Horror Remix creator EJ Anttila on the art of the cut




EJ Anttila's Horror Remix gathered its first area fans at the Studio Movie Grill in Zona Rosa back in April of last year. The series of absolutely terrible horror flicks that were cut down to their entertaining essence — hosted by snarky puppets Cheesecake and Thunderclap — gained a strong audience. Sadly, when the Grill closed last September, Horror Remix was left without a venue. Happily, local fan Adam Jeffers took up the reins and began showing the cut up, trimmed down, and otherwise improved series of films at the Bottleneck back in May. The next installment of Horror Remix, "Horror Remix Is Baked," hits the Bottleneck's screen at 9 p.m Tuesday, August 30. We spoke with creator and remixer Anttilla via e-mail about the art of the cut.

The Pitch: What was the impetus behind Horror Remix?

Classic low-budget horror is my favorite genre, because the filmmakers tend to be highly inspired oddballs, but their motives aren’t clear. Most filmmakers in other genres seem so calculated and polished that the creativity seems stifled. Low-budget horror generally avoids these pitfalls. They go for it, blow it out like they have nothing to lose.

EJ Anttila: Even though it’s my favorite genre, I have to acknowledge these films lack the substance to legitimize a 90-minute runtime. So, I edit them down and pair them up with other movies to fit an overall theme, creating an old school double or triple feature in under two hours.

How many movies have you remixed thus far?

Around 50.

How do bars, clubs, et al., get in touch with you for showings? Is there a process for picking and choosing?

Horror Remix is a free show, so we don't have the juice to stage bidding wars for interested venues. In fact, we have zero juice. Bottom line: The Bottleneck likes to party. Horror Remix likes to party. It truly makes business sense.

Where do you find your movies? I imagine it's a trade secret - I tried to find a copy of "Cruel Jaws" and came up goose egg.

I made a deal. Thank you, Satan.

Why do you cut or leave in something? There's obviously some plot furthering that has to stay in to have the remix make some sort of sense.

I understand that editing someone else’s art is somewhat disrespectful, so my goal is to keep the spirit and integrity completely intact. Shaving down bloated chase scenes or removing uninteresting subplots usually does the trick.

What's the theme running through the new one, "Horror Remix Is Baked"? It seems like it's all straight-to-video stuff.

Yeah, there is straight-to-video stuff, but that’s not a requirement. BAKED was basically me highlighting my notebook and using all my favorite moments that never fit properly into past shows. This may sound like a grab bag of junk, but honestly, every moment was carefully placed to create a whole that’s greater than its parts. You could watch it as a ‘greatest hits’ compilation, but you’d miss out on a broader theme.

Anything you'd love to remix, but can't, due to copyright fears?

C-SPAN footage.

How do you deal with copyright laws, anyhow?

My dream team of lawyers.

Horror Remix Is Baked. from Edward John on Vimeo.

Find more info at horrorremix.com.

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