Hello and welcome back to another delicious segment of The Indie Huntress! This particular article has been a bit in the making because of it's unusual nature. I literally hit the streets this time and went indie hunting. My bounty came in the form of the incredibly gifted Erick Gutierrez. Normally my interviews are done through email correspondence or other text form- this time I was lucky enough to capture an actual face to face interview, to which I was not disappointed. Coming straight outta Detroit, Erick met up with me to talk comics and his upcoming short films. We laughed, we got serious, and I knocked over my delicious corned beef sandwich. A true shame being an Irish gal....
I met Erick like so many others, through Facebook. Then again at a local film festival and have spoken on numerous occasions. He recently brought the first issue of his comic, "Max: The Inebriated Rabbit" to life. Let me give you a little bit about Max. Max is a complete degenerate. He is a prostitute hound, coke loving, alcoholic, piece of shit. And I freakin' adore him. In the first issue, we meet Max while he is in his apartment with his girlfriend, Ofelia. Max had been on a bender and she reminds him her birthday is coming. She's a tough, sweet and oh so very sexy woman that clearly is into a bit of beastiality, but has a soft heart for Max. She puts up with a lot of his shit- and loves him endlessly....
We then witness Max go through a series of madness. From going to the bar, hustling for cash for a present and then wasting it all on blow and a voluptuous hooker. He sets out with the good intentions of pleasing his lady, but time and again just screws himself through indulgences. This comic is not for the faint of heart- as it dives into the the sickest twists of the mind and raw desires.
On putting this comic together, Erick tells me that he had set out to do this some time ago. He had written the scripts but just couldn't get it to pull together. Was unsure of his ideas and at the time was working full-time at a demanding job. He had shelved the idea for a few years before returning to it. I asked him what the turning point was for him to pick it back up, he grinned and said, "John Marroquin" I couldn't help but to give a big cheesy smile, knowing John a bit myself. I have been lucky enough to experience his work as well, and have several of his pieces or art at home along with his comic, "El Mariachi".
Erick went on to explain that he and John had been friends since school. They had essentially grown up together, graduated together, and remained as friends for years after and now. He spoke of John pushing him to make his dream of Max coming to reality. He said, "he literally dragged me to a convention with him one day. Had me at his table to watch the magic unfold. As he conversed with old fans and newcomers, I knew this was what I wanted." Erick took on a look of inspiration as he related this story to me, smiling wide with his eyes lit up. I could tell that moment was important to him. Life changing, really. He spoke of others that aided him during his time of uncertainty, people that drove him to keep pushing for his dreams. Other superb creators from the area like Dirk Manning, and Kasey Pierce,...the list went on of his supporters. The convention life really is like a tight knit family- never ending support and care for one another. Also- shenanigans.
On what was coming next for Max, he tells me that he will be getting a job and going straight edge for a while. At my look of shock and admittedly some disappointment, he laughs somewhat evily and tells me, not to worry because Max's trouble making is far from over. Relieved, I sit back and continue slurping back my food and IPA. Issue #2 is in the making as I write this, and I look forward to it greatly.
Erick is also working on the scripts to a few short films he wishes to direct; however, one of his screenplays, "Bender" will be hitting the silver screen soon as a full feature. Bender was directed by Virginia Bryant. You can watch the trailer Here.
Bender can be described as three friends on a mission to have a good time. While their lives are all equally distorted, intertwined with alcohol, drugs, running the streets- they collide together into a series of serious mishaps. Coming on strong with true Detroit style- filled with grit and brute force. This will be playing soon at local theaters.
Erick had also sent me some additional screenplays to read for two other short film adaptations. One for a film called Mr. Chippy. Chippy is.... well... he's a complete monster. As Erick put it, "I wanted people to hate Mr. Chippy. I didn't want them to like him in any way." Chippy is a puppet from a children's television series in this short. Coming to life and wreaking havoc for his owner. Murder, drugs, alcohol, and genital destruction all take place in this. The lead character, Todd will be played by THE Chris Brown. A Comic shop owner whom I know personally, and I don't have a shred of doubt in my mind about his performance. Chris has had involvement in several other short films, and will suit the role perfectly.
As far as Chippy goes, Tony Miello will be playing the part. Tony has had a recent role in the film, "Aladdin 3477. Tony has also written such works as, "Gapo the Clown," and has put together a fine collection of Edgar Allan Poe poems paired with art, called, "Portraits of Poe ", along with Bill Pulkovski and Bruce Gerlach. I have the sense that Tony will be able to capture the evil of Chippy's essence in a way that will be powerful, crude and entertaining the way it is presented in the written version. Erick tells me that filming should begin July 11th with Steve Mclaren as director of photography and Erick being the director. They are currently having a puppet made and selecting a puppeteer for the film.
Another short that Erick has written and will begin filming soon is, "Her Name is Vengeance." At its core it is in the realm of 70's exploitation, of rape and revenge. The first thing I related it to while reading was the cult classic, "I Spit on your Grave". (Not the remake. The original from 1976, with Camille Keaton.) Really that's how it rolled through my mind while reading it. I was awestruck and pissed off as a woman- that this girl had these violent acts performed on her.... however, much to my pleasure, at one point she does some very terrible things to one of her predators with a pair of garden shears..... let that sink in for a moment....
Erick's eyes shine as he says, "I wrote that specifically for Laura Kriss. Because of her acting skills. I know she would be perfect for the part." He goes on that he really got into exploitation and sexploitation films from the 70's and 80's eras. He wanted this to be over the top with effects and acting. He describes Vengeance as a man-hater and hunter... until she finds one that shares common ground: Dan. Unfortunate events await, and lead into a brawl so intense- my heart was racing hard as I read on. Filming for this is in hopes to begin next year, as locations and people are being secured at this time.
Our evening went on, as we joked on about a variety of subjects. Continuing on and off track. Erick had intense energy, as he spoke of his works, excited that things were finally falling into place and coming together. Which is the very reason why I 'hunt' (so to speak) for independent creators. I started this journey, long before I became a fixture here on The Outhousers. With special thank you to your Indy Hunter: J.M. Hunter for positioning me here. The tales that independents tell of their work, successes, pitfalls, and bringing their dreams to life- is a remarkable experience. The love and passion for their respective works, shines bright as the sun, and I am thankful for them sharing that with me.