As you may or may not know, Shawn Lewis is the proprietor of Rotten Cotton, an online shirt company specializing in horror, cult, and exploitation shirts. His brother and him recently got together to direct a blaxploitation killer doll film called BLACK DEVIL DOLL. If there is one thing i have to say, it's
"Boy this film is going to piss some people off."
SS: So Shawn, what made you decide to get into filmmaking?
SL: Well I've been a horror fan most of my life, as young as I can remember, my mother raised me on Creature Features, a Bay Area Saturday night horror TV show... I attended film school at SF State but ended up dropping out, school just wasn't for me. I always had intended on making my own films but when Rotten Cotton took off, I found very little time for it. That all changed when my youngest brother Jonathan started film school this past year, he was looking for something to direct and the rest is history.
SS: How did you decide on want to make a blaxploitation doll film?
SL: I am a huge fan of killer puppet/doll films, I try to collect all of them, even the shitty ones. And it has always been my dream to contribute to that sub-genre. Once we all agreed that our film would be in the killer doll genre, then we went back and watch every single one I had in my collection. We wanted to do something different with ours and thats how the Blaxploitation/Grindhouse thing happened. There has never been a doll film that combined those genres. So we took our doll idea and combined it with a Blaxpoitation vibe and a little Russ Meyer'ish flavor too... It worked better than we could have ever imagined.
SS: What films inspired Black Devil Doll? Did anything else besides film inspire BDD?
SL: Our major inspirations are things like Trilogy of Terror, Black Devil Doll From Hell, Dolls, and Meet The Feebles from the doll era. And stuff like Dolemite, Sweetback, The Spook Who Sat By The Door... and too many 70's Grindhouse films to mention...
SS: Has their been any controversy surrounding Black Devil Doll?
SL: Well not so much controversy, well maybe a little. Everyone wants to think our film is a remake of Chester Turner's Black Devil Doll From Hell. Its not. People are stupid. Other than that, King Magazine compared our film to Birth Of A Nation. Fucking clueless.
SS: Do you have any plans for other films besides Black Devil Doll?
SL: We are working on a sequel to BDD now. And we are in the script stages of a film called She's A Whore. Its a retro 70's female revenge film in the vein of Thriller: They Call Her One Eye...
SS: How did you get into the horror t-shirt business ?
SL: I just do whatever I gotta do to keep from getting a real job. A friend was selling a t-shirt company years ago, I bought and I got lucky, it took off.
SS: How did you get jive translated for the screen? Do you or your brother speak jive?
SL: Nigga pleaze.
SS: If this film were to be taken to the MPAA, do you think it would be rated X?
SL: Shit, the first 5 minutes would get it an X. There is no XXX penatration on camera but its packed with nudity, gore, sex, and violence. Oh and lots of RAPE. It would be an NC-17 for the nudity and gore for sure.
SS: You seem like a true proponent of freedom of speech with your anti-politically correct clothing line and now a film. What do you have to say about political correctness?
SL: Fuck political correctness. Its the number one problem with our society, actually its number 2, religion is the biggest problem, anyway... Whoever said that as an individual in our society that you have the right not to be offended? You don't. People need a thicker skin and they need to learn how to change the channel and shut the fuck up.
SS: What would you like to see different in the horror and film in general?
SL: More puppet rape.
SS: What can we expect from Rotten Cotton in the future?
SL: A t-shirt with this:
"When a person is delusional, they call him insane. When a group of people are delusional, they call it a religion..."
SS: Anything else that you would like to say?
SL: Go to http://www.blackdevildoll.com and http://www.myspace.com/blackdevildolldvd
Support puppet rape! I gotta go take a shit.