The Movie Waffler Interview - THE GOOD THINGS DEVILS DO Director Jess Norvisgaard | The Movie Waffler

Interview - THE GOOD THINGS DEVILS DO Director Jess Norvisgaard

Jess Norvisgaard
Director Norvisgaard on his vampire thriller.

From writer/director Jess Norvisgaard, and featuring a who's who of horror, The Good Things Devils Do is released in the US this August from Gravitas Ventures (UK/ROI release date TBA).

Linnea Quigley (Silent Night, Deadly Night), Kane Hodder (Jason X) and Bill Oberst Jr (3 From Hell) realise that breaking in was easy but breaking out is going to be hell.

Richard, a small-time gangster is retiring. Before he can, he must take one last job: to steal money from a rival gangster's house. Miles apart, Melvin is a reluctant family man who has dreams of becoming a famous curator for his Museum of the Macabre. His newest acquisition? The remains of the notorious Masquerade, a vampire born from the embers of hell, slain centuries ago. On Halloween Night, their paths will collide and they'll be forced to work together to fight centuries-old evil with everything on the line.

Bobby Pimpentel, Kelley Wilson Robinson, Mary Katherine O'Donnell and Veronika Stoykova star in a Jess Norvisgaard film, available On Demand and DVD.

Jess Norvisgaard

When and where did the idea for The Good Things Devils Do come from?

It came about in 2017 in a short film draft. When I had raised the funds to do a feature film on the budget that we had available, it was between that and another vampire feature idea I had, and as I thought this was the more ambitious of the two, I figured why the hell not? Devils had elements of comedy in it, and I really wanted to pay homage to some of my favourite horror films I grew up with, those being Creepshow, Night of the Demons, Evil Dead, and Return of the Living Dead.

The film isn’t one type of genre, but a little bit of everything. How important was it that the film not just be a straight-up horror flick but something more unique?

Not so important so much as it not being a straight up horror, because I don’t mind wading in that pool. It’s my favourite pool to wade in, however it was very important to be unique. I loved the idea of something trying to get IN, rather than someone trying to escape. And I had a lot of fun using some of the old vampire tropes in this. The producer James Suttles and I spoke about this at length in pre production; we knew some of the angles I used might not fly, but the risk was worth it to me. We wanted to have fun with this, and most importantly, give the audience a really fun time. If you sit down and let me tell you a story, I want you to enjoy yourself. And to not hear the same old shit? That’s very important to me.

Did you sit down and watch any similar themed films before kicking off work on this one?

No. I didn’t need any particular inspiration for this, as I have about - say - 25 movies pretty well ready to be made, hahaha. But to elaborate on what I said earlier, it was definitely inspired by some of the movies I love. I look at it as paying homage to the films that I fell in love with, and wanted to pay my love back to.

What would you say are close comparison films?

Good question. If you put a gun to my head, I’d say Kevin Tenney’s Night of the Demons, Return of the Living Dead, and Creepshow. That’s hard for me to say because of my absolute die hard love for those movies, and I don’t like comparing mine to them because I deify those. However, with some of the same lighting concepts, same grind and gross out, laugh while you cringe elements, I suppose that’s the answer I have to give.

Was it important to you that the actors don’t play it too over-the-top?

Hmm. No. I have to say this, and a lot of people say this as obligatory answers, but I mean it with every fibre of my being: I was so lucky and blessed to have the cast that I did. While we all went over character very carefully, they were really amazing in how they incorporated themselves into the roles, and I was pretty much okay with them going over the top. Not to belabour the point, but Bill Oberst Jr. and I spoke before the shoot, and the lead character Richard changed radically after our conversation. We decided to trust each other, though having never met before. We gave our hearts to each other, the character, and really had fun with Richard. I’m elated with the results, and Bill was instrumental in bringing him to life. I am in love with all the characters, and I’m glad none of them are cardboard boring cut outs of the same old boring shit.

Whose idea were the stars? Did you fight for anyone in particular?

I banged the table for Kane Hodder. We had to raise some extra money and we were already stretching the budget. I insisted, and my producer made it happen. The first name I called on was Linnea Quigley. When I was a young teenager, I knew I was going to cast her in one of my movies, or a lot of them, haha. That was our first order of business. As we auditioned for Richard, we were really having a tough time with finding just the right guy. A lot of great auditions came in, don’t get me wrong! Just…that right touch was missing, so James said hold on; I know the guy. He connected me with Bill Oberst Jr., whom I was familiar with and had a deep respect and admiration for, and the rest is history. As for David, Kelley, Mary, Veronika, Patrick and Maddox, they all earned their roles through amazing auditions, call backs, and dedication to their amazing craft. We felt so comfortable with each and every one going into the film.

How did you go about seeking distribution for the film? Where can we find the film?

It came down to two companies which I really loved. I knew this was a no lose scenario, but we began negotiations, and Gravitas Ventures just made more strides to be our partners in this journey, and when we decided to dance with them, it was a wonderful feeling, and we had no reservations at all.

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We hope all who watch the film are able to just enjoy themselves, jump a little, laugh a little, cry a bit, and cringe just enough to really feel like they did not waste an hour and a half of their lives, haha. Please enjoy the show!