David Koenig is one of the most supportive individuals you will find in the independent horror film community. In addition to being an uber-fan, he is also a creator himself, knocking out graphic art projects, short films, and fanzines. For his latest contribution to the universe, Koenig has unveiled Coeurs Noirs – a massive compilation of ads featuring the classic Film Noir subgenre.
I was pleased to have the opportunity to ask David a few questions where we dive into his affinity for creation, making Coeurs Noirs and his upcoming short horror film starring his fashion guru daughter, Bella Koenig.
PopHorror: Dave, this is a monster of a book project that you have produced. Coeurs Noirs is 426 pages of classic ads highlighting the golden age of Film Noir that you have personally collected. How long did this labor of love take and what was your inspiration for this Amazon best-seller?
David Koenig: Thank you for checking it out. Yes, this one was a beast and a half. Most who have received it so far can’t believe how large a book it is. I spent the better part of two years compiling the ads from old newspapers. Once I had a system in place, it got easier as I went along. My main inspiration was a friend, Bill Van Ryn, who publishes a fanzine called Drive-In Asylum. It’s a combination of old horror film ads and articles on old, mostly forgotten horror films. I was amazed that someone figured how to do this, researching and pulling ads. Since a book like this was not attempted before, I ran with it. So far, the response has been incredible.
PopHorror: You’re one of the biggest cheerleaders for independent cinema; continuously helping promote other artists and filmmakers, producing old school zines highlighting horror, Asian genre, and cult films, offering them for free as well as creating incredible ‘fan’ art pieces that have been used as posters and even t-shirts for fellow filmmakers. Where does all this love come from and why are you so adamant about spreading it?
David Koenig: I come from the old punk rock/hardcore music scene, where doing things for little or no money is the norm. This ideology has never left me, even though I go into the red with every project I produce. I want people to succeed, especially the filmmakers that always have no money for their projects. I like doing fan art because for some reason people and the filmmakers get a kick out of it. I am really surprised when something gets used officially for a project and even though I don’t expect it, I do like getting a copy of the final product.
I am always asked why don’t I charge for my work. I already know the filmmakers have no money or not going to make any from their work, why would I ask for any? Sometimes you just need to do things just to do them. Not everything needs to be about money, just get the art out there.
PopHorror: You recently announced a new short project that you have begun pre-production on, I Only Kill the Pretty Ones. Could you share what you hope to bring audiences with this new venture?
David Koenig: I have been trying to work on another short film forever it seems since I made Death Comes Twice (2018). I have many ideas but not the time. So after a conversation with a good film critic friend and some recent events in the film criticism “world”, I came up with the idea for my next short I Only Kill the Pretty Ones! The plot is about a film critic who is tired of reviewing garbage horror films and is asked to review one final film before quitting. I cannot say anymore as it would spoil it but this will most definitely be a “horror” film. Be forewarned though… things are not going to be what people think this film is about. Like my first short, everyone will come to their own conclusions after viewing.
PopHorror: Do you have any other projects on the horizon?
David Koenig: Actually, no. I am really trying to retire from art and creative things after this year. I am an old man and want to just settle down and read, watch movies, and enjoy other’s work.
PopHorror: Who are some of your favorite independent artists out there currently creating?
David Koenig: I will keep this to filmmaking… I love filmmakers like Paul Ragsdale and Angie DeAlba (Streets of Vengeance, Slashlorette Party), Sean Donohue of Gatorblade Films (he may fight me on this but Death Scort Service (2015) is one of my favorite horror/slashers of all time), Chris Woods (Chaos A.D., Amerikan Holokaust), Christopher Bickel (The Theta Girl and the upcoming Bad Girls) and many others (you know who you are). I should also mention two filmmakers not known for horror but I met this past year, Michael McCallum from Rebel Pictures/Lansing, MI, and Randy Gordon-Gatica (who made his first full-length film The Magic Bomb for no money…in NYC no less!). These guys are doing some amazing things and are super talented, do look them up!
PopHorror: If you could collaborate with any artist, filmmaker, or actor – living or deceased – who would it be and why?
David Koenig: Seriously, just the people I mentioned previously, they are all way more talented than I. I would be starstruck to work with any of them.
We want to thank David for his time and if you would like to keep up to date on what he is helping promote or create, make sure to follow him on Facebook, Instagram @a _fiend_on_film, and don’t miss out on his incredible blog here.