—Disclaimer—Before reading this interview, let me warn people that the views expressed are of Keith Crocker, and not reflective of the whole staff of Wild Eye Releasing.
Keith Crocker a lot of fans may not know the name right off the bat, but if you follow indie films you may have heard of his films and a company he is a part of called Wild Eye Releasing. What started at my first site Horrorphilia, and then last year went on thru my sister site Cinema Head Cheese and has now come to Wicked Channel. Each year, I try to find out what is going on with Keith, and Keith ummmmâ€¦just read on you will see why I love talking to Keith. Be warned, if you are easily offended, you should not go any further than this. If I told you guys Keith is one of my best friends, how many of you after reading this will believe me?
1. Keith a lot has changed since the last time we pleasantly chatted, Wild Eye Releasing is getting a lot of press these days and even mainstream press. You and Rob seem to have grown leaps and bounds lately, are you guys surprised?
A. No, we arenâ€™t surprised at all. We are a specialty label, we bring hand selected titles to the viewer based upon popularity of the subject matter. We carefully consider every title we release, we donâ€™t base it on genre (be it horror or sex), we base it on the subject matter and the execution of the cinematic process. These days documentaries are doing us great, perfect examples being The Death of Andy Kaufman and Uautrhorized â€“ The Story of Rock & Roll Comics.
2. The Disco Exorcist is on everyoneâ€™s lips, were you familiar with Richard before this release? Also is this a relationship that may churn out another release?
A. Yes, we knew Richard, he had offered us Nun of That, but we turned it down. Disco Exorcist had all the elements that Rob felt a film of this type should have, hence we picked it up. Itâ€™s not based on who the filmmaker is but rather how the film is, which is the way it should be. We may carry another of his films but that will be based on film itself, not because itâ€™s a film from Richard.
3. Also you guys are carrying another title in the upcoming year by young director and current next indie breakout director James Cullen Bressack. Is it time to share with us what is going on with this partnership?
A. No, we donâ€™t want to share that info. Honestly, itâ€™s simply that the film fills a need and Rob can sell it. We donâ€™t hook up based on the concept that itâ€™s going to be a long term relationship with a director, it has to do with the particular film and does that film have broad enough appeal to make it sell worthy. Also, does it fit into the strange Wildeye catalog.
4. Before we go on hyping all the major news coming out of you and Robâ€™s camp, I have to know are you guys going to embrace the blu ray technology on any of your films? Do you even own a blu ray player?
A. James, one day, when Rob and I have enough money, we are going to pay to have you beaten to death. I mean it James, your beating will bring us so much happiness. In fact, we might film it and release it on Blu Ray. Yes, Rob and I both have Blu Ray players, but we also have 16mm projectors and cassette tapes. Does that makes us retards in your eyes James? Are we prehistoric throwbacks simply because we cater to the old as well as the young. You suck James, you really do. The problem with Blu Ray is that you have to pay $1,500.00 upfront just to use the name â€œBlu Rayâ€. So tell me James, whoâ€™s going to eat that expenseâ€¦? Are you going to pocket it wise guy? Weâ€™ll investigate Blu Ray once the price goes downâ€¦.
5. Do you think indie films should have a rating board like an MPAA? I ask this is because letâ€™s be honest Crocker, Disco Exorcist, Dolla Morte, and etc push the line between what is acceptable for a mainstream R rated audience, and material that should be either cut or hit with a soft X. But, because there is no rating board, these films just get an R in an attempt to try and get out there before being caught or found out.
A. At one time the Ratings administration had a important function, but this was during the movie theater days (remember them James, or am I dating myself!?). Anyhow, it helped classify motion pictures and set them in the venues that would work best for them. Donâ€™t forget, Cinema didnâ€™t pigeon hole back then, movies were movies and certain audiences (the general moving going public, who are usually cretins) needed help in picking their entertainment. Today, everything is genre oriented and we all know where to shop for what we want, so no, there really is no longer a need for a ratings board (except of course for the general public who still goes to see the current crop of shit!). Indi Cinema today usually specializes in being crude so you should know what youâ€™re getting into.
6. Do you think the internet killed the movie going experience? Or do you just blame Hollywood and the quality of films?
A. Itâ€™s both James. The Internet with itâ€™s downloads has killed the experience, and Hollywood making shit product has also put another pick in the head of good cinema. The public feels ripped off and now wants all their entertainment for FREE, hence no one makes money to put product out. Therefore no one wins. Things go in circles James, hence the big studios will have to think of more ways to entice audiences back into the theater. It may happen that way or the home theater will become king, but real money in terms of film distribution came from movie theaters, not downloads.
7. So I am on the TMZ website and then the E website, because that is where all we hip kids hang out. The shock to me being on these sites is that Wild Eye Releasing is mentioned on them. So Keith in past interviews you been outspoken for your dislike with reality show stars, you also been very outspoken in the past with your dislike of tabloid names. So here we have Tight which seems to have a reality show theme to it, and a tabloid name or two attached to it. Why Wild Eye Releasing and why Tight? Why the change of heart?
A. Dude, no change of heart, they are after our ass, not visa versa. These folks want our product, hence their coverage of us, itâ€™s them, not us. And actually, itâ€™s our product, not even us. Folks are interested in the diversity of the Wildeye catalog, thatâ€™s whatâ€™s propelling us. Get with it James!
8. I have to ask, before this film Tight were you familiar with whom Bree Olson was? Beside the Charlie Sheen meltdown stuff? Could we get a Bloody Ape 2 with you chasing her in that Ape suit?
A. Bree Olson will need to swallow my cock before she gets a role in Bloody Ape Part II, The Killer Gorilla Meets Magilla!
9. I have to also mention, that Mr. Crocker also had a cameo in a small film called Hack Job by James Balsamo. How did that happen for you? Do you enjoy being in front of the camera?
A. No, I hate being in front of the Camera. James was a fan of my film and asked me to do a cameo. I was complimented and did it, but honestly, Iâ€™m not a personality you put a face to. No one really knows me physically. So my cameo is lost on folks except die hard fans who know my films. I only act in my films to avoid doing additional casting. I donâ€™t per say like acting, but Iâ€™ll do it for friends in need or to make my life easier. Years ago, to get a film distributed in the movie theaters you had to have a star name attached. Today, thanks to self distribution, you donâ€™t. So I have no clue why guys go and give assholes who have passed their expiration date money to appear in their films. Itâ€™s really throwing Money away. Iâ€™d never do it. Whatever floats your boat I guess.
10. Why do you think Vinyl and VHS are making such a big comeback these days? I will be honest, I still shop for vinyl.
A. Endurance James, endurance. My vinyl from ages ago still plays fine, so do the bulk of my video tapes. Some DVDâ€™s and Cdâ€™s stop playing completely. Imperfect technologies I guess, but they donâ€™t hold up VHS and Vinyl in terms of endurance. Now, does this mean Iâ€™m going to spend hundreds on videos and records, no, certainly not, thatâ€™s price gauging, but, I will hold onto what Iâ€™ve collected and occasionally buy a goodie if the price is right. I need my money to make films, not to buy rare tapes.
11. If none of this happened for you Keith, the site, Wild Eye with Rob, and the films, what was your backup plan?
A. Suicide James, I planned on committing suicide.
12. Do people using terms like â€œgrindhouseâ€ upset you? I think most people have no clue what true grindhouse is, and just throw the word around cause they think it fits.
A. By all means James. The folks using the word think itâ€™s cool because Tarrantino used it. Itâ€™s all bullshit. Grindhouse is bullshit, it no longer exists and it doesnâ€™t really reflect what we genre enthusiasts like to see. These were theaters in large cities that played movies all day and night. Didnâ€™t really mean exploitation, all sorts of movies, it depended on the area the theater was at.
13. There is this deal right now not sure if you know or care, about Troma and a group of guys who call themselves the Astron 6. They had this film that went thru all this bs back and forth, and finally got released with Lloyd taking a few pot shots on the opening intro on the guys. Have you had a situation like that yet, that you got someone to sign a contract to release a film then they started to want more artistic freedom and this and that, and start shit? If so, what do you and The New Jersey Stomper Rob do to handle them?
A. Rob and I deal with films that are already finished, we never have to deal with that. If we were producing it would be a different story, but were not, so honestly we donâ€™t tend to fall into that situation. Thank God for small favors.
14. You are very outspoken with your dislike of the internet, bloggers, and anyone else that seems to get under your skin that day. Beside Procol Harum on the 8 track, is there anything you do endorse or like that does not involve you or Rob? I want to be there when you explain this question to Bree Olson, especially about an 8 track or anything reverent?
A. Yes, I liked The Raven with John Cusak, and I liked The Woman in Black (though I still feel the 1988 BBC version is superior). They were great, old fashioned period piece horror films. I also like to masturbate quite a bit. Other than that, itâ€™s 8 tracks and vinyl records all the way!
15. Last time I let you get your digs on bloggers. This time, I want to get my digs on studios and publicity firms. Wild Eye is not guilty of this, but Keith I want to share with you like you did with me about what you go thru with those darn bloggers. Studios and PR firms know my email on press. They email me daily about putting up press releases for these films; they lead me on to think we are going to get a film. I do all this fucking free press to sell a film and get them paid, spread the word then 4 out of 10 times no film and an excuse of they ran out of copies. The truth is that they never planned on giving me fucking shit. They give bullshit sites all these giveaway copies that I call bullshit that they are not giving away shit. Why not post the winners? Head Cheese, Wicked Channel we post our fucking winners and they even speak up about getting it and happy. So, I won prizes off two sites, and never got shit either time but excuses. They kept the extra copies to give to their friends and post a fake contest. Any thoughts about the other side of the coin?
A. Yes James, all the assholes are on the Internet, and they expect everything for free. Thatâ€™s were we are at my friends, and this exists because almost all fanboys do everything for free, so why not exploit them. As in for bigger boys stealing all the toys, thatâ€™s the sad truth, thatâ€™s the way this wicked world works James, get used to it, it only gets worse. And handicapped folks like yourself get stepped on the worst.
16. If people have never seen a Wild Eye Release in their life, (which I will say right now, what are you waiting for) what film do you feel is the best in your library for them to pop that cherry with?
A. Unauthorized â€“ The Story of Rock and Roll Comics and The Death of Andy Kaufman. Both very honest, heartfelt documentaries. The way filmmaking should be.
17. In some odd way it can be said that you guys seem to have your hand on the pulse of indie film in 2012. You got the young hotshot coming up in Bressack that has quite the following, you got Richard Griffin who people have claimed for so long he is so super talented, and Bill Zebub who is from some fucked up solar system that everyone seems to hate Jesus and all the women are nude. And letâ€™s not forget you helped up Balsamo another name in this indie film soup. Is there anyone you want to work with?
A. I donâ€™t want to work with any of these guys, we simply wanted to distribute certain films of theirs because the film has commercial appeal or itâ€™s a really good film. Regarding Bill Zebub, who is a one shot joke, a priest must have molested him because I canâ€™t figure out his Christ hate nonsense. Iâ€™m waiting for him to go after other groups, then Iâ€™ll start believing heâ€™s really crazy. Christian bashing goes on all the time, itâ€™s very trendy today, easy to do. Thatâ€™s not something to rest your reputation on.
18. When you watch a film, can you separate yourself from it and watch it as a fan as opposed to a film maker?
A. Yes, and no. If the film is real good and engages me, Iâ€™ll be swept away and not even want to admit Iâ€™m a filmmaker. If the movie is the usual garbage, you better believe I go â€œfilmmakerâ€ all over itâ€™s ass.
19. Keith, you are a film maker and you and Rob take the films personally. When a blogger, or even a magazine is negative to a film it is like insulting a baby. Do you think you have the right to retaliate? If so, do you think you have the right to say whatever you want no matter if it hurts them and make it personal? Also, you know it has happened to me more times than I can count, have you ever went off on a blogger or magazine and went personal on them because you did not agree?
A, Weâ€™ve discussed this before James, I told you, the more a person disses a film, the more folks want to see it. Attempting to protect it is like making excuses for it, why do that, let the film speak for itself. Besides, thereâ€™s too much bullshit on the internet and most folks tend to ignore it.
20. I got a question from Jeff Dolniak (Cinema Head Cheese writer). You know he talks all that shit all the time, and I am the patsy to his little jokes and totally innocent. He wants to know, what was a better accomplishment for you all the positive press you got this year, or when you witnessed firsthand the discovery of fire?
A. Dude, the discovery of Fire is far better than any of my films, so by all means the discovery of fire wins hands down. Another great moment would be to witness Jeffâ€™s death at the end of a firing squad, that would be equally as important as fire!
21. Letâ€™s be honest, you guys are having a great year with the Wild Eye. How much of that success can you give Facebook, Twitter and the Blogs for helping you guys?
A. Very little credit to those socially retarded mediums. Actually, I call it good film choices by both myself and Rob, and Robâ€™s mastering of publicity, he knows what to do to get the word out. Heâ€™s really a very bright guy, and most folks come to us about distributing their films. And yes, that is a compliment.
22. What do you think the biggest misconception is about Wild Eye Releasing?
A. That we specialize in horror films, which we donâ€™t, we donâ€™t want to be pigeon holed. We deal in all cult and pop culture cinema.
23. Do you think the few people who have negative opinions about your films, (which letâ€™s be honest not everyone likes everything) truly understand your vision or the filmâ€™s vision?
A. Most people these days have no clue how to read into a film. If anyone didnâ€™t like Blitzkrieg, itâ€™s because I didnâ€™t give them a rip off of Ilsa, which is what they wanted. I gave them a WWII flick from my perspective. Everyone watches a film with expectations, and for that reason they usually leave disappointed (perfect example, James DePolo doesnâ€™t like Bloody Ape because he heard too much good press about it and built up a whole different film in his head. Now, thatâ€™s not the filmmakers fault, itâ€™s the critics fault). But we all know James is a clown so we let it slide. My films mean something, they are the ultimate critique of society. Sure I load them with boobs and blood, but thatâ€™s just to please greasy kids stuff guys like James and Jeff.
24. Like Gay people have the right to be who they truly are, do you think establishments like Chick Fil A, have the same right to be who they want to be without coming under public scrutiny?
A. Damn fucking right James. There is no written law in this country stating that anyone has to like any particular group. Now, you canâ€™t go around physically hurting people you donâ€™t like. You canâ€™t deface their property. But there is no law stopping you from disliking them. So yes, I support Chick Fil A for standing by what THEY believe. Besides, all this crap is designed to do is keep you from thinking about matters that really are important, like how wee are being taxed to death, overcharged for utilities, overcharged by prostitutes. Anyone who makes a big deal about Chick Fil A is an idiot, go get a life and an opinion of your own.
25. Keith, you know this has become a tradition once a year for me to rile up your cage and the people love to hear you have your fun and speak. But, I know you got a lot of things you want to promote and share, my friend the floor is all yours. And all jokes aside, Dolniak, the Cheese, the Wicked Channel family, all love Wild Eye and thank you and Rob so much for these films.
A. You bet I do. Get your asses over to www.cinefear.com and buy things from me so I can continue to fund my own films. Then get your ass over here to read rare and Free access to out of print Exploitation Journals:
http://exploitationjournal.blogspot.co.uk/2012_05_01_archive.htmlThen get your ass over here to buy still in print Exploitation Journals: http://www.cinefear.com/journal.html
You got it now. Keep me going and Iâ€™ll keep you going. One hand washes the other. As always James, thanks for the interview, it was as fresh as yesterdays underwear.
That was special. This is how interviews should be. I hate when bloggers edit their interviews or reviews because they are scared they would come across silly or playing second to the person they are interviewing. I am always game to take any thing anyone gives me in an interview. This is what readers want not some watered down or maybe edit the answers to be friendlier or come across looking better than they are. I know what Keith brings to this, and I absolutely love it. Last year, he offended all the bloggers with his comments and I was not going to edit it. This time, I know he will ruffle some feathers again with his words, and you know what this is why indie films need him. Finally someone who has the fucking balls to be open and honest and say how it really is without kissing my ass or trying to play nice for free press. If you like this, seek out the other two interviews. They are really eye openers. And if Keith, was not vocal enough, I think I need the same censor Keith needs when it comes to being open, whoa what a interview.