Interview with Ribspreader director Dick Dale

My South Australia correspondent Dick Dale is in the process of finishing off his first feature length film Ribspreader, but he needs help. Hes started a Kickstarter to help get him across the line. Details of how to donate are in the article. Ribspreader features Fred Negro, the late great Spencer P Jones, Chad Morgan and (maybe?) Lloyd Kauffman. This is a real DIY labour of love and from one of the most talented people I know and encourage all to help DD out. Ribspreader features characters described as original killers, perverts and weirdos, cant wait to see it. Onya DD

Munster: Ribspreader, what can you tell us about this?

Dick Dale: I’ve been creating my own short horror/comedy films for about 25 years and running my infamous short bad taste/horror short film program, Trasharama since 1997. I’m am FINALLY ready to unleash my first feature fillum onto the world. It’s Australia’s FIRST Splatterpunk video nasty. A very dark black comedy with bucket loads of red blood pissing on the screen. It’s an original story, not a reboot, remake or rip off of anything already done. Spawned from the rotted recesses of my fried mind about six years ago, it took two years to painstakingly complete the screenplay. I am now ready with a good crew and cast to put this sucker in the can. Everything I have done in my life with trashy screenings, film making and my live rock scene endeavors (on and off stage) have all headed to this! It’s also a non funded DIY labor of love. So I am having a Kickstarter campaign that is LIVE now until June 19th, 2019.


M: Years ago (2009 maybe?) I interviewed you for Trasharama, I asked you if you wanted to do a feature and you said that was the next step. How long as the idea of a feature been in your mind?

DD: Around then I had the idea already bouncing around in my skull. The basic idea in which has developed to what it is now. An ex cigarette icon is taunted by an anti smoking cigarette on a billboard. It convinces him to extinguish smokers lives, cut out their lungs with a saw bladed ribspreading machine. He makes a smoking jacket out of their lungs to redeem himself of past sins.  Yeah, he’s batshit bonkers! He also lives in serial Killer capital so there’s a turf war for victims. I’ve created a whole bunch of original killers, perverts and weirdos he has to deal with.  It’s not all beer and skittles being a deranged psychopath you know!

Fred and DD on location

M: Aside from writing/directing what other roles do you have on the film?

DD: I have my ideas for costumes, what the sets look like and the locations. I have mostly cast it, built up most of the key early crew. My first AD Jade Hefferan Clarke been smashing a crew together as of late as well as my DOP, Mr Hugh Freytag.  I have ideas of how to do a lot of the FX (special practical effects) in the film and work out cheap effective ways with the artists. The FX crew is looking quite smart. The list goes on…

I am also reluctant producer and have another three producers helping me along. It’s a freakin hard job and everyone needs a piece of you. They are all there standing over me with yabbie pumps sucking all the information out of my prawn shaped head. They in turn are passing that information on to other people in other departments. One thing I have HAD to learn is the art of DELEGATING. Letting them get my vision out and letting others create it and turn it into reality. I like for the artists to add their personal pizzazz to everything too. It generally turns out as I imagined or BETTER. So as I’m learning to DELEGATE (say it again Dick) I can concentrate on the vision and areas only I know as writer.

M: How long has the process been, from when you first put pen to paper for a draft until you wrapped up shooting? And what stage is the film at now?

DD: The inspiration for writing the treatment which is the story line was inspired when Monster Fest there in Hellbourne had the CANNIBAL PROJECT incentive. I think that was about 2014. It was a competition to write a micro budget film featuring cannibals. I didn’t win obviously but it got my basics started. I kept on going from there.

M: You’ve started a Crowd funding campaign, how much are you looking to raise and where will the money go?

DD: RIGHT NOW the crowdfunder is LIVE until June 19th. It is nearly half way there and I am shitting myself. I really want this to work so I can make this movie. Some of the money goes towards, practical special effects in which this is that type of film to a certain extent. There are props and sets in which some have to be built or at least dressed. There are travel and sometimes accommodation expenses. I have at least a couple of my main cast coming in from Melbourne to Adelaide. We have to feed people very importantly. A functioning puppet creature has to be made! To make this at absolute MINIMUM we are looking at $20, 000 in which is CHEAP for a film as ambitious as this. I’d love more so we can do things more comfortably in all these areas I mentioned.  OH, and MORE BLOOD and GORE on the screen please!! We are fabricating everything, not using animal offal or anything like that. Hell, my two adrenalin gland eating vampire vixen actresses are vegans for starters!

M: It’s a hell of a cast you got, Fred Negro, Spencer P Jones, and from what I hear Lloyd Kaufman, who else is in it and how did you get such big names?

DD: I know. I’m wrapped. Laurence R Harvey from Human Centipede 2 & 3 and ABC’s of Death is in it too. I got Chad Morgan, king of Australian country in for a cameo. Lloyd isn’t 100 per cent confirmed. Still negotiating there. I’m trying to promote Troma as much as I can though. Not hard as I love a lot of those films. I’ve been reading the ‘Make your own damn movie’ book series and using them as a template to produce my film. I also did his masterclass on film making when he was here in 2015. So I really want Lloyd in. An inspiration. There are some others in the pipeline but I can’t say yet. Good to have some surprises anyway hey?

It’s mainly because I have been around for a long time on and off stage in the music and underground film scene.  I met Spence through having him come play at the Squatters Arms where I used to book bands a few years ago and we became mates. I wrote the part for him as a bad arsed ‘Busker you don’t fuck with’. I told him about it, he laughed and he was up for it. We filmed it when he was playing one of his tours in Adelaide. He does kick GUITARSE!! I’ve known Fred for many years too  from playing gigs supporting one of his bands, The Twits. I’ve also been a ‘I Spit on your Gravy’ fan since year DOT. Remember DOT from that show Eastenders? It was about then I think. I also know Fred through Andrew Leovold from Trash Video and the Gravybillies and what not. I think that’s it. I might be an honorary member of that, or maybe it’s another band. Such a blur. Anyway, I’VE KNOWN FRED FOR AGES!! Ha Ha He plays a cop named Sgt Clint Surecock and nails it! I think he has been preparing for this role his whole life. It was an interesting day shoot that one as it usually is on my sets. To quote Fred, “This is like SPINAL TAP!!” Ha Ha. I think that’s saying something.

SHORT ANSWER: From my servitude to Rawk n’ roll and my horror/bad taste film Festival over the years, I have met and made mates with a lot of great people. Some of these are known identities. I’m using all my favors and networks to make this project happen It’s also a photo album of my life so far I reckon. I have written most of the roles specifically for the those who appear. It’s going to be one crazy and funny film. Just like my life in a way.

the great man SPJ

M: What was the budget for the film? Was it self financed or did you ave a backer or studio behind you?

D: Well up to now, a friend donated me $1500 to get some of the early footage in the can. That was fantastic of her. I bought some equipment with that and odds and ends. Everything else came out of my pocket. Thank you part time work and Centrelink! I’m very fortunate we have a lot of our own equipment from my DOP and his crew.  Everyone is working on deferred payment which means if it ever makes any money they will get paid. I will be the last person on that list. I’m not doing it for the money anyway. I just need to tell this story. This is why I am having the Kickstarter, to get this in the can. If we raise more, well that is fantastic. We can use the money for BETTER AND MORE AMAZING practical special Effects,  comfortably getting cast from Melbourne to Adelaide (and accommodation) and on things like props and set building. And POST PRODUCTION. Things like visual FX and color grading etc. As a great man on a planet of apes once said, “IT’S A MADHOUSE!!”

M: I don/t want to give any spoilers but I hear there’s a helicopter scene and a guitar goes through a zombie, how did you mange things like this for an indie film?

DD: Ha, spoilers? It’s not Game of Thrones but hopefully I will kill off all your favorite characters. ha ha.   It’s clown faced psychotic juggalos who hate street artists who get wasted. No zombies in this, except maybe ME by the end of it. There’s a teaser trailer up on the Kickstarter page you can check out.

Me and a few of my mates have been dabbling with practical special FX since we were teens. You’ll find a lot of horror kids have tried their luck making things out of the kitchen they’ve learn t from reading horror magazines. Before you tube even.  Doing a course or two. I got my friend Paul Whitbread who does it as a hobby but is great at making old school cheap special FX. He did the teaser scene FX in which is more your cheap but effective Troma style effect. While we’re on the subject, those ;’Make your own Damn movie’ books have good tips on creating economical FX in those. This movie is like EARLY Peter Jackson’s ‘Bad Taste’. Before he was running about with hobbits he made a few great bad taste gory horror style movies. BIG inspirations for me.

I have one effect though in which it is a dead crack whore in which her Ribs have been spread and she’s dead in a dumpster. Special FX maestro Leigh Madden from Madden FX did that one. He’s a pro! I have a mixture team of Industry people, Media make up students and outlaw horror fans doing these effects. It’s the only way I can do this at this stage. Yeah, I got the helicopter. They said I couldn’t get one on my budget. I got one for fifty bucks from the SA Aviation museum. Fred is in it hunting down our anti hero. It’s only a cameo really. but Fred will probably steal the movie. Ha Ha It will be a mixture of the real chopper and a miniature. I’m lucky to have some great talented mates working on this.  Basically, to answer your question, you just got to use your imagination, be prepared to be nice to people, pay what you need to so everyone’s happy. Make damn sure the end product is cool and will make everyone happy. That is my plan!!

M: Rambo 3 was on the telly the other night, the death count was in the 100s, is this movie gonna be a bloodbath of the same nature?

DD: Not that many but a few people are buying ‘on screen deaths’ in the Kickstarter crowdfunder. There are enough ‘messy bits’ in this film to keep people happy, that I am sure. You’ll have to come and see who is left standing by the end of the film. Lets just ay, I hate sequels.

M: Whats the best and worst aspect of making an indie film?

DD: Being broke!! Pure and simple. On a positive note it forces you to use your creativity and imagination. With no money though, it also can be a LOT harder getting people to help you. People can be more reliable when they are getting paid. I am VERY lucky to have a great support base of great talented cast and crew. It is from my years of hanging about and dedication to genre I can only guess. This film has lots of practical Effects, miniatures, puppets, stop motion and REAL actors. There will be fuck all, if any CGI and NO fucking Jar Jar Binx characters.

M: You mentioned the other night you were working on exploding heads, how long does it take to film an exploding head?

DD: Movie magic! What I’ve been told that will be a tricky one. I don’t think I’m allowed to disclose said activities at this stage. It could take up to a week to build and an hour to set up or so. Then BOOM!! A second or so of glorious fucking gory mess!! We’ll do it with two heads in case one is a dud. Followed by high speed OJ style cop car chase from the authorities etc…

M:Trasharama seems to get more momentum as time goes on, what can we expect at this years fest?

DD: MORE of the same filthy, horrific but ultimately hilarious shorts from all over the world. I have great pride in finding the best and worst movies I can source. It’ll be at Monster Fest in Hellbourne mid October. I MIGHT be touring some of last years season to a few states in September. I also might be trying to do too many things this year. (touring and filming) Making this this film is number one!! REST assured I am currently open for entries for this season until the end of August!! The crazier the better. All bodily fluids will be covered. I don’t care if the films are twenty minutes old or twenty YEARS old. Send em in!! Shorter the better though. I’m not keen on movies over ten minutes long. I just mentioned it only takes about two seconds to blow a head off! Unless your film is filled with excitement and madness, I get bored. I also accept crazy film clips, fake movie trailers. CHECK IT OUT:

M: Also whats happening with you music wise?

DD: At the moment I’m not doing anything serious. Um, Did I ever?? I mean really original or gigging regularly. I have a little fun project called the DRUNKEE BLUNDERS with a few mates from various local bands here in Adelaide. Oprah Whitney(Scabs, Yard of Retard) Huw Francis (COCK, The Fix), Piers Diprose, (Wretched Hearts) and Pablo Vainickis (Subtract S, Ben Gel and the Boneyard Saints etc etc etc ) An amber flavored tribute to Johnny Thunders, The Stooges and the Dead Boys. We only play first, we don’t get paid and we get as fucked up as possible. Well, that’s how we started. In 2010. we have only managed to learn about 9 or ten songs since then ha ha . We have sort of improved though. Not intentional mind you.  We pride ourselves on being as rawkin roll debauch as the 1970s New York bands we are paying tribute to.  This is why we only do a few gigs a year and it’s not too taxing.

Number one, IT WILL KILL ME!!

Number two: I’m more interested in spending my time and energy on the film. Oh, and somehow we have started writing originals. So the whole concept has fucked up!! :p Apparently we are very entertaining. I’ve discovered Iggy has a lot more money than me to take care of his body. Mine is crumbling as I get older. Not to mention Stiv Bators and Johnny Thunders are dead… Rawk is hell! 

M: What does the rest of the year hold and any time frame we can expect Ribspreader out?

DD: The rest of the year I expect will be batshit crazy!! I’ve been slogging hard with this kickstater. It’s a FULL TIME job, I kid you not. Lucky Andrew ‘Stumpy’ Leavold has given me some good advise and I have Jaan Ranniko in Sydney on it too. I hope I get the support I need to make this. Otherwise I will think of a plan B and C and fucking D!! I WILL MAKE THIS MOVIE. Sooner better than later though. Money talks. I’d rather not still be trying another five or ten years. Already there have been sadly a few casualties since I began. People are working for me for free or deferred payments because they believe in me and the project. It still costs money. If the Kickstarter works then I’ll be shooting. But that’s AFTER pre production (already in pre production but once we have the budget money, more things need to be made etc) THEN, there will be post production!! I would love to have this OUT ON SCREENS by the last third of next year. Post production will be a process too.

I got the Monster Fest Trasharama program on in Melbourne in October so there is that to source, curate, beg borrow and steal movies for it. I swear it gets harder every year. I’ve made some good friends over seas with similar festivals. Having a few like minded buddies around, we can help each other with our programs. Monster Fest always throw me a one or two as well. Then Ill be down for that screening in which Ill host. I’ll be saving my Monday night to have drinks at the Balaclava Hotel happy day or hour or whatever it was of course! You’ll never find a more wretched hive of scum and villainy in St Kilda. Was right at home. No droids allowed. I just hope the publican doesn’t lock me in the toilet again. PLUS, Blunders have got about three gigs lined up. Ill be having most probably a ‘Dirty Dix and Dan Hellbound Kuntree Hoedown’ event sometime. Plus, working to pay bills, breathing, living and fucking trying to stay sane. There’s is more I’m sure.  Worse things happen at sea I hear… :p

Posted on 4 Comments

4 thoughts on “Interview with Ribspreader director Dick Dale

  1. Cool interview, go pies

  2. Fantastic

  3. cheers Tommy GO PIES

  4. Onya Dean

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