We all love our graduation ceremonies. The culmination of years of hard work and study, having our name called and going up on stage, our family smiling and taking pictures, and hungry flesh eating zombies. Oh wait…
That’s exactly the premise of the new movie Gory Graduation, as co-writer/director Joseph Henson explains.
So I understand that you originally got the idea for Gory Graduation from a fake IMDB entry of a nonexistent 1982 film of the same name…
JOSEPH: You understand correctly. Ironically, half of our fanbase are too young to remember the fiasco it caused via alt.horror and late `90s horror websites, but the other half seem to be excited that we’re finally making it a reality.
So is the film a dream project for you? Finally being able to bring the film that you wanted to see for so long to life?
JOSEPH: Absolutely. I spent years tracking that movie down only to get slapped in the face with the news that it didn’t exist. I hope our story we wrote does the legend some justice.
Do you feel that Gory Graduation will be a cut (sorry) above other recent slasher movies?
JOSEPH: I suppose that’s up to the viewers. I’ve learned NEVER to say anything about your own work that alludes to it being “above” the rest; anything can go wrong and taste is subjective. I just hope what we create will please people. Slashers are kind of on the wane and I just want to make an attempt at bringing them back.
And what is it about high school movies that you think people find so endearing?
JOSEPH: Older audiences probably like them as sort of a window; a glimpse into bygone days, or to see how kids have changed. I don’t know, really. High school movies are just fun, I suppose – especially high school movies where people die – brutally.
Can you tell us a bit about the cast and characters of Gory Graduation?
JOSEPH: We have a very large cast. One thing we want(ed) to do is to create a film with a stunning bodycount. Almost everyone WILL die – graphically. Of course, we’re clinging to a lot of “stereotypes” because what high school slasher would be complete without them? But at the same time, we’re attempting to create new “types.” I can tell you that one of our favorite characters is not even a high school student at all: she is a lazy, self-centered administrative assistant and it has been a riot coming up with her personality traits.
And can you tell us about the plot? Why will the titular graduation be so gory?
JOSEPH: The plot is essentially: a bunch of students and a few faculty members stay over after school on a Friday to decorate for the upcoming graduation ceremony. Meanwhile, the principal is facing a financial crisis that may see the school close its doors for good. She’s presented an opportunity for a modest financial boost via a group of filmmakers who want to shoot a horror film on the premises. Elsewhere, a wronged student breaks into the school to wreak havoc. And finally, all of these stories find themselves connected via someone dressed up in graduation garb, killing teachers and students left and right until their identity is revealed to be… Yes, it’s a whodunit. We wanted to layer the movie with parallel stories that intersect and convene during the conclusion while also keeping things “light,” for lack of a better word (I guess you’d say tongue in cheek). But, there WILL be some dark moments and a sense of doom/dread, but mostly, we want people to kick back with some popcorn and have fun. And it has to be so gory because, well, how can you make a movie called Gory Graduation without the gore?
And for a film with the word ‘gory’ in its title, can we expect a lot of gore?
JOSEPH: That’s our hope. It won’t be lingering, torture porn-esque gore but we hope to make a splash.
When do you expect to begin filming?
JOSEPH: All roads lead to this summer. We have a couple of minor details to iron out before we have an actual time and date, but we’re almost there.
Ash Hamilton is not only the owner of Horror-Fix.com, but also one of its major contributors. A long time horror movie enthusiast, Ash has lent his personality to radio and television and continues to support his favorite genre through his writing and art. He also loves beef jerky and puppies... and low-grade street-quality hallucinogens.