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Bonkers Horror Short Film UNHOLY ‘MOLE and Interview with Director David Bornstein — GeekTyrant

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Here’s a completely bonkers yet enjoyable short film for you to watch today titled Unholy ‘Mole.
The film follows a selfish man who sells the soul of his unborn child to the Devil in exchange for forcing his wife to make guacamole for him. As you might imagine, things go terribly wrong.

The movie was directed by David Bornstein and below you will find an interview with him talking about the project. This is in collaboration with FilmQuest Film Festival.

Without spoilers, tell us what your film is about, its characters, and its themes. Is it a proof of concept, or a standalone story? 

Unholy ‘Mole is a standalone body horror/dark comedy about a selfish man, Godrick, who sells the soul of his unborn child to the Devil in exchange for forcing his wife to make guacamole for him. Godrick gets what he desires, but with unfathomable consequences. It’s a batshit karmic tale of toxic masculinity/misogyny getting bashed over the head.

What was the inspiration for your film? How did you come up with the idea?

I went to film school at the University of Arizona, as did my producer Heather DiPietro. A mutual friend of ours had a toxic ex-boyfriend, I don’t believe I ever met him, but I do know that after they had broken up, he would make attempts to reenter her life.

One tactic I was made aware of would be texting her and her mutual friends, including Heather, asking if they knew what our friend’s guacamole recipe was. By our friend’s own admission, her guacamole is really nothing special, which made it all the more obvious what his real intentions were.

This was a lifetime ago, the exact conversations that led to the birth of this script elude me, but this was the seed that started it all.

Tell us about yourself. What is your background? How long have you been a filmmaker?

I’m born and raised in Southern California, and was diagnosed with high functioning austism in my infancy. I’m from Orange County originally, I studied film at Saddleback Community College in Mission Viejo before I transferred to the University of Arizona. I’ve worked in production since film school consistently, while continuing to pursue directing.

What inspires you to work within genre cinema and tell these kind of stories?

I think genre cinema is the most malleable. I always want to find myself making a film that I haven’t seen before, and genre cinema brings limitless possibilities of exploration. I don’t consciously seek out to make a genre film, but this seems to be where my subconscious pulls me more often than not.

What are you most proud of with this film?

I’m proud of the journey that this film has gone on since we released it to the world. My biggest hope is for my films to find their audience, and this one has literally traveled the globe. I could talk about all of the challenges I’ve overcome in the process of making Unholy ‘Mole, but more than anything I’m proud that there are people out there that love this film. That’s ultimately why I throw myself into the trenches in the first place.

What is a favorite story or moment from the making of the film you’d like to share? 

I would have to say that having the opportunity to Ray Wise was hands down my favorite moment in the making of ‘Mole. We had originally planned to cast a local theater actor from Arizona, where my producer Heather & I went to film school, to be the voice of our Devil.

He turned the role down so we just shot for the moon. We approached Ray’s reps with no real expectations that he would say yes. To our surprise him and his team were very much on board. Our voiceover session, while brief, was one of the most awesome and validating experiences I’ve ever had as a director. Working with Ray Wise was a pipe dream come true.

What was your most challenging moment or experience you had while making your film?

We were basically cramming a 3 day shoot into 1 1/2 days. I think everyone was feeling the crunch on the day, I was in a position where I had to walk the line of getting what we needed and making our day briskly. Incorporating practical special effects added another layer to the challenge, thankfully the majority of our gags worked but our time for takes was extremely limited.

If it did, how did your film change or differ from its original concept during pre-production, production, and/or post-production? How has this changed how you’ll approach future projects as a result?

We changed the title of this film after production wrapped. We realized the original title was a massive spoiler of the climax, the Unholy ‘Mole title was pitched to me on-set by one of our crew heads, I want to say it was our DP Rafael who came up with it but I could be mistaken.

Regardless, I liked the ring of it and that’s what ended up rechristening the film to. I did imagine this film having a much more expressionist mis-en-scene, but this away first when we settled for a free location which while a blessing did not lend itself to this aesthetic.

I’m happy with how the film ultimately came out but it was another reminder that budget constraints more often than not take away from a film instead of resulting in magical better results.

What is the best advice you’ve ever received as a filmmaker and what would you like to say to new filmmakers?

I’d actually give two pieces of advice because they go hand in hand here: watch as much as you can,and always focus on what was done right even if this film you’re watching isn’t good. My advice to new filmmakers; practice patience. On-set, and in your career path, this quality will serve you in more ways than one.

What is your next project and when can we expect to see it? 

I’m currently in post-production for my next short film Zits! We’re still in the process of securing finishing funds, but we are aiming to complete Zits and push it out into the film festival circuit no later than early next year.

For updates specific to Zits, you can follow our Instagram page @zitsthefilm . Alternately you can follow us on our Seed & Spark page ( https://seedandspark.com/fund/zits ) to get the same exclusive updates that we give to our donors.

Where can we find more of your work and where can interested parties contact you?

I can be reached anytime through my Instagram page @dabornstein . I do have a Vimeo channel as well where I host most of my work. https://vimeo.com/davidbornstein/

Bonus Question #2: What is the film that most inspired you to become a filmmaker and/or had the most influence on your work?

I always lean on two films when I’m asked this question, both unlocked my path of being a filmmaker for different reasons. The Shining was the first film I saw that opened my eyes to the possibilities of the medium.

It was the first time I recognized layers within the work, beyond surface level popcorn entertainment, this captivated me to no end. On the flip side of the coin, Clerks. This film showed me that this medium was anyone’s fair game, if you had something to say and are willing to put in the work for it.




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