It is pretty well known by those who know me that if a movie has the words "From Outer Space" in it's title, then I'm all over it. Killer Klowns from Outer Space, It Came from Outer Space...and now Killer School Girls!
When I first popped KSGfOS into my DVD player, I was expecting some school girls running around, with a UFO and some cheesy deaths. Man, I was not prepared for the ride I got! The first scene takes place on a distant planet, where a Killer School Girl lays waste to about 25 soldiers. Her laser gun doesn't just kill people....it makes them EXPLODE in a shower of blood and gore, with squishy sound effects that really hit the spot.
Even better, we then find out that Ron Jeremy is their Commander (who the girls call "Father"). So for those of you keeping track, that's 25 bloody deaths and Ron Jeremy in the first five minutes. I can't see how you could NOT love this movie!
The human characters follow the cookie cutter molds of the B-Movies the KSG riffs off of. Ben and Allie are high school sweethearts. Ben is thinking of quitting the football team because he feels that he is meant for something more. Hhhhhmmmm....forshadowing much? Could Ben be our hero? I think so!
KSG hits all the important notes that a drive-in classic needs. There's a game of chicken, the token sheriff who doesn't believe the kids who are trying to warn them about the oncoming invasion. As a matter of fact, I quite enjoyed the scenes in the police station as Ben and Allie try to convince the Sheriff of the danger. Deputy Moore is a little more open minded and agrees to go with them and check out their story. The whole thing is pretty much lifted from Killer Klowns....but it brought a smile to my face. Of course The Sheriff, Deputy, Ben and Allie form a formidable foursome that stands between the Killer School Girls and the annihilation of planet Earth.
Killer School Girls is pure B-Movie fun from start to finish. It's got everything: Humor, girls in short skirts, car racing, blood, spaceships, doomsday bombs, and a pervasive sense of fun. If you are a drive-in buff, you owe it to yourself to watch Killer School Girls.
If you read MC even every now and then, you know that I love B-Movies. If I could find a way to either snort them in powder form or inject them into my bloodstream, I would. So when I come across a film maker who shares my passion for B-Movie goodness, I shine a spotlight on them. Henceforth, I give you Mr. Alexander Shumake, writer and director of Killer School Girls.
I was able to catch up with Mr Shumake and chat about KSG, Angry Nun Productions and a variety of other topics:
Tell us about the genesis of Angry Nun Productions?
I’m not quite sure how we came up with the name, haha. My father and Angry Nun business partner, Bill Shumake, and I wanted to come up with a name that did two things: 1. Accurately represented the type of movies we enjoyed and planned on making, 2. Rolled off the tongue.
All I can really remember of the genesis is my father coming home one day saying, “I’ve got it, I have the name!” and when he said, “Angry Nun Productions,” Immediately we knew that was it.
How did you come up with the idea for Killer School Girls?
Killer School Girls from Outer Space evolved from a number of situations.
At the time, I was going to college and during one of my classes I sketched a fake movie poster for a film titled Attack of the Killer Bunnies from Outer Space- this was to be a movie about a group of Giant Alien Bunnies that terrorized a city (think Godzilla but with cute, fluffy rabbits that have laser eyes).
As time went on, this concept of “Killer Bunnies” eventually developed into the idea of—“What if instead of having the bunnies being rabbits, bunnies were Playboy Bunnies?” We liked the idea of this and still do to be honest, but somewhere between then and whenever we decided to write the screenplay it changed to Killer School Girls from Outer Space.
Whatever the beginning of the movie title ended up being, we knew from years of watching old school sci-fi movies that it had to end with- from Outer Space.
How did Ron Jeremy become involved?
Bill, initially meet Ron Jeremy at his 49th Birthday Party being held at, the now out of business, KATZ’S DELI during the 2001 SXSW Film Festival where “The Hedgehog” was promoting a documentary about himself, called The Legend of Ron Jeremy.
A few years later, Ron Jeremy was back in Austin, TX promoting his new autobiography when my father approached him with the idea of playing The Sheriff in our film. Ron was instantly thrilled by the offer and passed along his agents contact information.
Two years later, we had a finished script for Killer School Girls from Outer Space; we e-mailed Ron’s agent the script and made a deal for Ron Jeremy to play “The Father”!
How long did the film take from start to finish?
From concept to DVD in hand, the film took roughly 2 years to complete. Production lasted 15 days.
I know that Roger Corman is a huge influence on you, What is your favorite Corman flick?
Roger Corman is one of my all-time favorite filmmakersJ I can only dream of having the impressive career that he has churned out.
Picking one flick of Corman’s is too difficult of a decision, Haha. My favorite film of his wide-collection usually changes from one day to the next but some that constantly stay in my DVD player’s rotation are: The Wild Angels, Not of This Earth, Grand Theft Auto, Sharktopus, and Rock ‘N’ Roll High School
Do you prefer horror/sci-fi or would you like to branch out to other genres as well?
I will direct anything. I probably do have a preference towards making B-movies but only because they are personally more fun to make. I’ve directed a few dramatic pieces in the past where actors/actresses had to cry for the duration of a scene and while they turned out wonderfully, it’s SO draining. The whole crew drags and the environment is not as fun.
I’m a huge fan of B-movies, especially old school sci-fi of the 1950-60’s. If I never made anything outside of the sci-fi genre, that would be fine with me.
What’s lined up next for you?
We have a number of exciting and rather diverse projects on the horizon:
We’re working on several commercials for various locally-owned companies in the Austin, TX area, a PSA campaign for NO TEXTING while driving, a documentary spotlighting the head football coach of a top ranked university, and a slew of multi-genre screenplays with the intention to, both, produce or sell.
In addition, we are focusing a considerable amount of attention on Angry Nun Productions’ Indie Movie Making, www.indiemoviemaking.com – an in-depth filmmaking blog that provides movie makers, and aspiring movie makers, with the necessary tools and information that they will need in order to see their movie thru to completion and getting them distribution. We typically pitch it as, learn how-to-make a movie from start to finish and avoid the mistakes we so blindly made.
If you had unlimited funds and access to absolutely any actor/writer/director/producer/etc in the world and you had the rights to use any IP, what would your dream project be?
Damn, this is a massive question. There are so many geek thoughts swimming thru my brain right now, Haha. I’m going to answer this question in bullet points, highlighting specifics that I would like to include:
*The movie would have to be one of two ways: Epic- spanning many years, like The Shawshank Redemption or Contained- taking place in one day, like Dazed and Confused.
*It would be a period piece set in the 1960’s (preferably the earlier years, 1962-65)
*Music would be a main driving force of the narrative, much like American Graffiti and would feature pop songs of the early ‘60’s.
*The Cast would include an All-Star Roster (Including the entire cast of That 70’s Show).
In addition to a star-studded cast, I would hire the Killer School Girl family, positioning them in many, if not all, of the lead roles.
I strongly believe there are just as many non-named actors/actresses that are every bit as good as any big name in Hollywood; all they need to out-shine the big stars is a chance, or opportunity.
*Other “Dream Projects” include: Re-making Teen Wolf (1985) or Beware! The Blob (1972), Adapting I Dream of Jeanie for the silver screen, and/or Re-booting Batman – making it much like the 1960’s Television Show staring Adam West, I would cast Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly as Batman & Robin.
What are your interests outside of film?
Wasting Time, Reading, Watching Re-Runs of That 70s Show, Family Guy, I Dream of Jeanie, and a few Hana-Barbara Cartoons of the late 60’s-early 70’s, Writing, Going for Walks (not runs)J
What’s your favorite movie snack?
Well, I have a rule if I decide to go see a movie in the theater, and that is, I’ll only go if I can watch it at the Alamo Drafthouse- the amazing Austin, TX based movie theater that caters to film fans, and is owned/operated by film fans, and typically when I go I’ll order a Basket of French Fries.
(*If you visit Austin, TX, I highly recommend visiting the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema. In addition to creating a pleasant film viewing atmosphere, they have an awesome menu)
Do you believe in the paranormal/ufos/cryptids/etc? Have you ever had an experience in said topics?
I definitely believe in UFOs and The Extraterrestrial. I’m skeptic when it comes to the paranormal but I am still open to the notion.
Do you remember your first horror movie?
Honestly, I don’t. I grew up watching all sorts of movies when I was child, I was very fortunate to have parents who didn’t censor my viewing habits. I can remember when I was 5 years old my favorite movie in the whole world was PREDATOR, haha, it’s still pretty damn cool.
With that being said, I can recall the first, and I believe only, movie that ever gave me nightmares as a child which was the 1940 Disney Classic Pinocchio. The thought of turning into a donkey terrified me. Every 10 minutes or so I would wake-up my mother, and we would both go into the bathroom, checking the mirror to make sure my ears weren’t changing.
What are you going to be for Halloween?
Good question. I don’t know. I’m actually going to the costume store next week to look. I’ve toyed with the idea of going as Teen Wolf (1985, Michael J. Fox, not the crappy MTV show)
Anything that you’d like to add that the denizens of Midnight Cinephile might like to know?
Thanks for conducting this interview; it was a lot of fun. I would like to urge filmmakers to check-out our blog, www.indiemoviemaking.com, and of course if you enjoy watching beautiful girls shoot lasers in short skirt, check-out Killer School Girls from Outer Space. You can purchase the amazing two-disc DVD at www.killerschoolgirls.com, and if you dig the movie, please share it with your friends and spread the good word. Thanks!
A huge THANK YOU to Alexander for spending some time with us. No matter what comes next for him, you can be sure that MC will be eagerly awaiting the next Angry Nun film!