A plumber has the worst day of his life in this lost film from 1987, which was recently discovered on a homemade VHS tape with some other movies on it. Turns out it's a remake of another remake of a horror movie about a deadly ‘thing’ believed to be the spawn of a secret government warfare project that swallows blue-collar workers all over America.
Produced by: Johnny Vong
Cast: Ryan Michael Connolly
The 3-week run for The Drain ended on May 29th, 2017. Thank you to all the fans that supported it!
5 questions with The Drain director, Johnny Vong at the half-way mark.
Thursday, May 18th, 2017
1Hi Johnny! Thanks for being a part of our festival. First, what was the initial seed that inspired you to make The Drain? Thanks for selecting our film! This project came out of the MFA Advanced Directing course at USC School of Cinematic Arts. Each week we were tasked to make a film in a specific genre with a loose theme. So The Drain is horror (albeit more tongue-in-cheek comedy) and its theme is 'distance'. I'm drawn to nostalgia so I wanted to make a tribute to my childhood obsessions -- even though they were little fucked up.
2The scene in The Blob where he sticks his hand down the drain terrified me as a child. It seems to have had an effect on you as well. Can you talk a bit about it and why you chose to make a film inspired by The Blob? Given the short turn-around of the project, I wanted to execute a single memorable moment in a horror movie that really messed me up as kid. Whether it was the transformation scene from American Werewolf in London, the alien jetting out of a guy's stomach in Alien, or the scene where Johnny Depp gets swallowed into his bed in Nightmare on Elm Street. I chose something a little more obscure (and slightly forgotten I hope), which was the scene from the 80s remake of The Blob. Boy, that movie really disturbed the crap out of me up as a kid.
3You include footage from the 80's film Master Blaster at the beginning of your film's "tape". Why did you decide to re-create that video tape feel where you've recorded films on top of other films? This was definitely a memorable hobby of mine growing up in the 80s. Remember that if you set the VCR to EP mode (Extended Play) you could record up to three feature films on to one tape? Yeah, so I created all these VHS mixtapes that way. I wasn't very organized so one tape could have cartoons on it along with some Schwarzenegger movies, while another tape had softcore porn taped over Gremlins 2. I had eclectic taste and a messy catalog.
4What are your overall thoughts on films from the 80's? The 80s were the start of my obsession with cinema. But at the time, I was mostly drawn to violent, bizarre, profane, outlandish, wacky and weird movies. I grew up in Toronto so I was weaned on David Cronenberg body horror and other transgressive Canadian exploitation films. Most of it was made during the tax shelter era. You might want to read up on Canadian film history if you're interested in any of that. But anyhow, a lot of that stuff really left a mark on me, and I look back fondly on that experience of discovering those wonderful oddballs that feel a little forbidden.
5What's next? I made about eight short films(!) this year, so I'm trying to figure out how to release them all in some fashion in the near future. I'm making a longer short that's based on my childhood growing up as a first generation Asian kid in Toronto. It's an intense coming-of-age story set in the 90s during a very violent time in Canadian history. It's my most personal film to date. I'm also developing a web-series with my amazing actor friends that's set in Los Angeles and is about the bizarre life of working in Hollywood.
About the Interviewer: Ben Hicks
Ben Hicks is a writer/director and co-founder of Fandependent Films. Ben is currently working on making Fandependent Films awesome and is finishing up his first feature film entitled Kids Go Free to Fun Fun Time which was selected for the 2017 IFP Narrative Lab.
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