In the world of indie horror, a dedicated distribution company is key to success. Someone could make the best horror movie ever imagined, but if no one can get their hands on it, who would ever know how good it was? That’s where Chad Armstrong comes in. Not only does his company, LeglessCorpse Films, distribute the lesser known horror gems on DVD, Blu-Ray and VOD, but they also provide an output for struggling filmmakers to showcase their work on both LeglessCorpse and LeglessCorpseFilms. He was also very involved in the creation of Eli Roth’s CryptTV and is still playing around with Horror Inside the Box. PopHorror caught up with this busy guy and got a chance to ask him where he comes from, his upcoming projects what really scares him.
PopHorror: So let’s start at the top. How long have you been in the filmmaking business?
Chad Armstrong: It’s been a long journey. In 1992, I got my first gig on set as a special makeup FX artist. The film was Wayne Kramer’s (The Cooler 2003, Running Scared 2006) Blazeland (1992). It was a blast, from that point on I knew I wanted to be a part of the filmmaking process. From there, I moved into writing and directing shorts. I think I made about 6 shorts and after a ton of empty promises and back stabbing I gave up. I moved from California to Alabama 8 years ago, and 4 years ago was having some medical issues. I was diagnosed with heart failure, during that time I was unable to work for a year and decided life was too short. I started LeglessCorpse.com, hooked up with co-owner Andrew Thompson through that and the rest is pretty much history.
PopHorror: Talk about a wakeup call! What made you want to move to Alabama?
Chad Armstrong: I moved to Alabama because my wife has family out here and she didn’t want to move to California. I don’t blame her. I love it out here and would never move back there. It’s much more laid back here for sure. HOT, but laid back.
PopHorror: With a company name like LeglessCorpse, is it safe to say that you’re a fan of horror films?
Chad Armstrong: Of course! That also expands through any films that are strange or dark or visually exciting. Huge fan of David Fincher and films like American Beauty (1999), Royal Tenenbaums (2001) and weird stuff like that.
PopHorror: What’s your favorite horror movie and why?
Chad Armstrong: I always hate answering this question because it always seems like such a cliché, especially for someone my age. But what got me into horror films in the first place was A Nightmare On Elm Street (1984) and Friday the 13th (1980). To this day, A Nightmare On Elm Street is one of my favorites because it’s the film that got me into makeup FX and in turn got me into filmmaking and horror. So it will always be numero uno.
PopHorror: What draws you to the horror genre?
Chad Armstrong: The fact that there are no restrictions on the story. You can do whatever you want in a horror film or book. There dosen’t have to be a certain formula. You can be super, super creepy to scare an audience, or you can be as gross as you want to get a certain reaction. There’s just no rules, and that’s what appeals to me.
PopHorror: So far, you’ve written, produced, edited, done special effects makeup and directed in your film career. Do you prefer any job over the others?
Chad Armstrong: Directing and editing are probably my favorites. In directing, you get to make these cool little pieces of a story at different times, over a set amount of time, and then come back and put the pieces together and watch something be created right before your eyes. I don’t understand directors who don’t edit their own work. That’s where the magic really happens and when the excitement really hits you, when you know if you have something great or a piece of shit. It’s the rewarding moment of your efforts.
PopHorror: Any plans to step in front of the camera in the future?
Chad Armstrong: I did that for a test pilot I did for a series I did called The Noir Guy (2006). I suck as an actor. I can do it if I have to but will never take on a lead role or even supporting role anytime soon.
PopHorror: Tell me about LeglessCorpse/LeglessCorpse Films.
Chad Armstrong: LeglessCorpse is the website/company I started when I was sick and couldn’t work. I was bored so I needed something to do. So I created this little review site so that I could review some horror movies I watched and maybe bring in a little income in advertising, since working was out of the question. Well, it kind of became more than I could imagine, and no thanks to me. I’m a horrible reviewer! I love writing, but my reviews are less than stellar. Thank God Andrew Thompson came aboard! His writing/reviews are really what legitimized the site. So he took over that and I began work on LeglessCorpse Films (now LC Films). I wanted to give indie horror filmmakers a chance to get their films out there, or at least be able to offer it so that they could have a physical, REAL DVD in their hands.
Because for us, that’s the reward. For most of us, it’s not about money. Sure,0. we’d all like our film to take off and be the indie hit of the decade, but the market is very saturated. Eveyone is making films, so sometimes a small $500 feature horror film will get passed on, but we’ll pick it up because we are very smart on our distribution. However, getting the films in retail outlets and video rental stores is costly. Because chains are over the physical media, and wont pay up-front for discs anymore, so we have the cost of supplying the vendor with quanities of discs in the hopes they sell. Then wait for the revenue, or a ton of discs to be returned. It’s scary, the last thing we want is 500 copies of a film no one wants shipped back to us.
PopHorror: Yeah, I can see why you’d be hesitant to do it that way. Can you tell me about your work with Crypt TV?
Chad Armstrong: I had various roles with Crypt TV as they kind of figured out their identity. I came aboard when it was the Crypt App, and the app was what I was excited about. When that died, I hung around for awhile. Then I just got too busy with everything else to commit to them, and it wouldn’t have been fair for me to continue to be a part of something I couldn’t but 100% into.
PopHorror: Tell me about Horror Inside the Box.
Chad Armstrong: We aquired Horror Inside The Box because the owner was going to abandon it. We still really don’t know what we are going to do with it. Right now, it’s also a horror news site, but we also opened it up to reporting on other genre’s of indie film. Hopefully, we can figure out where that’s going to go soon.
PopHorror: I’m sure you’ll get a few ideas Inboxed once this review gets out (laughs). Do you have anything you’re working on now that you can talk about?
Chad Armstrong: Heck, yeah! We are currently shooting our horror film/creature feature Deimosimine (Facebook.com/Deimosiminefilm Deimosimine.com). It’s a blast! The film started out as an idea my wife pitched to me and said, “You should make it.” So I thought, “I will throw it on Indiegogo and see what happens,” not thinking I would raise a dime. But it gained momentum and we raised like $7K (before fees) and once that happened we HAD to make the film becuase we couldn’t let the people that contributed down. It pushed us to actually make the film.
It was humbling how many people really liked the idea or had faith in us. We are now currently shooting the film, raising money as we go, I mean the $5K that we got (after the fees) from Indiegogo was nowhere near what we needed to actually make the film. It has 4 practical FX creatures and a very imaginative story-line, so we had (and have to) continue raising funds as we go. We got a good chunk done and the film can be shot without the creature set pieces that we have, so the money we are raising now are just for creature FX, which the rest is being funded by LC Films.
After Deimosimine, we have acquired the rights to a sequel to a super fun film that we can’t say yet. We are awaiting poster art from our awesome FX guy, Dennis Preston, before we make the announcement. But it’s going to be fucking AWESOME!!
Update: The new project is called Blood Dancers 2 – just announced today! Here’s the new poster!
PopHorror: Ooh, I can’t wait to see! Are you inspired by anyone in the business?
Chad Armstrong: I’m inspired by everyone in the business. I know that’s a cheat answer but it’s true. Every filmmaker, every crew member, every actor and every production assistant inspires me because they are doing what they love. They are taking time out of their busy lives to work on a dream of theirs, whether they are full time filmmakers or part time. To take time out in your life to work on your dream is inspiring, no matter what position you are in, behind or in front of the camera.
PopHorror: If you could work with any celebrity and/or crew member, who would they be and why?
Chad Armstrong: Brad Dourif, because he is an amazingly talented actor and I have been a huge fan of his for years. His performance in Exorcist 3 (1990)… Man, you can’t get any better than that.
PopHorror: Here’s the big question… What scares you?
Chad Armstrong: Life. You never know what’s going to happen. Films don’t scare me anymore. They can creep me out but they don’t scare me. Life, on the other hand, scares the crap out of me.
PopHorror: Thanks so much for talking to us today, Chad! We really appreciate it.
Chad Armstrong: Thanks! These questions were a blast to do!
To see what else Chad has been up to and to keep up with him in the future, be sure to seek him out here: