Interview: Director Jackie Kong on THE BEING, BLOOD DINER and LOST IN VIETNAM!

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SHOCK’s Richelle Charkot sits down with the queen of ‘80s sleaze and schlock, filmmaker Jackie Kong.

Jackie Kong’s filmography includes everything from sex-romps to exploitation spoofs, with two important and hilarious inclusions in horror, the toxic waste monster at the helm of THE BEING and an ’80s cheese ode to Herschell Gordon Lewis’ classics in BLOOD DINER. In anticipation for a double feature screening by Toronto’s The MUFF Society (co-presented by Etheria Film Night) on April 22nd at The Carlton Cinema, the two hash into her work as a filmmaker, and her upcoming feature film LOST IN VIETNAM.

LOST IN VIETNAM begins shooting in 2016, following two American buddies who encounter obstacle after ridiculous obstacle while searching for a long lost mother.

SHOCK: Tell us about your upcoming project LOST IN VIETNAM, how did the idea come about?

Jackie Kong: I’ve always wanted to work with the actor/comediennes in the “18 Mighty Mountain Warriors Troupe” since I saw them in San Francisco, Greg Watanabe & Michael Ming Hornbuckle. They are crazy funny, and fit perfectly with my style of comedy. The world needs to see them.

SHOCK: Where can people contribute to get LOST IN VIETNAM made?

Jackie Kong: We start an IndieGogo on April 21st so everyone can get involved with the film by buying perk: you can come to the set, get a T-shirt, come to the premiere, be in the film or buy a Tuk Tuk to help get the next Jackie Kong epic filmed. You can even come to a Secret Staged Reading of the script with the actors if you jump on it because it’s super limited seating. Support the movie and be a producer! Go to CLICK HERE to support ‘LOST IN VIETNAM’ Development and Filming  and support my next comedy for as little as 10 bucks (so there’s no excuse not to get on-board!) Oh and spread the word.

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SHOCK: Tell me about one of your earliest memories with expressing yourself visually.

Jackie Kong: Puppet Shows for my little brother birthday parties. I may have traumatized the kids.

SHOCK: Were you always attracted to more eccentric stories?

Jackie Kong: I take the shock & awe approach to film making; I like to get a reaction. Hate it or love it, you won’t forget it! I don’t understand making a boring film.

SHOCK: Why do you think humor and horror pair so perfectly together?

Jackie Kong: Because horror and comedy (if done well), create unexpected emotional reactions in the viewer, sort of like a roller-coaster, but on the screen. They make you feel alive. In these genres there’s just passive viewers because “you can’t undo what you’ve just seen.”

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SHOCK: What do we learn about ourselves when we watch movies in these genres?

Jackie Kong: The thing is is that they transport you. They teach you that it’s okay to be different and take some chances. Get out of the grind, scream, laugh and definitely to not to take yourself too seriously, and have some fun. That it’s okay to be a weirdo. I had a fan come up to me recently and tell me when she saw my films she felt it was okay to be different & weird and that that was validated.

SHOCK: As a storyteller, why do you enjoy playing with horror elements?

Jackie Kong: Horror opens the door to all possibilities to shake up the audience, which is something I enjoy doing.

SHOCK: If you weren’t a director or a writer, what would you be?

Jackie Kong: A brain surgeon.

SHOCK: What do you think is the main appeal of “B” movies apart from occasional silliness? Why do you think they seem to have such a lasting quality?

Jackie Kong: My films have lasted because they give the audience that “what the F did I just see?” factor.

SHOCK: Do you have any words of wisdom for people who feel like they should suppress creative desires?

Jackie Kong: Come up with a GOOD story and don’t be afraid to shake things up, don’t play it safe. Tell the story you want to tell.

SHOCK: Is there any particular one movie that first inspired you want to get into the film industry?

Jackie Kong: Not one, but many of Robert Downey Sr’s (my mentor) counter-culture subversive films, Todd Browning’s FREAKS, Jodorowsky’s EL TOPO, all Kurosawa, and I really love the weird dialogue in Russ Meyers’ FASTER PUSSYCAT, KILL! KILL!

If you’re in Toronto make sure you get to The Carlton and support The MUFF Society and Etheria Films’ Jackie Kong supershow!