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Q&A: Filmmaker Jake Dibeler on “HORRORPORN” and Horror at the NYC Porn Festival!

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This weekend’s inaugural New York City Porn Festival not only hopes to revive “a 42nd street 1980’s cinema experience” en route to re-establishing “adult film as a significant and socially/culturally relevant art form,” it is also throwing a fellow renegade film genre an—ahem—bone with a block of sexually explicit horror films under the fittingly blunt headline ‘EXTREME.’ This special program will include Barbara Bell’s GRAPHIC SEXUAL HORROR, Anon’s demon baby WET NURSE TRILOGY, and Jake Dibeler’s stylish, gore-laden berserker HORRORPORN. FANGORIA caught up with Diebler ahead of the fest to talk outré mediums/expressions, dark intersections, and material seriously not for the faint of heart.

FANGORIA: Why do you think it was important for NYC PFF to have the “Extreme” showcase?

JAKE DIBELER: People know that porn can be extreme. Extreme porn, however, is made by porn studios, by porn directors. The selections in the extreme showcase are made by artists, and so I think that it really approaches the idea of “extreme” porn from a different perspective. This isn’t extremity for the sake of extremity. The intention is totally different. We aren’t trying to give anyone a boner. I mean, if you get turned on watching some lesbian demons, or a bloody blowjob, that’s great, but it’s not really meant to arouse, specifically.

FANGORIA: What could porn learn from horror and vice versa?

DIBELER: Horror already relies heavily on sexuality to create a lot of its fear. I would really love to see porn borrow a thing or two from horror visuals; can you imagine a porn film lit like an Argento film?

FANGO: Talk to me a little bit about your HORRORPORN short…

DIBELER: Simon Leahy, the creator of the New York City Porn Film Festival is one of my best friends. We collaborate on a lot of projects together—our band, BOTTOMS; a drag magazine, SISTERS; throwing shows; everything. When he started curating the festival, he asked me to make a porn. I’m a performance artist, and my work has a lot of horror elements in it. Horror is my favorite genre, in any medium. In the past, I’d never considered making a horror-porn hybrid—it just popped into my head. There isn’t really any other kind of film I could imagine myself making, though. HORRORPORN is the natural intersection of two things I consume fairly often.

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FANGO: Which came first for you: the horror or the porn?

DIBELER: When I was a child, I was terrified of horror films. I was a bit of a masochist, though, in a way: I knew if I watched horror I’d be terrified and unable to be alone in my house or whatever, but I’d do it anyway. I remember watching the VILLAGE OF THE DAMNED remake on TV and being like, totally fucked up after it. It wasn’t until watching it as an adult that I was like, “How could this movie possibly have scared me?” But I had a crazy overactive imagination and I would come up with the worst possible things that could happen to me. It wasn’t until high school that I really started to explore horror films, from an artistic perspective. Sexuality, however, has been a part of my life since I was a kid, so the porn definitely came first.

As far as the crossover, I think a lot of it has to do with the idea that I find porn and horror similar in a lot of aspects. They’re both really visceral, generally dealing with the body, etc. There are plenty of horror films that deal with sexuality a little more explicitly—Brian Yuzna’s SOCIETY, which is specifically body horror; Cronenberg’s SHIVERS, Stephen Sayadian’s films. Aside from the Sayadian films, though, I don’t know if I’ve seen any horror that specifically crosses over into real pornography—like real penetration. This excludes horror-porn spoofs, though. I did see a good Halloween porn once.

FANGO: What can you tell me about the other selections?

DIBELER: WET NURSE is a great horror short about a breastfeeding baby who gets a little too hungry, created by the duo Feast Effects, who also did all my prosthetic effects for HORRORPORN. Graphic Sexual Horror is a feature-length documentary made by Barbara Bell, who I had the pleasure of speaking with when I picked up the film for the screening. It’s a look into Insex, which was one of the biggest BDSM websites in the history of the Internet. Insex was around literally when the Internet started. She has incredible behind-the-scenes footage.

FANGO: Why should porn fans at NYC PFF come out to the Extreme screenings? And why should horror fans come out to the fest?

DIBELER: I think HORRORPORN is unlike anything I’ve ever seen, so I think y’all should come to see something new! Also, the prosthetics are so incredible—I think horror fans will really appreciate them. As someone who watches and appreciates horror from Italian to B-Movie, I like to think I borrowed a little from the whole spectrum. There are lo-fi scenes filmed on VHS, surreal scenes shot in HD, and everything in between. The Extreme screenings are going to be unlike any other screenings at the festival, so I think it’ll be a nice breath of fresh air among all of the other films.

About the author
Shawn Macomber http://www.stopshawnmacomber.com
The ravings of noted South Florida pug wrangler Shawn Macomber have appeared in Decibel, Magnet, Reason, Maxim, Radar, Shroud, and the Wall Street Journal, amongst other fine and middling publications. He also hosts the podcast Into the Depths and pens the metal-lit column Tales From the Metalnomicon for Decibel magazine.
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