Interview With Bryan Ortiz, Director of Dr. S Battles The Sex Crazed Reefer Zombies: The Movie

You have not seen Dr. S Battles The Sex Crazed Reefer Zombies: The Movie yet? What are you waiting for?  Director, Bryan Ortiz discusses sequel possibilities, his many influences and the all important question of who would win in a fight when face to face with Bruce Campbell of Evil Dead and Jeffrey Combs of Re-Animator.

What are some ways in which shooting a feature-length was different from shooting a short film?

BO: Taking on the monster that is a feature-length film was something I thought I was fully prepared for. I had been producing a steady stream of short films for two years and had finally felt confident in both myself and my team when it came to producing a full length film. Once we stepped through that door we saw how much it was actually going to take and looked at each other and said, and in our best Samuel L Jackson voice, “hold on to your butts”. We had to pay attention to so many more details and especially the story. We had to get used to the idea of “hey we have more time to arch the characters and play out events”. This was really the major difference between short films and feature-length for us.

I came across all the road blocks one could possible come across when filming an ultra low-budget zombie comedy flick and each challenge also presented a new solution and new idea for the film. We had problems
including special effects and make up issues, location wrangling, not enough footage, time, money, POWER, and police but we never had a problem with actors or the city of San Antonio, where it was shot.

The acting and film community in San Antonio is one of the best in the nation. All the actors are hungry for work and give more than 100% of their time and talent to the project just for the sake of their passion. Their professionalism really made the filming experience a lot easier. The city film commission, the commissioner Drew Mayor Oaks, really had our back the whole time and still does to this day. He supported the film in whatever needs he could provide. Again, something I was really moved by, since I am a starting filmmaker trying to make this crazy reefer zombie idea into a reality, was how nurturing a city like San Antonio is to first-time filmmakers.

Who would win in a fight between Dr “S”, Ash of Evil Dead and Dr. Herbert West of Re-Animator and how would he win?

BO: So, I have been pondering this question for some time now. If you took all these characters and put them in a blender, besides having a gross amount of blood, I would like to imagine it would create Doctor “S”. SO, who would win in a fight? If they where all stuck in a room I would imagine one of two things happening…

1) The fight would end with a blood stained filled room and Doctor “S” standing in the center of it with body parts everywhere OR…

2) What I think would really happen, after an amazing battle of brute force, mind power, and series of fantastic super one liners, they would see that they are evenly matched and decide to team up together to defeat anything and everything and reign supreme as king bad asses of the world….yeah that sounds about right.

Will we be seeing Dr. “S” kick more ass in the future?

BO: Myself and the Doctor “S” team love the character so so much and we want to take him as far as we can. We are lucky to have a story that continually makes us laugh and never gets boring. I have actually written two more movies in the hopes that one day Doctor S would become a large trilogy, each movie becoming more outrageous than the previous one, and taking the Doctor to new heights.

To continue his storyline, hoping we get a large budget some day for the films, our team is creating a series of free online audio adventures that tie into the film and hopefully one day its sequels. Doctor “S” the time traveler…

Along with audio adventures we have been exploring the idea of turning Doctor S into a web comic so if there any an artists out there we would love to work with you please contact us. Finally we are currently producing “Doctor S Battles the Sex Crazed Reefer Zombies: The Movie: THE MUSICAL!!!” to open in October at the Overtime Theater in San Antonio, TX. Taking our crazy zombie universe and infiltrating the musical world…craziness will ensue.

Do you have a favorite film or a film that influenced you?

BO: This is always the hardest question for me to answer. I have been influenced over the years by so many amazing films and amazing directors it’s hard to pick one favorite. I can pick the films that influenced me for Doctor “S. Doctor “S”  and I are greatly influenced by the works and directing styles of Sam Raimi, Edgar Wright and George Romero. Their use of camera and story are brilliant and inspirational, storytelling at its finest. To finish of the mix I am also a huge fan of horror and science fiction films from the 1960’s and that is something that was a major influence on me for both design and directing. Finish it off with the exploitation films of the 1930’ and you have the perfect recipe for Doctor ”S”.

After watching the film you can probably tell the biggest thank you is to Bruce Campbell and Sam Raimi’s Evil Dead series. I’m such a huge fan boy and I thought that this film would be my one chance to emulate my heroes
in an homage to them and a thank you for the genius work…and plus who the hell doesn’t want to create their own ICONIC type character like Ash.

Like I said, essentially, Doctor “S” is an homage and thank you to the horror greats.

There is another movie in this year’s festival called Ticked-Off Trannies with Knives which utilizes much of the same Grindhouse aesthetics that your film has.  Also, with films such as Death Proof, Planet Terror and now Machete being released why do you feel this style of filmmaking is returning?

BO: This is a question that often comes up and to me Grindhouse was defiantly my opening door into ageing films and passing them off as old gems buried away. Initially Doctor “S” was supposed to be more Grindhouseque but we felt it would be better to be more vintage classic, an old film left behind in some vault.

This style of film is coming back because people wanna be taken back. They want that sense of retro nostalgia, a time when films were original and not remakes. This is also true for the filmmaker as well. It’s our chance to reach back to those days and where in we can have a full excuse to do whatever it is we want like Machete or Planet Terror and then stylize it with the retro for the added feeling of gritty texture. It puts people in the mindset for something different and exciting than their normal film viewing.

You are listed on the website IMDB as being in a film called Dream Healing which recently played at the San Antonio Film Festival.  Is there anything you would like to say about this film?

BO: I was honored that I had the opportunity to work on and participate in Dora Pena’s film “Dream Healing”. She is a wonderful San Antonio filmmaker and has done so much for the film community as well as supporting my
ventures as well. I think it’s important for a director to relate to his or her actors, and have perspective of what it’s like being in front of the camera.  For me, “Dream Healing” was another opportunity to participate in a creative project and gain more insight in front of the lens, instead of behind it.   It’s a beautiful film that really plays on the heart strings of storytelling.

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