Chad Crawford Kinkle Talks Jug Face

I had the opportunity to have a quick chat with the Writer & Director of the horror film ‘Jug Face’, Chad Crawford Kinkle (@chadckinkle on twitter), at San Diego Comic Con 2013 (his 7th SDCC only my 3rd). The film will have a limited theatrical release Aug 9, 2013 (one night only) and will be available Oct. 15, 2003 on DVD & Blu-ray. If you don’t want to wait to see if your theater will be showing it (will be released in 15 cities) or wait for the DVD or Blu-ray then you are in luck, Chad informed me that it is currently available on iTunes, PlayStation Store, Xbox Video Store, Amazon Instant Video and most of the digital platforms. I will be honest, before the interview I wasn’t sure if this would be a movie for me (I’m a bit picky when it comes to horror), the information about it online left a lot to be desired but after talking with Chad about the movie I knew I wanted to check it out.

Jug Face is a story of a backwoods cult in Tennessee that worships this ‘force’ that lives in a pit and every so many years or decades it will demand a sacrifice from the community and if the sacrifice is given then it’s waters will heal the people. The cult began when the first settlers moved into the area and began dying from the pox. The ‘force’ in the pit called out to the town’s preacher who was also a potter and showed him who it wanted killed in return for saving the rest of the people’s lives. The preacher then made a jug with that person’s face on it and presented the pit’s offer to the community, they agreed to it’s demands and were healed. The film takes place in present-day with the community still worshipping this ‘force’ in the pit and a young woman named Ada (Lauren Ashley Carter) finds the jug with her face on it. She knows that if the town finds out about the jug she’ll be the next sacrifice she hides it, not only to save her own life but that of her unborn child who was fathered by her brother, Jessaby (Daniel Manche). The pregnancy was a secret she was trying to keep for as long as possible for a variety of reasons and not just the obvious one. Now because the community doesn’t know who to sacrifice to the pit the ‘force’ begins to kill a person each day until it is given what it wants. Ada must decide whether to escape or sacrifice her and her unborn child to the pit and what these choices will mean for not only her and her unborn but for the community too.

What was your inspiration for the film?

“I’d gone to a southern folk pottery museum in North Georgia, I was taken there because my wife’s aunt & uncle live in that area, and I saw for the first time a real face jug. Which is a real piece of pottery that’s been going on since about 1850 and it’s a jug that has a really grotesque face on it. And I thought they were so creepy, I just love them, I have to have one of these things! Walking around the exhibit I saw a video with a potter talking about it and I literally saw a potter possessed making a face jug of a girl in the community, and there was a hole in the ground that he was getting the clay from beforehand, and it was speaking to him. So that’s literally how the whole story started.”

From start to finish how long did the film take?

“That was about 9 months. So we started shooting in like April and it premiered the next January. We finished it 2 weeks before the premiere at the Slamdance Festival.”

FYI: The Slamdance Film Festival is a yearly film festival (in Park City, Utah) for independent films. ‘Jug Face’ had previously won both the Grand Prize and Best Horror Screenplay in the Slamdance Screenwriting and Teleplay Competition.

With this being your first feature length film was there anything you learned from the experience that you wished you had known beforehand that would serve as advise for anyone out there who is thinking about writing and/or directing?

“What it really comes down to is trusting your inner voice and all the times I didn’t trust it I was proven wrong in the end. A lot of times, particularly in the shoot, I would be hearing whispers and I would not pay attention to those only when my inner gut was screaming at me to do something differently, I did that, but all the whispers were all these things I did wrong. If you just listen to your gut and go with what you are passionate about that’s what will lead you and people recognize that too, particularly creatively.”

Something else I learned about Chad Crawford Kinkle; during the 8 years that he spent just working on his writing, after earning his Masters in Film, he wrote a historical-fiction horror graphic novel called “Harpe: America’s First Serial Killers” (illustrator: Adam Shaw) published in 2009. It’s about the real life brothers, Micajah and Wiley Harpe, who robbed and killed men, women, and children throughout Tennessee, Kentucky, Illinois and Mississippi during the late 18th century. The story is told from the younger brother’s, Wiley, perspective.