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Dan Fogler Goes “Psycho”

Dan Fogler Goes “Psycho”  (photo)

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At the Tribeca Film Festival premiere of his directorial debut, actor-turned-filmmaker Dan Fogler (“Balls of Fury,” “Fanboys”) wanted to kick-off the Q & A by thanking his friends, family and most of all, his fiancé for “keeping me sane.” “Well, she’s not doing a good job,” Fogler’s mother yelled from the back of the theater, demonstrating that humor has been passed down in the Fogler family, and nuttiness — who’s to say? And it serves him well — “Hysterical Psycho” is the kind of crazed slasher film/comedy that Alfred Hitchcock would’ve made had the famed auteur been able to fully indulge in all his alleged perversities onscreen. Fogler actually made the film in preparation for an acting role as the young Hitchcock, corralling the members of a theater company he started with his friends from Boston University called Stage 13 and taking $200,000 to shoot in the snowy woods of Maine. (The trailer is here.) It’s a modest production, but one that was clearly fun for Fogler, who flew in for the film’s premiere from Los Angeles, where he has been filming Robert Zemeckis’ motion-capture extravaganza “Mars Need Moms.”

Is there more pride in showing the first film that you directed to your parents or showing them a film as crazy as “Hysterical Psycho” and still having them love you?

[laughs] Well, I put them in the movie, so…they were pretty thankful for that. They’re very supportive. I think if it was horrible, they would’ve probably been like “that was the best thing ever!” But thank God, they dug it.

How did this movie come about?

I wanted to do an acting exercise, because there’s a movie called “The Number 13” where I’m supposed to play a young bohemian Alfred Hitchcock who’s just directed his first film, a comedy that doesn’t work as a comedy. He has to edit it and it becomes a thriller and that’s how he finds his voice. I thought it’d be cool, having my first [film] be an homage to him — a black and white hybrid of comedy and horror. [While I was] formulating it, we were doing a play called “The Voyage of the Carcass,” about friends who go out into the middle of the woods to create something. The thing that they create — because their relationships are so strained — is this play about clowns freezing their asses off in the Arctic, cannibalizing each other. So I had in my head all these images of psychotic clowns and the [idea of] going out into the wilderness, which is a common slasher movie theme — friends going out into the middle of the woods.

The director [Randy Baruh] of the play would sit in the audience and enjoy the play so much, and he would let out these little suppressed, breathy laughs. [imitates laugh] He would mouth everything and it was so freaky hearing that coming from the darkness, and then it hit me like lightning one day — that’s perfect, he’ll be the psycho in the movie. He’ll be the hysterical psycho!

04292009_HYSTERICALPSYCHO_N.jpgYou said for a while you had to act out the whole story to convince the other actors since you didn’t write the script.

My DP was the one who I just told him the concept to and he was like “I’m in!”, but everybody else…[laughs] Every time we added another member to the crew, I had to break into my one-man “Hysterical Psycho” for everybody until I gained enough respect and perspective [for] everyone to know what they were getting into. Then it was convincing them to come into the middle of the woods to freeze their asses off. [laughs]

It’s obvious that you guys are all friends and someone mentioned how you lived together in the woods as you were making the movie — how did you negotiate where the film ended and real life began?

Yeah, it’s life imitating art imitating life imitating art, working on a play about friends going out into the middle of the woods and suddenly we were out in the middle of the woods and that’s what the movie was about. Thank God everyone got along — it became a big party.

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The Best Of The Last

Portlandia Goes Out With A Bang

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The end is near. In mere days Portlandia wraps up its final season, and oh what a season it’s been. Lucky for you, you can watch the entire season right now right here and on the IFC app, including this free episode courtesy of Subaru.

But now, let’s take a moment to look back at some of the new classics Fred and Carrie have so thoughtfully bestowed upon us. (We’ll be looking back through tear-blurred eyes, but you do you.)

Couples Dinner

It’s not that being single sucks, it’s that you suck if you’re single.

Cancel it!

A sketch for anyone who has cancelled more appointments than they’ve kept. Which is everyone.

Forgotten America

This one’s a “Serial” killer…everything both right and wrong about true crime podcasts.

Wedding Planners

The only bad wedding is a boring wedding.

Disaster Hut

It’s only the end of the world if your doomsday kit doesn’t include rosé.

Catch up on Portlandia’s final episodes on demand and at

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Your Portlandia Personality Test

The New Portlandia Webseries Is Going Your Way

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Carrie and Fred understand that although we have so much in common, we’re each so beautifully unique and different. To help us navigate those differences, Portlandia has found an easy and honest way to embrace our special selves in the form of a progressive new traffic system: a specific lane for every kind of driver. It’s all in honor of the show’s 8th and final season, and it’s all presented by Subaru.

Ready to find out who you really are? Match your personality to a lane and hop on the expressway to self-understanding.

Lane 10: Trucks Piled With Junk

Your junk is falling out of your trunk. Shake a tail light, people — this lane is for you.

Lane 33: Twins

You’re like a Gemini, but waaaay more pedestrian. Maybe you and a friend just wear the same outfits a lot. Who cares, it’s just twinning enough to make you feel special.

Lane 27: Broken Windows

Bad luck follows you around and everyone knows it. Your proverbial seat is always damp from proverbial rain. Is this the universe telling you to swallow your pride? Yes.

Lane 69: Filthy Cars

You’re all about convenience. Getting your car washed while you drive is a no-brainer.

Lane 43: Newly Divorced Singles

It’s been a while since you’ve driven alone, and you don’t know the rules of the road anymore. What’s too fast? What’s too slow? Are you sending the right signals? Don’t worry, the breakdown lane is nearby if you need it.

Still can’t find a lane to match your personality? Check out all the videos here. And see the final season of Portlandia this spring on IFC.

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Last-Minute Holiday Gift Guide

Hits from the '80s are on repeat all Christmas Eve and Day on IFC.

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GIFs via Giphy, Photos via The Everett Collection

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