David Parker Ray was a sexual serial killer responsible for the torture and murder of upwards of 60 victims in the aptly named town of Truth or Consequences, New Mexico. Ray "modus operandi" was to confine, torture and kill his victims in a home-made, $100,000 torture chamber he called his "toy box". Ray was eventually convicted of murder and died in prison in 2002, after serving just 2 1/2 years of a 224 year sentence.
It's from this twisted story that newly minted horror director Michael Colburn draws his inspiration for the upcoming feature "The Toy Box". After an impressive career in the visual effects arena, Colburn assembled a virtual "who's who" of young indie horror performers to bring his brutal vision to life.
He was gracious enough to answer some questions put to him by Tom from NerdRemix.com!
NerdRemix--"The Toy Box" is based on a true story, what can you share about the real life
Michael Colburn--The Real Life Inspiration to me, was more of basing this film on the Victims. We did alot of research and spoke to a few people for the film from authors to specific people that actually were involved with the actual incidents.
NR--Apparently, the film will deal with some pretty grisly subject matter, how far is "too far" and did you reach that point, in your opinion?
MC--Too far for me would have been to have made this film and wound up with a "X" rating. Did we go to far.. In my honest opinion, no. I cut 99 % of the nudity of this film out. There is only 1 nude scene in the film, we implied the rest of it. However the intensity of some of the scenes are there! That in my opinion is much more scarier, when your implying what you cant see sometimes.
NR--Are you afraid of being lumped in with the "Torture Porn" sub-genre, like the "Saw" series and "Hostel"?
MC--Ya know this is not the 1st time I have had that brought to my attention. I have had, "OMG did you make this film cause you have these same fetishes this guy has"? The answer for me is, no I am not David Parker Ray... Do i feel with what I created that I crossed a line or two..? Sure, I"m telling what happened as best I can. (The secret to success is to offend the greatest number of people... Quote Paul Stanley of KISS... ) I knew taking on this film, that I would get alot of mixed reactions, and that I would get put into alot of drama and criticism with what he did and how the story would be played out. Before we began we had talked about donating a portion of the films proceeds to a organization that I felt would benefit victims that could truly use it. We met up with POMC (Parents of Murdered Children) and began doing something different with a True Crime / Horror film that would change it up a bit. One of the 1st questions I was asked after they
had started reading up on who David Parker Ray truly was, I believe was, " How do you plan on making this film? I replied, as truthful and accurate as I can. But we will be respectful in certain aspects of the film to the victims. So I don't feel what we did is Torture Porn by any means, this is not fictionalized we based everything we did on what information was available to us, and that was alot...
NR--"The Toy Box" features: Bianca Barnett, Shannon Lark, Jennifer Peebles, Kelly Burns smith, and Maria Ruiz--that's a LOT of hot actresses, did you ever get distracted on set?
MC--I'm a profession director, while they are all very beautiful, they are also actresses, and my team to make a film... I'm here to make a film, not make the love connection. I'm very happily married! :) And I received alot of respect for the way all the scenes were handled with alot of care, trust and making sure what ever they had to do , no matter the extreme, they were well provided and taken care of whether they needed privacy, or needed to make sure what was gonna happen, they had time to mentally prep for. But out of everyone you mentioned, Shannon Lark, was by far the most professional, hard working determined actress I have worked with. From the time she got off the plane, we were on the set 2 hrs later. She came up to me and said, "I'm here til you're happy... " I had not had one other actress tell me that. That meant alot to me! She Rocks! Bianca, was a blast to work with, and did a phenomenal job! Her scenes were all shot by my mentor who
flew in to help me out, Jason Swarr of Elswarro.com! Jen, and Kelli were great to work with and totally kept me in the best of spirits during this film process! Maria Ruiz, gotta save the best for last. A new upcoming actress that is not just setting a bar for integrity and hard working but definitely a force to be reckoned with! I feel I made alot of Great friends with all of them! Totally Great Actresses!
NR--Do you have advance screeners going out? Any festival appearances scheduled?
MC--New Official Trailer will be ready here in just a few weeks, but nothing else yet scheduled, until OCT 2011 for the release of the film.
NR--How are things looking on the distribution end? Do you have anything in the works?
MC--Still to early to talk distribution at this point. but new in the works, oh yes! Stand by!
NR--Are you a fan of the horror genre? Favorite films?
MC--Definitely, a horror fan! Carrie, Jaws, Halloween, Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Walking Distance, Amityville Horror! All classics... and Im definitely not talking about the crappy remakes either..
NR--So what's next for Michael Colburn and Doubt The Reality?
MC--Working with Judy Garland a local film maker here next month on a short film, as well as Chuck Norfolk on a possible full length feature next year. But I do have one thing in motion right now, and that will remain silent until the premier of THE TOY BOX... I hope to have a new trailer for my next production that will show before the film begins. Onboard for that project will be with Garrett Hargrove ( Cherrybomb) , Renee Edd (Midsummer Movie) and hoping for Molly Vernon (AD) and Joe Grissaffi (Lars the Emo Kid, and Dead of Knight).
NR--What's the "Nerdiest" thing about you?
MC--I'm a movie geek! Horror is my main genre, but I love all films. Especially the Italian cinema! Bava rocks!