The Indie horror scene is vast and sometimes underwhelming with many directors following rehashed formulas or turning their inspirations and homages into  unnecessary and unoriginal retreads.  James Bell has managed to find a niche and stand out amongst the indie horror horde with his own bent brand of over the top, bad taste inducing, sexually perverted and filth covered creations.  A self taught effects maestro now also lending effects work on other projects Bell is a self made indie wizard and continues to evolve with more sick movie and effects creations.

His latest movie Nutsack is one of my favorite underground indie selections of 2016 and is a must watch if your tired of the same old slasher, zombie, haunted spirits bullshit. Controversial, unique and gracious to his fans Bell is an indie movie maker to keep your eyes on or he might just pull them out of your sockets and skull fuck you.

Richard Taylor:
First off, thank you for taking the time to do this interview with myself, greatly appreciated.  I'm going to get this annoying question out of the way first because I'm sure you want to clear it up.  You've faced some controversy regarding animal cruelty in your earlier work and also criticism from different people.  How did this start and tell me what actually happened regarding this?  

James Bell:
- Yeah, I've gotten a bunch of shit from people over the use of dead animals in dog dick. The footage of the kitten being born and dying is fake. The other kittens, mouse, deer, chicken were already dead. The bird was real but i didn't cause that to happen, I  just filmed it, so I guess I'm a little bit of a asshole for that.

   When I first released Dog Dick I didn't know anything about "the scene" and I fucked up and made a deal with a company that retitled the film and started selling it on ebay behind my back. When I caught them doing this they got their loyal fan base to start harassing and talking shit online. Most of them latched on falsely accusing me of animal abuse. Other people jumped onto the bandwagon to look cool to their friends. A lot of manipulation goes on and I've a lot of integrity in what I do. In all honestly I know I'm hated by most of the popular/bigger filmmakers, companies or groups. So when I go to release a film they stir up all this shit and kill my films before they have a chance. It's lame and not fun to talk about.

You do amazing make-up at a highly skilled level. I understand you are self taught, what types of materials do you use for the realistic looking face molds, severed members or in particular the crazy looking monster in Lucifers Cosmonauts. What's some of your favorite work personally you've done, what is the hardest and what are you most proud of?

- Thank you, I'm self taught at doing effects. I've been making stuff for years but I've gotten a lot better over the last few years. I use all kinds of supplies from medical grade silicones, latex, foams, ect. The best prop I've made might be a head stump at the jaw line that I made for Tantrum 2: Phantom of the Demon. I've made some real sweet props for other peoples films. I just made a head for a film that's really cool, it has movement.  Figuring out how to get movement from the props has been what has stumped me the most. Right now I really like that head, I learned a lot from making it and it has opened up so many more options of things I can make for special effects.

A boring/typical question but necessary nonetheless;  What inspired you to get into film making, especially this type of more extreme material? What are some of your favorite movies and what do you dislike?

- I've been into films ever since I can remember. I grew up when the mom & pop video stores were everywhere. I got lucky and the closest one to me had all the good ones, oddly it was also a propane BBQ grill store, anyways. They had Nightmare In A Damaged Brain, Faces Of Death, Deadly Spawn, Xtro, ect. It was a great influence on my taste in films. I've always enjoyed films that didn't fuck around and pull the punch, I've always loved effects and visually driven films, art films & documentaries also. Films I don't really dig are ones with no gore, off-screen violence and well I don't like comedies at all.

Your wife Mae supports and helps you in your film endeavors and she's not afraid to do whatever's required for the movie. Do you both share the same passion for film making?  You also have a son, I know he was in a scene in Manuer. How do you separate the extreme content and explain it to him or do you just avoid showing it to him?

- I couldn't have done any of my films without her, we have learned so much together. She enjoys the films we have done, she takes on lots of jobs at once when working on stuff, she really's a trooper. A lot of the content of our films she isn't always thrilled to have to do, but she trust me enough to know that the more extreme things she's done has only made the films better. We talk and joke often if our son figures out what exactly the content of our films involve and what he might say about it. Right now he has no interest in movies, he knows we make horror movies, but he really doesn't know much details about it and really doesn't care.

What upcoming projects do you have in the works, I've read about Phantom Of The Demon.  What is this one?

- Yes, Tantrum 2: Phantom of the Demon, we've been going back & forth between pre-production and production. Casting has been difficult for this one (I'm guessing because of the nasty shit that happens) but we're going to just do what we have to do to make the film. It's going to be like the first Tantrum movie but much more. It has a totally unrelated story to the first film with a female as the main subject in the film. It's planned to have the same structure as the first film with going back and forth between a death dream & life. Lots of gore and strange images.

Your first film Dog Dick featured you talking to people and was more like a documentary or memoir it also featured your sister am I correct? Were any other family in it or friends or just people in your neighborhood?  How did this movie come about and what were the intentions with making it? What made you decide to change your style in your next short Manuer?  

- Yes, Dog Dick isn't at all like my other films. A good chunk of it is my sister, other family members, people who lived in my apartment complex at the time and homeless people. It kinda all started with Dog Dick on YouTube. I was making a series of videos called The White Trash Holocaust. I made up a weird back story involving these oddly edited home videos, that they were produced by a guy who went by the name Adolf Christ who was holding me captive after abducting me. I don't think people understood most of the weird text or even  bothered to read it. Youtube gave me a partnership and then took it away within 48 hours, they started removing my videos and putting strikes against my account for breaking the terms with violent/disturbing content. I stopped posting videos on youtube and removed over 60 videos.

   I started to put Dog Dick together more fully. I had always wanted to make a film, everytime i had tried before it had always fallen apart. So i kinda gave up on it, until i started on dog dick. My life was pretty much falling apart through the three years it took to make it, but by then things got better in my own life. This is good because I would have fucked shit up bad years ago, no way I could do then what I do now. I really didn't think anyone would want to see my stupid movie, I was hoping to trick 30 people into buying it but I really thought that was going to be a chore to do. I had no idea who would buy it, I knew no one my facebook, I had 13 friends on it and most hated me. I posted it on Instagram and it took off. It actually made me very nervous so I didn't spend any of the money from the DVDs of Dog Dick. I mainly feared people were going to hate it and demand their money back. They may have hated it but no one hit me up for their cash back. I was able to buy the equipment I needed to make a more stable product and fund the films Manuer and Tantrum.

I love the style of your films, the music, credits etc.  How do you come up with the music for your movies and what inspires you?

- The music in each film has been different. I made the music in Lucifers Cosmonauts and Nutsack. Lucifers cosmonauts soundtrack is a fucking mess. I recorded an hour of bullshit and used it. The recording is actually the first time I played my sub phatty and was trying to figure things out with it. I wasn't even able to edit it correctly because of technical issues. The nutsack soundtrack is better though, it's still just recorded on an old 1-track cassette recorder. All the songs were made by a moog. The Tantrum soundtrack so far has been the best one, it was made by a band called Slings. It worked well then but I'm going to do the soundtrack for Tantrum 2, it's nothing like the Nutsack tracks or the other soundtracks of my films.

The first short I watched was Tantrum and it was a real piece of extreme art.  Are your movies very personal to you, do you get out any of your inner Demons by expressing yourself in your movies?

- All my films are very personal to me. We work really hard to make them, so we have that personal attachment to them. I put a lot of stuff in my films that has a hidden meaning or message. I have a lot of strange sexual content to my work but its not meant to be sexually stimulating most of the time the sexual stuff has a reason more times im just trying to do something that i think will look neat in a film and I'm not really thinking of my own thoughts about doing such acts or peoples personal reflection upon me for doing so. So to answer the question I'd really have to say no, as personal as my films are to me they have probably made me more insane than been therapeutic for any mental distress.

Manuer was a very cool and humorous short where you play a bum who drinks some bad booze  and starts fertilizing lawns with the floral diarrhea. Was "Street Trash" your inspiration for this one and was Manuer when you started doing effects work or had you been experimenting before this?

- I love Street Trash and Manuer is a tribute to it. Well, I started doing special effects when I was 13 making real primitive stuff. I didn't have a camera or a way of making anything. So me and my friend Rick (he still helps with the films, he's rad and he played one of the doctors in Nutsack) would stage fake bloody fist fights at young kids bus stops and on the sides of busy roads. We would get arrested if we did that shit now. I worked on a few projects in my teen years. Most of the footage from those is lost or can never be shown. I gave up on it for the most part for years, I'd still make things but not very often. When I started on the gore for Manuer I just tried to do every trick I knew at the time.

Out of all the films you have made what is your favorite so far and why? Which was the hardest to make and which were some of the biggest challenges?

- So far I would say Nutsack is my favorite film we made. I wrote it a long time ago and always wanted to make it but I was unable to. It was a lot of fun to make, I love how that one turned out. Lucifers Cosmonauts was the worst production, it started out fine but things started falling apart real quick, it kinda shows in the film. The hardest part is finding female actors for some reason girls just don't want the parts I write for them.

Once again, we thank James for taking the time to answer these questions and look forward to future projects as they always promise an innovative, fascinating, original and utterly insanely fresh take on the genre.  Your material makes even the most jaded underground film buffs smile.  

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