Jason Christopher has brought his visions to life with his first feature film. Embracing horror elements from the 70s and 80s slasher films, Jason brings us Nobody Gets Out Alive this February.
Hitting shelves this Tuesday, Nobody Gets Out Alive (Punishment for our overseas horror brethren) tells the story about a group of college students escaping for the weekend only to find themselves fighting for their lives from a madman with a vendetta.
Original Friday the 13th writer, Victor Miller, mentored the script for Nobody Gets Out Alive and Jason had the privilege of working with veteran actor Clint Howard on the feature film.
Check out our interview with first-time director Jason Christopher below.
Gruesome Little Me (GLM): Hi Jason. Thanks for getting back with me to answer some questions about your first feature film Nobody Gets Out Alive. Tell us a little about yourself as a filmmaker and as a horror fan. What inspired you to make this horror film?
Jason Christopher: I’m 25 years old, I like long walks on the beach — no, haha. I am 25 years old and this is my first feature, Nobody Gets Out Alive (US).
Overseas the movie is titled Punishment. It comes out 2/26/13 on Netflix, DVD, RedBox, Video On Demand, and I’m nervous. Haha! This is the first real legit thing I ever did and I’m definitely nervous. Everyone and their mother is a critic these days and it’s horrible.
The YouTube critics crack me up though. I’m satisfied with the final product, of course. Could I have done better, absolutely. I just love horror movies and I really wanted to make a flick that would’ve fit in the 70’s and 80’s. Those are when the best ones were, right?
GLM: What are some of your favorite horror films? Which horror films influenced you in your storytelling? Which horror films influenced you in your directing?
Jason Christopher: These are some different questions, I like this, haha! My all time favorite horror movie is Black Christmas (1974), then it’d go (in no order) The Prowler, Friday The 13th Part 3, Halloween 2 (1981). But I watch a ton of other movies too, comedy, action, and stuff. Nothing specific I watched for the story structure or anything like that.
I like F13 Part 3 because that’s when we really see Jason become Jason. I love Black Christmas cause it scared me so much when I was 16 years old. It was the last horror movie to leave me freaked out. The way that movie ends…we would never be able to get a movie like that nowadays. I really dug Adam Green’s Hatchet, though. I liked how he made an old school style horror flick but in present, I guess you can say I copied that from him. All in all though, I wanted to just make a horror movie that would fit perfectly in the 70’s and 80’s.
GLM: How did you come up with the story and the script for Nobody Gets Out Alive?
Jason Christopher: I always had the idea of wanting to do a horror movie but wasn’t really sure what to do with the killer and stuff. Does he wear a mask? Is he inhuman?
My Dad died in a freak accident while he was at work when I was 17 years old. I was depressed, angry, and really didn’t want to do anything else with my life besides entertain people. I still could pull that off somehow. I was an entertainer since I was a in kindergarten. I would write stories then tell them to the class and stuff, got older was a jokester, played in a few bands up until I was 17 and my Dad held those bands together, once he died, what was I going to do with my life?
I’m honestly not good at many things, haha. So, once my Dad passed, I started typing away on the script. I wanted to make a father, Hunter Isth, who loses everything in his life and now just doesn’t give a shit. He kills, that’s his motive. It was perfect because at first: Michael was human and Jason was pretty much human, then they went off onto these inhuman boring characters where everyone lost interest. So, I wanted to make Hunter Isth human, he’s a real dude. He even has a monologue in the middle of the flick that makes the audience root for him instead of the kids being chased down.
GLM: What was the scariest moment during film making? What was the happiest moment during film making? What was your favorite part of the entire film-making process?
Jason Christopher: The scariest moment was not knowing what the hell I was doing. I mean, I had a gist of what I was doing, but the first day of filming I was a little confused, haha. By lunch, I knew what was going on. I didn’t go to college, I’m a hands-on type of kid.
But being on set, learning pre production, principle, post, selling a movie all of that junk that goes into it… I would have NEVER got the teaching I got there if I went to college. The happiest moment was definitely seeing it happen. I wrote this script when I was 17 and finally seeing it come together when I was 22, I was amazed and so stoked. I couldn’t be happier today, being sold – coming out in stores… I’m very excited/happy/nervous/grateful. My favorite parts would be – writing/directing/editing. You write the flick with a vision. You direct it and see that vision come to life. After that you edit it and it’s your last draft of your script. It’s a beautiful thing.
GLM: What do you want horror fans to feel when watching this film? And what do you want to say to the fans before they watch Nobody Gets Out Alive?
Jason Christopher: I want the fans, the people who watch the flick, the people who have NO clue what they’re getting into – to just watch the flick with an open mind. There’s something for everyone, the first 34 minutes is damn close to a comedy flick and then after that 35 minute mark, it’s a total 180 and becomes a full blown out slasher flick.
If you want to get technical, that monologue scene (done phenomenally by Brian Gallagher) is like watching a drama movie. There’s everything in this! Don’t watch it, thinking I’m making fresh bread or something, I wasn’t trying to do that. I mean, there’s a few things that are different from a typical horror movie but I’m not trying to wow people on a different level. Just watch the movie with an open mind and the love of horror flicks.
Nobody Gets Out Alive is available on Amazon, Redbox, Netflix, and Video on Demand starting this Tuesday, February 26 through Image Entertainment.
Check out the Nobody Gets Out Alive Facebook page here.