CatchMeKillMe Productions

CatchMeKillMe (CMKM) Productions is an Arizona based horror production company with a fairly prodigious output considering their recent arrival in 2010.  Its headed up by director/screenwriter Ian Messenger and executive producer/cinematographer Beth Messenger.  Other members of the team include editor/cinematographer Jesse Van Camp and Gaffer Chris Johnson.  You may infer from the generous use of slashes that everyone on this independent horror team are responsible for multiple aspects of production.
The group made an impact on Youtube with their slasher short THE HOG.  Messenger & co. had put together a very good short and also created an imposing and formidable villain that has the potential to carry subsequent installments along.  THE HOG garnered unexpected praise from Troma honcho Lloyd Kaufman, “THE HOG is the best attempt at a short film I’ve ever seen!”   Attention from other outlets including Bloody Disgusting and Mr. Frights soon followed. 
Some shorts are as simple as extended chase scenes with minimal dialogue and maximum menace (THE BAD MAN) to well developed interpretations of popular urban legends (LA LLORONA and BLOODY MARY).    CMKM stories prey on many fears such as the fear of strangers, ghosts, clowns etc…
Another aspect of their films is that they have a distinct Southwest feel to them.  Any of them that use exteriors automatically set the atmosphere with the desert/sierra environment and the La Llorona story itself pulls the viewer into the uniquely regional mythology.  It seems to give their work somewhat more of a gritty feel.  For some reason you wouldn’t expect to find a character like the Hog in the Pacific Northwest or even the Northeast.  To do so would be akin to finding Leatherface at Crystal Lake and Jason Voorhees in Texas—it just doesn’t seem like it would work.     
CMKM has a fairly comprehensive website which can be found at  It has company news, reviews, galleries, bios, and forums.  Many films are available for viewing on their youtube channel and also air on SV Bell’s Black Flag TV from time to time.
I had the opportunity to ask Ian Messenger a few questions about his love of horror and troupe of blood sprayers. 

MB: At what point in your life did you first become a fan of the genre?
IM: I’m not sure, honestly. I was always really aware of horror movies growing up and my parents were always super cool about letting me watch them. I remember being about five years old and my Dad gave me the option of watching a horror movie with my family or going into my room and watching Nickelodeon, I chose the latter.
I remember being about seven years old and Creepshow really sparking my interest but the thing is, I had already seen bits of the movie a ton of times at this point so I’m not really sure what caught me in that moment. 

MB: What was the first horror film you ever watched? 

IM: 2. The first horror movie I ever watched? Well the first one that actively stands out before my recollection of Creepshow is Stephen King’s “Silver Bullet”. My brother and I were staying with my grandparents and we were staying up really late (in all reality it was probably only 8 or 9pm) and the local cable access channel was playing it and the commercial breaks weren’t commercials but a live feed from Nightfall at Old Tucson Studios where this sheriff was battling a hoard of the undead. It was all a pretty epic start for me I guess. 

MB: What inspired you to make horror films? 

IM: People’s reactions in the theater. I’ve been to all kinds of movies and they usually don’t draw big reactions, unless of course you’re watching a horror movie. You’ll hear at least one person scream bloody murder during the movie and I love that. It’s such a raw and real reaction, they lose themselves in this moment of terror and they react. I want to make people do that I guess. 

MB: Any plans in the immediate future for a feature length film? 

IM: I wish! There’s always rumblings about doing something really budgeted and just seeing what happens but at this point, on the independent level no, there’s no immediate feature length films in the works. Not to say I haven’t written a few scripts, I’m actually sitting on three feature lengths right now.

MB: How do you stay motivated to make movies while still having to hold down a day job? 

IM: I love doing it. Just the pure enjoyment of creating this underground population of horrible monsters really gets me going, it’s fun and fulfilling. We’ve hit a rough patch right now that we’re trying to work through but you haven’t seen the last of us, not at all. We’ve got three shorts in the works it’s just taking a while to get them out for the fans.

MB: Do you ever plan on tapping into “crowdfunding” such as Kickstarter or Indiegogo or do you prefer to be self-financed? 

IM: I tried it briefly to fund The Hog: A Return to Fear and basically got no response. I might try it again and see if I can learn how to use it as a tool better but until then, probably not. 

MB: Where do you draw inspiration for your stories? 

IM: Everyday life is a big part of my inspirations, you can take the simplest image or phrase and turn it into something terrifying. Not to say stories and other movies don’t inspire me, they do, I’m actually working on a short script right now that started out as a scary story my Dad would tell me when I was a little boy. 

MB: Who is in charge of make up and special effects for CMKM? Do you see yourself ever using CGI? 

IM: Don Carlos is in charge of SPFX make-up for CMKM and he’s doing a fantastic job. Our scariest stuff has been done by him, the Dream Man in Lullaby and La Llorona stand out as two of his huge creations he has done for us. As for CGI, I find it useful for gunfire and that’s purely for safety reasons. Everything else can be done with practical effects and that’s where we all feel the most comfortable I think. 

MB: You do photography as well. What other ways do you exercise your creativity? 

IM: I think that’s all of them right there photography, writing, and directing. They all really help get the juices flowing. 

MB: Lloyd Kaufman gave you a positive response on THE HOG. How you feel after finding out? Did it give you a sense of justification for your work or did it feel like more pressure was placed on CMKM? 

IM: Once I got the nod from Lloyd I felt impeccable, untouchable, I knew that he had noticed and after that I couldn’t let him down.

MB: What’s next for CatchMeKillMe Productions?

IM: A lot of things! We have Bloody Mary who is currently clawing her way out of post production hell and then the fans can expect a return of The Bad Man in the sequel film The Bad Man II: The Reckoning and a huge step for me creatively will be when I finally bring Slugger from script to screen. 

Great news for fans of independent horror.  Three shorts in the works from this tenacious crew with the can do attitude!

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