After starting at the age of 9 with “Experiments in Feline Torture Part 1” (no cats were harmed), filmmaker John Maringouin has hit the festival circuit running with his feature film “Running Stumbled.” Film Threat caught up with John at the 2006 CineVegas Film Festival…
Probably my mom’s influence. She made we watch creepy s**t like “Looking for Mr. Goodbar” when I was in the hospital with a lung collapse when I was 12.
Also made me watch “Midnight Cowboy” like a hundred times. She exposed me to a lot at an early age.
Tell me about your film, what’s it about?
Running Stumbled… in Swahili it means Electric Cowboy. It’s about making a film instead of killing your family. My father John Roe Jr., the Mad Jew and Hunchman of Terrytown, is the star of my film. His nickname “Running Stumbled” was given to him by Hopi indians he used to deal heroine with cause he was always stumbling around everywhere. It’s also about his girlfriend Virgie, who was a Bourbon St. escort and has genious IQ. I was born in New Orleans and grew up in a little town called Loureville.
What was the budget for the film?
I never thought about budget. I just found money when I needed it. It cost as much as it took for me to survive for 4 years.
How did you go about casting?
I used only drug addicts and killers… but they had to be in my own family.
How’d you convince them to be in the film?
I was wearing a white suit. It made them want to be in the movie too.
The film has a unique look and structure. What format did you shoot the film in?
Shot on a sony TRV 900 at 15frames per sec. Best camera ever made.
Do you have any production horror stories?
I was grabbed by a ghost in a hallway while filming and had dreams everynight of being sucked down a black hole in the middle of the floor. The film was shot in the house i was born in, which was very haunted.
Are there any scenes that got lost on the cutting room floor that you wish were in the film?
One scene called “Subway” where my dad and uncle are on Tylenol 4’s and trying to order a meatball sandwhich at subway. It took them an hour. The scene is cut to 8 minutes long and it’s one of the funniest things I’ve ever seen — just didn’t go in the movie.
Do you have any projects coming up?
I’m working on a film I’ve been thinking about for a long time called “The Loner” about a guy who goes on a very long, dark Amtrak trip. Although I heard Harmony Korine is making something called “Mr. Lonely”, so I might have to change the title. Anyway, I think I’ll do that movie next.
Also next year I’m producing a documentary about this guy Martin Strel who’s swimming down the amazon. He’s the world record distance swimmer of all time and he’s 250 pounds and 53 years old.