7 Days in Strangeville Day 2: Dream Reaper


In early 2005 I started gathering my troops. Friends, acquaintances, even complete strangers jumped on board for what would become my very first feature length film, DREAM REAPER. One of the worst cinematic disasters in the history of film.

But before I shot the film, I made sure my two co-stars could remember their lines and act worth a damn. They couldn’t, and they couldn’t, but we plodded forward anyway. We were kids, what the fuck did we know! As I wrote the script for DREAM REAPER, I stalled for a bit and shot this ridiculous commercial for our website. Mind you, we had absolutely nothing to sell yet. But that didn’t stop us from shilling the fuck out of ourselves anyway!

HackMovies.com Shill

After that it was on to filming. Since I didn’t know what the fuck I was doing, I had no idea how fucking hard making movies was. I went into making my first feature film as casually as one might decide to join an after school softball team. Believe it or not, after just a few short months, we’d done it! We’d made the whole stupid movie. My own feature length film to put on DVD and sell to the world! By this time I’d met Mike Lombardo of ReelSplatter.com. He clued me in on which software to use to get myself away from Windows Moviemaker, but that didn’t stop me from shooting the whole movie on that damn 250 dollar Walmart camcorder!

Lloyd Kaufman DVD Intro

Once the movie was shot, edited, and mass produced on DVD, we took it all the way to Twisted Nightmare Weekend in Ohio where we managed to land the one and only Lloyd Kaufman, president of Troma Studios and creator of the Toxic Avenger to do our DVD intro! I’d made it! My cinema hero shilling for MY movie! We brought 80 copies of that bad boy to the con and sold 7! 7 people wanted OUR movie! I couldn’t believe it! I went home so stoked, so ready to make another flick. But that story is for tomorrow. For now, feast your eyes on the VERY FIRST Hack Movies FEATURE film!

Dream ReaperĀ 

Come back tomorrow to learn how we hooked up with long time Hack Movies cinematographer Nick Head and created the two most popular characters in Strangeville, Nixon and Hogan!

7 Days in Strangeville: Day 1


Welcome to day 1 of 7 Days in Strangeville! This will be a little retrospective series for those of us who lived through the heady days of the Hack Movies era, while it also serves as a primer, or introduction to the world of Strangeville for those of you who only know me through the literary world. For years I made movie after movie with the most dedicated, loyal and trustworthy crew on planet Earth. We made anything we set our minds to with no money, little skill, but a fucking metric ton of heart. So here we go. Day 1 in Strangeville:

Before the feature length films, endless convention tour screenings and probably the worst online reviews you’ll find from any one single filmmaker not named Uwe Boll, there were the infamous Hack Shorts. These little guys were talked about for years, but only recently, through the help of Hack Movies Super Minion Adam Troutt have resurfaced online for mass consumption.


Way back in 2004 I shot this little guy. At the time, I didn’t realize how ambitious it actually was. I was just a young dumb kid who was tired of hearing the people at my video store talk about being filmmakers. So my buddy Jonny and I bought a 250 dollar camcorder from Walmart and got to work. I wrote the script in about 20 minutes, and filming took about 4 hours. Since I had no idea how to make movies, it would end up being the second film I released after it sat on a hard drive for over a year waiting for someone to edit it. After asking around and trying to get people to help, I ended up just teaching myself how to use the Windows Movie Maker software and the rest is history:


The Pumpkin MenaceĀ 

After shooting Zombage! I had the bug. This was also around the time Star Wars Episode 3 came out. I was collecting a lot of Star Wars comics and my roommate at the time was obsessed with one of the Star Wars video games. So we decided to do a Star Wars parody film with a monster I’d created for an aborted mocumentary we’d given up on a month or so prior. The Pumpkin Monster would go on to become the Hack Movies mascot and appeared in sketches, at conventions, and even in our final feature length film NIXON AND HOGAN SMOKE CHRISTMAS. Again, I edited this one on Movie Maker and uploaded it to the brand new Youtube video sharing website.


Fight Night

Winding up a very productive 2005, I wrote, shot and edited this one in the span of about 3 hours. By now I was a wiz with movie maker and my acting and directing chops were starting to grow. This would be the last short film I would make before launching Hack Movies as a feature length film production company and beginning to tour the country selling DVDs at conventions. It was also the last film I made before meeting the primary crew who would work with me for the rest of my filmmaking career. Bonus fact: This is the first appearance of Joshitsuo Montoya (Nixon from the Nixon and Hogan Movies) who would go on to star in every movie I made thereafter. He plays the Pumpkin Monster.

That’s it, folks! I hope you liked this little blast from the past! We’ll be back tomorrow for a look at my very first feature length film. DREAM REAPER!