You know when there’s a movie you’ve heard about, and you really want to watch it, but you can’t find it? You know it exists, but there’s really only word of mouth, and if you do happen to find a physical copy, it’s so very rare that the prices are insane? Yeah, it drives me freaking crazy. This is the story with All About Evil. Made back in 2010, the film is no longer streaming anywhere, and physical copies are so very few and far between. That is, until now. Premiering on Shudder on June 13th and getting a physical release from Severin Films on June 10th, All About Evil is about to gouge your eyes out.
To celebrate the release, I chatted with writer/director Peaches Christ (Joshua Grannell in the interview) and star Thomas Dekker via Zoom about how the project came about, the return of cinema in the movie theater, what’s up next, and more!
PopHorror: I really, really enjoyed All About Evil. Congratulations on the new release! I’m really excited for you.
Joshua Grannell: Thank you!
PopHorror: This film has cult classic written all over it. For over a decade, it’s been pretty difficult to find, and now it’s finally getting its long overdue release from Severin Films. How does that feel?
Joshua Grannell: As the filmmaker, of course it feels amazing! Anyone who’s made a movie can tell you that it’s really, really hard. It’s a lot of work, and all of us who worked on the film worked really hard. The film has definitely creeped and crawled its way into people’s worlds, especially when it first came out. NBC Universal actually had it for a little while. It was on their Chiller network and stuff.
PopHorror: Oh, wow!
Joshua Grannell: So people would find it, and people would discover it, but it was hard to access. Especially in the last few years, there’s been more people who have heard about the film than have been able to see it, right? I’m excited. I guess in a way, you don’t want to build it up too much, but I’m excited for this whole new generation of folks to find it, and especially excited because the Severin audience and the Shudder audience are exactly who this movie is for. The fact that it’s Severin and Shudder putting it out again, is so lovely to me because those are my peeps. I’ve never made anything that’s for everyone. Ever. Most people don’t like what I make, which is great! That’s why it’s interesting to me. This movie is for the Severin and Shudder audience.
PopHorror: It’s very frustrating when you hear about something, and it has such a big, great word of mouth, and then you can’t find it, so you can’t watch it. It’s like, Dammit! Where can I see this?! I love that it’s now being made available to everyone. What about you, Thomas?
Thomas Dekker: Yes, yes. Thrilled that it’s finally going to have as many eyes on it as possible. And also just this whole journey feels so perfect for the movie. This whole ride it’s been on. We went on a national tour of performing with the film when it came out on its soft release initially, and then it’s been, as you said, this kind of word of mouth thing that’s built. And every time I’ve been in a situation where I’m speaking with strangers and it’s always, “Oh this movie, All About Evil? I know this movie. Where do I find it? Where do I see it?” And then you’ll find one person who grabbed the DVD when we were in Minnesota or something. So it’s just a great energy that’s built around the movie that I feel is really organic and fitting. I’m really glad the time has come where it’s going to be out in the world.
PopHorror: Thomas, you looked like such a baby! That just shows you how long this has been coming.
Thomas Dekker: I had just turned 21! 21.
PopHorror: That’s crazy!
Joshua Grannell: But playing 16.
PopHorror: That’s the norm these days.
Joshua Grannell: It actually is believable. You’ve always had a very boyish look.
PopHorror: Joshua, what inspired the film and how did the project come about?
Joshua Grannell: I had been making silly short films that were drag parodies. They’re very silly drag parodies of horror movies. I really wanted to make one that wasn’t centered around Peaches and her friends. I had this idea for Deborah Tennis, the character, so I made a movie—a short film—called Grindhouse, and that movie was satisfying enough. The experience of making that little short was great, so I wrote a feature script about it, and that was All About Evil. Mark Cuban had produced a TV show for Peaches back in 2007, so I thought, “Oh my God, I know a billionaire! He’s going to finance my movie.” And he didn’t, but that was okay because my friend Darren Stein, who wrote and directed Jawbreaker, was very adamant after seeing my short films that he wanted to produce my first feature. So I had the script, and I had Darren, and we just got to work. And Darren introduced me to Thomas, so we just started lining people up. Eventually, a friend of mine, Bobby Barber, his father was an investor, so we brought it to his father, and that’s where we found the money.
PopHorror: That leads into my next question, Thomas. How did you become involved in the film?
Thomas Dekker: It’s one of my favorite stories of my career. I had been friends with Darren Stein for quite a while by that point, and Darren—kind of exactly as Joshua just said—called me and said, “I’m producing this movie for this drag queen director out of San Francisco, whom I think is a genius.” I have very much respect for Darren. He gave me all of Joshua’s shorts, and I agreed. And also, it wasn’t just your short work, Joshua. It was also Midnight Mass itself. I think all of us, myself included, were so confident this was going to be so great because you had been pulling off these huge feats for such a long time. Really enormous that at that time would not have been done at all in the drag world or the horror world. It just was your thing. So I really wanted to work with you.
But the story that I love, and I’ll keep it brief, was just that the day I met Joshua when he came with Darren to the set of the Terminator show I was doing at the time. We were filming on an active military base, and here’s closeted me surrounded by like a hundred military men, and I see in the distance Darren and Joshua approaching. And I was like, “Ah, there’s the family!” They went in my trailer and saw my stack of John Waters DVDs and it was an instant bond. There was just no question that I really wanted to do this movie. And we did it.
Joshua Grannell: And I have to kind of interject and say that Thomas, as a young actor, I think deserves a lot of credit because there were a million reasons he should not have done my movie. A million reasons, right? But he insisted. He was the star of a huge network TV show. He had been on other network TV shows. He was being offered huge studio films. He left All About Evil and went directly to do the remake of A Nightmare on Elm Street. Very different budgets. A Michael Bay movie, right? I just give Thomas so much credit for just knowing his artistic spirit needed to be with us in San Francisco. Not only did he come and do the movie, but Thomas is now literally family to me. You hear people say that, but we are family. We’ve been through thick and thin together, and I love him like a family member. This was meant to be, that we would be together. I can’t imagine anyone else but Thomas in that movie.
PopHorror: Aw, that is the best! It’s obvious that the horror genre and the experience of watching a movie with others means a lot to you. How did the pandemic affect you as a movie lover?
Joshua Grannell: Well, I can say that I stalled doing this re-release because 2020 was when I had hoped to do this.
PopHorror: Oh wow.
Joshua Grannell: I had already talked to Shudder, and David Gregory was also a friend of mine from Severin. And so it was always meant to be a 10 year anniversary thing with live events, and I was so bummed. My whole thing is live events. My whole spirit of Peaches Christ is live events. The fact that Thomas and me and other people went on a cross country tour with this movie is so insane, but I kind of insisted that that’s the way it needed to be done. I was devastated over the loss of cinema, over the inability to gather. Not because it took away my livelihood, but because in those movie theaters, those experiences, there is a spiritual experience for me. Cinema is where I go to find fellowship. And I do think, even if you’re in a theater full of strangers, you connect as a group of people. You connect over comedy; you connect storytelling; you connect over fear. There’s an energy that you don’t get from watching a movie at home. It’s just not the same. So I’m really glad to see cinema returning. I’m really glad to see all those fucking hedge funds who tried to short all the movie theater chains and tried to bankrupt them now eating crow. And movie theaters, as much as I don’t give a shit about Top Gun, I’m loving the grosses. I am loving the grosses, because cinema is going to survive.
Thomas Dekker: I think that streaming television, in a lot ways, is going to eat itself and push people back into cinemas, too. I think that’s just an eventuality as well, and that excites me. And not because I’m not into streaming television, but because I want the theater experience to be the driving force again.
Joshua Grannell: People need to gather. I think that that’s what we see. They said VHS and cable television was going to kill the movie theater, and it didn’t. So streaming, while great… I mean, I love streaming at home. But cinema… I’m going to the movies tonight. I’m seeing the new Cronenberg and I can’t wait.
PopHorror: Me too! I really appreciate this answer. Our local independent theater here, the Majestic, used to be the Alamo. When you brought up how corporate tried to kill the small theaters, that’s exactly what the Alamo did to the franchise here. They broke away, and now they’re the Majestic. Which I heard, Joshua, that you are in talks about maybe coming here?
Joshua Grannell: [laughing] That’s why I went like this! [covering his mouth with his hands] I was like, am I allowed to say?
PopHorror: I don’t actually know. I can ask! Or cut this out…
Joshua Grannell: No, no. She literally just sent me an offer, and you’re getting the exclusive. I’m going to accept the offer. I will be at the Majestic in September with All About Evil.
PopHorror: That’s so awesome!
Joshua Grannell: Yeah!
PopHorror: I love this is happening. I love that we’re talking about being back in the theaters. I don’t care if I’m watching it with strangers. I’m watching it with friends and people who like the same things that I do.
Joshua Grannell: It’s unbeatable. And we just know that. Live theater is the same way. Opera is the same way. Live music, concerts. We need these things. They need to stick around. I’m not a robot. I need to connect with other people. So I will be at the Majestic in September.
PopHorror: I’m so excited! Thank you. What is up next for you both?
Joshua Grannell: Well, I am currently really hard at work doing the preparation for Terror Vault, a new show that I’m writing for Terror Vault, which is my immersive haunted attraction, and the show is called The Summoning. It’s an hour long. It’s a horror movie live experience. That’s what this is. We do tell a story and we try to scare the shit out of you. So doing that, and Michael Varrati, who cohosts Midnight Mass with me, together he and I have written a feature a horror movie. We wrote it during the pandemic. I’m hoping that maybe the re-release of All About Evil might get us some momentum going, and maybe we can strike while we’re hot and get another movie going. That would be great.
PopHorror: That’s so exciting! What about you, Thomas?
Thomas Dekker: I just had a show come out that I’m quite proud of called Swimming with Sharks on the Roku Channel. I have a movie called Little Dixie coming out in the fall from Paramount. I’m working a lot at the moment as a writer, which isn’t much to show off but that’s what I’m doing as my job at the moment.
Joshua Grannell: And your music! Another album?
Thomas Dekker: Yes, another album. It’s been figured out, won’t be starting to work on for a little bit, but it’s going to be quite a dance heavy record.
Joshua Grannell: And eventually, he’s going to someday produce a song for Peaches Christ.
Thomas Dekker: That’s right! We’ve been talking about it now for over a decade.
Joshua Grannell: Yeah, one of these days…
PopHorror: I have just one last question for you both. Thomas, I’ve asked you this before but I’m going to ask again. What is your favorite scary movie?
Joshua Grannell: Are we allowed to have a tie? I feel like I’m always wavering between… Well, I always say one movie, which I always say A Nightmare on Elm Street because it was the most inspirational as far as that combination of fantasy and horror and also being an independent film. Just the story of how Wes Craven got it made. But I have to say that the one I always feel that I’m sort of leaving out when I say A Nightmare on Elm Street is The Texas Chain Saw Massacre. If I could choose those two movies, those two would be my favorites. I don’t know that one is more of a favorite over the other.
Thomas Dekker: Texas Chain Saw Massacre.
Joshua Grannell: It’s a perfect movie.
Thomas Dekker: And it absolutely blew my mind. I suppose I could say The Texas Chain Saw Massacre and The Shining. It lives very deep in here, and I can’t help it.
Thank you so much, Joshua and Thomas, for taking the time to speak with us today. Be sure to catch All About Evil on Shudder June 13, 2022, and on Blu-ray June 10!