First off, tell us a bit about this Film Bastards Association?* (And who, exactly, are you supposed to hire to appear nude in your movies?)
TW: The Film Bastard's Association lives by a very simple creed: make your damn movie! It's that simple. To be a Film Bastard means having the dedication to finish making a film. And, believe me, it's one of the hardest things to do! As far as who I hire to appear nude in my movies, it really depends on the actress and the threshold she has. There is an old adage that an actress willing to be nude in a movie probably isn't a very good actress and a good actress wouldn't appear nude. It really depends on the role and type of script, I guess. I have had both good and bad actresses willing to shed clothes in my movies. No names, though.
Satan’s Schoolgirls is now getting a limited DVD release through Plausible Denial Productions but it was shot in 2004, whats been happening with it in the meantime?
TW: Satan's Schoolgirls has been sitting on a shelf. I shot it with some investment partners, and then we had a slight disagreement about what direction to take our business in. I really wanted to maintain control of the film, so I bought my partners out, got real busy with other things, finally focused on the film again after a year, shot some necessary new scenes, re-edited it, and authored the DVD. It took longer than it should have, but I am really proud of the final product.
The DVD is only going to be available through online retailers how important do you think the Internet is as a resource for filmmakers?
TW: The DVD at this time is ONLY available through www.plausible-denial.com, but Plausible Denial intends to pursue bigger distribution avenues down the line. They are already talking to a few people. I think the biggest mistake filmmakers make is signing a distribution deal before offering the film direct themselves first. Essentially, I am trying to make MY money back and Plausible Denial is trying to make THEIR money back before we hit the official distribution route. And sales have been very good, by the way. NONE of this would be possible without the Internet. It is a lifeline to the independent filmmaker.
You mentioned that you’re most proud of Flesh for the Beast (along with Blood Muse and Dreg) what is it about those things that makes you proudest of those, above all else? Is there anything you've been involved in that you regret?
TW: Blood for the Muse and Flesh for the Beast are the two films I am proudest of, creatively speaking. Dreg, my first novel, garnered some really good response, and I am currently considering a 2nd edition of the book. I don't regret making any movies, I just regret certain situations that have occurred or certain people I have worked with. It's unfortunate, but you do run across some real assholes in this business. And I'm sure there might be one or two people out there who think I'm an asshole. This is why I prefer self-producing. I'll never answer to another money man or company again. I'll make it my damned self.
A lot of your output, film and otherwise, is horror-related: why is that? Was there any one thing that drew you to horror in the first place?
TW: I love horror. Anything else seems boring to me. Can't explain. Won't even try.
Obviously as well as directing, you’re an author, and you’ve done myriad other creative-type things: is film your real love? How about acting: what’s it like being on the other side of the camera?
TW: Film is my bitch. I love acting, as well. I was very fortunate to be cast in two films in the last year. THE BUNKER was shot by my long-time friend Joe Monks, who is blind. Not a misprint. The man is blind. He went blind in 2002. But a great director. The man saw everything in his head and I recently watched a rough cut and WOW. Awesome. Folks can see the trailer for the Bunker at www.sightunseenpictures.com. I was also cast in the Blood Shed, part of the Hung by a Thread anthology. It was directed by Alan Rowe Kelly, a fabulous director. The Blood Shed is a cross between John Waters and Tobe Hooper. It was wild and info soon at www.hungbythread.com. I can't wait to see BOTH films, and I know they will both be well received!
What are your favourite films?
TW: Night of the Living Dead (the original), Re-Animator, Carnival of Souls.
You’ve been involved with compiling a couple of anthologies of short movies -- have you come across anything exciting in the process of putting those together?
TW: To me it's like the old anthology horror movies of the seventies. They're cool, and they're coming back in vogue, thanks mostly to the Eastern wave.
What are your feelings on the horror genre nowadays? Do you buy into any of the so-called saviours of the genre? Is the new super-sadistic, incredibly gory direction the future?
TW: I see some real talent emerging among the remakes. And yeah, it's gonna get brutal.
What else is in the pipeline for you now?
TW: I start my newest project, DEMONS OF FLESH, in a couple of months. It's, heaven forbid, anthology! One of the segments will be Christopher Alan Broadstone's SCREAM FOR ME. I think Christopher is one of the best new filmmakers out there. Keep up to date on this stuff at my website: www.terrymwest.com.
*Rules of the Film Bastard Association:-
1. Never compromise your vision or art (unless there is so much money in it that you can hire someone to wipe your ass).
2. Never be afraid to say no.
3. Never let a moneyman or distributor convince you that selling out is in your best interest (unless there is so much money in it that you can hire someone to assist the person you hired to wipe your ass).
4. You must throw at least one hissy fit on set.
5. Never cast an actress to appear nude in your movie.
6. Never cast a model who is cool with nudity as an actress in your movie.
7. At least ten times during production, say, "That's okay, we'll fix it in post!"