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By Eric Campos | March 2, 2004

In “Cannibal Maniac,” an ancient relic winds up turning some guy into a bloodthirsty maniac, and so begins his violent, rip s**t rampage – eating dogs, people and even finding himself engaging in a little martial arts combat. Loaded up with guts and loud and raunchy punk rock, “Cannibal Maniac” delivers the good times that the title promises.

We recently spoke with “Cannibal Maniac” creators Annette Martinez and Lou Garcia about their flesh eating short.

How did it feel watching your film with an audience at Fright-Fest? Have you had other public screenings?

Annette: I was so nervous!!! I couldn’t sleep the night before and I hardly ate anything that day. I almost didn’t go inside while “Cannibal Maniac” was showing!! I eventually decided to go because it was important for me to hear the audience’s reaction. While I was in there I thought that the loud punk music would scare people off ( I even whispered into Lou’s ear telling him that the music was too loud), but the audience truly enjoyed the music and they loved the wackiness of our short. When I heard the audience laugh and clap at the different scenes, I totally mellowed out. We haven’t had other screenings, but we have since submitted our short to other film festivals.

Lou That was our very first public screening. I got a rush of nerves because I wasn’t sure if people would like it or not. Also, the soundtrack is all punk and hardcore tunes, which isn’t for everyone I realize, but knowing it was about to hit all those eardrums was a small reality check! I love every one of those songs, but I was almost certain some of those people would just get up and walk! The audience at the Fright-Fest screening was a mixed crowd, including other filmmakers, so to hear them laugh and have a good time as they watched our movie was a big deal to me!

Have you made other films?

Annette: Yes. Our first project together was a 10 minute zombie flick. We’ve made other shorts, but I like “Cannibal Maniac” because I think a crazed maniac coming after you is an intense type of character. The idea is horrifying to me because you can’t predict what he’ll do aside from attacking and eating you alive!

Lou Yes. We’ve been making our own original shorts since 1998. Some of what we made after the first couple of years began to show promise, but there were also those botched projects that I guess are all part of the growing aspect. We’ve created a few other small pieces that people have responded to, but “Cannibal Maniac” is our greatest movie making achievement to date.

Who’s the bigger gorehound out of you two?

Annette: I think I am. I come up with all the wacked out ideas, but I try to add some humor to it. My family from my father’s side are all horror freaks! Even my 74- year-old grandmother loved our movie!! Whenever my dad and I go to the theatres and watch horror movies, we just laugh our a***s off!! When Lou and I decided to make “Cannibal Maniac,” I knew the possibilities were endless! There were a lot of scenes that I really wanted to shoot, but couldn’t because we didn’t have the time or resources. Lou and I went back and forth about having certain shots in there when the Cannibal is eating his victim. I wanted to buzz the back of my head and double in a particular effects shot where I would be eating raw flesh, but Lou was worried about Mad Cow Disease, because at the time, there was a lot of beef recalls! What a Wimp!

Lou I think I am… but only by a hair, Annette is a freak!!!

Annette, on the Warped Reality Pictures website, it says that one of your acting highlights is on “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno.” What’s that all about?

Annette: I performed at a showcase that the casting director of “The Tonight Show” was attending (he doesn’t go to them anymore). I wanted to do something different, so I wrote my own sketch. The sketch was about myself and another actor, portraying fortune cookie writers. Only the fortunes that we wrote, were all morbid. I went to a chinese restaurant and spent my last $2 on fortune cookies so that I can use them as stage props. Everyone loved the sketch! The next day, I got a call from the casting director asking me to act in a sketch with Jay Leno. I played a screaming teenage Lieberman fanatic during the last presidential election. The whole joke was poking fun at all the ‘NSYNC fanatic teens (‘NSYNC was performing that night on the show), and how the Vice President Elect had screaming teenagers, too! It was really funny!! The cool thing about it for me, was that we shot this the day before my birthday. So for me, it was the best birthday!!!

Is Jay an a*****e?

Annette: Jay is a really nice guy!! While Jay Leno, myself and the other actors were waiting in the lobby to shoot, he had us cracking up!

Get the rest of the interview in part two of ANNETTE MARTINEZ AND LOU GARCIA CREATE A CANNIBAL MANIAC>>>

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