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Q&A with Anthony Cousins, Director of “The Bloody Ballad of Squirt Reynolds”

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Name a Horror character you relate to on a spiritual level? Who is your Horror spirit animal?
That’s a dangerous question, haha. I’m gonna go with Sam from Trick r’ Treat. He’s quiet and creepy, yet approachable, loves candy, and he has zero tolerance for people disrespecting the holiest of holidays.

You’ve gotta go through some bad ideas to get to the good ones. Tell us one of your bad ideas. How do you get past the bad ones to find your spark?
Too many bad ideas for one to stick out! I look at old notebooks and am astounded that I ever thought some of these idea were even worth writing down. The spark for any idea, good or bad, comes naturally. If an idea is truly bad you’ll probably realize it before you put too much effort into it.

Do you consider yourself part of a horror community?
There’s any incredibly passionate and supportive horror film festival community I’ve had the pleasure of being a part of the past couple of years starting with the wide acceptance of [Anthony’s other short film available via ALTER] When Susurrus Stirs. There’s an amazing group of up and coming filmmakers and we all seem to be on the same trajectory, running into each other at the same fests every year with our latest films. It’s awesome to see their talent evolve with every project and their voices become more clear.

When you’re building the world of your film, where do you look for inspiration?
I get a lot of inspiration from books, like the one When Susurrus Stirs [Anthony’s other short film available on ALTER] is based on. It gets the creative juices flowing more than watching movies. The stories are often way crazier and unfiltered in a way movies rarely are and I love imagining what the movie adaptation would be.

What would you do if you woke up inside of your film?
I’d have a s’more or two and then I’d get as far away from Camp Nawgonamakit as I can!

Who would be on your ultimate horror villain squad?
I’ve put way too much thought into this… Ultimate Monster Squad:
The Brains: Pennywise
The Brawn: Jason
The Heart: The Crypt Keeper
The Wildcard: Betelgeuse
Mode of Transportation: Christine

Lightning round: Freddy or Jason? Stephen King or H.P. Lovecraft? Practical or CGI? Post Apocalypse or Pre Apocalypse?
Freddy: Love his imaginative kills.
Lovecraft: King is the better storyteller but Lovecraft’s brand of horror and his tentacle-y “Great Old Ones” had a profound impact on me.
Practical: I’m a summer blockbuster fanatic so I love me some CGI but things like the defibrillator scene in The Thing or the car putting itself back together in Christine are just jaw dropping in a way that CGI could never be.
Pre Apocalypse: A more diverse sandbox to play in.

How do you go about creating the props and sets for your film? How do you create objects that are relatable but unfamiliar?
We knew we wanted an iconic celebrity’s face for the mask of Squirt as a nod to the William Shatner mask used in Halloween. Thankfully we shot in October so when we landed on Burt Reynolds we went to the nearest Halloween store to see if could find something to work off of. We found the grinning mask from The Purge as the perfect base. We added eyebrows and the classic Burt mustache with clay and then took a BLOWTORCH to the whole thing. Thus, Squirt Reynolds was born.

And finally, Ghostface would like to know ‘What’s your favourite scary movie?’
The Fly. And if anyone wants to fight me on that being sci-fi then The Evil Dead.