March 28, 2008 ESplatter.com caught up with Shawn Lewis, the producer and writer of the much-anticipated exploitationer "Black Devil Doll," being produced by Rotten Cotton Productions. The film has been the subject of controversy, ever since its poster was revealed last Fall.
ESplatter: When did you guys come up with the idea for this movie?
My brother Jonathan and I plus two good friends John Osteen and Mitch Mayes were sitting around one night drinking and watching horror films, if I remember correctly we were watching Dolls, and the light bulb went off. So it was one of those drunken ideas you have that still sounds cool when you sober up the next day so we went for it...
ESplatter: Have you seen the original 'Black Devil Doll From Hell' – the old movie?
Yes, of course, its one of our many inspirations for our film. I rented BDDFH when I was like 14 and I was scared for life. Its probably one of the worst, if not the worst movies ever made. But its so fucking terrible you have to see it. There is about 7 or so minutes that are great, the rest fails horribly. I always liked what Chester Turner "tried" to do and admired him for trying.... To be very clear, our film is not a remake or sequel. Yes, both dolls are Black, the titles are similar, and both films feature some sex, but thats the end of the similarities. The script, plot, story, dialog, characters in our film are original and do not have anything in common with Black Devil Doll From Hell. The doll in BDDFH is not even a "killer doll"... I think our doll actually has more in common with Chucky than anything. I think our trailer should make it pretty clear that our film is an entirely different beast.
But as different as our film obviously is people still want to call it a remake or rip off. I knew we would have this reaction when we chose the title but the title just worked so well, ya know? So Turner was the first guy to make a film with a black puppet, so no one else can touch that subject ever again? I say bullshit. Return Of The Living Dead and Flight Of The Living Dead are both about flesh eating zombies and have similar titles to Night Of The Living Dead, but they are clearly not remakes. Is every zombie film since NOTLD a remake, rip-off, or sequel?
ESplatter: So what exactly is Rotten Cotton?
It's me doing whatever I need to do to keep from getting a real job. It's your best place to get horror, exploitation, and just general fucked up shirts. Visit http://www.rottencotton.com
ESplatter: When did people start complaining about this movie and who has complained to you about the movie so far?
Well King Magazine compared it to Birth Of A Nation, they also said our film would be queued in a Klansman's Netflix list.... They feel we are perpetuating dangerous stereotypes. Which is complete clueless bullshit, Our film is SATIRE, its comedy, its no different than what Comedy Central does every night... Those assholes at King are so out of touch, next time you are in a bookstore hit the mag rack and look at a copy of King Mag, just flip through it... Its just page after page of Bling-Bling jewelry ads, Platinum grills for you teeth, ad's for 22 inch spinner car rims, and black girls with big asses. So is that all black men are into? Jewelry, big asses, and car rims? Talk about perpetuating stereotypes. They are an insult to the black community. Fuck them.
ESplatter: Why are people getting so upset about this movie?
Because we live in a Politically Correct world, people think, for some dumb reason, that they have the right not to be offended. They don't. People need a thicker skin, they also need to learn to change the channel if they don't like something. But more importantly, they need to lighten the fuck up.
ESplatter: Given the trailer, you guys look like real fans of exploitation movies. What are your favorites?
I love and collect all evil puppet/doll movies. And I'm also a fan of 70's exploitation, sexploitation, and blaxploitation. There are too many to mention really. But here is a few: Trilogy Of Terror, Dolemite, Faster Pussycatt Kill Kill, Rolling Thunder...
ESplatter: Where did you find the cast for this movie?
I was friends with Heather Murphy and my co-writer Mitch Mayes was friends with Natasha Talonz. We gave both girls the script and they agreed to do it. Natasha was responsible for finding the rest of the girls, she was basically our casting agent. Some of the girls were strippers, some were aspiring actresses, but all did a great job.
ESplatter: What's your budget? And where did you get the money?
The budget is still growing. We are still in post production and we are also spending money traveling to promote it. Lets just say it was under $200,000. Our father invested some money, a dentist, and a local liquor store owner did as well. Rotten Cotton contributed to the budget a bit too.
ESplatter: Do you have a distributor yet – or are you going to hit the festival circuit?
We are hitting the Festival circuit soon.
As far as distribution goes, we have quite a few offers on the table from all over the world but have yet to decide on one. Most importantly for me is that I have complete creative control on the packaging, the dvd authoring, ect. No one will cut this or fuck it up, its my baby. If I can't find someone that will give me that kind of freedom, I will release it myself.
ESplatter: Is a sequel in the works? What else is in store for you guys?
Yes, we are making a part 2. We are in the script stage now. Since the first one was a Grindhouse throwback, we wanted to do something different for the second one. And since I'm a huge fan of Alien rip-offs. Especially the Roger Corman stuff, Forbidden World is one of my favorites. So Black Devil Doll 2 will take place in space! Complete with a cheesy John Carpenter-ish score and Alien inspired set design. I don't want to give too much away, but the doll will be on the ship raping, killing, and impregnating the women... It will have the first zero gravity puppet sex scene!
We are also in the script stage of a retro 70's female revenge film called She's A Whore. Its in the vein of Ms. 45 and Thriller: They Call Her One Eye...