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Axeman director Joston Theney




Joston Theney is the director of Axeman, a "deliciously wicked" throwback to the classic slasher films of the Reagan-era. We had the chance to chat to him about it.

I can't believe there hasn't been a film named Axeman – or even about one before – can you!?

Joston Theney: I know, right? Seems so obvious – that's probably why! But we've got one now and he's one helluva villain!

How much of an influence was the guy from Snow White, with the Axe, on the movie? Does he get a residual check?

JT: Grumpy? I've never really given much thought to it but maybe subliminally I retained... hahaha I can't even continue with a straight face!

Axeman Poster
Artwork for Axeman
Click to enlarge

Why did the title change from the Axeman at Cutter Creek to simply Axeman? Fit better on a Tweet?

JT: Hahaha, wish it were a cool story but it's not really. The marketing team behind distribution explained how most audiences search for films on VOD, Netflix and Redbox, and it made sense to go with Axeman. And from most of our fans' feedback, we've heard the name change sounds epic and iconic. So, that's a welcomed side effect!

Speaking of, how important has digital marketing – Twitter, Facebook and so on – been to the movie? So many movies seem to simply rely only on those platforms now to find their audience.

JT: I say make a good film, show it where ever you can and tell everyone you can. You can't just rely on social media. It's only a cog in the machine. Without it, the machine doesn't function properly, but you can't focus solely on that or the rest of the engine will fail. Fans need to see it, feel it, sniff it, etcetera, and only hearing you yap about how awesome it is isn't going to suffice. You need to have a good film, integrate third party opinions, film viewings, co-promotions etcetera. Axeman is only just now getting it's social media marketing going - very late in the game, I know. But our film garnered attention from it's premise, it's purpose and what it's fighting for in it's '80s slasher sub-genre. Distributors saw that, audiences felt that and our film grew legs. Now we're giving that attention we received direction. And that direction is being steered by our social media efforts.

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Stills from Axeman.
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You co-wrote the movie. Were there any arguments in the direction of the movie, characters or how it would all play out? Any fist-fights?

JT: No fights, thank God. Christopher Otiko and I worked very well together. The guy cares about the same thing I do – entertainment value. It's why we decided to make an '80s slasher in the first place. We aimed to take our audience on a fun ride, full of thrills, chills, laughter, tears and blood, and we succeeded because we shared the same vision. I concentrated on the pulling of everything together in the story. He questioned every moment's commitment to entertainment and pushed me to never waste a second of the audience's time. Then I did a polish. It was seamless. And I can't wait to do it again!

Where did you discover Scott Pollard? And what did you feed him on set - that guy is huge!

JT: The guy is like Lincoln Navigator Hybrid. You'd think he'd eat you out of house and home, but he has a refined palate and is really health conscious. Kind of a foodie, actually. Between him and the vegan girls on set, my diet changed drastically. And I didn't find Scot, believe it or not. He found us, and him doing so was a Godsend. We had interviewed every Big Man in Los Angeles and none of them had the intensity, the agility, the charima or the coordination that Scot inherently possesses. I guess it makes sense though given his previous profession. We had all but given up when he stumbled upon our casting notice and emailed us an audition. From the first frame of his taped audition, I was drawn in and blown away.

Horror DNA would like to thank Joston for taking the time for this Q&A. You can hunt down Axeman on May 6th, 2014.

Axeman Cover
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