Hardiman high on the hog with release of 'Pork Chop 3D'
CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- All things must come to an end and "Pork Chop," the Razor Sharp Studios trilogy about a killer with the head of a pig, concludes with "Pork Chop 3D."
"Available right now at razorsharpstudioswv.com!" director Eamon Hardiman exclaimed.
The 32-year-old Charleston resident is proud of the new film and with good cause. Using a borrowed camera, he and his crew managed to come up with one of the most unlikely low budget indie releases to ever come out of West Virginia: a 3D horror film.
"We had to borrow the camera," the director said. "It was the only way to keep our budget down.
"We had $3,000 to make our film. If we'd bought the camera, people would be eating Ramen noodles -- that's if we were lucky, but probably just cups of water and one Sweet Tart each during each day of shooting."
Hardiman is used to working with budgets that would strangle most filmmakers. His cast and crew are technically volunteers, though it's probably better to call them co-conspirators given the level of expertise they bring to these projects.
"Our film looks good," Hardiman said. "The thing is, we didn't know exactly how it would turn out. We had a 3D monitor, but it didn't really show [the 3D effect]."
"Pork Chop 3D," he promised, looks better than some blockbuster 3D films.
That's a pretty tall boast, but what's absolutely true is that Hardiman's films look a lot sharper than their yard sale budgets would suggest. They're creative, funny, and the masks for "Pork Chop 3D" are legitimately disturbing.
Later this month, fans will be able to buy "Pork Chop II" and "Zombie Babies" at major retailers including Best Buy and Kmart.
"We come out September 25," he said. "The same day as 'The Avengers.'"
Hardcore fans of the menacing porcine maniac can currently get one of the few limited edition DVD or Blu-Ray copies of "Pork Chop 3D," available through Razor Sharp Studios website.
"We're trying to make some of our budget back," Hardiman said. "But we're just doing 200 copies. The rest, people will be able to get after we sign the distribution deal."
All proceeds from the mass distribution deal (minus the distributor's percentage), he added, will go to Mary Babb Randolph Cancer Center in Morgantown.
"But even if we do that tomorrow, it will be next summer before it will be in retail stores."
The films, he said, have slowly built up a following.
"But we're not really a local thing," Hardiman said, frowning.
While his films are shot entirely in the surrounding area, he said they don't get a lot of the financing locally.
"We raise money through donations, but we get most of it elsewhere."
A lot of it, surprisingly, he said, comes from the U.K.
"They're really big horror fans over there. There's this one guy I talk to -- he has a film blog -- and he's pointed out all these places, film pubs, where he said we could easily show our movies."
Hardiman and company have batted around the idea of doing a kind of backpack tour of the U.K. Getting even more people to see their films, especially bringing them to an audience that appears to like what they do, is obviously very attractive.
"But we'll stay out of the moors," he joked, referring to the werewolf horror/comedy "American Werewolf in London."
Hardiman said he got the idea for the trilogy from the ending of 1980's "Motel Hell," which featured a character wearing a pig mask having a chainsaw fight.
"We thought that's where that movie should have started. It would have been a better movie."
As with most of Razor Sharp Studios films, "Pork Chop 3D" has a certain amount of tribute paid to the horror and cult films of the 1980s, mixed in with a generous dose of humor.
Locally, the film will be screened at the LaBelle Theater in South Charleston on Sep. 29 during the horror/sci-fi convention, Shocka-Con. It will also be screened Oct. 3 during West Virginia State University's Battle of the Beats homecoming event.
With the completion and release of the third film, Haridman said Razor Sharp is planning on taking a break from making movies until the spring.
"We're thinking of doing a stand-alone spin-off with Pig Girl," he said. "Do something darker that's more about suspense than comedy."
Reach Bill Lynch at email@example.com or 304-348-5195.