Interview from Nuclear Abominations Newsletter I/2020.
Alex Wesley, real name Alexander Sharoglazov. He goes by the name “Alex Wesley” as a tribute to William Wesley, the director of Scarecrows (1988). A huge fan of the 1988 cult horror movie “Scarecrows”, he often casts the stars of that film, Ted Vernon and Richard Vidan in his movies.
Let’s start with your latest work Freak In The Basement. How was the development of the screenplay like? What was Philip Brocklehurst’s contribution and is the movie going to be distributed anytime soon? Do you still work with Philip? Are you going to handle the distribution through Shan’s Horror Films? Ted Vernon is listed as one of the main characters and indeed you mentioned Scarecrows as one of your earlier inspirations. How did you get in touch with Vernon and how’s it like to work with such a legendary figure? The movies involves aliens and cyborg, is it some sort of mashup of genres?
I start work on this project two years ago and film still not done.
Philip Brocklehurst is executive producer and yes we still work together, he great guy and my good friend, we make a lot films together already – Mutilator from the Grave(short), Traces of Gore two parts, Demon Mind, Post-Apocalyptic Desolation(short), Death Cases (another shockumentary)
I own Shan’s Horror Films, after I try work with three different distributors I lost trust for them because they all steal money from sales, so I decide sale my films myself. Here my advice for indie filmmakers – never work with any distributors, they all steal.
Ted Vernon not main character in Freak is IMDB mistake, he got cameo there, Ted my good friend, back in 2010 we make film Zombie Infection together, I meet Ted because I love Scarecrows. In Freak Ted let me use his footage from his film Hammerhead Jones. Scarecrows is my favorite one horror film ever(that why I use name Wesley, tribute to William Wesley – director of Scarecrows) it was great work with Ted, he is very nice guy I hope we make more films together someday. Aliens and cyborgs in Freak arrive last scenes for twisted ending, so they not main characters.
Is your project Bloody Vengeance going to be filmed? How’s the status on that one?
Bloody Vengeance is working title for Demon mind.
How did Demon Mind go? You mentioned it was shot on a decent budget, how was it financed?
A lot of friends help make me this film, I don’t remember I ever say it was shot on decent budget but it was bigger budget than I ussually got.
and I never make this film without Philip Brocklehurst and Niels Van De Sype.
I was very upset when distributor steal money from sales because I was hope I get some money and use it for finish Freak project but all I got is 150$, “thank you” Jason Toth and Toxic filth video.
Talking about your two shockumentaries Traces of Gore I and II, what was your main inspiration for those titles? More like Faces of Death/Gore or way back to the early italian Mondo movies? How did you manage to get that footage by Nikolai Yaropolk? Was it an old VHS or digital? Is Traces of Gore III already being worked on or it’s still just an idea? What about Art of Death? Is the script ready?
Inspiration was Faces of Death series, some scenes fake there some real, it was fun work on those films, very cool when people watch fake footage and believe is true. Traces of gore 3 rename to Death Cases and it have a lot of more real footage, film done and edited, right now I wait original soudtrack for it.
Nikolai Yaropolk is just a joke, my pseudonim for shockumentaries.
Art of Death – brilliant script written by Philip Brocklehurst (this guy also super talented writer) in this script group of people trapped in art gallery with demons who escape from art works, is one of our future projects, we try find money for it. We want make this film in Rome with real horror stars of the past.
Gallery of Gore contains most of your old short movies including Dr Tumor, Brainwash, Drugs. Zombies Eat My Guts also includes three shorts. Do you plan to do more shorts after Freak in the Basement for a similar release? Being a fan of Creepshow do you plan to create a backbone of an overarching stories that includes all of your more recent shorts?
I love make short films and yes I planned make a lot of shorts in the future. I always was huge fan of horror antologies and Tales from the crypt series.
My new anotology will be done soon, include shorts Mutilator from the Grave and Post-Apocalyptic Desolation.
Is Shan’s Horror Films managed only by yourself or it’s a separate activity? Do you personally handle distribution in Russia and worldwide?
Yes is managed only by me, is worldwide.
With a running time of an hour, Demon Mind is possibly the closest to a full movie you have shot together with Zombie Infection (70’). Do you think you’re ready for some longer feature or you think this is the correct running time for a splatter movie? Demon Mind has clear references to Lamberto Bava’s works, how far did that movie influenced you in shooting Demon Mind?
I wish make it more than one hour but my budgets. Yes I’m ready for longer feature.
I don’t think one hour is correct running time.
Sure, it was references to Lamberto Bava’s works.
Demon mind is prequel of Art of Death and I have idea make this film after I read Art of Death script.
Nuclear Abominations is 80% music, 20% disturbing sleaze and gore cinema. What do you usually listen to and do you want your music to create the same feeling as your movies? How did you get in touch with Yan Kaos?
I love listen old underground russian rock.
I think music means a lot for film atmosphere, work now with very talented composer Yury Andreev (he also main character in my new short Post-Apocalyptic Desolation) and my another talented friend Dmitry Chmelyov (he also great director) make music for me (his music in Mutilator from the Grave and Demon mind) and I have another great composer – Victor Guzhavin.
Yan Kaos let me use his songs in Traces of gore 1, he great guy and my friend.
I think I meet him when he ask me about short film for his horror antology.
There is a clear 80’s feel in your movies, have you thought about writing something set in those years?
80’s was gold time for horror genre and I try work this style with only practical effects without cga bullshit.
I would love make movie like it was from 80’s. I even have idea make film use fake name there and some tape effects and make people believe is lost horror film from 80’s.
You are often compared to German Splatter directors like Schnaas or Ittenback. What do you think of movies like Violent Shit, Premutos or Das Komabrutale Duell? How was it like actually working with Schnass in Zombie Infection?
Those directors was my inspiration. I love Violent Shit movies. I love Premutos but I destroy all Ittenbach’s movies I have and I never again see Ittenbach’s films. This guy hurt me very much, I contact him on Facebook and he was very very rude with me.
I never like Das Komabrutale Duell, shit fx and brown blood, I never understand why some people like this film.
I never work with Andreas, I just contacted him and ask make scene for me, he nice guy, huge honor for me have his cameo in my film because he like teacher for me. He also make cameo for my another film Tumors. I hope I meet him someday and shake his hand.