03 March 2011

Steven R. Monroe

I recently had the pleasure of talking with Steven R. Monroe director of I Spit on Your Grave 2010 but unfortunately due to technical difficulties... ok operator error... our interview didn't record. However, the show must go on and out of respect for the completely awesome and totally underrated Mr. Monroe, I felt I should do something about it. I'm not 100% certain that this is THAT something but I felt that ignoring it would just make me seem lazy. Believe me when I say I'm insanely mad at myself and embarrassed that I blew it but I will do my best to give him the credence he deserves.

After over an hour on the phone, I can no longer say I'm a fan of Steven R. Monroe's films... I'm now a fan of HIS. Not only is he a fantastic filmmaker, he is one of the most down to earth people I've ever had the pleasure to talk with.
You may be saying, "eh, she's just saying that because he is who he is", and I'd have to say, you don't know me very well. I'm not the easiest person in the world to impress. I've dealt with a lot in my life and I have a pretty thick skin but Steven got to me. He has spent his entire life in the industry, his mother was a theater producer/director, his father was a cameraman and his sister is a respected editor. You'd think he'd have a bit of a chip on his shoulder but he doesn't. He loves his job and he loves his fans and he works damn hard to put together something that touches, inspires or sticks with fans of all genres.

Admittedly, I'm not a fan of remakes, they're either poorly done by directors and actors who are just looking for a paycheck or they're just taken in a completely different direction in which case, to me anyway, they shouldn't be called a remake. Steven, also not a big fan of remakes, stuck close to the story line of I Spit and did so with grace and elegance. He's taken a lot of shit from a lot of people who want to attack his character (which pisses me off) regarding the film but he also realizes what he signed on for when he made the decision to do it. He handles the criticism like a pro and says that he only wishes people would do their research before busting out a review or slamming him personally.
As for the cast of I Spit, he says from the very beginning he wanted to do it with a lesser known cast because he felt a big name would do more harm than good. He's also extremely defensive/protective of them when it comes to reviewers critiquing them in a negative way. He doesn't understand how anyone could watch this film and say that those actors did a poor job.

We also discussed in detail his work on the SyFy originals. His most recent work, Jabberwocky is done filming and they are in the process now of adding the CG to it. As far as an air date, all he could tell me was some time in the Fall 2011. Jabberwocky stars Tahmoh Penikett, Michael Worth, Kacey Barnfield and Raffaello Degruttola and chronicles the story of a young squire along with his brother must become a warrior to save his people and the woman he loves after a horrific beast is unleashed on the Kingdom.
Other SyFy originals under Steven's belt are Mongolian Death Worm, Ice Twisters, Wyvern, Ogre, and, one of my favorites, Sasquatch Mountain.

He spoke fondly of the friends and coworkers that he's lost along the way. He described them all as great people to know and work with. Neil Lisk was his long time friend and director of photography on many films including I Spit. He did a couple of films for Stephen J. Cannell and had the pleasure (I'm way jealous) of working with the very talented Dennis Hopper.

He's not all horror and SciFi though. He's working closely with Michael Worth to get a drama called Love in a Texas Sky up and running. He says it's something that he's wanted to do for a long time and now has the opportunity to get it started. He's also teamed up one again with composer/producer Corey A. Jackson, Michael Worth and actress Cerina Vincent on a drama called Complacent about a group of friends living the average American lifestyle until they're forced to deal with all the underlying issues in their relationships.

Although I may have failed at bringing you this interview, rest assured that Steven will never let you down. He's proven that he can take even the meekest of scripts and give it new life with his direction. He cares about his fans and wants nothing more than to please them, you, us, visually. Personally, I haven't watched any of his work and thought "Man this is shit,". He works hard at what he does and stands behind what he does 100%. He'll let the haters keep on hating and he'll just keep doing what he's doing. Why not? He ROCKS at it!
Much thanks to Steven for taking time out of his schedule to talk with me... even if I did fuck it up... it was definitely a pleasure and the highlight of my reviewing/blogging career. I look forward to seeing your next project!!


  1. I've not seen the Spit remake. I'm hesitant, mainly because I really wasn't a big fan of or impressed by the original beyond its unapologetic brutality. Of course, I'm the one who says "Why don't they remake bad or meh movies and do them better?" So I've found compelled to rent the new Spit so I can see how they treated it. Your post here makes me think I should do that sooner than later.

  2. You should definitely do it sooner. Monroe took a classic and updated it to today's standards and did it well.

  3. Okay, you sold me on bumping Spit into my "need to watch" queue (wasn't even on my radar, actually).

    Re Monroe's drama project with Micheal Worth, I'm always glad to see artists move outside of their established genre. I think all horror (or anything else) all the time can stunt the creative process after a while.

  4. Bleux Leaux I'm glad my article gave you the "want to" to see this film. I know not everyone will agree with me on how great I think it is but I stand behind everything I say about it. I've talked at length with several people involved in making ISOYG and all it does is make me like it MORE. Please be sure and let me know your thoughts on it after you've watched it!