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Interview with Justin Timpane – writer/director NINJAS VS MONSTERS

Interview : Justin Timpane – writer/director Ninjas vs. Monsters
Interview : Justin Timpane – writer/director Ninjas vs. Monsters
Who was your favorite horror movie growing up?

Without a doubt, A Nightmare On Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors. I had watched and really dug the first two, but in that one, Freddy was creative and omnipotent and had the perfect blend of Humor and Scariness. It had a big influence on the Ninjas films probably, as the victims weren’t just victims, but smart opponents. Plus, its just a really really good flick.

Did you have a preference in terms of the type of horror movie you liked to watch? 

I loved Slasher film. Saw em all, from Friday the 13th and Nightmare, all the way down to Slumber Party Massacre 2 (“I can’t get no Satisfaction!!”). In later years I got into the post-modern Scream-era horror films, and for the most part the knockoffs were only fair. I do dig all 4 (yes I know I’m in the minority) Scream movies. The BLAIR WITCH PROJECT scared the pants off of me. I literally had no pants.  I have to shout out Evil Dead too.. amazing flicks.

What horror film has stayed with you all these years?

Nightmare 3, for sure.

Did it have an influence on Ninjas vs. Monsters?

Absolutely! Regular folks are suddenly endowed with powers that make them almost an even match for an supernaturally strong and smart killer… Our last film “Ninjas Vs Vampires” cribs the “I am eternal” quote from Nightmare 3… Hell, I even crib a moment in homage to Nightmare 4 in the NVM screenplay. Love Freddy.

How did the initial idea come to be?

Well, I love mash-ups. And I love old low budget martial arts films.. Our exec Producer (and kind of the creative yin to my yang) Daniel Ross and I were both actors in the DC area. We went out with my wife to see “Clerks 2”, and had just been discussing how we wished there were roles that suited us better in this area.. and in that film, there’s this moment when the main characters – Dante and Randal – make the decision to invest in and own their ambitions (“Buy the Qwik Stop”) – and we left inspired.. We had both worked with local legend Don Dohler (Alien Factor, Dead Hunt), and with his partner Joe Ripple, and it inspired us, the way they made films on no budget , just because they loved the process! We decided to make the films ourselves, so we went to a Blockbuster (what’s a Blockbuster?) and searched our favorite genres and decided that NINJAS VS ZOMBIES was the film we would want to see.. so we made that one, and we’re proud of it.. but we always felt we could improve, so we made NINJAS VS VAMPIRES.. and before we even finished, we decided to make it a Trilogy. The fun part is, like Nightmares 1,3,4 and 5, the films absolutely play as one big story if you choose to watch them that way, but really you get all the info you need in the first 5 mins of any film to enjoy it on its own.

Justin Timpane
Justin Timpane

Where was the film shot?

NINJAS VS MONSTERS was shot in Maryland and Virginia, all around the DC area.

Do you think the horror genre is in a good place at the moment?

I’m sure for some it is… I love the slasher stuff.. enough scares and gore to satisfy the horror nut in me, but with a layer of fun that is missing sometimes. I think its still around if you look for it.. Cabin in the Woods, EXISTS, the Evil Dead Remake, Drag me to Hell – all fun modern films.. I’d love to see more like those.

Have you a martial-arts background?

I dabbled in HS. I had a friend named Joey who would show me the basics to feel comfortable in a fight, but against a real martial artist? I’d probably get killed. Luckily I surrounded myself with real martial artists.. and if you watch the film, both in the choreography and the performances, those guys are the real deal. We hit a sweet spot, I think, in balancing fun B-Movie monsters and really talented displays of intense martial arts fighting.. It is a bit tongue in cheek, but these guys.. there are no wires and no digital trickery.. they’re doing that stuff…

I really hope folks give NVM a try.. we’ve got a lot of folks who say “we weren’t expecting a lot”, and walked away big fans – It’s really just a fun, have a few beers and some popcorn and enjoy kind of film! .. and we tend to stay in dialogue with our fans (hell, if you’re reading this on your phone, come over and say hi on  Facebook – after you watch us on iTunes or TV or even order our huge DVD packed with extras and a zillion commentaries… well not a zillion.. but a lot). We’d love to hear from you!!



Interview with Justin Timpane – writer/director NINJAS VS MONSTERS

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Chad Armstrong

President/Co-Owner at LC Films
Chad Armstrong is a writer/producer/director who was born and raised in Long Beach CA. In 2009 he relocated to Alabama where he founded LeglessCorpse, a site dedicated to independent horror films, and soon after created the indie horror distribution company LeglessCorpse Films (currently known as LC Films). Not only is he co-owner of and LC Films he is also President of the newly formed Back Aisle Video label. Chad's most recent feature film is Deimosimine, and currently in development on the feature film Blood Dancers 2: Full Moon.