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Dustin Mattson talks indie horror slasher TapeHead – The Return of Jacob Cobb

There are just a handful of days left to support indie horror sequel Tapehead: The Return of Jacob Cobb.

To find out more about the project, we caught up with director Dustin Mattson to answer some questions –

What can you tell us about Tapehead – The Return of Jacob Cobb?

This new TapeHead film will have a much darker tone, we really wanted to make him someone that the audience would be afraid of. So this time around he’s very angry and a whole new fresh crop of victims get to find out first hand just how angry he really is.

What I can tell you is I’m going to do everything in my power to make this a movie that doesn’t just come and go, I have a wonderful film family and this is something we could potentially do as a franchise for years to come.

How different will this be to the original TapeHead?

This next film is going to be way different from the first attempt in many ways. This one will be feature length for starters, so we get to spend a lot more time with the characters. TapeHead himself (Dillon Weeks) is sporting a brand new decayed look, which we didn’t have the budget for in 

the first one. This film also slightly replaces the first TapeHead film, as it was primarily a proof of concept to see if we could actually pull off making a movie. So, this film will use some things from the original to establish the origin of Jacob Cobb (TapeHead) but will be a whole new story, with new characters who inadvertently resurrect Jacob from his grave. 

What lessons did you learn working on that film?

Truly, I learned that absolutely anything is possible. It was a crash course in filmmaking that would break most people, I’m sure. We learned how to stretch a dollar, and that we should give ourselves more time to work. We shot the first weekend of June and I had already announced an October 31st release date… that.was.dumb. As a result, a lot of stuff was rushed to meet my impossibly unnecessary deadline, So I will NEVER cut anything that close ever again. The most important thing that I learned is I have one hell of a film family, we have a small little crew and they were all taking on 2 or 3 jobs each just to make this thing work. I wouldn’t want to do this with anyone else in the world, and I probably won’t.

What slashers do you take inspiration from?

That’s a gigantic list my dude, I’m primarily influenced by stuff that my best friend and Youtube Cohost Evildeadinks and I deem as popcorn horror. We like our horror to be over the top, there’s enough real life violence in the world that I don’t need my cinema to reflect that much realism.

So I really lean heavy into things like the original Evil Dead, The Friday The 13th franchise, Sorority House Massacre 2 and way too many to name drop. I’m a sucker for weird SOV films, direct to video slashers, I pretty much watch anything and everything. I consider myself to be somewhat of a horror historian.. I mean, you don’t build a video store in your basement if you don’t absolutely love genre stuff.

How long do you plan to film for?

As long as it takes. Everyone on the cast and crew has real live stuff to deal with like kids, jobs etc.. So, we plan on shooting 2 days on, and 5 off until the film is done. We’ve already begun shooting some small things here and there which is my prefered method, not that I have much experience in this world, but that’s what seems to work for us.

What sort of perks are available for the crowdfunding campaign?

I’m also very new to this world, so we have things like DVD copies, Bluray Copies, Shirts, Posters, Soundtracks and whatnot. Hopefully there’s something there for everyone, I know when I back something the first thing I look for is a physical release.

I noticed Drew Marvick in your cast, did Drew share any lessons learnt from Pool Party Massacre?

Drew is amazing! As of right now we have yet to shoot anything with him, but he’s been great! I send him little BTS shots of props or things I’m working on and he’s always super excited about them. I haven’t really picked his brain much yet, because there’s still this 

part of me that feels like a bit of a fraud, like am I worthy of directing him, or is he gonna discover I’m just pretending to know what the hell I’m doing? All bullshit aside, he’s been super cool with every wacky idea that pops out of my brain and I can’t wait to officially work with him.

What can you tell us about the character of Jacob Cobb?

I can tell you that the actor playing him, Dillon Weeks takes this role very seriously. He’s a massive monster of a man who tells me everyday how excited he is to kill everyone… and luckily I don’t need to get murdered by him, again. Jacob Cobb was a special needs kid who worked 

for the Video Barn in 2001 rewinding VHS tapes in the backroom. One day, two employees play a prank on him. They dump a big box of VHS tapes on his head and inadvertently kill him, so naturally they dispose of the body. The only problem is, his special tape rewinder absorbs his blood and becomes cursed. If anyone uses it, he returns from the grave to retrieve his rewinder.. and anyone in his path is in BIG trouble. I wanted him to be a mix of all the things I love about slasher villains. I love a villain who is seemingly unstoppable, almost a machine that’s on a mission. Also, it was important for me to have him die in an unjust manor. You should feel bad for him, but once he’s back.. you should be afraid of him.

Once filmed do you plan to take the film festival route or look at an online release?

I will indeed do the festival route once again. There will be no online presence of the film other than an official trailer and perhaps extra special features on our YouTube Channel 3B Video. It’s very important for me to do a physical media release only since that’s an era that I’m trying my best to preserve. So, there will most likely not be a massive distribution through anyone. I’ll keep it in house and sell DVDs and Blurays online as well as any conventions that we decide to travel to.

Find out more about Tapehead: The Return of Jacob Cobb.

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