
your original materials to a distributor. ".
Did the film do well
The idiots at a certain company who released it here in the U.S. went out
of business shortly after its release. They owed me money. They also owe
me my materials back. Yet another good reason to NEVER give your original
materials to a distributor.
What did you think of the
Most I agree with.
Has anyone tried to sue you
for the death of their daughter as a result of the film?
What are your thoughts on
censorship and uptight citizens who are against horror
I’m against censorship, but ratings make sense, to a degree.
You are currently working on
THE LAST HORROR PICTURE SHOW which would see Robert Englund, Kane Hodder,
and Gunnar Hansen team up to slaughter some teens. What stage is the
We are close to securing funding.
Who had the initial idea to
make the film?
Gunnar Hansen and Gary Jones wrote the script. I got involved as a
producer shortly after meeting Gary when I moved to L.A.
Has anyone signed on
Those three guys are attached, and we have interest from other actors and
When are we likely to hear
Some announcements should be made shortly.
Jim O’Rear is also going to be
working with the guys on THE DEMONS 5, is this likely to have an effect on
Hopefully, there’s room for all of us.
Apart from this project what
else can we expect to see from you in the near future?
I wrote a script with Gary called JOLLY ROGER, about a pirate who comes
back from the dead to terrorize a small town. It was a lot of fun, some
of the most fun I’ve had writing a script. The Asylum bought it.
Shooting starts December 18th. Gary (“Xena,” “Hercules,” SPIDERS) is
directing. Gary and I have a couple other projects in various stages, so
stay on the lookout!
"Thank you ever so much for taking part in this interview
And we wish you the very best of luck in the future."