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Interview with Jason Rudy, Filmmaker of ‘Mondo Sacramento’

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Desperate Visions Productions
announces the premiere of “Mondo Sacramento” at the historic Crest Theatre April 24 and 25. It is the newest production from its creative filmmaker Jason Rudy.

I sat down with Jason at a coffe shop in mid- town Sacramento and asked him some questions about what he does.

 Tell readers a little about yourself.

 I have always loved movies and began my research into creating movies at the age of 15. From there I got into the underground scene, like “Pink Flamingos” and “Rocky Horror Picture Show.”

I read and read to learn everything I could possibly know about it. I am a self-taught filmmaker with much information on anything that has to do with making movies.

 What is ‘Mondo Sacramento’ about?

“Mondo Sacramento” is based on the mondo style/genre. It is based on three stories.

One of the stories is about Richard Chase vampire killer from 1978. In his life he was mentally unstable and killing animals, and then soon after killed six people and drank their blood.

The next story is based on 1991’s “Batgirl,” Michelle Cummiskey. At the time she worked at a Sacramento escort service and the Mustang Ranch. She married several men, divorcing them, and this continued for years. While working as a prostitute she ended up taking mind-altering drugs and hallucinated that the man she was with looked like a demon.

After she killed this guy, she fled and got with a woman, kind of like “Thelma and Louise,” which is weird because doing my research, I found out that movie came out two weeks after this. When she was caught, she told the police that the devil made her do it. It’s a trip because the man’s license plate of his car supposedly said “666NBJ.”

The last story I have in the film is called “Palm Sundae.” It is based off of the research I have done. In the ’70s and ’80s there had been several reports of different parlors being robbed. So I took a few things and put them together to bring a little humor in.

 Where did you hear about these stories?

 Richard Chase I always knew about, as a kid my parents would tell me about “The Vampire of Sacramento.” I always wanted to make a movie on that. “Batgirl” happened when I was in high school, and I found it weird because there is this beautiful woman who just goes crazy and kills someone. You would expect her to look scary.

As I was creating the stories I had to do a lot of research. I would research at the Sacramento downtown library. I would go to the microfilm department; I look through all the microfiche. If I needed any dated news columns, they would pull it up and I would copy it. I was in there researching for eight hours every Sunday. They started calling me “Mr. Researcher.”
 In layman’s terms, what is a mondo-style film?

In the 1960s there was a film called “Mondo Cane.” It translates to “a dog’s world.” It basically shows different stories around the world. It’s as if it’s a documentary that is part truth and part fiction. It sensationalizes murder and nudity. They will show you crazy different stories from a snake charmer in New Orleans to a homeless guy in New York. It shows you the vast difference and similarities in the world. The light and the dark.

Would you consider this film to be a “shockumentary”?

Definitely there is strong subject manner and gore, but I try to keep it mainstream to where it’s as if you’re watching stuff like “True Crimes” or “Unsolved Mysteries.”

How did you come up with your ideas to make a mondo film?

I make horror films and comedies, and I always want to try something different. I’ve done a comedy, horror, silent film, girl gang movie. I found that mondo films sounded cool, and I’ve always wanted to do one. Nobody has really made a mondo film since the ’80s, so I was like, I want to do one based in Sacramento.

We talk a lot about Sacramento in the film, and we talk about the definition it comes from, “sacrament.” We talk about Sutter’s Fort and the land and the energy of Sacramento and what lies underneath it. It’s an amazing city!

Where did you find your cast for the film?

I found my talented cast through many of my friends and people I’ve worked with before. I also can find a few on Craigslist and casting agencies. I am very happy with who I chose to be in my film. They are excellent actors with so much talent.

Is this movie for adult audiences only?

Yes, it is an adult movie. You can look away, but there’s definitely humor in it. There is interesting facts in the film. Not only that, but the actors are fantastic. We changed Richard Chase’s character into a woman named Rikki Chase. So I would say yes, to a certain degree. It’s less shocking than shows like “The Walking Dead.” I do think in movies it’s more of the setting that matters. If you know it’s fake, it doesn’t shock you so much, but if it’s real then it can feel a lot more.

Tell us about your other films.

No, this is not my first. I did “Room #412,” which was a short film. “Last Road to Hell” was another short film I did. Then I did the girl gang movie, like the Japanese ’70s Riki Violent films.

I also did “Love Blade,” then after that I did two more short films: “Lady M,” a film about a Slavic woman that dies and comes back to life to kill people who watched her die. Then the film “Chump Change” about a guy who gets cursed by watching bootleg movies and his body starts changing against him. It’s kind of like a body horror movie. Body horror is a big thing in my movies, just like with Richard Chase where he thought his blood was turning into powder. So there is a lot of that in my movies.

Is there anything else you would like to add?

Thank you to my cast and crew and to the crazy city I love, Sacramento.

 Where can we get in contact with you?



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