Ruben Rox: On the rise with bloody birthday’s slicing auteur. By brian kirst
After briefly appearing in the mainstream campus thriller the fraternity, the talented Ruben Rox turned to indie horror with a revealing appearance in revenge of the unhappy campers. Inspired, rox soon found himself behind the camera, helming 2005’s chubby killer. Three years later, chubby killer is now bloody birthday and Rox is finally finishing up his first horror opus as a writer and director. The determined Rox has a great sense of humor and a true understanding of his place in the horror echelon. Of course, if Rox continues on his current path, no one would be the least surprised if he ends up on top of the bloody of the heap!
Brian: You’ve obviously been very inspired by horror filmmakers. Do you have influences that we may be surprised to know about, though?
Ruben: I grew up in mexico watching the horror films of director Ruben Galindo Jr. The films were nothing more than slashers, but he injected lots of atmosphere and most of the deaths were always pretty graphic and on screen, unlike the horror films here that get butchered by the ratings system.
Brian: You worked with respected director Sidney J. Furie (lady sings the blues) and treat williams in the campus gone awry suspense fest fraternity. What are your memories about working on that production?
Ruben: I never got to meet treat. From what I remember the director was very nice. I was on location (in canada) only for two days, my scenes took place at the school and the one in which I had dialoge was edited out of the american release! If you watch the movie you can stop me sitting on my ass in the classroom and that’s it. The scene that was edited out had me bump into robin and his posse in the hallway. I proceed to yell at him, then when I realize who bumped into me, I apologize.
Brian: Were did you get your inspiration for chubby killer from are what was the best thing and the worst thing about making that film?
Ruben: The last movie I had worked on was back in early 2004. Mid 2005 I decided to let people know I was back and looking to get into acting again. I went to a bunch of auditions/meetings and many folks told me I was too out of shape to play the roles and shit. At the same time, for some odd reason (I find it weird people wanna interview me, im no Tiffany Shepis or Jeff d. Graham) I was being interviewed by underground/horror/indie magazines and websites -most of them always asked if I would ever take on the role of directing/producing. That got me thinking I should really give it a shot!
Around the same time I was taking one of those courses at the local public tv station where if you complete it, you can get your own show and started writing scripts. I always wanted (hell! Still do) to be in a scary type show and wrote several episodes about a chubby guy and his friends who were always attacked by psychos, zombies and ghosts. The show never happened, so I let folks read the scripts and most of them really liked two: chubby killer and return of the chubby killer.
The fall of 2005 production began and I was excited! Then all sorts of shit went down involving the locations, investors were "broke" and some actors didn’t wanna be in it anymore or they had better offers. Now the year is 2008 and the fucking thing still in production. Im not mad or bitter. I just wanna get it done damn it! Lol but seriously, this year it will definitely get finished. Lots of scenes have to be re-shot because so much time has passed, neither the actors nor I look like we did back when we started.
On the positive side, the script is better than ever with lots more action, lots more scary scenes and even a little nudity.
And I must say chubby killer has been retitled to birthday bash thanks to lots of hate mail I received from "offended" people, who thought it was politically incorrect. But that wasn’t the only reason, many thought chubby killer was a comedy and it isn’t.
Brian: You appeared in night of 1000 screams 2. What causes you to howl in real life (besides stupid questions like this)?
Ruben: Ignorance, racism, plenty of today’s teenagers… Have you tried having a conversation with anyone under 16 lately?, most i’ve met have been truly dumb.
Brian: Revenge of the unhappy campers seems to have found somewhat of a cult following and appears to be the friday the 13th of your horror catalog. Do you have one memory that stands out among the rest about making that film?
Ruben: I was naked a lot! And I got sunburned. Most of my scenes took place outdoors and we filmed in california and it was hot!!!
Brian: Is birthday bash inspired by your love for seminal slasher flick happy birthday to me or some other incident or film?
Ruben: No, I don’t even like that film. Chubby killer became birthday bash simply because the plot revolved friends going into to the woods to celebrate a birthday.
Brian: If you could plan the most amazing birthday bash for yourself who would you invite as guests and who would invite to perform at the event?
Ruben: Too many to list, but mostly it would be actors like michelle bauer, linnea, brinke, tiffany, debbie rochon. I have never met any of them, but would love to one day, so that’s why I would invite them… I certainly don’t want to meet anyone involved in politics or boring jobs like that. And of course, I would want my all time favorite singer/actress/sex symbol: bibI gaytan to be there (she’s known to latin america and now is retired for the readers who are asking themselves who she is, hehe).
Brian: Lastly, any words of advice (ie: don’t snatch cake away from the psycho with the knife) or future projects (besides birthday bash) that you’d like to tell us about? And thanks so much for doing this – it’s been a slice!
Ruben: As far as projects, there’s only one called ‘the cabin’ a gay/horror story about friends attacked in the middle of the woods by something. It currently is on pre-production, once again im directing and producing and I wouldn’t be surprised if it came out before birthday bash!
Advice??? Hhmmm… Always wear clean underwear, don’t do drugs that will kill your smart brain cells and if you need a chubby actor in his late 20’s for your project that isn’t affraid to get his hands dirty and always knows his lines, call me!!! Hehe… just kidding! But seriously: support indie horror. And for those on myspace, myspace profile: www.myspace.com/ruben_rox