SCROLL TO THE BOTTOM FOR AN INTERVIEW WITH ERIC AND DAVID WILKINSON
THE VIOLENCE MOVIE: When a deranged killer (David Wilkinson) escapes from prison, he inexplicably invades the home of Joey Hammond (Joseph Shaugnessy) who must fight for his life in order to stay alive. Shot on VHS back in 1988 (with additional footage added in 2003) by a teenage Eric D. Wilkinson (who went on to produce Jerome Bixby’s The Man From Earth, Mischief Night, Sparks), the short was passed around on bootleg VHS tapes for years before the term “viral” ever existed. Almost 30 years later, this homage to slasher movies has been re-mastered, re-edited and re-scored (from none other than the legendary Friday the 13th composer Harry Manfredini) is now available for all to enjoy! THE VIOLENCE MOVIE 2: Was it real or was it a dream? For some unexplained reason Joey Hammond (Joseph Shaughnessy “The Violence Movie”, “Generation X Live!”) returns in this action packed sequel to The Violence Movie (with a brand new original score once again by Friday the 13th composer Harry Manfredini). This time the crazed serial killer (David Wilkinson “Jersey Girl”, “The Violence Movie”, “Generation X Live!”) is relentless in his pursuit of the innocent Joey with 2 times the action, 2 times the gore, 2 times the body count, and 2 times the fun! It’s the sequel in which you will keep asking yourself, “Why?”
Audio Commentary featuring star David Wilkinson and writer / director Eric D. Wilkinson
Unreleased alternate version of ‘The Violence Movie 2’ with optional audio commentary
Deleted scenes and outtakes from ‘The Violence Movie’ and ‘The Violence Movie 2’
‘Violence in ’03’: The brothers Wilkinson re-visit the scene of the crime for re-shoots 15 years later
The original opening credit sequences for both ‘The Violence Movie’ and ‘The Violence Movie 2’
Original ‘Script’ (if you want to call it that)
Audio Commentary featuring star David Wilkinson and writer / director Eric D. Wilkinson
THE VIOLENCE MOVIE
ERIC: It was the summer of 1988; I had been a “regular” on the USA Network daily television show “Dance Party USA” on and off since 1986. But being on the show was a big time commitment for no pay and I was ready to do something else. I had been in front of the camera but I really wanted to get behind it.
DAVID: I was a teenage high school student working in the record shop of the local “dirt mall”. I was obsessed with art, hockey and the popular “slasher” movies of the era. I spent a lot of time drawing and painting pictures of Jason Voorhees and Freddy Krueger. My life was not much more complicated than that.
ERIC: I was working for my father part time at Serta Mattress Company (that, for a horror movie geek, was a bore) and basically my job there was to be a gopher for the bosses (I graduated high school early for this?). One day I was asked to take my boss’s car to the shop to get a windshield repaired. As I sat waiting for the car, I had an idea, (I’m a movie geek. I have a shit-ton of ideas). I love horror movies (especially Friday the 13th) and I certainly was an impetuous teenager. What if I made my own horror movie? I asked for some paper and a pen and wrote out a treatment on scrap paper (see below) and called it “The Violence Movie”.
DAVID: I am not sure what I was doing this day (probably eating Cocoa Puffs by the fist full while watching cartoons because that’s what teenagers in the 80’s). However, I had no idea I was about to to part of a “project” that would wind up being 30 years in the making.
ERIC: I came home and told my younger brother David that we were making a movie and to call his best friend Joey because we needed him too. I went down to Erol’s Video (this is pre-Blockbuster) and rented a VHS video camera and that evening (and the next day… we had to return the camera in 24 hours) we shot our “movie”. I had a VHS and a Sony Betamax so I dumped it down to Beta to edit it and then BACK to VHS to add music. And there was only one album in my collection that could be the score for my epic, my soundtrack to Friday the 13th composed by the legendary Harry Manfredini. We finished that night but, it wasn’t enough. It ran about eight minutes and while we liked it, we wanted more. Problem was we shot an ending where Joey (SPOILER ALERT) chops off the killer’s head with a shovel. But I didn’t give a shit. I came up with a new idea that the killer will just pick his head up off the ground and put it back on (like a hat) and continue his rampage. We shot again and this time we had enough footage to get to almost a fifteen minute running time and changed the end. (SPOILER ALERT) This time the killer would prevail and slay the hero. Why not? Cut! Print! Moving on! Perfect.
DAVID: I had nothing else going on that day so I figured, “what the hell? I’ll be in a movie.” My best friend Joey and I spent most of our childhood growing up fake fighting as we pretended to be our favorite movie and TV characters. Who cares that we were in high school? Why not do it once more for old time’s sake and put it on film? There was very little creative direction given by my brother, the “director”, so most of our fight choreography was improvised. What would become an unintentional running gag (even in 2017) on this project is we would constantly battle a combination of weak camera batteries and loss of daylight. We wound up in the shed basically because it got dark outside and there was a light bulb in there so we could see. Did we even take a moment to “set the stage”? Hell no. We just opened the door, turned on the light and started shooting around the mess. We had to finish our “movie”.
One thing that has always sucked in my mind regarding that first shoot was how little I could see while wearing the rubber Freddy Krueger mask. Every time I threw my head back to embellish a punch the mask would move and I could not see a thing. Before I knew it, Joey was throwing haymakers. I could not get a punch in edgewise which is why after we wind up outside on the patio I am throwing lame punches as I am falling backward. I mean how much power am I going to get behind that anyway? Once we decided to reattach my head and continue shooting, I could not wait to switch to…wait for it… (SPOILER ALERT)… a hockey mask which conveniently I had because I happened to be a goalie on a local deck hockey team.
ERIC: We made our own VHS cases. We made copies and passed it around. People loved it. It was great. Locally, it went “viral” (before going viral was a thing). For a year or so, life was great, but people wanted more. Every good horror movie deserves a sequel and during the spring of 1989 we began production on “The Violence Movie 2” (that’s a whole other story with so many starts and stops (all early versions scrapped) that include one that starred a now very famous person’s little sister). By the end of 1990 we finally had not one but TWO “Violence Movies”. But then we grew up and moved on. Or so we thought…
DAVID: Every good movie needs and good package. As mentioned, I was an aspiring artist and Eric asked me to create a cover for our new masterpiece. So I did. As it turns out this would be the first “key art” for a film that I would ever create. I would go on spend the bulk of my career as a professional graphic artist creating key art for a variety of films including just about every film and script Eric has gone on to write, produce or be involved with. It was the beginning of a 30 year partnership and collaboration that has been very fulfilling for both of us.
ERIC: I remember being at a Halloween party and I brought the tape. The whole party came to a standstill while everyone gathered around the TV to watch our epic masterpiece.
DAVID: Not long after we had finished shooting, Joey had a high school sociology project where he had to create or bring in a video of a “crime”. He decided to bring in and show The Violence Movie. His teacher loved it so much that he showed it to all of his classes that day. Next thing I knew I had people stopping me in the hallway saying “hey, aren’t you in that movie”? It became the talk of the school for a while. One very special person who had seen it was my future wife. This was the first time she had ever seen or heard of me.
ERIC: David has me to thank for his wife and family. I can just imagine her watching The Violence Movie and saying to her, “I’m going to marry him one day and have children with that guy”.
DAVD: I think what most people that saw this weren’t reacting to how good it was or wasn’t, but just the fact that we actually made it. To put it in context, this was 1988 and people weren’t carrying around video editing apps in their pocket. Today everyone has the ability to shoot, edit & score a HD movie and then share it with the world all in an instant. Being from a small town, this was an amazing thing we did. It was a fun ride and we got a few years of “local notoriety” out of it, which was cool.
ERIC: Fast forward to 2003. Now in my 30’s and married, my wife and I had recently bought a house. We had a leaky pipe in the basement and under that pipe was a box with the master copies of “The Violence Movie” (and its sequel) along with most of the raw footage. Water had dripped on the box and when I realized its contents I called my brother (who was now a skilled graphic designer and editor) and suggested the idea of digitizing everything. He agreed that we should protect what was an important part of our childhoods and digitized everything. Having not seen it in years, we looked at it again, reliving our teenage years. By this time, I was working for one of the major studios and had a little experience in the movie industry and as I watched this from a new perspective, I could see several shots I had missed and things that could be “fixed”. And once again, I had an epiphany… What if we made a “15th Anniversary Special Edition”? My brother had saved ALL of the props and costumes in a box in his attic. We could shoot pick-ups and missing shots and make it better (just like George Lucas did with Star Wars)! So I stuffed my brother back into the killer’s costume and we went back to my parents’ house and like a couple of teenagers we were shooting “The Violence Movie” once again. We completed the new edit, designed a nice DVD case and had 50 DVDs printed up at Disc Makers of our “15th Anniversary Special Edition” (both VM1 & VM2 on the same DVD disc). Once again, we passed them out to family and friends. Not sure if we went viral at this time but I did find bootleg copies at flea markets, so someone must have thought it was a “real movie”. But at least it was all digitized… protected. “The Violence Movie” was finally complete.
DAVID: At this point The Violence Movie had become a distant memory and just another part of our childhood. I was working full time at Mattel Toys as a designer and producing theatrical key art & home video packaging in my spare time. As a creative professional I became not only proficient with tools like Adobe Photoshop but have also began dabbling in digital video editing with Apple’s Final Cut Pro. When Eric told me what had happened and how close we were to losing this moment of our childhood my thought was simple. It must be saved! I think the single greatest discovery in this process was one of the “scrapped” versions of “Violence Movie 2”. This failed attempt at a sequel was such a train wreck it has ultimately become pure comedy gold in hindsight.
ERIC: We made several attempts at a shooting sequel. At the time, dialogue was not my forte. Ultimately we stuck with what we knew and made a sequel that’s more of a remake on steroids. Third time’s a charm, I suppose. After three years and three summers, we were done… or so we thought.
DAVID: We were never done. And I was happy to revisit my childhood for a few more brief moments. Thankfully I tend to save everything including all of the props. So when Eric explained why we need to start shooting new footage all of these years later I was ready. While some had not survived the years such as my rubber Freddy mask which had melted into a flesh colored clump of rubber under the extreme heat of the attic. Others were as good as new including the blue workman’s coveralls which I wore in Pt. 2. In addition to being a few inches taller, I had also put on a few pounds since my teenage years (so getting back into the suit was a little more challenging than I remember), but I squeezed myself into it and was ready. Once again this production was not without its hiccups. From our plastic knife breaking to Eric damn near losing an eye when I dropped the stunt dummy from a second story window (to get a POV shot), it seems as though history would continue to repeat itself on this production.
ERIC: The mistakes and the hiccups was in the spirit of the original. We were back at our childhood home doing what we loved. Getting bashed in the face with a dummy was par for the course. At least I charged the batteries this time.
DAVID: In the end, we were not only able to digitally preserve it but also cleaned some of the edits, do some color correction and even added some sound effects.
ERIC: I’m still baffled as to why we printed up like 50 – 100 DVDs. We weren’t allowed to sell them (because of the music rights). But it was cool having everything all in a nice, neat little package.
DAVID: From the packaging to the interactive motion menus, I am still very proud of how our 15th anniversary DVD came out.
ERIC: Fast forward once again to 2010. My career in the entertainment industry had led me to an independent studio / distributor in New York City. I had produced a couple of films by then (including Jerome Bixby’s The Man From Earth) and I was enjoying overseeing acquisitions and sales for the company. I had recently hired a young go-getter named George to help with sales and having a lot in common cinematically, we became fast friends. He mentioned how much he had enjoyed The Man From Earth and I thought, why not… show him “The Violence Movie” and gave George one of the DVDs. He loved it and seeing his enjoyment really reminded me how much fun it was to make it. (On some level it was sort of the inspiration for a feature film I co-wrote and produced called Mischief Night which has the same basic premise as “The Violence Movie” (killer breaks into a home to slay its occupant… basically a bigger budget “Violence Movie”).
DAVID: So when Mr. Big Time Hollywood producer finally gets to make a real horror movie does he call the guy who risked life and limb fake fighting on the roof or allowing himself to be drug from the back of a moving car? No. He hires a real actor and stuntman to play his “killer”. That’s gratitude for you!
ERIC: Eventually, George and I both left the company and moved on, but when we stayed in touch occasionally and our conversations would always somehow lead back to “The Violence Movie”. Despite the fact that I had a worldwide cult hit with The Man From Earth and that I had made a real “Violence Movie” with Mischief Night, there was something about my shot-on-VHS masterpiece (kidding) that he gravitated to. I was happy that I had left a lasting impression. And oh, how it lasted.
DAVID: I’m not speaking because I am still very hurt from not being asked to play “the Killer” in Mischief Night.
ERIC: Fast forward one last time (lot’s of VHS references here). It’s the end of 2016 and slowly approaching the 30th Anniversary of “The Violence Movie”. George is now the acquisitions executive of the new Sundance Now SVOD platform. I oversee acquisitions and sales at MVD Entertainment. George comes to me looking for content to review for the new platform from MVD and lo and behold he brings up “The Violence Movie”. At first, I politely declined. I explained that it wasn’t really meant for public consumption and truth be told, it’s not even a real “movie”. It’s fourteen minutes long and its full of music we don’t own including Eddie Van Halen, composer Michael Kamen, Expose’ (‘memba them) and of course a big chunk of Harry Manfredini’s Friday the 13th soundtrack. It would cost WAY too much to clear this music. Plus, it’s shot on VHS and basically looks like shit. But George persisted. And then I thought… I’ve produced a dozen films over the course of the last 10 years… What if I “fixed” The Violence Movie one last time?
DAVID: Wait, what if “he” fixed The Violence Movie?!? I think he means me. Cue the phone…
ERIC: I called my brother and told him what was happening? Sundance Now wants “The Violence Movie” and that we were going to “fix” it and re-edit it one last time. My skills as an independent movie producer were about to come in handy. My little brother (game as always) pulled the box out of the attic once again, shoved his body into the killer suit one last time, like a sausage in a casing, and we shot one final pick-up (to fix the ending of part 2). The music had to be replaced and I dream I had as a kid was about to come true.
DAVID: I got the call when I was out Christmas shopping with my family at the mall. Eric told me about Sundance now wanting to show it and my first reaction was “have they actually seen it?” I walked around the store with the phone on my ear listening to him perplexed. It just boggles my mind after 30 years that someone thinks there is an actual audience for our little VHS attempt at filmmaking. At this point “The Violence Movie” is like a zombie. Every time you think it is dead it comes back to life to haunt us once again. But who am I to complain? As always, I was in.
ERIC: When it comes to “The Violence Movie”, it’s never over.
DAVID: Here we are at Eric’s house. We about to finally shoot a couple of pickup shots for this “final” version, which were not able to get the first time because of course, the camcorder battery died and guess what? His camcorder battery died!
ERIC: I blew the dust off the VHS camcorder and put the battery in the charger. I was being punished for not having turned it on for more than a decade.
DAVID: The VHS camera battery no longer worked and he had no power cord for this archaic piece of video equipment. Then Eric gets his also archaic standard definition digital video camera and that battery also had not been properly charged. Damn near 30 years later and history is still repeating itself. The irony is astounding. Nothing has changed. I am wearing the same mask, the same clothes and being told the same exact thing. “Hurry up. We are almost out of battery power!” Thankfully we pressed on and after all these years finally got the shots we needed and the ending we wanted. It’s finally over… or is it?
ERIC: Over the course of my producing career I had helped a friend of mine on one of his films (a thriller called iMurders). Harry Manfredini was hired to do the score. After the film was release I had stayed friendly with Harry. During the summer of 2016 he did a score on a micro-short I produced titled Contagion so when George wanted to pick up “The Violence Movie” for Sundance Now, I thought, why not ask the man whose music I stole almost thirty years ago to score my epic? Harry is an accomplished composer. I assumed he would turn me down, but I had to ask. And then my dream came true. Harry Manfredini, the legendary composer of the original Friday the 13th agreed to score “The Violence Movie” and its sequel. The teenager in me lit up with excitement. After almost 30 years “The Violence Movie” would finally be complete and have a score from one of the very people that inspired me to make it!
DAVID: I was speechless because instead Harry Manfredini suing us for stealing his music in the first place, he agreed to compose actual music for “The Violence Movie”. I was always skeptical about how I would feel with new music accompanying these scenes and images I have seen countless times throughout my life. I mean the original music from Eric’s record collection married to those images was so burned in my brain I just couldn’t imagine anything else. But if we wanted to really release this, it had to be changed.
ERIC: I felt the same way. The original music never quite matched the action but that was part of the charm.
DAVID: When I finished adding Harry’s new score to the movie and watched it for the first time, my first reaction was “the man is a genius”. It was perfect and just felt like it was there all along.
ERIC: Harry Manfredini can do no wrong.
DAVID: While I am so excited that “The Violence Movie” is finally done and will finally be available for the whole world to see. My only wish is that people who see it now keep it in perspective. It’s not perfect. It’s not supposed to be. We were a bunch of kids in the late 80’s expressing their love for these movies in the only way they knew how. We were probably not much different than many other kids across the country who were embracing this new technology (of camcorders). I’m so glad we saved everything. “The Violence Movie” (and its sequel) are our home movies.
ERIC: So here we are in 2018. I have a new movie, The Man From Earth: Holocene (a sequel to my most popular film) that just came out, but just as important, almost thirty years later, a teenager armed with a rented VHS camcorder, a Betamax and his kid brother, made a love letter / homage / parody (call it whatever you will) to one of his favorite movies of all time and finally gets to share it with the rest of the world.
TITLE: THE VIOLENCE MOVIE / THE VIOLENCE MOVIE 2
YEAR: 1988 / 1989
GENRE: Retro / Parody / Horror / Comedy
FORMAT / ASPECT RATIO: SD / 1.33:1
AUDIO: 2.0 Stereo
RUNNING TIME: 14 mins / 19 mins
SYNOPSIS: Shot on VHS back in 1988 & 1989 (with additional footage added in 2003) by two brothers armed with nothing but a VHS camera and a $100 budget, it was passed around on bootleg VHS tapes for years before the term “viral” ever existed. Re-mastered, re-edited and re-scored (from none other than the legendary Friday the 13th composer Harry Manfredini) in 2018, this homage that was inspired by the slasher movies of the era is now available for all to enjoy!
THE VIOLENCE MOVIE (1988): When a deranged killer (David E. Wilkinson) escapes from prison, he inexplicably invades the home of Joey Hammond (Joseph Shaugnessy) who must fight for his life in order to stay alive.
THE VIOLENCE MOVIE 2: THE VIOLENCE MOVIE 2: Was it real or was it a dream? For some unexplained reason Joey Hammond (Joseph Shaughnessy) returns in this action packed sequel to The Violence Movie. This time the crazed serial killer (David Wilkinson) is relentless in his pursuit of the innocent Joey with 2 times the action, 2 times the gore, 2 times the body count, and 2 times the fun! It’s the sequel in which you will keep asking yourself, “Why?”
DIRECTOR: Eric D. Wilkinson
PRODUCERS: Eric D. Wilkinson (Jerome Bixby’s The Man From Earth, Mischief Night), David E. Wilkinson
WRITER: Eric D. Wilkinson (The Man From Earth: Holocene, Mischief Night)
COMPOSER: Harry Manfredini (Friday the 13th, Wishmaster, House)