A Podcast Extra: An Interview with Actor/Director Ryan Barton-Grimley

Fangoria! Woo!
Actor-Director-Writer-Comedian Ryan Barton-Grimley
The Scariest Things sat down for a fun and lively discussion with director Ryan Barton-Grimley to break down his raucous horror-comedy Hawk and Rev: Vampire Slayers, one of our favorite movies from 2020.

One of the joys of doing a Podcast is that you get to interview the people who make the horror we love so much. What makes it even more fun is if you have an accomplished improv comedian as the interviewee. Ryan Barton-Grimley is the star and director of the gonzo silly and gory gem Hawk and Rev: Vampire Slayers. It makes an interview so much more entertaining when you’ve got a comedian storyteller who loves to talk movies, and that was exactly the experience we got for this episode.

What follows is one of the most fun experiences we’ve had with a guest on our site, and we could have chatted for hours.

Sometimes as an independent filmmaker you end up wearing many hats, and Ryan wrote, directed, and starred in this film. He shares how he approaches directing in front and behind the camera, and how he relies on the years of working with the improv timing with his co-star and long-time partner Ari Schneider to compose the comedic impact.

In order to succeed with the classic dumb-buddy / odd-couple comedies, it’s important to have great chemistry between the leads. Barton-Grimley and Schneider have a particularly close relationship which allows them to play off each other extraordinarily well, and that bond comes through in the movie with great timing and goofy consistency. “No staking!” The unlikely duo of a homeless, awkward, and paranoid rent-a-cop and his best friend who is a burned-out beach hippie gardener was a stroke of genius. It’s an accentuation of characters through contrast at the extreme edges.

Hawk and Rev has some serious ’80s essence to it, and Ryan talks about the influences from his youth and how he took his love from movies like Rambo, Westerns, and The Lost Boys and channeled that into his doofus-buddy vampire film. The Scariest Things has challenged Barton-Grimley to do a horror-western, so if it happens, you know how that seed got planted.

Our listeners will appreciate how naturally gregarious this man is, and he will make you a fan. As a preview treat, he gives us some insight into his next project, the abduction thriller Listen Carefully, scheduled for release later this year, so you’ll get a chance to hear him describe this project and what else he would like to attempt next.

This movie was one of Liz William’s favorite films of last year, and it ended up garnering nominations for our 2021 Thingy Awards, for The Abbott and Costello Award for Best Use of Humor in a Horror Picture, and a nod to Jana Savage for best-supporting actress in a horror film. You can stream Hawk and Rev through Amazon Prime.

So, ya down with the RBG? We, at The Scariest Things, are. Give this a listen and I’m sure you will be too!

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