Filmmaker Dustin Mills has had a bitchin’ week thus far! He unleashed Her Name Was Torment onto an unsuspecting public with fabulous results. He also unveiled his new imprint Crumpleshack Films that will house his darker, sleazier, more sinister work (the first of which WAS HNWT). PLUS, their were several theatrical showings of his film, Skinless, in the Cleveland area. In our glassy eyes, Dustin Mills exemplifies what underground horror filmmaking is all about. So, with that in mind, we’ve decided to honor him with his own Buzzfeed-like list (our version of one, anyway). These are OUR 5 reasons to love Dustin Mills…
1. The Entire Premise of Kill That Bitch-First, to have a dirty swear in your title shows you’ve pretty much resolved to not give a shit what the mainstream perception of your work will be. That qualifies as awesome. KTB is a shining example of what total freedom can amount to. It’s super violent, has kick ass fight scenes, and an ending that made me yell “WHAT THE FUCK?!”, then go back through and see what clues I missed that lead to that climax. It’s a movie that says “I do not give a fuck if you like me or not. I made this to clear MY mind, not massage yours”. It also lead to Matt G. and I having a teenage girl-like text message fest over our love for it. Oh, and one of our favorite people in the world, Erin R. Ryan, is in it! AND one of my wife’s friends from college (who does a GREAT fucking job, I might add!!!) is in it as well! Small world, huh?! All around awesomeness made on a dime. Kill That Bitch is now one of my 2 favorites of his movies. Go buy it immediately.
2. PUPPETS!!!!!-It’s probably one of the main things that put him on the map…but it’s for good reason. He’s really, really good at it! Puppet Monster Massacre, Easter Casket, Night Of The Tentacles all feature innovative puppetry that works to enhance the film. It’s not kitsch. It’s genuinely good work AND it’s another factor that sets him apart from his peers. His puppets are evil. His puppets are perverse. His puppets are goddamned entertaining. Consider Dustin the successor to the Frank Henenlotter puppet throne.
3. He’s A Total Original-If there’s one thing that will make Mills’ work alluring to a new fan, it’s that he doesn’t wade in a stagnant pool. His work has been completely original, even when working within genre staples (i.e., zombies, monsters, etc.). When I say you never know what you’re going to get with a Dustin Mills movie, I really mean it. Even within each film you’ll find a million different things that came bursting forth from his brain…and somehow, he finds a way to make them into a cohesive narrative. He always has the option of revisiting previous work, but Dustin chooses to venture down the different alley ways that occupy his creative brain. We’re the lucky beneficiaries of that work.
4.Self Awareness-Consider this his most appealing trait as a creator. When we had Dustin on the podcast, it was obvious that he knew his place in the film pantheon. He wasn’t smug, he wasn’t rude, he was aware. He knew that he wasn’t making the average family-friendly horror film. Instead, he talks very candidly about his work, about the fact that he’s using a lot of taboo subject matters. But when he talks about these films and the harsh manner in which they deal with violence, sex, religion he doesn’t do it in a defensive manner. Instead, he talks about each of his films lovingly. There are no proclamations of being the next Scorsese, just an artist who wants to keep creating as long as he can. He’s able to be proud of his work while still maintaining his humility. You’re not going to find someone with that sort of clarity everyday. Especially one who continuously releases brilliant horror films.
5.Constant & Consistent Output-Right from the jump, Mills was ready to contend. When he puts a movie out, it’s him putting his best foot forward in that moment. Each of his movies is unique. They all have their own take on a way to tell a story and a way to tap into a different subgenre. But there is one major constant running through all of his films: Improvement. Every release gets a little smarter. Every one of them looks a little different. But they all dress to impress and they all deliver satisfying results. I have yet to watch a release from the Dustin Mills Production universe that I didn’t watch more than once. This is the sign of a fantastic artist, in my opinion. It doesn’t matter if I’m laughing or if I’m cringing…I’m having my emotions evoked. He’s become one of our favorite directors to watch. We’re waiting for each new release the way you wait for your favorite band’s new album. There aren’t millions of dollars at his disposal, but there is an endless flow of creativity spilling forth making insane fucked up movies.
Dustin Mills is awesome. Flat out awesome. The guy has a brain that doesn’t work like the normal human being and that’s a thing of beauty. We’re excited for what the year holds for DMP and Crumpleshack Films. We HIGHLY encourage you to visit www.dmp.storeenvy.com and help keep this independent filmmmaker in business. Thanks for all the chaos so far, Dustin!
Tags: Dustin Mills, Dustin Mills Productions, Easter Casket, frank henenlotter, Gore, her name was torment, Horror, Night of the Tentacles, Puppet Monster Massacre, Sex, Sleaze, The Blood Sprayer, underground horror, Violence