Meet the Bitchin’ Guys from Unhinged Cinema
Thursday, January 18th 2007
The guys from Unhinged Cinema rock my world.
1. They bought
me a slice of warm cherry pie with ice cream
2. They gave
me an awesome hat (see pics)
3. They kept
me entertained with their fun stories for two and a half hours
4. They’re devoted
to their work as filmmakers
5. Their films
are pretty damn good
On a chilly Monday, I met with Slava Siderman and John Gonzales, founders
of Unhinged Cinema, at the friendly House of Pies restaurant in the neighborhood
of Los Feliz.
I hit them with some fancy questions and they hit me with some equally
fancy answers. They sat across from me in the booth and I studied them
while slurping down on delicious pie and creamy ice cream. In my experience,
the so-called real food is horrible there, but GODDAMN that pie was fantastic.
And, as I said before, so was the company.
I wondered exactly what Unhinged Cinema was and they explained that it’s
a conglomerate of all the films they’ve made together and with others.
Documentaries, Horror Flicks, Dramas, Dark Comedies-- they pretty much
have a little of everything in the mix. Both have been artists and filmmakers
since they were kids. Slava was sculpting and drawing as a boy in the Soviet
Union and John was directing neighborhood kids in kung fu and zombie movies
with his camcorder.
A dynamic duo, the guys could practically finish each other’s sentences.
It was clear that they were made to be artistic partners.
The first actual film under Unhinged Cinemas is the upcoming film, Isolation,
which they’re not really talking about. All they told me was that it takes
place in a cabin, it’s about a family, and there’s a killer. Gee, thanks,
guys. What, you think I can’t keep a secret? Bah!
Because they’ve been making movies together since they worked on the movie Demoness in1994, I figured it would be appropriate to ask them if they’re old. Valid
Slava said, “If you go to my house, you’d think a kid lives there. Legos
in the kitchen…Killer Clown from Outer Space…” John said, “I feel
pretty young, but I keep my toys in boxes.” Well, these old geezers impressed
me with their trailer reel stacked with tons of films. Standouts include
Slava’s documentary, Angel for Hire, which is now in production
and John’s short film, Uneven.
The film penned by John entitled Y2K: Shut Down Detected won a plethora
of awards including Best Picture at Screamfest 2001. He also acted co-produced,
co-edited, and co-directed with Slava. There are zombies in this one, kids--uber
A few interesting things I found out about Slava and one funny thing about
A Russian immigrant, Slava thought that pizza was flesh when he first ate
Slava’s been known to deal with injuries on the set. When making the football
documentary, 48, he fell through the bleachers and kept his camera
arm up in the air. When making the film, The New Chapter, he broke
his ankle, yet kept running around while filming.
Slava caught a mouse trying to take a bath in his bathtub. He then put
the mouse in a bag-only to have the mouse jump in his face.
John peed next to John Landis once Unhinged Cinema’s most recently finished short, The Roadside Killer,
is odd to say the least. The character is the subject of a series of shorts
they have planned. The first one takes place up in the mountains where
the victim is rolled in bubble wrap and murdered with a saw. “Let’s just
use bubble wrap. Let’s just wrap her in bubble wrap,” they said. The
Roadside Killer AKA Stanley Simmons wears a gas mask and a diaper because
he has a mean incontinence problem.
So what would it be like to go on a date with ol’ Stanley? The guys answered,
“Probably a long drive down a desolate road away from civilization. It’d
be a stinky date. You’d probably have to wear a gas mask. You’d haveto
sit and listen to him talk. Any experimental things would be making you
wear a Depends. Definitely don’t ask him for his help. He’s not really
Stanley, man. These guys were the best dates I’ve had in a while! Check
their shit out at www.unhingedcinema.com