Little Big Boy interview with Kim Sonderholm

 

“Little Big Boy” tells the story of acclaimed horror film director  Jimmy Duncan, infamous for his psychotic temper and his unique brand of exploitative movies. Having witnessed the murder of his mother at the age of seven, Duncan grew up in an orphanage and then worked his way up in the movie industry. Caught up in the downward spiral of his own success, surrounded by movie reviewers who refused to acknowledge his obvious talent, starlet wannabes with zero ability to act, producers with little patience, and those who will exploit anyone to become famous in a soul eating industry, we follow Jimmy while he is working on his latest feature film “Death Stalker.” The shoot quickly turns into a descent into insanity when his leading lady leaves the production  halfway through shooting the film. Haunted by his childhood experiences, Duncan finds himself in an abyss from which there is no return.

Senior Editor, Christine Caprilozzi caught up with Kim Sonderholm to talk about Little Big Boy.

Horror News Network: “Little Big Boy” is really a thriller about the descent into madness of “Jimmy Duncan.”  What was the inspiration for this?
 
Kim Sonderholm: I think of it mostly as a comedy, that’s how it was intended. A comedy with elements of the thriller genre and the horror genre. I was sort of inspired by a documentary named “Overnight” about the breakdown of the director who did Boondock Saints. It was interesting and scary at the same time to see how attitude alone can burn all bridges, not just in the movie industry, but in life as a whole, and it made me feel there might be an idea for a fiction film here. I know meta films of that caliber has been done before, many times even, so I wanted to make it different, with a bit of an edge. I don’t wanna say too much about it really, the reviews speaks volumes – either you love it or you hate it, there doesn’t seem to be an in-between. A lot of people understood what I was trying to achieve and most of these appreciated the form, others never gave it the time of day. It would be easy to write these people off as simply “those who didn’t get it”, but I won’t – every opinion is valid and taste varies from person to person. But in general it’s been given everything from bottom to top grades in the reviews which, to me, means atleast it can be called somewhat controversial, haha.
 
 
Horror News Network: Not only did you write and direct the film, you also play Jimmy Duncan, and do a fantastic job of embodying the volatility of this guy.  How did you prepare for the role?
 
Kim Sonderholm: Thank you so much. Once again, the acting has been called anything from atrocious to ingenious in the reviews, so I suppose it depends on the eyes that see. How did I prepare.. Well.. A lot of the frustration Jimmy goes through is frustration I have faced myself although to a much lesser degree while making my first films. Now, obviously, I never went to those extreme lengths Jimmy ends up going to, and I never lost my patience on set, but some of the problems Jimmy faces with actors and planning problems, oh, I know those all too well, haha. But that is where the comparisons between myself and Jimmy ends. I personally had a safe and secured childhood, whereas he had a very unfortunate upbringing and lived through things in his life noone should be exposed to in a perfect world, among other things seing his mother get murdered right infront of his very eyes by a lover of hers, referred to as ‘The Mystery Man’. These things makes their marks. So when his lead actress – who is also the love of his life and the one person in the world he feels he can trust – starts giving him a lot of attitude and therefore problems on set his minds goes into overdrive. It’s not a typical popcorn flick with big explosions where you go from A to Z Hollywood-style and have everything spelled out to you, so if you’re not into films of a somewhat experimental nature that demands you keep track and doing a little thinking of your own, then this probably isn’t for you. I’ve had a few reviewers ripped it apart, one cause there wasn’t blood and guts enough in it, eventhough it has never come closed to be announced as a splatterflick. I’m not sure what this person was expecting, but people very often have very narrow tastes – it’s unfortunate, but a mere fact. It’s the story of a man and his decline into madness, short and simple – you can probably find places where you can add in the drama genre to that aswell, but in general it is meant to entertain in a new way. The movie contains a lot of dark humor aswell, some will get it, some won’t. I’m pretty sure people who’ve worked with film are gonna have various deja vu’s underway, haha.
 
 
Horror News Network: Which do you enjoy more, the writing process, or acting?
 
Kim Sonderholm: The acting! I thoroughly enjoy the creative process of directing too, but it’s all the hoo-haa that goes before and after it I dislike, all the problems before you can even start shooting, all the nightmares you face while shooting – but again, basicly that is what this film is a reflection about. I’m not gonna say I’ll never direct anything else again, but I have stepped down from producing for good. I get 5-6 offers a week to produce new films, but I always decline. I’m a classicly trained actor and I love doing that, that I will never grow tired of. Directing I might be up for doing again sometime, but producing – not anymore. The writing process can be a very giving and creative, not to mention amazingly funny, process aswell. I enjoy doing it, but I prefer doing it with someone else. It can be very lonely and you tend to focus on weird little neardy things nobody else notices.
 
 
Horror News Network: One of the standout cameos is Lloyd Kaufman from Troma, who is, of course, hilarious.  How did you get him in the film?
 
Kim Sonderholm: Lloyd has always been great to me, first on my first film “Craig” and when I gave him the opportunity to be obnoxious in this film he immediately said yes cause he loved the idea. Most of his dialogue was semi-improvised. I gave him outlines and he just went with it. Some of it was actually to obnoxious that it was cut from the film (but those of you who will invest in the DVD will find it on the bonus material!). Let’s just say I had a lot of courage with this project but not enough courage to include all his rants, haha. The man is mad. I actually feared getting sued by a couple of very big companies if I included some of his rants about them, that’s how crazy it got. But you mention Lloyd, but there has been a lot of great people who loved the idea and has been an invaluable help to me. If it wasn’t for these people and many more and especially their will to go that extra mile to help me and my film, this film wouldn’t have become reality. They know what and who I mean, I demanded more of many of them than is normal to demand of actors and they all stepped up to the plate cause they liked the idea.
 
 
Horror News Network: Another standout scene for me, without giving too much away, was the “casting scene.”  Was this indicative of what the real casting was like for the film?
 
Kim Sonderholm: I’ve actually held auditions that has been that bad before. It is incredible how little honesty some people will admit to their abilities, or lack of the same. But I would like to make clear that the “horrible” actresses auditioning in “Little Big Boy” ARE acting – or, trying to re-inact the sitatuations in my head at the time, all of them are actually quite good actresses in real life, I think that is quite important to mention. But, in the end, I suppose they manage to bring a certain believability to the performance so that’s good, I suppose. I wanted it to be over the top, on the verge of being pathetic – and most of them are actually more or less re-inacting situations I’ve faced while attempting to cast on my first project – give or take a little. I actually cut out a couple of real-life situations because I was sure nobody would ever believe that they had actually happened for real, that’s how far out things sometimes get, haha. But at the end of the day, the actresses you see in the scenes in “Little Big Boy” all took a chance at looking completely inadequate at acting, and to me, the fact that they succeeded only shows their real talent. It’s actually hard to act like you cannot act at all on purpose. Again, some reviewers never got the point, which in my opinion is a little sad. I have no clue how they could miss something that it so obvious – well, obvious to myself, anyway, haha.
 
 
Horror News Network: Although there were some humorous moments, there were also some gruesome moments.  How were those to film?
 
Kim Sonderholm: Another day at the office. I’ve done films with those elements before and usually it is a lot of fun to throw fake blood around, hang people from hooks, stuff like that. Uhm, yes, I realize how that may sound, haha. All the girls that these things were taken out on all took it for what it was and I think everyone had great fun on the set, in spite of the somewhat gruesome content.
 
 
Horror News Network: As a writer/director, what are some of the horror movies that influenced you?
 
Kim Sonderholm: I seem to have an infatuation especially with films from the 90ies and to an extend the 80ies like some of the old Stallone, Schwarzenegger and Willis flicks. Ofcourse, a lot of the love for those films are caused by sentimentality cause I grew up on them. My favorites are Natural Born Killers, The Crow, Mulholland Drive, Lost Highway, American History X, Se7en, things of that nature. I can’t really say how much it inspired me as a whole, but then again looking at my own work I can’t deny it has done that, a lot, in fact. But it hasn’t been a concious thing as such. I’m also a huge fan of 80ies slasher flicks like Friday the 13th, Nightmare on ElmStreet, Halloween, etc. Most of the stuff that are being remade these years, I suppose. I grew up on this stuff and I has a very special place in my heart and I can still watch it to this day and think….god, they knew how to make horror films back then… Don’t get me wrong, there are good ones coming out still but there’s just long between the really good ones I think. If I had to mention a list of films from the past ten years that made an impression on me, the list would be pretty short, but a few would be Saw (the original, not so much the sequals), Sin City, Haute Tension…to me it’s not really about big budget and huge explosions but creating something unique that stands out. I can’t really explain it any more clearer than that, it’s a feeling with me – does it make an impression or have I forgotten it again in two days?
 
 
Horror News Network: Where can people find out more about “Little Big boy”?
 
Kim Sonderholm: It was released on August 22 worldwide, so it should be fairly easy to find. Most assortered DVD stores on retail and netstores should carry it. I know Amazon, Barnes & Noble, CD Universe, Tower, FYE, BuyCD, even eBay, all carry it in the states. In the UK you can find it again at Amazon and other places while in the whole UN, CD:ON carries it and iMusic in Scandinavia. In Japan it is available through Amazon, and I even seen stores in Australia and New Zealand carry it, So I guess it’s easily available just about nomadder where in the world you are located – I guess there isn’t much of an excuse to not pick it up, haha.
 
Little Big Boy Horror Movie
 
Little Big Boy Horror Movie
 
Little Big Boy Horror Movie
 
Little Big Boy Horror Movie
 
Horror News Network: Thanks for the time Kim! Have a comment on this interview? Post it here.
Christine Caprilozzi on Twitter
Christine Caprilozzi
Senior Editor at Horror News Network
Christine Bucci-Caprilozzi joined the Horror News Network staff in 2005 when the site was still ComicMonsters.com. She started as a Staff Journalist adding interviews, comic reviews and convention coverage. Christine is also the Lead Organizer/Director of the CT HorrorFest and is a firm believer in keeping the indie spirit of the horror community alive. You can follow her on Twitter @Christine_HNN.
0 replies

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply