- Director: Sam Fox
- Writer: Sam Fox
- Stars: Maddie Nichols, Vincent Stabla, Michelle Rossi, William E. Harris
Director Sam Fox’s bonkers short film Fck’n Nuts delivers on its title. Drawn from her experience growing up in her household and stretched to the most absurd lengths, Fck’n Nuts is a horror fever dream, absurdist comedy, and childhood trauma all rolled into one.
Fox has created her own world that only she fully understands. The audience is kept at viewing length, watching it all unfold, never certain as to what comes next.
Sandy (Nichols) is trying to keep her boyfriend Dan (Stalba) from meeting her nutty Mother (Rossi) and Father (Harris). The performances are all great. Nichols, in particular, is very good in the main role.
Stylised lighting, great performances, and a very fun and disgusting payoff, Fck’n Nuts, sees writer and director Sam Fox in control of the chaos.
It’s a very fun short that shows Fox’s directing talent whilst creating something very original and very personal.
Check out our interview with Sam Fox, writer and director of Fck’n Nuts. Sam was nice enough to give us some of her time to answer some questions about her new short film Fck’n Nuts.
The short film was nominated for Best International Short at L’Etrange and has been selected to:
- L’Etrange (Sept. 5 – Sept. 17) *World Premiere, Paris
- Motel/X (Sept. 12 – Sept 18)
- Fantastic Fest (Sept. 21 – Sept 28)
- Brooklyn Horror Film Festival (Oct. 12 – Oct. 19)
- New Orleans Film Festival (Oscar Qualifying) (Nov. 3 – Nov. 8)
Haddonfield Horror: Can you please introduce yourself?
Sam Fox: My name is Sam Fox and I am a writer, director and producer.
Haddonfield Horror: You’ve said Fck’n Nuts is based on your life growing up with an insane family. What made you want to make this film, and how did it evolve?
SF: FCK’N NUTS was one of the first scripts I ever wrote. I struggle as a writer, the skill set does not come naturally to me. I would have all these zany ideas but never a story to back it up. I recalled the (well known) advice to “write what you know” so I thought I’d write about a very formative time in my life, being a teenager trapped in a household with parents I felt so incredibly alien to and having a family system that was so dysfunctional I could not subject any friends, let alone boyfriends to. The problem is, I have real trouble being vulnerable and a bad habit of making a joke out of everything, so I came to the conclusion that if I was going to expose this very dark and traumatic time in my life, well of course I’d have to make a big ol’ gag out of it.
HH: There is more than a hint of menace in the film, like something bad is just waiting to happen. Is this also a call back to your childhood?
SF: Mommy and Daddy are pretty heavily, if not completely influenced by my mom and dad. I did up the “menacing” aspect in order to create tension and suspense around how nuts Sandy’s parents are, but they are pretty much spot on the real deal, except my mom has an English accent. She’s also sober now.
HH: For such a chaotic film, how was the filming process? What was the one lesson you took from it?
SF: Equal parts chaotic and smooth. I try not to be, but I am, for the most part, a perfectionist. I put so much pressure on myself when it comes to my films. During my prep process, I made lookbooks for every head of department. I tested every shot both alone, with friends, and with actors. I went over the shots numerous times with our DP Daniel Waghorne. I do this all in an attempt to not waste the time of my crew. They are working so incredibly hard and for basically peanuts (pun intended), and the last thing I want to do is show up unprepared. That being said… shit happens. We shot in New Orleans, so unplanned thunderstorms disrupted our first shoot date. We were working with a bare-bones crew, so each person had to do like 50 jobs. Not ideal for them or for the film, but kudos to them, we pulled it off. On our final day of shooting, we lost 4 hours of footage. We had 30 set-ups scheduled for that day, and I was on my 5th day in a row of 2 hours sleep. Thank god for our producers Desiree Staples and Katie Weiss Porter for stepping in and figuring out what needed to be reshot and in what order (we had no AD). Thank god for our DP Daniel Waghorne, who not only was able to reshoot everything we lost but actually shoot it better. Thank god for Joe Badon, who had my back and was my brain as I felt the life drain from my body. And thank god for the actors and crew, I’d name you all, but I’m trying to wrap this up for hauling ass and nailing every single set up, shot, and performance. The lesson is taken from a quote by Dwight D. Eisenhower, “In preparing for battle I have always found that plans are useless but planning is indispensable”, that and have a bigger crew.`
HH: Did you make the film first and then get financed after it, or was it a pitch first deal?
SF: I was fortunate enough to screen at one of my favorite festivals, FilmQuest, with my last film, BAD ACID. The festival was offering an amazing opportunity to pitch to MovieMaker Magazine in order to receive a production grant. I didn’t know that I was going to make FCK’N NUTS just then but on the last night of the festival I had a 5am Hyatt Hotel lobby conversation with a fellow filmmaker that inspired me to revisit this script which I’d written about 6 years prior. One thing led to another, and 6 months later, I was pitching the concept to Deirdre Mccarrick, and with the help of MovieMaker and New Orleans production company Cosmic Family Films, FCK’N NUTS was greenlit!
HH: Do you like writing or directing more?
SF: Hands down directing. I am an ideas person. I come from a fine art background and was an actor for about 10 years. When I discovered that through directing, I can use my skills from painting to literally paint a picture within the camera frame as well as get to utilize my acting experience, I knew that directing was my jam! I am a visual storyteller and am currently in search of a writing partner whose skill set with story and dialogue compliment my imagination.
HH: Looking ahead 5 years, 10 years, 15 years, what do you hope has happened in that time?
SF: Let’s start with the next 6 months. I hope that FCK’N NUTS is my calling card on the festival trail and allows me the opportunity to make my first feature by next year. It’s an ambitious goal, but I like to dream big. I have a feature film concept for FCK’N NUTS that’s a BRAZIL meets ALL THAT JAZZ meets PHANTOM OF THE PARADISE rock opera about mental illness… but the one I am currently pushing and have seen interest in is BABALON ASCENDING; a psycheosexual thriller about a struggling New Orleans street artist who gets sucked into a world of magik and mayhem after being indoctrinated into a cult of artistic hedonists.
HH: What is your favourite horror film/book?
SF: I absolutely loved the book North Water. Although it’s not your typical horror story, the horrendous situations that the characters find themselves in and how those situations lead to the degradation of man are truly horrifying. As for film, I’ll name 3. ROSEMARY’S BABY was my first ever favorite film at age 5… (part of the reason and inspo for FCK’N NUTS), THE SHINING is still the most terrifying and perfectly executed movie I’ve ever seen, and the original SUSPIRIA because when I saw that film I knew I wanted to make movies.