|Interview With Horror Filmmaker
By AL J. Vermette
When it comes to making a horror movie, filmmaker Alberto
Martinez has everything going for him. A true love of the genre and
the know-how on how to pull off a creepy and yet well thought out
storyline is what this young gifted movie director brings to the horror
game. His movie "Gods of Perdition" was featured in our horror movie
festival "The Creepy, Freaky Film Fest" this past October 20th and so
I wanted our readers to know of this new horror movie director and
find out more about him and his work.
AL: When did you first know that you wanted to make movies?
Alberto: Hmm, I would have to say back in 1988 when I saw Eddie Murphy's "The Golden Child." I was
blown away by that film's mixture of comedy and horror, and it gave me a newfound respect for Eddie
Murphy's talents. But I was so in love with the story and the music, that I felt it in me to tell stories similar to
that, but I was a young pup at age 10 so I didn't think big. I didn't have a film camera, a crew or budget, but
I did have a pencil and paper, so I started drawing comics of stories I wanted to tell. I didn't get to actually
make a movie until I was 13 years old, a silly movie shot on VHS with two 12 inch dinosaurs fighting
amidst a backdrop of Matchbox and Hot Wheels cars in a backyard in Astoria, Queens. It was a movie
called Tyrus vs Tyranexx. But after I shot that movie, I made it a point to shoot one movie every year.
AL: Your filmmaking skill is very professional, did you go to film school or was it all on the job
Alberto: It was a combination of making movies plus watching movies. I just studied how filmmakers like
Stanley Kubrick, Werner Herzog, and Fritz Lang shot their films. Even foreign filmmakers like Chang Cheh
and Ishiro Honda, who directed the earlier Godzilla films, was skillful enough to teach me how to frame
shots. But when it came to actually designing a frame, a picture, I owe much of that to comic book artist
and legend Carmine Infantino, who was one of my college instructors in the arts. If it wasn't for his hard
nose critique of my earlier work (he called it "shit,") I wouldn't have been challenged enough to take myself
out of my own box and design a picture, a frame, or a shot, and make it dynamic. I owe much of my visual
style to Carmine Infantino.
AL: Please tell our readers about your movie "Gods of Perdition"
and how it was made?
Alberto: My good friend, Bucky Long, wrote a short story about a nuclear family
terrorized by these monsters called the gods of damnation. That story doesn't end
well for the family, but I adapted it and gave it a significant spin (in the film version,
the gods are referred to as "jugulars," a name that is given to a sub group in
Long's original story who were enforcers of the gods.) I would implore the readers
to check out the film's IMDB page and read the trivia section. There is a lot of de-
tails regarding the original short story that are fascinating, but I adapted it for film
to reflect a real life horror, that of parental alienation, something that goes on
every day in family court. Fathers spending thousands of dollars trying to be in
their child's life, but judicial bureaucracy and vindictive mothers (sometimes the
roles are reversed but the nature of the crime is no different) keep that from hap-
pening, and in the end, it is the child asking "where is dad?" That is an unspoken
horror that is ignored by our own American society who, without the aid of a poli-
tical boogeyman, won't do anything about it. There are many true horror stories
that can be told from fathers separated from their children and vice versa. I wanted
to tell that horror story from the eyes of a child, an image of pure vulnerability.
AL: Please tell us about your cast and crew who worked on the film?
Alberto: Collectively it has been the most talented group I have worked with, and I don't say that lightly.
Athena Montilla as Luly totally turned heads when she uttered her first lines, the scene she shot with David
Whitman's Dr. Oglethorpe. No one was prepared for how well she said her lines, how on cue she was, how
prepared and ready she was. I was blown away completely. As soon as I heard her say her first lines, I
knew I had a legit good movie on me hands. The rest of the cast, from Aloha Peartree and Michael Ciesla,
to Paolo Gojcaj and Malik Saldana, everyone from Camila Campos Katz to especially Mr. Whitman were
on point and absolutely professional. As for the crew, I pretty much wore all the hats, from cinematographer
and lights, to special effects. Not that I'm bragging about it, I definitely believe it is easier to work with a
crew, but when you don't have time or money for a crew, you do what you gotta do. I take the Herzog
approach and just pick up the camera and shoot.
AL: What was it about the horror genre that made you want to work in it?
Alberto: Oh boy, my earliest memories of films like "The Howling," "Pieces," "A Nightmare on Elm
Street," "Demons," and "Fright Night" were so engrained in me because I knew they were forbidden for
me to watch when I did watch them. As an adult, I can process them more maturely, but they left such a
mark on me. Even classics like "Frankenstein" and "Nosferatu" are so relevant today in many areas of
storytelling. Horror is so fluid that you can take any story, add elements of the supernatural, the gore or the
macabre and you have an effective horror story. My first horror film was "Solomon's Requiem," shot on
16mm film in 2003. I was inspired by "Re-Animator," "Evil Dead," and Peter Jackson's "Braindead," that I
wanted to make my own gory horror comedy. What other way can you tell the story of an unemployed
cosmetics salesman with his dog who is forced into fighting bloodthirsty zombies and an evil cult?
AL: "Other than "Gods of Perdition" what other movies have you shot?
Alberto: If you check out my IMDB page (FYI there 4 or 5 Alberto Martinez' on
there, look for Alberto Martinez (I) you'll see my professional resume of films I
shot. Other than "Gods of Perdition" and "Solomon's Requiem," there's "Hang-
man's Noose" a comic book inspired black and white superhero sci fi film shot
on 16mm black and white, and a drama I wrote, directed and starred in called
"What Am I," which deals with sexuality with photos and how a cameraman hides
his romantic side and replaces it with his need to capture the beauty of women
in pictures. I also shot a kung fu film inspired by the early Shaw Brothers films
called "D.H.A.R.M.A. 9." which is also available to watch on my Tellyvizion page.
There are also a couple of short films I edited, one I directed and edited called
"Broke Decisions," the first film I shot from someone else' screenplay (written by
Nicole Gray,) which actually played in the Fatherhood Image Film Festival on the
same day "Gods of Perdition" played during the Creepy Freaky Film Festival!
AL: What other projects do you have in the works?
Alberto: Speaking of Hangman's Noose, I am in the process of re-editing the
film to make it tighter. I plan on having it uploaded onto my Tellyvizion page for
anyone who wants to purchase it to watch. I am also going back to my roots and
working on a comic book called Roadwarrior Drake, a mixture of The Warriors,
Mad Max, and a mutant duck fighting these gangs. It's part of the Comicsgate
movement, which is inspiring indie comic book artists to take to Indiegogo and
get their own works out to a disenfranchised fanbase tired of seeing political
agendas forced into Spiderman and Ironman stories. They just want fun, inspir-
ing and entertaining comics. That is my goal with Roadwarrior Drake. After I am
done with that comic, I plan to get to work on a comic book sequel for Solomon's
Requiem called "Solomon's Damnation" in which Solomon, who was convicted
of 1st degree murder for the zombies that have been mistaken for humans,
breaks out of prison and stumbles upon a Movementist sect that is actually a
colony of werewolves." I also plan to do a fundraiser for a film adaptation of Roadwarrior Drake once the
comic hits the market. When it comes to the arts, I plan to keep myself busy for a long time.
AL: What would you like to say to other filmmakers out there about getting started in the biz?
Alberto: Just pick up the camera and shoot. Money should not be an obstacle. You just need a story and a
couple of good friends, a camera and you're set. "Solomon's Requiem," which was shot on 16mm film,
cost almost $100,000.00 dollars with the film processing and the special effects. Conversely, "What Am I,"
"D.H.A.R.M.A. 9." and "Gods of Perdition," were shot for a combined total of maybe $2000. Just pick up
the camera and shoot. The only one stopping you is you. I got that advice from reading Werner Herzog's
memoirs. I think that is absolutely the best advice you can get as a first time filmmaker.
AL: Where can our readers find your movies and the films you have coming up?
Alberto: You can find my films on www.tellyvizion.com under Alazmat Films. They're free to watch except
"What Am I" and the upcoming "Hangman's Noose." Artists need to eat, too. There's also some exclusive
featurettes and behind the scene videos for my films as well on my Tellyvizion page. My YouTube page,
under Alazmat Films, has a lot of my trailers, behind the scenes stuff and also some videos and live
streams regarding my Roadwarrior Drake comic. You can also find me under my two (2) Instagram pages.
There's my Alazmat Films page (@alazmat_films) which deals with exclusive behind the scene photos and
stills from my films including "Gods of Perdition," and my other account under @alazmatcomics, which you
can find exclusive artwork and sneak peeks of my Roadwarrior Drake comic. My Tellyvizion page has a
donation button since YouTube has strict policies regarding monetization, so if you love my work, kindly
consider donating to the cause. If not, I do appreciate feedback and hope my films and artwork have
pleased you. I sincerely do.