Midwest: It's Not Just For Flying Over Anymore
a sissy from America's Breadbasket (aka, a "Flyover State"),
I am particularly pleased to present the following interview
with indie sissy Jason Paul Collum, who seems
to be a genuinely delightful person despite being from my
arch-nemesis state of Wisconsin (we Iowans are a territorial
bunch -- and Cheddarheads can't drive for SHIT).
slipped onto the horror scene with a series of direct-to-video
cheapies while just finishing college, and in the tradition
of the most glamorous Hollywood stories of old, was discovered
by none other than Gay Horror Warlord Dave
DeCoteau at the soda counter of Schwab's drugstore
at Sunset and Vine. Or something like that. But before you
can click your heels together three times and say "There's
no place like Wisconsin", Collum was chilling out with
the likes of Brinke Stevens and Julie
Strain, working on a half-dozen of DeCoteau's Rapid
Heart boys-in-underwear epics (The Frightening,
The Brotherhoods, etc), and basically proving
all his guidance counsellors wrong by having a successful
career in film production.
after long last, Collum has returned to the dairy state to
direct the gay horror pic October Moon, which
promises to be "a drama of horrific proportions"
(a description that I had thought was reserved for Glitter).
Ever the nosy sissy, Buzz pressed the devilishly clever and
disarmingly charming Collum for his thoughts on his new film,
ogling straight boys in underwear, and the silly genre we
all know and love. And guess what? He pressed back...
Buzz has come as close to being violated
by Jason Paul Collum as he ever thought he'd come, and lived
to think about it fondly every five minutes. Read on for the
The Many Mugs of Jason Paul Collum
(photos by Ward Boult)
you worked for years for fellow CampBlood.org interview victim
Dave DeCoteau. Did he ever try to squeeze your butt?
Thankfully no. It would have been like my mother molesting me...
if she were a raging queen. Besides, I'm not his type... I'm actually
gay and over the age of 19....
You don't look a day over 17. Did you enjoy working on the Rapid
I honestly can say that I did. I learned a lot about the business
from David. I also knew with The Brotherhood that
something special was being created. It may not be a deep, emotional,
life changing experience, but he was taking those small steps into
getting gay horror out there in a way that was non-threatening to
the general public. I, meanwhile, was behind him screaming "Why
aren't they naked and kissing?!" Not so subtle, I guess...
I learned that while it's honorable to make a movie that speaks
from your own heart, there's also a need to make movies that make
money. David has that aspect down to a science. He also taught me
how to interact within the business, specifically the B-Movie business,
and how to get noticed... which on his sets is to bust your ass
and get the job done.
What’s the story on this 5 Dark
Souls thingie? Looks like a labor of love of some sort
– how’d you get it off the ground?
5 Dark Souls and its sequels really are not much
more than a labor of love. I was a Senior in college and had already
directed a steaming pile of a movie called Mark of the Devil
666: The Moralist (1995), which, I might mention, had a
killer going after those he deemed immoral to society (i.e. queers
and hookers). It had made its
distributor (Moore Video) some quick cash, so they asked me to write
& direct a sequel to Three on a Meathook (1973).
I had started working with my own angst in
Junior High/High School and developed a story about these three
nerdy kids (hence, Three on a Meathook), two of whom had some fairly
obvious gay-tendancies. The leader of this gang of popular kids
picks up on the "interest" one of the boys has in him,
and gets his clique to trick these nerds into the woods with the
intention of killing them "Just to see what it would be like
to kill someone." They rationalized that since they were nerds,
no one would miss them. I hated calling it a sequel, because it
had nothing to do with the original. Then the title 5 Dark Souls
(the 5 killers) popped into my noggin'. Much catchier. I made it
for CHEAP, got some good notices for it, it actually made a nice
chunk of change, and we went onward with the sequels. I look at
it now and kind of go "Yikes! Some amatuerish movie making
going on..." But the story and parts of the movie still hold
true to my heart and what I was trying to express. GAY KIDS RULE!.
Buzz gets his proof.
(actually, it's Jeff Dylan Graham and Sean Michael Lambrecht
in October Moon -- but I can dream, right?)
long have you been a sodomite?
Are we talking in my bedroom or in
there a difference?
wise... 10 years and I've still got the whip marks and a
general need for enduring torture... In my bedroom... you'll
have to come over so I can show you in person....
Really? Pitcher or catcher?
How have you reconciled being both a dirty sissy and a horror
fan – do people treat you doubly-bad? Or do they cancel
each other out?
People seem to love me as a dirty
sissy... I think I'm too non-threatening. So when I talk
like a dirty sissy...and I do mean DIRTY...it catches them
off guard, and makes them like me even more.... You should
hang out with me when I'm in full trailer-park mode... I
actually get more weird looks from loving horror. People
just don't get it. They all seem to think I enjoy seeing
people get killed. That's not it at all. I just love being
scared. And they also always associate horror with porn...a
comparison I still just do not understand. It annoys me.
how has your experience as a homo in the horror community been?
Do you feel it’s a group that is accepting of gays?
Oddly, no. Not accepting, which boggles my
mind because soooo many fans seem to be GAY! I appeared at the Halloween
25 Horror Convention in Los Angeles last year -- WALL TO
WALL homos! Yet people just steer clear of me when I'm at my table.
J.R. Bookwalter and I play a fun game. I'll step
away from my table and we'll see how many seconds it takes for people
to surround it, then immediately dispearse when I go back. It's
very amusing. I've had the joy of being called a "fag"
a few times at the cons. The thing is, so many horror fans seem
to be outsiders-- queers, nerds, or just simply "misunderstood"
folk who find horror to be their escape from the real world. Yet
they come down on each other as well - especially on the horror
message boards... I seldom partake in them, but whenever I click
on I read nasty message after nasty message. Where's the unity and
love? A very different crowd from when I first started attending
conventions as a fan back in the days when DeCoteau would have found
me attractive... However, I would like to note that very OUT gay
horror fans have been very generous to me...complimentary even.
Many letters and e mails from "fans" (for lack of a better
term) who want to say hello just because I'm gay. So I'd like to
thank them for not being assholes.
do you think your faggotrocity has contributed to your narrative
Greatly. My earlier works -- especially my
very first screenplay, Last House on the Left - PART 2
-- often dealt with the angst of being gay. One of the lead characters
in my stuff was always secretly gay and would go through the process
of accepting themselves. The earlier stuff was also VERY VERY dark...
a lot of my own personal anger at myself and at society involved.
As I grow older, my material is still dark in the tone of violence,
but there's more humor infused throughout. I'm a happier person,
so I'm able to bring both sides of the queer experience into play,
and hopefully as a result get a more rounded story.
you think that it’s possible to have good, scary gay horror?
Does gay sexuality even have a place in the genre?
You'd better believe it has a place. What's
the most prominent aspect of a horror film? The outsider. What's
more on the outside than being gay? Plus, horror is supposed to
make people uncomfortable. GOOD horror makes people THINK. There's
a lot of politcial nightmares right now with gay rights. What better
time to strike? Straight America is AFRAID of us. Why? I think it's
because we're waaaay more creative. We look good. We follow our
dreams more often. With many of us childless, we stay youthful (or
perhaps immature) longer than straight couples. And even though
we probably hurt more on the inside about the way society acts towards
us, we often portray this image of joy and laughter and fun and
dancing. So maybe it's not hate... perhaps it's more jealousy?
there be a good SCARY gay horror movie?
Yes. It simply has to be believable, like
any good scary movie. It has to pull the audience in and involve
them -- gay or straight. And there can also be two kinds of gay
horror movies. Movies about gay people in gay situations, or movies
that are about everyday topics which just happen to have gay people
as the leads. I think they can both work.
your favorite final girl (cough! Amy Steel! cough!)?
I LOVE AMY STEEL. My fave Friday
girl... though I really do love them all. Amy's the fiestiest though.
That's why she won my heart. I think I even had an odd hetero type
crush on her as a kid (gasp!).
you a horror fan growing up? What in horror did you identify
I HATED horror as a wee queerling. I
thank Jaws (1975), Burnt Offerings
(1976) and Tourist
Trap (1979) for permanantly f*cking me up. I
couldn't even watch TV horror ads. (And to this day I can't
swim in large bodies of water, wince when I see pall bearers,
and literally CAN NOT stand still next to a store mannequin.)
That all changed when I was about 12. Horror became very cathartic
for me. It even consumed my life. I couldn't see enough of
them! I would always imagine myself within the movie. I was
never the killer or the victim -- I was ALWAYS the final girl.
Even when there was a guy with the girl, I was still the girl
2 - I was Lisa, not Jesse).
My easiest analogy is to say that I was this person who had
so much terror and drama heaped onto them -- something they
didn't bring on themselves, but were forced to deal with anyways,
who comes out bruised and battered, torn and deshelved, but
always survived. They remained strong in the scariest situations...even
when someone else was trying to destroy them. They always
came out the winner. Now what does that sound like I'm describing?
Do you think fags like horror because it’s a masochistic
experience and gays are encouraged to be self-loathing? Or
is that just me?
Honestly, I believe my answer above.
I suspect many gay men are simply placing themselves in the
role of the heroine. Plus, how dramatic is it when the girls
have torn clothes, messy wet hair, and runny make up! It's
like they're demented drag queens! Come on, boys, admit you
liked Amy Steel the best because she got
the most fucked up and peed her pants under the bed...(though
Marilyn Burns of the original Texas
Chain Saw Massacre gets pretty mangled too -- and
look at how many queers love that one!).
where the fuck is Brookfield?
It's a western suburb of Milwaukee.
And I only list it as my birthplace for technical reasons.
I was physically born there. Lived there for 9 months. Spent
the remainder of my queer youth in Racine, WI, about 40 minutes
south... I really consider Racine to be my home town. (Not
to mention there's cuter boys in Racine...)!
Talk about a dead lay...
(Jeff Dylan Graham and Sean Michael Lambrecht in October Moon)
talk DeCoteau again – he gave you your break, right?
How'd that happen?
I'm probably going to inflate his ego about 10-fold, but,
yes, Dave gave me that BIG BREAK. It was part of a chain...
I had met Brinke Stevens at a fan convention
in 1994. We stayed in touch and when I moved to Los Angeles
in 1998, she took me under her wings and started introducing
me to people. One of these kind folks was J.R. Bookwalter.
I met him at one of her famous back yard BBQ parties. I'd
been a fan of his for many years, so I babbled endlessly to
him, sized him up and realized he wasn't gay and trying to
get down my pants, so I assessed he was genuinely interested
in what I had to say. I mentioned being a fan of DeCoteau's
as well, and that I'd wanted to get in touch with someone
who would help me get some gay horror movies off the ground.
To my genuine surprise, Bookwalter worked with DeCoteau at
Full Moon, and a few days later DeCoteau
called me himself for a meeting. A very cool day.
and I clicked right away...two fags with a love of boys in
their undies. Go figure. He offerd me a double-whammy. He
hired me on as an Assistant Director on his new company's
maiden release, Ancient Evil: Scream of the Mummy
(2000). He also got me a meeting with Charlie Band
to develop a series of gay-themed horror flicks. This was
late 1999. Band seemed interested, but it never really came
to be. Meanwhile, Ancient Evil was a success for DeCoteau,
and we worked well together, so he offered me the Line Producer
position on The Brotherhood -- which I TURNED
DOWN. It may sound like a stupid decision, but I just felt
I was underqualified at that time and didn't want to fuck
up a good situation with him. So he instead made me an Assistant
Director and Production Coordinator. I REALLY had to bust
my rear on that flick -- I actually lost 10 lbs in 4 days
making it. I guess my dedication impressed him, because he
kept hiring me on his flicks over the next two years and even
put me in charge of Marketing and Publicity at Rapid Heart.
was it like being around all those boys in their underwear
all the time? On the Rapid Heart movies, I mean...
DELICIOUS... Let me share a story. I'm on the set of Ancient
Evil. In wanders Michael Lutz -
a perfect, perfect body and face, and genuinely nice guy.
He's in only his white undies, which promintently display
his large, um, talent, and has to get gore FX applied to his
bare chest. So he lies on a bed for an hour while this is
done. As the process starts, there are 3 of us in the room.
5 minutes later, 8 people...10 minutes, about 20 people...
all standing around the bed smiling and staring directly at
his crotch. This is when I suddenly realize that not only
are there 20 people in the room, but they're all gay men.
I hadn't noticed before that 80% of the crew were gay men.
very similar story could go along with that regarding filming
the seduction scene between Bradley Striker,
Sam Page and Chloe Cross
while filming The Brotherhood... but I'd
just be repeating myself.... One thing I would like to note:
Of all the boys David DeCoteau has hired onto his movies to
be oogled by gay men, 99% of them were absolute dolls to work
with. Nice, genuine and gracious guys.
readers want to know: is Sean Faris a good
You'd probably have to ask his girlfriend... (insert sounds
of weeping here).
Oh... so that's
where the "Moon" comes from...
(from October Moon)
new movie is called October Moon. And the
story is about 3 men who have a love triangle that gets
bloody. What does that have to do with the moon? Is one
Believe it or not, it is actually more than just a cool
title slapped onto a movie. An October Moon is described
by the character Elliot (Jerod Howard)
as he speaks to Corin (Sean Michael Lambrecht),
the man of his dreams -- His description of the moon is
actually a metaphore of how he views Corin... this gorgeous,
perfect man he knows he'll never get.
just so beautiful and perfect...and untouchable. It's the
most incredible sight. I'm happy just being able to look
at it, even though I know it'll never be just mine."
It's a very nice, moving moment in the movie... very sad
at the same time.
movie sounds just like Making Love, if
Kate Jackson were a man. Are you saying
that Kate Jackson is a man?
I hear she has a pretty narly set of balls....I've never
seen Making Love, though I do know of it.
Is that what it's about? Dang!
your site says that the movie is based on actual events.
It's based on actual relationships and conversations, both
between myself and two previous relationships, a friend's
very bad experience in coming out to his family, and a very
close and personal experience between my mother and bio
father -- whom she caught in bed with another man... those
sorts of fun things. This is a VERY personal movie for me.
I had to watch portions of my own life play out before my
eyes, which was both good and bad. I had to deal with a
lot of issues I'd locked away over my previous 31 years.
The characters are all based on people I know, but each
character is additionally a little part of me... even the
crazy guy. That's why I hope this fucker makes money...
it was an incredibly draining experience -- but also an
excellent release. So it was good and bad. Happily, there
have been no actual murders -- yet.
and Brinke Stevens seem to be thick as thieves
– what’s she like to work with?
Pure Heaven. She is one dedicated woman. Both professionally
and personally. She comes in prepared. She gives it her all
emotionally and physically. And she understands the medium
and the stress levels we work at on practically non-existant
budgets. No complaints and a true joy for what she does. I'm
now a professional film maker because of Brinke Stevens.
She pryed open the movie business door long enough to make
sure I got in, and for that I will forever be indebted to
tend to think that Brinke, as with most of the Scream Queens,
is better than her material. Are you giving her something
to work with here?
Thank You. I couldn't agree more. Have you ever seen Brinke,
Linnea Quigley or Michelle Bauer
act? Because they CAN! Linnea is wonderful in Kolobos.
Michelle has this incredible sense of comedic timing in soooo
many movies! And Brinke deserved all the attention she got
for the Mommy movies. They need to be directed!
They need to be given material to chew on. Not just given
a script and a pat on the back saying "Go for it!"
may seem like I'm patting myself on the back, but Brinke really
does have something worthy of her talents in October
Moon. She does a fantastic job! No shower scenes.
No chase scenes. No death scenes. She's a fun character who
plays wonderfully off of Sean Michael Lambrecht's
"Corin." You really get the sense that they're best
friends. There's such a great spark between them I'd recommend
somebody hire them as a straight couple in a romantic comedy.
She gets to actually ACT. I just hope she's as proud of her
performance as I am. My other hope is that the gay set will
fall in love with her as well... open her career to that audience
as well as horny straight guys. She deserves it... she's an
excellent "Fruit Fly" in real-life.
did the denizens of Wisconsin feel about being host to a gay
horror movie? Did they come after you with torches?
Not yet. The thing is, most of the city has no idea a gay-horror
flick was shot here. They have no idea 9 other movies have
been shot here in the last 10 years... it's a pretty oblivious
town. It's also a town where people often don't state their
true thoughts out loud. They'll probably talk about it like
it's fine, then go home and rage in disgust. Not really my
concern at this point. The people who do know are a bit weirded
out at first, then think it's cool. So you're guess is as
good as mine. We'll have to see how many picketers showup
outside the theater on premiere night...
do you think of the current homo horror trend? Seen anything
you like/identify with/get off on?
I don't see much of anything. I know the Dead Guys
on Film series/company is basically a reverse on
the W.A.V.E. movies of the late 1990s. I hear Hellbent
is actually a pretty decent flick. And I'm still confused
as to wheter or not Hard
is actually a gay horror movie, or a police thriller with
a gay character. And Make
a Wish... eh, Lesbians... I do believe we're
at the start of a trend that's going to be HUGE. Mark my words...
in two years there will be so many gay horror flicks nobody's
gonna care anymore. One thing which does make me laugh is
everyone's claim (including our own) that they're the first
gay horror movie. Sorry fellas.That honor was taken back in
1972 by Sometimes
Aunt Martha Does Dreadful Things... You see,
Aunt Martha is actually a man in drag who kills the women
trying to steal his gay lover away... Similar in plot was
Too Scared to Scream (1982), and of course
the controversial Cruisin' (1980) by William
Friedkin (Buzz: Yes, we
don't say the "C" word here...). So
we're all actually just approaching the subject with a new
Incomparable Brinke Stevens with Judy, a Time-Life Operator
(from the set of The Frightening)
what’s the story on the movie? Will it be coming out
soon? Any screenings slated?
We're in the final (THANK GOODNESS) days of post-work. Securing
music rights, etc. Looking at theatrical showings in Los Angeles,
Chicago, New York, Seattle, Milwaukee, Greenbay, Boston, Miami
Beach and Palm Springs to start. Hitting the major gay areas.
We'll also be showing at Film Festivals, Pride events, gay
bars across the nation, etc. How well it does decides how
wide we release it. We're a bit behind schedule and should
have been in theaters already this month. The DVD release
is currently listed as September 27th, but it's more likely
to see DVD in July. So now we're rushing it out to theaters
to get as much exposure as possible before hand. Still aiming
for the end of April with the theatrical showings.
what's Jason Paul Collum's idea of horror? What makes a good
Again, any movie that sucks me in --- makes me forget I'm
watching a movie. For me personally, I need realistic situations.
Think Texas Chain Saw Massacre, The
Last House on the Left, Psycho...
movies that could happen, or already have. Monsters and most
supernatural doesn't scare me very much anymore. I need to
feel genuinely threatened. I need to be afraid to leave my
seat and go to the bathroom... or walk back out to my car
afterwards not because a monster from outerspace might get
me, but because a human monster could.
would you kill to work with that's working in horror today?
Because I know people who can do that sort of thing...
Well, if I killed them, then I couldn't work with them...
I actually love the older generation more. I'd LOVE to work
with Linnea and Michelle. Julie Brown, Elizabeth
Kaiten, Heidi Kozak, Linda
Blair, Olivia Hussey... ooh! And
Margot Kidder. I LOVE Margot Kidder... even
if she did go crazy. My love rests mostly with the B-movie
girls. You can have Jessica Biel... I'll
take Debbie Rochon and Felissa Rose
Anything else you’d like to share
with the horror homo community (i.e., measurements, nude photos,
Let's see. I'm slightly above average in "measurements."
No nudes...yet. Very ticklish. Nice smile with very full-kissable
lips. Been told I have an incredible toosh, though I really
can't see it well enough to verify. Guess I'm a bit flirtatious...
and have an unexpectedly wicked sense of humor when it's least
called for.... and if you see me at a horror convention, please
come up and talk to me. I don't bite (unless you ask me to),
and you don't have to buy ANYTHING on my table. I'm there
to promote my movies and meet the folks who love this freaky
genre just as much as I do.
Him to Bite. I Dare You.
for one, am very interested to see what October Moon
is all about, and what Jason Paul Collum
has in store for us picky sissies going forward. After hosing
yourself down, check out the movie's official website,
and also give a gander to Jason's personal website
as well, which is chock-full of fun articles and photos that
he's collected over the years.
wet-kissy thanks to Jason for the time, thought, and flirtation
-- and best of luck with the project from all of us here at
learns the ropes from the ladies
(Brinke Stevens, Lisa Wilcox, Julie Strain)