I am lucky enough to know a very talented filmmaker as a regular on Horror-Movies.ca, Lee Vervoort. In his second independent Horror Movie, The Truck, Lee has decided to take to the road by bringing us a car movie that is set in the 80s. Lee's first film, Gun Town, was a fan favourite at HM. The Truck stars John Morris and Rachelle Christine as Roger and Alice. And also Tim Emery and Andy Grace as the sheriff and his deputy.
I love a good car movie. Give me a chase scene with a cool classic car and I am a happy girl! The Truck does just that. It is full of old fashioned car chases and a hilarious shoot out. And at a budget of only $6000 it pulls off the look of a much more expensive film. The movie is full of interesting characters that play off each other well and there are several familiar faces returning from Gun Town. My only complaint was that the movie ended way too soon. I would have liked to have seen more key stone cops style hijinks from the sheriff and his deputy.
Lee has graciously agreed to answer some questions about his micro budget horror movie for me. Here is a behind the scenes look at making an independent car/road horror movie and some of the challenges he faced while filming The Truck.
DG- Have you always wanted to do a car movie? What inspired you to make this film?
Lee- Yes I have. I Love car movies. All of the classics like DUEL, The Wraith, Christine, The Car, etc. have always inspired me.
DG- What are the challenges involved in making a road movie? Did you have to get any type of special permission to film on the street?
Lee- There are safety challenges all the time. Everyone must understand what's going on at all times and have a clear head. I made the local Sheriff's dept. aware of what I was doing and most everyone in town knows me, so it wasn't hard to film what we needed.
DG- I loved seeing the classic cars in the film. Can you tell us what make/models they are and if you had to modify them in any way in order to film them?
Lee- The "Truck" is a 1980 Plymouth Trailduster with a 413 big block. The car was a 1970 Ford Fairlane 500 with a 302 V-8. The Camaro was a 1973 Z-28 with an after market 383 "stroker" engine. It was Extremely fast. The Cadillac was my personal car. It's a 1989 Sedan de Ville with a 4.5 liter fuel injected V-8 and front wheel drive. No modifications were needed for driving them, although I had to buy a new carburetor for the truck because the old one kept clogging up.
DG- You make a cameo appearance in The Truck as Captain Leadfoot. Can you tell us more about the character and the racing that he does with Roger?
Lee- Well, Captain Leadfoot was an extra character who's purpose was to appear in a badass muscle car. I wanted that in the movie to raise production value. I couldn't find anyone who has a car that was willing to be in the movie, so when Jimmy came along he said I could go ahead and drive it since he knew me. I went ahead and played the part myself because I wasn't about to let any actor drive a 30,000.00 muscle car.
DG- Roger and Alice are a cute young couple in love. Being married to a car guy myself, I didn't quite get why Alice was so against Roger's passion of car racing. Can you tell us more about their relationship?
Lee- Roger and Alice were the perfect "80's couple" for the film. Alice was more of a girl who wanted to accelerate into a more stable relationship with a solid future. At her stage in life, she didn't mind the racing thing, but it wasn't exactly her cup of tea. Roger being young and wild, wanted to make a career of it.
DG- My favourite characters in the film were the Sheriff and his deputy. They seem to have a great on screen rapport. Are the Actors good friends off the screen as well?
Lee- Yes. Tim Emery and Andy Grace have known each other for years. They naturally gab like that with each other. They are very good friends and work very well together in any type of film or theater project. Andy especially has always had the dream of being in movies, that dream has come true.
DG- The stunts were great. How difficult were the car stunts to film? Did you use any type of special camera or other equipment to film the driving scenes and who did most of the driving?
Lee- The vehicle stunts should have been much more than what they were, but I'm happy with them considering the time/budget we had. There was no special equipment really, other than the home made mount Jim Dougherty constructed for the side of the truck/hood of car shots. It consisted of pvc tubing and suction cups like they use at auto body repair shops. I did most of the hard riving. Chad Fuller and Glen Hecker filled in where needed.
DG- Since I own a classic car myself, I know that they do require some maintenance. Did you have any "technical difficulties" while filming? And if so, who was your mechanic?
Lee- Yes indeed. The Fairlane dropped the pin that held part of the shifter linkage together. I kept putting bolts in it's place to keep filming. They kept falling out, so I replaced them several times. The truck carburetor had to be replaced, so I did that as well. I did the mechanic work and it was all on the spot.
DG- There were some great locations in this movie (like the warehouse). Where did you find a town that was willing to look deserted for a film? And did you have to modify any buildings in order to make it work?
Lee- The locations were awesome, all of them. The abandoned town, Lafayette, Ky. was a ready made set. It's stuck in time with old buildings and such. There was no modifications necessary. All we had to do was block traffic once in a while. Mayor Francis granted us permission to do what we needed. It helped that I have known her for 20 years, lol.
DG- This film looks like it would be a lot of fun to work on. How much did you enjoy creating it and will there be a sequel in the future?
Lee- This film was a blast to work on despite some of the weather we had. I planned for 2 days of bad weather and we had 4. It was fun though. The fact that it was a road horror/vehicle movie made it all worth it. A film like this hasn't been made in a while and we wanted to give the fans something to enjoy, they are the most important reason for everything. Yes, if we do well with this one and acquire the proper funding...there will definitely be a sequel....and it will be 10 times more action packed than this one.