Shane Ryan: The Interview

Amateur Porn Star Killer or APSK (Picture: 1 - 2) for short—is the latest deep-impact outrage from maverick-with-a-movie-camera Shane Ryan and his micro-budget powerhouse studio Alter Ego Cinema.

Brutal, unflinching, and bombastically explicit, Amateur Porn Star Killer is a mock-documentary that recreates videotapes made by a psycho who preys on would-be sex starlets. It has sent shock waves through the horror underground since its 2007 theatrical debut, and a sequel—Amateur Porn Star Killer 2—is slated to be released in May 2008.

Shane Ryan talked to Mr. Skin about movies, mayhem, and other tawdry topics.

What was life like for you growing up?

I loved painting/drawing. My grandfather and his brother, Roy and Bill Hampton, are both known for painting cowboys and Indians. They painted lots of naked women, so I bet that has something to do with me and nude scenes. Who knows? But I grew up with it.

Please talk about the genesis of Amateur Porn Star Killer.

APSK is partly about voyeurism; I'd say all of this was maybe a subconscious inspiration for it. Other than that the big idea came from the movie 8MM (Picture: 1).

I wanted to see a whole movie about that girl in the snuff film, not just two minutes. I thought the idea of watching somebody for the last hour of her life was intriguing. It wouldn't matter how simple it was, even if they didn't do or say much, because this is it for them. Everything they do is important. That's my opinion at least, that the little things matter big time.

I was also at a shitty time in my life. So I tried to think of something I could shoot in one night with no money that would be easy to edit. And I figured APSK could work. And I guess it did. For some people at least.

What was the first non-adult movie nude scene you ever saw?

In theatres I believe it was Born on the Fourth of July (Picture: 1). My dad took me. I remember having a hat on, so when the hooker sex happened I put my hat over my face because I was so embarrassed. My dad told me I didn't have to stay, so I left and walked out of the theatre quickly with my head down the whole way. I waited a few minutes or so and came back and felt a lot better, but nervous. I didn't finally see that sex scene until I watched the film again last year.

A year or so after that, I talked my dad into seeing Showdown in Little Tokyo (Picture: 1). It was different this time, being a little older and having a friend with me. We were jazzed. But it was a little odd; the bad guy foundling a girl with big boobs before he beheads her, eating sushi off naked chicks, and a hot-ass Tia Carrere gettin' it on with that big muscle guy from Rocky 4. Afterwards my dad was furious at himself for taking us to see it.

What was the first adult movie you ever saw? Is there a funny story attached to that?

I remember one where a girl bent over and they showed her asshole up close. I was horrified by it and thought it was disgusting and couldn't comprehend why they would show that. I just wanted boobs and bush. It still haunts me, because the way I remember it is so dreadful. For the longest time I had no interest in asses. But when I started getting a hold of porn on a regular basis years later (like in high school) it was mainly Ed Powers's Dirty Debutantes, and that dude's got a major ass fetish. Next thing I knew, I developed one. And by the end of high school I was a full-fledged ass man.

It's almost annoying because I seem to have hardly any interest in boobs now. Every time I see a movie, if the actress gets naked I'm just dying and waiting to see that ass, but it usually ends up being boobs. Except for Natalie Portman in Hotel Chevalier (Picture: 1). That was a nice treat. Wow!

What is your all-time favorite sexy non-adult movie? Why?

I don't think there's one that outdoes everything else. I'd say Last Tango in Paris (Picture: 1) for that butter scene. Twilight with Reese Witherspoon (Picture: 1) naked. Bound (Picture: 1). Harold and Maude. The Postman Always Rings Twice (Picture: 1 - 2), Unfaithful (Picture: 1), and Cat People (Picture: 1) . A young Nastassja Kinski (Picture: 1) walking around naked is just gold.

There's also Color of Night (Picture: 1) and The Lover (Picture: 1). Jane March (Picture: 1) practically delivers you a full-fledged porno between the two. Secretary (Picture: 1), because it's just so fun to be naughty.

Irréversible (Picture: 1). If you can get past the gruesomeness you'll see a whole lot more of Monica Bellucci (Picture: 1 - 2) in a more pleasurable way later on. Or else just check out Malèna (Picture: 1).

Y tu mamá también (Picture: 1)—you've got to give it up to all the actors in this film for their brave and sexy performances.

Titanic (Picture: 1) was the first time I saw a hot naked Kate Winslet (Picture: 1) .

Out of Sight and U Turn (Picture: 1) came out when Jennifer Lopez (Picture: 1) really had it going on, and those movies just kicked ass.

A History of Violence (Picture: 1) showed us that even a middle-aged married couple can have kinky sex.

And don't forget that sexy film Boogie Nights! (Picture: 1 - 2)

But I guess if I had to choose just one it'd say B. Monkey (Picture: 1). I randomly picked up this film a few years ago and thought I discovered an angel with Asia Argento (Picture: 1), thus began my fascination with her. She was so fucking hot I thought I'd die if I never got to have a fling with her, and that was easily her sexiest movie, so therefore I'd make it my sexiest choice if I had to narrow it down to just one.

Who are the three sexiest Hollywood actresses working today? Why?

Since B. Monkey, Asia's gotten way too skinny. Christina Ricci (Picture: 1) would have made it if she hadn't lost all that weight too. What's with this skinny ass shit?

There's the girl-next-door chicks who you're surprised to see get naked, like Alison Lohman (Picture: 1), Emily Mortimer (Picture: 1), Kelly MacDonald (Picture: 1), Catalina Sandino Moreno (Picture: 1), and no matter how much she drops her clothes, Chloë Sevigny (Picture: 1).

Rachel Weisz (Picture: 1) is a beauty. Same with Carla Gugino (Picture: 1) and Drew Barrymore (Picture: 1). Rosario Dawson (Picture: 1) jumped higher on my list after Alexander (Picture: 1). Jada Pinkett (Picture: 1) was pretty fucking hot until she married Will Smith. I mean, what was up with her make-up in Collateral?

Some would say either Milla Jovovich (Picture: 1) or Angelina Jolie (Picture: 1). I'm almost ready to say Salma Hayek (Picture: 1) for those hot nude scenes in Ask the Dust (Picture: 1).

But the winner is Monica Bellucci. She's in her forties now and couldn't have been hotter in Shoot 'Em Up (Picture: 1).

What movies had a powerful effect on forming your work as a filmmaker and as a person in general?

I saw a bunch of silent films and Charlie Chaplin movies when I was a kid. We also went to the theatre to see restorations of films like North by Northwest, Touch of Evil, and many others. Then, when I was about twenty, I started working on some of these films. I was the music editor for Image Entertainment's DVD release of Fritz Lang's Dr. Mabuse: The Gambler. I helped with creating titles for another silent film and composed music for some old silent short films included in the "Unseen Cinema: Early American Avant-Garde Film 1894-1941" DVD by Image.

I started going to the arthouse theatres when I was in high school to catch new kinds of films I couldn't see at the local multiplex. What got me into exploring sex in cinema was The War Zone (Picture: 1) by Tim Roth. I never had a movie effect me so much, make me so angry, so emotional. I realized then that filmmaking was about making the audience feel something powerful, haunting, shocking, unforgettable.

As far as style, I really loved the fast pace of Requiem for a Dream (Picture: 1), the black-and-white look the noir films of the 1940s had, the gritty look of early 1900s films, and Oliver Stone films. Put that all together and I think you get my style.

What contemporary filmmakers are working in the same genre as you and doing interesting stuff?

I think Gregory Wilson did an amazing job with The Girl Next Door (Picture: 1). I was really upset and angry after watching this film because of what happened to that poor girl, and I couldn't go to sleep. Now that's an effective film, which I probably won't ever want to watch again, yet I highly recommend it.

Then you have the inimitable Vincent Gallo, director of The Brown Bunny (Picture: 1). People compare ASPK to that because of the blowjob scene.

Richard R. Anasky made this little flick called Actress Apocalypse, which was wildly entertaining. It's also a sex-filled mockumentary involving killing girls, but it's a comedy.

The kind of horror film I'd like to do would be Wolf Creek (Picture: 1), which had the ultimate bad guy. It was creepy as shit, and a great film.

And then there's the short filmmaker Douglas Buck, who put his three amazing films together as a compilation, creating the most disturbing film I've probably ever seen: Family Portraits: A Trilogy of America.

What can we look forward to next from you?

Amateur Porn Star Killer 2 is due in stores May 13, 2008, but it's possible we may have a small theatrical release first. I'm still trying to find financing for Romance Road Killers; you can currently watch the concept trailer on our site.

Our sex-filled mockumentary The More the Better is in post-production. We just started selling Big Boobs, Blonde Babes, Bad Blood, which is a two-hour short-film compilation.

I've also shot the sexually explicit Ill-Fated Lovers, about a couple who love, hate, fuck, love, hate, fuck, etc., although I'm not sure what's up with the editing process, as we didn't have the resources to shoot a very important death scene, which will completely change the ending.

And finally, I hope to begin shooting I Fell In Love with the Devil's Daughter very soon. It might be my first professional movie—meaning the budget's higher than 500 bucks. It's a film about a Japanese girl in a small American town, sex, cannibalism, and that's all I'll say for now.

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