Tory Jones: A Wicked Interview with a Slasher Movie Director [INTERVIEW]

Tory Jones (with stars of movie)

Tory Jones (Director), Jack Norman (The Wicked One), and Nicholas Patten (Young Wicked One)

Tory Jones is a Kentucky movie director and founder of Jonestown Films.  His first film was The Killbillies which was released in 2009.  His upcoming movie is a slasher film called The Wicked One, which won 3rd place on Horror Society for “Most Anticipated Horror Film of 2016,” losing to The Barn and Don’t Fuck in the Woods, but beating Rob Zombie’s 31.

When did you realize you wanted to be a filmmaker?

Basically since I was five years old I was walking around with a camera in my hand, me and my brother would be swinging off vines.  It’s always been a thing.  My fascination with it began probably around the age of 6 or 7.  Dad put in The Exorcist and went to bed.  A six or seven year old watching The Exorcist, it scared me to death.  I blame him for all this horror movie crap because he’s the one that indulged it.

Who in the horror movie world would you describe as your biggest influence or icon?

I like a lot of 70’s exploitation movies.  Wes Craven is one of the earlier ones but modern day filmmakers would be Rob Zombie.  There’s no one really like him, to me at least, that does the exploitation he does.  I love Rob’s work.

Another one of my influences that I just have to mention is Chris Notarile from Blinky Productions.  Chris has done numerous fan films, and when I was younger I was indulging myself in Chris’s films constantly on YouTube. I saw his film Methodic and I loved his dollman character.  The mask is just creepy as shit and I wanted to do a similar mask which is what you see in this movie.

On set with the director

On set with the director

What was your inspiration in writing The Wicked One?

I am cowriter, the other writer being Cheyenne Gordon.  He wrote the majority of this version of it.  But the film has actually been rewritten about twelve times which is insane.  It was in development hell for awhile.  In 2013 the brainstorming started, and it was all about wanting to do a slasher movie.  For me Halloween is the be all end all in the slasher series.  I grew up with an appreciation for those movies – probably an unhealthy love for those movies.  So I wanted to do my own slasher movie and establish a character that could be revisited time and time again.  The title was actually gonna be used for another movie I had written but somehow it got switched over to the current script.

And how does The Wicked One differ from Jason Voorhees or Michael Meyers? 

I don’t know how I’d describe it as different.  I mean, you talk about the slasher genre and everything’s been done (laughs).  Every holiday has been covered, every type of killer has been covered, I mean it’s all been done.  So basically, if you don’t like 70’s or 80’s slasher movies then you won’t like The Wicked One because that’s what it’s made for.  I don’t know what’s new anymore; everything’s been regurgitated and put back out there.  The mask itself is unique.  I reached out to Grim Stitch Factory, they made it and it’s just awesome.

How did you and Jack Norman (the actor playing The Wicked One) come to work together?

The Wicked One Official PosterJack got involved when we were prepping the movie the first time around, and I knew I needed a big guy to play him.  A fellow filmmaker named Dan Murphy called and suggested Jack.  We negotiated a little bit and then he came on board to do the movie.  We hit it off automatically, became good friends and that’s how the connection with Studio 605 happened.  Shooting it the second time is from Jack being involved.  He IS the Wicked One.  No one else could play this role.

You said this was in development a few years back.  What kept getting in the way of this film being produced?

We shot the film in 2014 and everything went well at first, but there were some issues on set that I really don’t wanna get into.  The people that were helping me do the film sort of dropped the ball, and when we went back to review the footage it was unusable.  There were a lot of issues and I wasn’t pleased with it, and I’m not gonna put something out that I’m not pleased with.  I’d rather just say fuck it.  It wasn’t what I thought it should be especially with this character, and the story sounded more like a sequel; it wasn’t a good script to establish the character.  So we decided to reshoot it and do it justice.

How does it feel that this is finally coming to fruition?

I’ll be glad when it’s over (laughs).  I’m ready to move on and do other things and that’s where Cheyenne came into the picture.  He’s an excellent writer, written some awesome scripts, and after the first go around I was just so burnt out and when you lose an entire film that did have a budget it’s emotionally devastating.  It was hard to get out of the exhaustion of it and being over it.  So I’ll be glad when it’s done and put out there.

What can horror fans expect from The Wicked One?

It’s real simple.  I think they can expect a slasher film, when in today’s age they’re dominated by paranormal and found footage bullshit, and everything is shaky cam, or the little ghost girl.  It’s gonna be a return to the golden age of horror, and an establishment of a character that they’ll want to see again and again.

For more info on The Wicked One,
check out their Facebook page
here!

Author: Reverend Leviathan

Reverend Leviathan is the Music & Media Editor at DarkestGoth Magazine. He has been part of the Gothic community since his high school years. He released an album in 2008 entitled "Eden's Graveyard" and has also self-published a book, Gothlic: The Testimony of a Catholic Goth. He specializes in music (Goth, ambient, industrial, horror punk and doom metal) and independent films. You can follow him at Facebook.com/revleviathan7. If you have questions about having your music or media reviewed or featured at DarkestGoth, you can email Reverend Leviathan directly. (Not all music or media will be eligible for coverage by DGM, due to its style or the current knowledge base of DGM staff. If your media is accepted, we are currently estimating a 90-120 day turnaround for reviews and/or other coverage, so please plan requests accordingly.)

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