The End of Her Rope

It is the last straw, this, the last time. This time his whore came to our home, dressed, or rather undressed, expecting him to be ready for her. In our bed. Not the first time, but certainly the final time. I’ve paid, and dearly for his indiscretions, physically, emotionally, having to swallow my pride and my hurt for the sake of his. It ends today.

She won’t be missed

I played the injured lover to the hilt, preying on her softer side. She knew he was involved, more of his lies are revealed, as she spills her guts over coffee, tears flowing over her cup. It makes me sick to watch her cry, all that emotion. I did the same, but they were false, simply a way to draw out more information, and she spilled her guts like vomit. Months of lies and purposeful manipulations he slathered on her, making her believe he loved her. How stupid of her to believe in him, his silver-tongued lies, always providing lip service so he can get some of the same. He cares for no one save himself, and he will pay for this violation. He promised after last time, when I caught him, and he nearly killed me in a rage after I confronted him. He will come to wish he’d finished the job.
Few times in our years together have I been glad for the isolation he forces upon me, living in the furthest reaches of civilization. The trees are a welcome cover for the next heinous deed I must perform. I smile, slightly, at the remembered terror in her eyes.

Her eyes widen with outright fear, as the coldness overtakes me. She’s seen the blackness that lives where I used to have a heart, the deep hole of hatred I harbour. She is up and out of the chair she sits in, blindly backing away. Her calves hit that horrible excuse for a table he HAD to have, and she tumbles backwards, her bare legs sprawling and revealing the bareness of her hollow. She followed instruction to the word. She scrambles to her feet, her loose-lipped maw open and screeching FIRE at the top of her lungs. The fire is out back, slowly smouldering as it waits for me to feed it more than wood and brick. I advance on her, pulling a designer knife from the back that sits on the kitchen island, yet another example of his falsity. Scream, I tell her, scream till your voice breaks, my own voice cold as the most bitter winter night. No one can hear you, I say, keep screaming. She does, long and loud, buzzing like a chainsaw in my ears.

Fool.

I wrapped my hand into the mop of ashen blonde hair, feeling it slide through my fingers like a sinuous snake. I clamp my hand hard and yank her head back, hearing its protesting snap as I pull, much as he probably does while slamming himself into her night after, “I’m working late” night. Making eye contact, I hold her gaze as I pull harder, exposing the tender and delicate flesh of her throat. The sounds she makes are sickening me, useless begging for her life. She doesn’t deserve to live. She sees the black rage seeping from my eyes and peals shriek after shriek her terror; it hurts my ears, makes my eyes bleed and I just want her to shut the fuck up. Holding the thick handled blade, I dig the tip into the smooth skin of her throat, drawing a blood poppy to the surface, and tear it across to the other side. Her shrilling stops, leaving in its wake only harsh bubbling sounds; I prefer that to the constant blaring, and her blood gushes over the ragged lip the blade made as it tore and ripped her flesh. My hand is coated with nearly too hot blood, as it pattered to the floor in a scarlet bloodfall, pooling at her feet.

I’ll have to clean that soon, before it begins to harden

My rage was too large to contain, a spitting monster that had to be let loose, and I destroyed her, first thrusting my knife over and over into her body, losing count in the screaming noise in my head, then with the axe, dismembering limbs and head. He’d hurt me so many times, with his words, his actions….his fists, attempting to break my spirit along with my bones, and she paid for all his indiscretions.

My arms hurt from the exertion, having hefted the axe I found in the shed, being unaccustomed to its weight, and chopped her empty shell into bits, a soundtrack of calm in my mind as I did. I fumble with the Advil bottle, and pry it open with my teeth, dry swallowing three before continuing to rid myself of what remains of her, feeding her dismantled bits into the flames, into the pyre. It is a burning Hell, the heat bringing a mist of sweat to my face, in the light of the morning sun. Soon there will be nothing left, as the fire’s hunger devours the diseased flesh of this…thing. Her hair goes up in a flickering blaze as I toss her head in, sparks exploding into the air. Too much product darling, I laugh, chuckling into the sunlight.
The sun is warm, as is the air. My fire warmed skin cooling in the slight breeze, I soak in the rays as I return to the house and the mess I have made. I will have to open all the windows and air out the house as I wash her vile blood from the floors, and soon, before it starts to dry. The concoction I mix to clean will aid in covering the stench of blood from the space, but I take no chances. He must not know until the time is right that his lover is gone, and I will delight in the pain and horror it will cause him. Opening the door it hits me like a brick wall, the smell of death redolent in the air.

The house reeks of copper as I scrub the splatter from the cupboards and counters, on my knees, soaking up the pool of now cool redness that gathers there. I wear no gloves, despite the intense toxicity of the cleaning solution, and my hands are painted red from wrist to my fingertips. Bloody gloves. My mind aches with the desire to punish him, the vision of what will be playing like a movie behind my eyes. He deserves every torture I can inflict, every pain I can devise, the possibilities are endless, and I feel damp with delight as I imagine him screaming in agony. Better, screaming with no voice.

He called a while ago, exactly when escapes me, only the dry ticking of the clock is counting the minutes….hours? Time means nothing to me now, only the deep-seated hatred that eats at my soul with sharpest teeth, and the knowledge of his death will finally bring me the freedom I crave. An adventure he said, his smug, lying voice like an ice pick in my brain. I wanted to lash out, slice his vocal cords as I had hers, the words strong on my tongue, but I withheld, instead acting surprised and pleased that we would be going away. “To reconnect,” he says, as though I have little clue about his cheating ways, about all the women he’d had in our bed, in our home, the lipstick stains on the wineglasses we rarely use, his underwear…fury screams in my head.

I burn the rags I used to mop up the mess I’d made. The pyre has burned low and red-hot, the logs I’d piled atop the bricks that lined the bottom of the pit covered in the ashes from her bones, as I watch the flames jump up, licking along the edges of the thin cloth. The fire animal devours the last vestiges of her existence, now not even her blood remains. There is not a drop of his whore left in my home; I cleaned and scrubbed every inch of the space I inhabit, twice.

A shrill ringing assaults my ears, damn, her cell phone. I race to the door, desperate to find the damnable thing before he waltzes in the door, demanding his dinner and God knows what else. I will have to play nice, as much as I’d rather bite that thing he is so proud of off than be anywhere near it. There it is, just under the corner of the divan that sits useless most of the time, its cheery ringtone an abomination. Happy…of course it would play that. She was happy enough, at the time. His number on the screen, and 10 texts varying from professing love to out-and-out worry. I giggle as I read, a true comedy are these messages, as if he could possible love anyone more than himself. Flames can’t rid me of this problem so easily. I turn off the phone, removing the battery and put both pieces into my purse, I can use this later, to throw at him as he….

It will be useful.

He slams in, throwing his keys on the kitchen table, leaving a light scratch across its surface. I feel that fear rising in my throat, knowing better to do more than breathe. Not if I am to finish this on my feet. He says not a word as he glares around the kitchen, nostrils flaring at the tang of the cleaner in the air. He growls at me, making some snide comment about finally bothering to clean, and the rage rises, nearly overflowing. I bite it back, and my tongue, hard enough to bring blood to the surface and tears to my eyes. Satisfaction colours his eyes, thinking that he won again, little does he know.

I wander around the far side of the island, preparing to serve dinner when my head is slammed to the marble surface of the countertop. He stands over me, holding me there as my own blood stains the shining surface, ruining the hard work I did just hours before, and unbuckling his belt. I know what comes next, and I know better than to struggle, so I simply stay still, waiting for him to assert his supposed dominance, all the while playing over and over the plans that I have to end this once and for all.

He enters me with no preamble, holding the same knife I had used to cut his slut’s throat to my own, and commences hammering himself into me, as though that will change a thing. He presses the knife’s tip harder, I can feel it about to break through the skin, when he loses interest, throwing it to the ground and pulling out. I breathe a little deeper, not daring to move or speak, yet eying the knife block and judging my distance. I’d as soon end him now than wait, the thought of driving that butcher knife into his skull with every ounce of strength I have mouth-wateringly sweet. He lifts my head from the counter by my hair, his hand twisted into my hair, yanking it hard as he does, and throwing me, callously, to the floor. He tells me to clean up the mess I made, and stalks off to the bedroom to change.

Slowly I rise to my feet, holding the edge of the counter to balance myself, eyes, though feeling loose in the sockets, staring directly at the knife block. I stagger forward, my foot slipping slightly on the spilled blood once again on the floor, rage warring with the need to gain back my equilibrium. Seething, my fingers curl around the handle of the large butcher knife that I’d pulled free, leaving it dangling at my side. My fury lingering just below the surface, I make my way to the bedroom, ready to end his pathetic life and free my own from this Hell I have had to endure for too many years. The shower is running, less to clean, should I do it now.

By the door, the luggage sits, aside the chair he stole back when he loved me, from the hotel where we spent our first night together. It has been noticeably absent over the past few years, and its appearance makes me recoil in confusion and suspicion. How I could have missed this is upsetting. It wasn’t there when he come home. I put the luggage there myself. From behind me, I hear him, the jingle of his keys as he grabs them, dragging them across the polished surface of the table, more scars to add to the collection, the tap running in the kitchen, and his happy humming as he throws the prepared dinner I’d made into the trash can. Still, I stand, bleeding from the split skin on my forehead, staring at this chair.

He asks me if I plan to change, a joking tone in his voice, handing me a wet facecloth to wipe the evidence from my face. I don’t respond, instead making my way to the bedroom, the den of iniquity, pulling my ruined top over my head as I do. The plan plays loud in my ears as I throw on something, paying little attention to what it is, simply one minded and determined to finish my torment. All is silent as I return to the kitchen, no presence of the bane of my existence, perhaps he took the opportunity to kill himself. But no, he is in the yard, warming his hands over the pyre of his now dead lover. I smile with the coldest touch of frost, feeling the coldness return to me as watch him pour water over the pit, washing down the ashes, drowning them. He sees me, his eyes narrowed and wary as he walks back towards me, fists clenched at his sides. Good. I hope he suspects what I’ve done. Should he lay another finger on my body, I will, with no remorse, cut his head from his body.

Having locked the door, he snatches the trash bag from the back door, tossing it to me as he grasps the luggage, the suitcases tied and playing tag along, with one hand as he lifts the chair with other, a strange and disturbing expression on his face. Yes, there is something niggling at the back of his mind, burrowing in like a panic rat just beginning to stir, and my lips curve as I set the alarm and turn the key in the lock. I have nothing but time now, nothing but the infinite pleasure of knowing it’s begun.

I don’t know where he is taking me, just that the road is dark and isolated, a back road. This is not the way to the hotel. I know now there is no hotel, no “weekend getaway”. He stares straight ahead, unresponsive to my demands to know what he thinks he is doing, knuckles white on the steering wheel. I see. I understand now. What I’ve planned in minute detail in my mind, he plans to inflict on me, or try to. As usual, he hadn’t planned ahead, hadn’t considered me in this at all past the decision that I was in his way of life with his slut. He won’t have that now, but he doesn’t know that yet.

He turns into an overgrown driveway, the trees and grass brushing at the undercarriage of the car, scratching at the windows and the sound is harmony in my ears. Here is where it will end, for one of us, for him. I’ve learned my lessons, studied, planned carefully. I have no fear left, instead, in the place where it lived for so long a fire is burning, consuming all in its path. I stare at him, hard and cold, letting the darkness carry whatever love I might have had away, leaving only rage, murderous intent.

The building he chose for his demise is an old and hulking relic, its stone walls weathered and beaten by the cruelest mistress of time and weather, its windows amazingly still intact, glittering like eyes in the moonlight that streams through the surrounding trees. Little point to screaming here; the nearest neighbour is miles away, far past he reaches of human voice. Good. He won’t scream anyway. He couldn’t with no air in his lungs.

The front door is standing open, as though waiting for us, slowly wavering in the slight breeze. The ghosts of this place are welcoming another soul. It won’t be mine. He appears at my window, a leering and malevolent smile on his lying lips, and I let my face show fear, my eyes fill and spill over tears. I feel nothing. Fear does not exist here, only the overwhelming desire to peel the flesh from his face, the need to rip his tongue from his head and watch him bleed out. He opens my door, and seizes me from the seat, his fingers digging deeply into the meat of my bicep, straight into the muscle that aches and moans from my exertions. I don’t fight much, just enough to let him think he’s won.

He hasn’t

I am thrown through the front door, where I land hard amongst the dust and debris left behind by those that have entered it before me. On the wall someone has written “You are in Hell” in blood-red paint. Wrong. I was in Hell. This is heaven, if it exists at all. He brings the chair in, holding it by its back with one hand, the other carrying a duffel bag, no doubt full of the tools he thinks he requires to end me. He won’t get the chance to use any of it.

The chair, its red velvet cushion gleams in the meager light, bringing to mind the first time he had me, when he loved me, if he loved me. When he reveled in my flame hair, drowning in the curls, when he called me his Bloody Angel, his Queen. Oh how he was going to build me a palace. Lies. Meretricious lies, all the while carrying on behind my back, flaunting his indiscrete rendezvous, thinking me too blind to see. Saying he loved me while he prostituted my own love for him, promises. Always promises.

Lies

I refuse to respond to his demands that I stand, to come and sit in this chair while he tells me a few truths. Truths, or more omissions of truth, it doesn’t matter. I won’t make it easy for him. I want him to struggle, to suffer for his lack of foresight. He crouches beside me, his finger under my chin, forcing me to meet his eyes, and whispers how he plans to have me again, like the first time, in this place, and how the evening will end with a surprise. What a fool he is. It will end in surprise, and then, I will be free.

From the duffel bag he pulls a coil of rope, old and frayed, most likely from the shed behind our house, and I hear the rattle of other utensils within it. A pair of pliers falls from the bag, and I glance at his face, marvelling at the shock and horror written there. He doesn’t have the guts for it. I do. I ask him, innocently, what he plans to do with the rope, and he chuckles in what he perceives to be an evil laugh, as he winds the end into a noose, replying that he wants to try something new. There is no way that noose is going over my head, or near me if I can help it.
Above, the ceilings are open rafters, wide enough apart to swing the end of a rope over, and I see the plan he has in mind for me. I watch as he glances around at the rafters, trying to figure out how to loop the rope over it. Feigning innocence, I suggest he stand on the chair. He does, tracking dust in footprints on the crimson fabric, and I grit my teeth, holding back the need to shove him head first off of it, to watch him crack his skull on the hard floor.

The rope goes easily over, the noose now hanging parallel with his face, and he suggests I try it, it will be fun. I tie the loose end to the wall sconce bolted tightly to the wall, making sure it is tight and unmoving, then I ask, sweetly, as he expects, for him to show me. He slips the rough lariat over his head, tightening it around his own neck, smiling his liar’s smile, all teeth, no sentiment and I snarl, knowing the time is close.

I reach into my purse, and pull his whore’s cell from it, sliding the battery home and turning it on. His eyes bulge from his head in shock, as it plays its cheery tune, announcing more messages, probably from him. Meeting his eyes, I speak a truth of my own, that I know. That she was in our home, that he forgotten he had made arrangements to meet her while I was not there, again. How she spilled her guts to me over a cup of coffee.

How I killed her

With a smile full of malignant malice, my lips feeling white with the same frost that coats my heart, I drift closer and kick the chair out from under him. His feet dance in the air, reaching and kicking for purchase, as his hands grasp at the rope digging and choking him, cutting off his hair as his face turns puce. His body twists and turns, slowly spinning as he struggles to draw breath. I feel little, perhaps curiosity as the final indignities are visited upon him.

I sit astride the chair he stood on, the very chair where this all began, watching as he stares holes in my eyes, his hands now at his sides, opening and closing like some demented toy, probably wishing they were choking the breath from my own lungs. Survival of the fittest.

I could save him, if I did it now, cut the rope that he hangs from, and allow his pathetic excuse for a life to continue. I’d suffered at his hands, over and over, beaten till I couldn’t breathe, broken bones, he tried to break my spirit. Could I trust that the second his feet hit the floor that he wouldn’t be on me, letting his fists speak the words he is too inept to speak himself, I would show some mercy. If I had any. I don’t

Instead, I watch him. I listen to his harsh choking sounds, as he struggles and strains to catch air, my chin on my hand, alone in the dark. I feel little now that it’s done, even let down now that it’s finished. The coldness in my soul is growing, spare enjoyment of watching his final air dance, feet twitching in the air. In spite of all I had to endure, all the times I wished for his death, and for mine, prayed for some way out of this Hell I was living in, that this feeling should be so strong. I want to relive what I’ve done, relive what I’ve caused. I watch him swing.

@MelanieMcCurdie

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Giggles and Gore – An Interview with Bloodmania Producer James Saito

 

Photo Provided by HGB Entertainment
James Saito – Producer of Herschell Gordon Lewis’ Bloodmania Photo by Kenneth Locke and provided by HGB Entertainment

A few weeks ago I was afforded an opportunity to view an upcoming film at an exclusive test screening that had been flying on my radar for a while.  Curiosity murdered the feline, so I agreed to attend and also had the chance to finally meet in person the producer of “Herschell Gordon Lewis’ BloodMania”, James Saito.  As a fellow Canadian, and Calgarian, when the chance to interview him was discussed I naturally jumped at the chance.  Since then I’ve discovered more about this fellow, his sense of humour, his extensive knowledge of music and film and the insights of a producer and fellow wordsmith.

It’s a rarity to find someone who knows the genre so well and is willing to share, and even rarer to find such a rare gem in one’s own city. James, I am so pleased for this chance and thank you for taking the time out of your busy schedule.

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How bout them Seahawks?  

It is a glorious time to be a Seahawk fan. Bear in mind that they have been my team since they entered the league in 1976. The first 30 or so years of fandom were disappointing, heartbreaking, and filled with ineptitude. It is such a delight now that they are a powerhouse, and can beat anyone on any given Sunday! When they won their first Super Bowl, I remember thinking, “I can die now, they finally did it”.

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Now, I’ve never been accused of being meek, so James, I want to get this out of the way.  Are you single? Looking?  I know a few ladies out there are wondering.

Ha, oh boy. Okay I was expecting almost any question except that. (Pauses) First let me say that I usually avoid questions regarding my normal personal life, but I guess it’s safe to say…I am single, but I’m not available. Though we are no longer together I am very much still in love with someone, one of those, “I found my soul mate, it seems she didn’t” scenarios. Mistakes were made. She has my heart in a box, and unfortunately love has no off switch. So I guess I will love her until I don’t. In the meantime I have nothing to offer anyone else emotionally, so it wouldn’t be fair to get involved with anyone at this point. However having said that shoot me some pictures of these girls who are wondering………..

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Who have been your literary influences?  Film?  Television?

God there are so many, off the top of my head:

Literary: Harlan Ellison, William Goldman, Tom Robbins, and I attribute my dirty, politically incorrect, and sexual sense of humor to the golden era of National Lampoon magazine.

Films: Alfred Hitchcock, Quentin Tarantino, Akira Kurosawa, Peter Sellers, The Marx Bros. W.C. Fields, Ken Russell, David Lynch, Hammer Films, Universal horror films, early Bond films – I could go on for hours.

Television: The Twilight Zone, Deadwood, Boris Karloff’s Chiller, Thunderbirds, and of course Star Trek. (OS, TNG, and DS9, the rest with the exception of the final season of “Enterprise” was utter rubbish. That’s right, suck the snotty end of my fuck stick “Voyager” fans!)

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Tell me about what first drew you to the horror genre and how its kept you its prisoner all these years?

This would be hard for a modern kid to understand, but when I was growing up most television was black and white and we had two channels. Sometimes the only thing to watch later at night were Creature Features and such. What young boy doesn’t love monster movies? I would watch all the late night Universal films available, and as time passed Hammer films began showing as well. I found that it was kind of fun to be scared, and that is why I think horror has been around since we sat in caves telling stories by firelight. I believe it is cathartic to hear or see something scary, to experience it vicariously without personal consequence.

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You grew up in Lethbridge Alberta.  What was life like then for young James?  Were you firmly entrenched into horror even then?

Oh yeah, I would scour the TV listings to see what horror films would be on every week. By the time I was eight I was collecting “Famous Monsters of Filmland”, reading “Eerie” and “Creepy”, and building Frankenstein and Wolfman model kits. At ten I wrote a story called, “Operation Werewolf” about a young G.I. who is given an experimental lycanthropy serum so that he could combat Nazis as a werewolf. If anyone steals this idea please at least give me a “based upon a concept by” credit.

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What was the first horror film you remember seeing?  Why does it stick with you?

I think that would have to be “Mr. Sardonicus” a 1961 film whose details escape me as this was like 50 years ago. I remember this guy wearing a mask and he removed it to reveal this huge, horrible grimace/smile on his face. I seem to recall that this was quite disturbing to a very young me.

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Who is one musician/composer or band you would want to meet and why?

Igor Stravinsky – he wrote a mean fugue.

Thank you, try the veal !

Seriously though, having worked in the rock world for many of my formative years allowed me to meet and work for a lot of my musical favorites.  I would love to buy a pint for Jimmy Page and Robert Plant and chat. Obviously I would buy a pint for each of them, I wouldn’t make them split one. They deserve that much respect for their body of work, by God!

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What keeps you in Calgary when there are other, perhaps more lucrative cities to live in?

You mean Los Angeles or Toronto?  Let me paraphrase the great Hunter S. Thompson,

“The film business is a cruel, shallow one filled with con artists, sycophants, wannabes, clinger-ons, and delusional folk who think one should be handed success without regard for paying dues. But, there’s also a negative side.”

That is a fair evaluation. As for California, it is a wonderful place to visit, but I want no business dealings there whatsoever. Allow me to quote Herschell, “Hollywood is a fraternity that I have no interest in joining”. With all due respect, the film environment in Vancouver and Toronto isn’t much better.

Working in Calgary allows me the freedom to create my own little world, and one enters by invitation only. I have been fortunate enough to assemble a core team of industry veterans and we are all compatible. Any success in this industry is a combination of hard work, luck, and fortuitous timing. Should I go on to find any level of success, I will be grateful because of those factors. I stay in Calgary because it is going to be a much busier location for filming in the next five years. We have a major studio opening soon, so that combined with our relatively weak dollar make it desirable and sought after.

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I know you’ve seen likely more films than anyone I know.  How many film have you seen?

Obviously I don’t count, but if I say around 10,000 it would be fairly accurate. I have a friend in Vancouver who has seen at least twice that, I consider him a true cinephile.

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Why specifically zombie film reviews?

I have been a fan of the zombie genre since I saw the original “Dawn of the Dead” in 1978. In the late 80’s a friend and I decided to try to review every zombie film made, of course back then there wasn’t the glut of substandard shit that assaults the viewer on an almost daily basis. I can barely find the time to watch them now, which is probably good as there are maybe 3% that are worth spending precious hours of one’s life watching. I still have around 200 to watch and review, but I have to really space them out otherwise I will simply end up hating a genre that I once had a great deal of affection for.

Herschell Gordon Lewis' Bloodmania Teaser Poster provided by HGB Entertainment
Herschell Gordon Lewis’ Bloodmania Teaser Poster provided by HGB Entertainment

Let’s discuss BloodMania. 

First, let me personally dispel a few misconceptions about BloodMania, and I am sure that James will expound further upon this as we chat.  Herschell Gordon Lewis’ BloodMania surprised this girl into giggles more than once during the film.  Not horrified giggles but full on guffaws.  I actually laughed out loud, though at an entirely inappropriate segment. Several friends of mine are in the film, and I can never see them in the same way again and that is great. 

Herschell Gordon Lewis’ BloodMania is simply not your expected gore fest.  Oh I’m not saying there is none, just that anyone expecting that this anthology to be only that is in for a bloody surprise.  Having stated my opinion, working with the Godfather of Gore must be an interesting experience.  What can you tell us about him?

I love Herschell, I mean that literally, not in a Hollywood talk show way. He has become like a second Father to me. It is indeed a privilege to have spent so much time in his company. He is funny, sometimes acerbic, witty, and far more intelligent than I think people give him credit for. He is a truly complex, one of a kind individual who represents a gentleman from another era to my way of thinking. I guess he is literally that. We speak all the time. I have managed to learn so much from his counsel not only in regards to the business, but life and how to conduct it as well.

Diabolique Enterprises will also be publishing the definitive book on Mr. Lewis and his storied career sometime this year. There is also some talk that we may film a documentary entitled “Architect of Destiny”: One on One with Herschell Gordon Lewis”.

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How did you come to be able to involved in the project?

The anthology was my brain child, I grew up loving the anthologies produced by Amicus studios like the original “Tales From the Crypt” and “Vault of Horror. I have come to believe that the short horror film is a preferable format, not individually however. Many young film makers will make a short that may or may not receive accolades at festivals and such, which then sit on a shelf. Once they are combined however it provides a variety of ideas to the viewer.

Everything starts with an idea, but sometimes they fall prey to what I refer to as “Saturday Night Live” syndrome. Your premise may work effectively in a 25 page script, but ultimately becomes diluted in a 90 page version; it requires padding and affects pacing in many cases. From a practical business standpoint if you present 3 or 4 well conceived stories the viewer is likely to enjoy a number of them, and will spend money even if he or she doesn’t care for one segment.

Initially Herschell and I wanted to do a feature, but due to a bit of fuckery and circumstance that didn’t prove viable. A few months later we decided on the anthology format and that was that. The project then went through several incarnations, potential directors, writers, and wrap around segments before we were finally satisfied. At times it was like a fucking comedy, one that I will provide details regarding should I ever write my memoirs. I would love to go apeshit on the Blu-Ray commentaries and tell the unadulterated truth with actual names, warts and all. But that would not be politic and undoubtedly actionable. But someday……..

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Was it a conscious choice to film locally?

There was never any question that it would be shot anywhere but Calgary. The mission statement of my production company states:  “HGB Entertainment Ltd. will endeavor to promote the film and television industry in Calgary Alberta”. I want to give back to a community that has been nothing but good to me.

Herschell Gordon Lewis Photo provided by HGB Entertainment
Herschell Gordon Lewis Photo provided by HGB Entertainment

There are many rumours floating about that speak to whether or not BloodMania is just another gore fest.   How does it differ? 

Herschell and I decided early on several criteria. The idea being was that first and foremost we wanted the film to entertain the audience, we wanted to put them through the entire spectrum of emotion. If the audience laughs, and gets a little scared and uneasy then we have succeeded. So scripts were the priority, and we went through quite a number of them before deciding upon the ones in the film. We also decided that there had to be a prevalent element of humor as there are many dour films out there. There is no gore for the sake of gore, what is there is organic to the story. I will say that the one segment that contains no humor I was responsible for, it is straight out psychological horror. But then one of the other criteria was that each segment be an entirely different take on horror, a little something for everyone. So in the end we have one that is psychological horror, one that is a comedy of errors, one that is a creature story, and another which is an homage to 80s slasher films. I’m certainly not implying there is a lack of blood, it would not be a Herschell film otherwise. I will say that the effects are 95% practical and we used over 20 gallons of stage blood to implement them.

What can audiences expect from Bloodmania?

I would say the unexpected, go in with an open mind. This film was originally conceived as a bridge between the H.G.L. of the 20th century transitioning into the 21st. Casting was pretty much done by the time Mr. Lewis arrived in Calgary, and he was pleasantly surprised to have actual actors on set. There are also a lot of Easter eggs in the film for Herschell’s hard core fans to keep your eye out for. Watch it and have a good time, and if you say to a friend, “You have to see this” then we have done our job.

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Your segment contribution to Bloodmania is much different than the other journeys we take.  Truthfully and I’ve mentioned it more than once, all the stories included in Bloodmania have their own flare and style, but the one you wrote is the one segment of the film that has really stuck with me.  What inspired the story?  What can you tell us about it? 

Every once in awhile Raven Banner Entertainment will play a horror film across North America for one night only. On one particular evening I went to see “Nothing Left to Fear” produced by Slash from Guns N’ Roses’. It was preceded by a short film that I recall wasn’t all that good. As I sat in the theater I recall thinking that a person has to be able to do better than that. At that moment the idea for the anthology began taking shape. So enticed was I by the idea, that as I lay in bed that night the entire idea for my segment came to me. I now knew the story, and the more I thought of it, the action sequences came to me. I grabbed my phone and made notes. The next day I hammered out a first draft in one sitting. It changed very little from conception to filming. Any changes that were made were predicated by whatever actress was going to play the central character, and there were three that were associated at various points. Director Melanie Reinboldt made several wonderful suggestions, and I am very happy with how she interpreted the script and brought it to life.

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What is upcoming for James Saito in 2016?

That depends on so many factors. I am fortunate to have a number of large distributors wanting the film. I have been blessed by a confluence of circumstances, a legendary cult icon director, affiliation with the Premiere genre horror magazine and their amazing marketing abilities. Once contracts are signed, we begin promoting the release heavily. After that…..I don’t think most people believe me when I say that I could walk away from this deplorable industry anytime and never look back. That is certainly one option. However I believe the future of horror is in television, and there are a couple of non horror scripts and a horror remake that I would like to do. Nothing is etched in stone.

In my personal life I want to devote more time to my volunteer duties at The Calgary Wildlife Rehabilitation Society. I am currently taking my raptor handling training so that I can take owls and hawks to various locations – classrooms, senior’s centres, etc. to give seminars on the importance of bio diversity and raise awareness of the importance of preserving species around us. I will also be shooting some PSAs to raise the profile of this important organization and am trying to put together a fund raiser for them as the money provided them to operate is deplorably low.

Economic conditions being what they are, I would finally like to see what kind of property I can acquire in Kelowna, British Columbia, which I consider Eden on Earth. The world today is a mad house, and I am becoming a bit of a bitter recluse, so the idea of a beautiful getaway home where I can have cherry and peach trees, and one day open an animal sanctuary is more appealing every day. I love animals, humans not so much. And hope does spring eternal, maybe one day I will find someone who would like to share this life with me.

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Thank you again James.  Watch for Bloodmania coming soon to slay you with salacious delights.

Melanie McCurdie

January 14, 2016

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Herschell Gordon Lewis' Bloodmania Official Poster provided by HGB Entertainment
Herschell Gordon Lewis’ Bloodmania Official Poster provided by HGB Entertainment

Pertinent Links

James Saito can be found on Twitter

For more on Bloodmania visit the website here 

Follow Bloodmania on Twitter Bloodmania is on Facebook too

Follow HGB Entertainment Ltd. on Twitter HGB Entertainment Ltd. is on Facebook

Diabolique Films on Twitter Diabolique Films on Facebook