[Interview] Director Ricky Glore Discusses Debut Feature Film 'All Your Friends Are Dead'
Independent filmmaker, comedian and co-director Ricky Glore sets out to make a grown up Slasher film.
In his feature film debut, independent filmmaker and comedian Ricky Glore asks the question, "What if the teen slasher film grew up?" With this inspiration at play, we get his blood-soaked feature film All Your Friends Are Dead. Thirty-something Matt Wilbee and a group of his formerly close friends dubbed come together in a horror story where the characters aren't fumbling teens, but complex and jaded adults. Having decided that his best years are behind him at the height of his depression, Matt makes a drastic decision to end his life and alerts his friends of his decision to make his final stand at the camp grounds where they were last together. His friends rush to his side to intervene just in time, but unbeknownst to them, a masked killer is in the woods.
The indie horror film is being crowdfunded on Kickstarter and has reached it's initial goal, but the team is still hard at work and hoping to raise additional funding to complete the film. Co-directed by Glore and Nicholas Hiance, the film is being shot on location in Northern Kentucky. The talented special effects and makeup team have worked on beloved genre films like Haunt (2019), Candy Corn (2019), NOTZILLA (2019) and Terror Trips (2022) in addition to the famed Newport, Kentucky haunt The USS Nightmare.
We were thrilled to sit down with Ricky Glore to discuss his love of horror, filmmaking and All Your Friends Are Dead.
Slay Away: How did you discover your love of your Ricky?
Glore: I was three-years-old, sitting at the foot of my parents bed. The year was 1988 and they had rented A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984). They thought I was asleep and I just remember the blue hues Wes Craven used in the night scenes and that scene at the end where Johnny Depp's character is sucked into the bed with blood everywhere, but the scene that sticks out for me is when Nancy turns her back on the bed after her mother has turned into a skeleton from a Spirit Halloween store and gets sucked into the bed, then Freddy emerges from the sheets and cuts his way through.
I will never forget that for as long as I live. It was from this, that my love of being scared came in and then my Dad, not too long after that, we would watch the Bob Hope and Bring Crosby road pictures. Martin and Lewis comedies, Abbott and Costello. Then we watched films like Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein (1948) and a lot of the Universal Monsters films and actors, like Bela Lugosi as Dracula (1931), House of Frankenstein (1944) with Glenn Strange as Frankenstein, Lon Chaney Jr. as The Wolf Man (1941) and their portrayals are played for horror, not necessarily for laughs. When my Dad noticed that I was okay with that, he then introduced me to all the Universal Monsters, the Hammer Horror movies and then came The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974). I'd also seen all of this by the time I was like eight-years-old.
"What if The Breakfast Club grew up to be The Big Chill and went camping in a Friday the 13th movie?"
Slay Away: Your first feature horror film All Your Friends Are Dead is coming out and the Kickstarter campaign is running right now. Breakdown this tagline for us?
Glore: I used the reference with the three iconic coming-of-age films assuming everyone would have the same film knowledge as I do, but they do not. I was trying now to punch down the logline, but I would say it to some people and they'd be like The Breakfast Club, I kind of know what you're talking about, but The Big Chill, no. So my pitch for the movie became part of the press release and some people had a hard time understanding what it was about due to those film references. The first site that picked up our press release did something I love and just wrote, "What happens when the teen slasher movie grows up?" I was like oh, that's a much more succinct way to say it.
Slay Away: Tell us a bit more about the film?
Glore: The film is semi-autobiographical. I played sports all my life and always had a foot in entertainment and comedy. Whether it be filming sketches with my friends, watching SNL, seeing stand up shows, performing in school, I'd always been interested in theater and wanted to perform. I couldn't because it overlapped too much with my baseball, wrestling and football schedule. Then, I got hurt my junior year playing football and I was in a wheelchair for six months and required surgeries. The doctor said, "If you want to ensure that you don't go paralyzed, you will stop playing any form of contact sports." It was easy to make that decision. Immediately, while still wearing a leg brace, I auditioned for West Side Story and my love of horror and comedy kind of inspired me to audition specifically for the John Astin role because I had loved The Addams Family. I audition for this role. I don't have to sing. I don't have to dance. I get to be the comic relief and I got it. After that, I was in every play.
So, this story, All Your Friends Are Dead is and alternate reality that follows a character not unlike me, that didn't get hurt in high school. Instead, he was King Shit of Turd Mountain and it was that classic story of many years later, sitting in a bar being having been hurt in college instead. He's lost touch with his eclectic group of Breakfast Club-like friends who all kind of match an archetype. Become an alcoholic depressive with a dependency on pain medication and never got his footing. One day, he wakes up at 35-years-old and realizes the best years of his life are behind him and the depression is getting so bad. After some consecutive bad days, he asks himself, "What is life is worth living for?" and he decides to write an email to group of close friends in high school lamenting that he's sorry they didn't keep in touch and details his plan to end his life at the last place they all spent time together after their high school graduation.
He goes to the place they were last together and to his surprise, he is stopped by that group of friends. They've shown up, they've dropped everything that they had going on in their lives to help him save his own. That's when the horror starts. Unbeknownst to all of them, while they are having a Kumbaya intervention in the woods, there is a masked escaped murderer lurking in the woods who is watching. Ready to pick them off one by one and forcing the lead character have to decide, does he really want to live? Because if he wants to die, here's a perfect opportunity. If he wants to live, he's going to have to actively live his life.
"The Blu-ray includes the film and an exclusive commentary track that is limited to this initial release of the Blu-ray."
Slay Away: You've met your original funding goal. Tell us about these stretch goal rewards on Kickstarter if folks want to back the project?
Glore: The biggest reward if you are interested in supporting and contributing to indie filmmaking, especially indie horror is the Blu-ray. We still have some things to do including a couple more days of filming and post-production. Once the film is done, who knows how long it will take to get it in front of a mass audience. Backing the project with a pledge for the Blu-ray guarantees horror fans that you'll have your own copy by October 2022 along with your name in the credits. The Blu-ray includes the film and an exclusive commentary track that is limited to this initial release of the Blu-ray. The funds will go towards film festival submissions.
The Kickstarter campaign will run through September 30, 2021 and as of right now, we have 57 of the 100 Blu-ray copies up for grabs. We also dropped some additional perks to spice things up including an associate producer credit. We have four of those available.
All Your Friends Are Dead is still available to back on Kickstarter. You can get your very own limited Blu-ray copy of the film with exclusive commentary when you pledge!