Drew Marvick is a local filmmaker (a writer, producer, actor and director) who just released his first feature film, an indie slasher called “Pool Party Massacre.” The film, which is a blast for fans of comedy and horror, had a limited, local theatrical release at the new Eclipse Theater in Downtown Las Vegas earlier this month.
Marvick—who graduated from UNLV in 2001 with a degree in business administration—announced his scary movie is getting a DVD and Blu-Ray release on April 20. There will also be a special edition which comes with a VHS tape for vintage horror fanatics.
The UNLV Scarlet & Gray Free Press met with Marvick to talk about “Pool Party Massacre.”
Editor’s Note: This interview has been edited for length and clarity.
UNLV Scarlet & Gray Free Press: How does one go from business administration graduate to a horror filmmaker?
Drew Marvick: Filmmaking was always in the back of my mind. One day, one of my employees told me she was going to film school at UNLV and was getting a lot of experience working on commercials. I just so happened to be taking some time off, so I half-jokingly told her to call me if anyone was looking for a production assistant over the next two weeks. She called a couple days later, and I ended up working on a week-long shoot for the Las Vegas Review-Journal. I loved it so much I never went back to working for a casino again.
SGFP: How did the idea for “Pool Party Massacre” originate?
DM: A friend of mine named Brian Mills, who owned a local production company at the time, called to tell me that he got a new camera and was looking for something to shoot with it. He said he wished someone he knew had a script because he would love to shoot a film. I took advantage of this situation and lied to him. I told him I had a great script ready to go. When he asked what it was called, the first thing that came to my mind was “Pool Party Massacre.” He believed me. I hung up with him and then locked myself in my office for a week and wrote the script. Two-hundred revisions later, you have the movie.
SGFP: How long has this film been in the works?
DM: That conversation with Brian happened in July 2015. Originally, we wanted to shoot the whole thing in August and have it done for an October 2015 release. We started to take it seriously, so we didn’t end up having our first shooting day until late November, and we finally finished shooting in June 2016. I probably shouldn’t tell people how long it took to make it; they’ll expect to see a much better movie.
SGFP: How was it watching your movie on the big screen with an audience?
DM: It was exciting and horrifying at the same time. I mean, it’s pretty damn awesome seeing something on the giant screen that you made with your own blood, sweat and tears (plus a couple of bucks stolen from my kid’s piggy banks). But, it is also painful in a similar way to hearing your own voice on a recording. All I can see when I watch it is all the mistakes, missed opportunities and bad decisions.
SGFP: After the home video release, are there any more plans for “Pool Party Massacre”?
DM: I’m still focusing on surviving the release. I’m doing everything myself, so I am completely overwhelmed. I turned down every distribution offer thrown my way because I am determined to do this whole thing myself so I can learn as much as possible. But, I suppose if I do survive the release, then I will just move on to the sequel.
SGFP: How would you sell this movie to UNLV students, or anyone for that matter?
DM: Well, most horror fans are familiar with 80s horror, no matter what their age is, so I would let them know that this is a blood splattered, 80s-inspired slasher film full of hot chicks, gory deaths and raunchy humor. If they were UNLV students that weren’t horror fans, then I would just lie to them and say it was porn.
SGFP: Any advice for the aspiring, local filmmakers?
DM: I’m not sure that I’m in any place to give advice to anyone, but if this movie is proof of anything, it’s that anybody can make a movie if they try hard enough—even me.
Watch the trailer or get your own copy of “Pool Party Massacre” at poolpartymassacre.com