“When it comes to your town, no one can run, no one can hide, EVERYONE MUST DIE! A pattern of similar killings occurs, leaving small towns aghast with grief and suspicion. When the massacre left Kyle’s sister in the coroner’s office, he vowed to solve the mystery behind the gruesome pattern of slaughter and find out where this seemingly death-proof killer will strike next. Join us as this tale of gore spreads from town to town, person to person, and blade to blade, leaving nobody safe, because, after all… EVERYONE MUST DIE!“ –Steve Rudzinski
It is few and far between that I find a genre-comedy that I honestly enjoy. When I was approached by Steve Rudzinski to view EVERYONE MUST DIE! I was naturally weary. It even took me a few days to watch the film as admittedly there was an air of arrogance surrounding me, I just knew this would not be what I would find interesting. I was wrong.
EVERYONE MUST DIE! is a fun film with a range of characters all with their own quirks and personalities. Writer, director, actor Stephen Rudzinski put himself in the role of Pete, a neurotic and always championing for himself type of man. Rudzinski’s performance out of the group appeared to have the most effort and pep behind it, maybe that is because Rudzinski wrote the film and knew exactly what he wanted, or maybe it’s because the multi-talented mogul who stands out in a crowd. Either way Pete by far was my favourite character in the film. Other cast seemed to play off of Rudzinski, and, not all appeared to understand who their characters were. The role of John acted out by Derek Rothermund was done well and his love for golf was a fun side note as it played well into the characters development. The delightfully bitter Wanda was mildly underplayed by actress Aleen Isley, with her acting background it seems like more could have been brought to Wendy’s personality than what was given. Someone who did stand out as a very promising comedic actor was Clifford Lynch and I expect we will hear much more from him in the future. Nicole Beattie, Seth Gontkovic, Rebecca Campbell and Ben Dietels all heldd their own EVERYONE MUST DIE!. The cast was well rounded and each character had his or her own personal style, as an audience member I appreciate that.
The opening scene in everyone must die was a highlight for me. Jumped straight into some action with great special effects and an over the top killing. By the time the title sequence for EVERYONE MUST DIE! showed up it felt like I was in for something special. Nick LaMantia was a lot of fun to watch was Kyle, whose sister has been murdered and swears to find justice.
Without giving too much of the plot away, Kyle follow the trail of his sister’s killer and ends up in another city merging the two stories together. This gives way for a number of delightfully hilarious situations that you will want to follow through to the end. Everyone Must Die! is full of intriguing characters, murder, sex and laughter.
In my opinion, Rudzinski is the true star of the film. This character Pete was by far the most solid and believable as an irritating self promoting man. If anything this film really displays the abilities that Rudzinski has in film making and acting. I will be keeping my eyes peeled for more features written, directed and hopefully acted by the ever talented Rudzinski.
–Where did the storyline concept for Everyone Must Die! come from? Also, what is your process for writing a script?
EMD came to me a few different ways. The original concept of “who cares who the killer is?” came from an older film of mine, Basic Slaughter (which was not a good movie). Most slasher films have back stories for the killers and I wanted to do one film that is practically from the perspective of random victims, the concept of “Why is he doing this? WHO CARES WE’LL FIGURE THAT OUT LATER.” So since the original film didn’t turn out well, I wanted to revisit the concept in a better made film (which this definitely is). The title I came up with while at work one day with nothing better to do, thought it would be a great title, and realized since nobody made it yet I had to. Finally, I also recalled the revenge character from Friday the 13th Part 4. A man hunting Jason down for vengeance, I always dug the concept and wondered what that movie would be like from HIS perspective.
Writing the film with Derek Rothermund was a great experience. Early on we knew we wanted the film to be as funny as possible whenever anyone wasn’t dying, akin to Friday the 13th 6. Where everything is tongue in cheek but Jason (or for EMD, the Killer) isn’t in on the joke. We did this because most slasher films take themselves too seriously and just end up NOT being fun until the killing starts, which is often too little too late. We also decided to not force on people what characters to like or dislike, choosing to give every character equal screen time and let the AUDIENCE dictate who they loved and hated.
We basically came up with about 30 characters and decided who would appear in EMD, then worked on the outline, then kicked out the first draft of the script in about a month.
–Having written and directed 5 films (some shorts) do you find your style has changed much from Legends to Everyone Must Die! ?
My filming style itself has definitely evolved since I started a decade ago with making movies. Writing has improved greatly, knowing how and when to filter out crummy ideas. But story style has, aside from getting better, stayed about the same. My films have always had a level of humor and self-awareness that is basically my signature. And whenever I make a genre based movie it seems to have also become my signature to take whatever cliches exist and turn them on their heads. My goal with making a movie has always been “make sure it’s fun,” everything else comes second.
–How do you find carrying so many roles in a production of a feature? Writing, directing and acting is a lot for anyone to take on. What aspect of film making is your favourite?
It’s hard. Writing and directing is easy since the time is so far apart, though most directors that also write have the problem of falling in love with their scripts so much that they HAVE to make it exact (a problem I fortunately do not have). But acting and directing is always so difficult, because while I know I can act well, I have to trust whoever is behind the camera that everything looks great. Originally I wasn’t even supposed to act in EMD, I wanted to focus on directing. But due to budget restraints, Derek and I taking on roles helped us save $500 (which is a lot on the budget we had). I was still able to direct well and so many people have named me as their favorite actor in the film, so I suppose it was for the best.
As for a favorite that’s a difficult question. I love directing and shaping a film from start to end, but it’s painfully a lot of work. Acting, especially when it’s not my own film, is fun and crazy easy. Writing can range from being the smoothest to the most difficult aspect, as it’s the one time you’re working from nothing at all. So I can’t pick a favorite. If it were up to me though, I’d direct one feature a year and ONLY act in one feature a year.
–Is there a scene in Everyone Must Die! that you favor? Or perhaps a scene that you would like to have had the chance to work further on?
I have two favorite scenes in EMD. The first is the opening of the film, it worked out just so wonderfully thanks to everyone involved and if you ask me, it stands up as one of the best first two minutes of any slasher movie. It’s quick, insane, bloody, and hilarious. Tied with that is the “sex” scene between Wanda (Aleen Isley) and Pete (ME~). Writing the scene I knew it was one of my favorite parts of the film, the dialog and build up to everything was just so fun and crazy. Not to mention that both Wanda and Pete are my favorite characters with Aleen Isley doing SUCH a great job bringing Wanda to life. So that scene really nailed the tone of the film.
The two scenes I wish I could spend more time on is the final battle scene, which turned out just fine by all means. But an extra day would have given us a lot more coverage to work with and let us do a few more cool angles to several shots. Also the main dialog scene between all the kids at the party inside the house was a rush job by every meaning of the word. We kicked through about 20 pages of dialog in only one day of shooting. We did it, it works shockingly great in the film, but more time to at least go at a smoother pace probably would make the scene even better.
–Who as a director and writer do you find influential, and how does that influence affect your projects?
Old-school Sam Raimi is definitely a big influence, though his newer films seem out of touch with what made him great that it’s hard to name him as my current go-to writer/director as a muse. But old Sam always had such a fun way to tell stories; regardless of how serious the story was he always told it in a way that made it a good time. Robert Rodriguez, similarly, has a very over the top/comic book feel to his films that really resonates with me. Even his worst films (ex, Shark Boy and Lava Girl) aren’t totally painful to watch.
–What geared your life towards film making in the first place?
I’ve always wanted to create stories, it just evolved how over the years. When I was very young, I wanted to write comic books. Then I wanted to write video game scripts. But finally, when I was 12 years old I saw Army of Darkness on the Sci-Fi channel and my fate was forever sealed to making films.
–Do you have plans for future works? If so can you please share any information?
I’m currently in pre-production of two projects. One is my version of a Super Sentai story, I have a plot for an entire feature but I just want to make a five minute concept to see how the world reacts to it (if enough people like it and I can get money together, I’ll make it a feature). The other is a project being Produced by and has its story by Zoltan Zilai (who played Guy in EMD) called “Captain Z vs. The Hillbilly Zombies.” I’m ironing out the plot outline we worked on to streamline it, but as soon as we get a script together we should be shooting it this year.
–Where can people buy the Blu-ray/DVD Everyone Must Die!?
The DVD and Blu-Ray are currently on sale at www.everyone-must-die.com and all purchases are free to ship. For anyone in America, EMD was picked up for distribution and you’ll see copies in major stores nationwide on June 18th (date subject to change). So get a blu-ray while you can!