Chad Crawford Kinkle is best known for his work writing and directing the horror flick Jug Face. The film set in the backwoods, was filmed in Nashville, TN. The story line focuses on a girl who is pregnant with her brother’s child that is forced to sacrifice herself to a creature in a pit.
Can you tell us a little about yourself? What was it like growing up in Fayetteville? Did you develop a love of film early on?
Fayetteville is a small southern town with a population of about thirty thousand in the entire county. I tell people it’s still too small for a Wendy’s to open. But growing up there was great. We had one movie theatre and I went every weekend. This is also pre-internet so my friends and I had to be creative to come up with things to do. That’s one of the reasons I think my imagination is strong. And also why I ended up using my parents VHS camcorder to make movies on the weekends.
I was a horror buff early on. I stayed up at night watching HBO hoping for two things. A horror movie and nudity. During the 80’s those went together. But Halloween was always my favorite time of year because of all of the horror movies that would be on TV. Plus, I loved pranks like “rolling” my friend’s houses with toilet paper.
What led you to start writing?
I didn’t until college. Actually, I hid from writing all the way through school because I couldn’t spell to save my life. I even failed 9th grade English. In second grade, I remember developing a sloppy handwriting style to cover up my spelling. The literature part was a breeze and I loved it. But probably my fondest memory of grade school was something I wrote. In fourth grade, we had a writing assignment to create a story about a picnic where a couple’s food was stolen by a bear. I wrote the story from the bear’s perspective and the teacher pulled me aside to tell me what a good job I had done.
Then nothing really happened to spark me until I wrote my first screenplay assignment in college. It was a one page scene. I found it to be somewhat easy and surprisingly a pleasurable experience. I was more of a visual artist, but transforming what I saw in my mind to words ended up suiting me the best.
How did the story for Jug Face come about? Where did you get your inspiration for this one from?
I was visiting my wife’s aunt and uncle in north Georgia. They wanted us to go to a newly built pottery museum. It was there that I saw my first face jug. They blew me away. So grotesque. I had to have one(now I have more than twenty). As I walked around the exhibit, I watched a video about the process of making a face jug and came up with the idea for Jug Face on the spot.
What was the most challenging thing about bringing this story to life on film?
The dread. That’s what I was most concerned with. All the other elements are interchangeable to a certain degree, but the tone took consistent attention.
Why do you think so many tales of terror seem to take place in various backwoods locations? Do you think so-called backwoods people are often underestimated or judged unfairly for coming from where they do?
I lived in New York City for a time and it was actually the safest place I’ve ever lived. There aren’t too many places where bad things can happen that another person won’t hear or see. But in the country, it’s a whole different story. You are truly alone and anything can happen. That fear translates into the way people view someone who lives in the backwoods.
What do you love most about living in Tennessee?
The rolling hills. They are imprinted in my brain from growing up here.
This film features the acting talents of Lauren Ashley Carter, Sean Bridgers, Sean Young, Larry Fessenden, and Daniel Manche. Do you consider yourself lucky to have had the chance to direct them? What do you think each one of them brought to this picture?
For my first feature, I was blown away by the actors that signed on. I was expecting to be using mostly unknown actors with lesser talent.
Lauren was the anchor of the entire film so it all started with her. Sean Bridgers brought the levity that the story definitely needed. Sean Young was the guiding mother figure on and off the set. Larry was such a cool person and also brought the humanity to the family. And Daniel was a jerk. Kidding. But he did play the perfect prick brother.
Did Daniel’s role in The Girl Next Door and Lauren and Sean’s roles in The Woman have anything to do with you deciding to use them in this movie?
Sure. I watched all of those movies before casting them. But it wasn’t what they did in those movies that sold me. It was that I could envision them in the world of Jug Face.
Do you have any interesting stories from the set that you are at liberty to share with our readers?
On the last day of shooting, a massive storm was coming. But somehow it actually bent around us and didn’t delay the shoot one bit. We were already scheduled for a 16 hour day.
How does this film differ most from other horror flicks?
In a way, I don’t think it does at all. People generally have low expectations for horror films so I think they get surprised when one actually has well rounded characters. But if you look at the best horror films, they generally do.
Why did you decide to work with Sean Spillane on the soundtrack? Are you a fan of his work?
Sean was recommended to me by my producer Andrew van den Houten. We hit it off the first time we met and I felt that he had a good idea for what music this type of story needed.
Are you surprised at how well received this movie has been so far?
Yes and no. I’ve always thought it was a good idea or I wouldn’t have written or made the film. But I’m really more surprised by how it splits people. The ones that hate it, really hate it.
Are there any little known things about you that the public might be surprised to learn?
None that I will divulge. (smiles)
What do you love most about bringing a story to life on film?
A screenplay is only a “plan” for the movie. It always has an unfinished feeling about it. But by completing the film, I get closure.
Do you have a dream project you’d most like to accomplish over the course of your career?
I must make something written by Stephen King. I’m so paranoid that he will stop writing and all of his stories will be taken.
What are you planning to work on next?
I have another southern gothic story. But this one is set in an urban environment in a current modern city.
Anything you’d like to say before you go?
Thanks for doing this! If anyone hasn’t seen Jug Face, please check it out!