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Bob Freville is an American journalist, filmmaker, actor and short story writer from Long Island, New York. He is also a self-proclaimed "culture critic" and an ordained Minister or "Brain Wizard" in the Universal Life Church. He has written for Creem Magazine, Long Island Press, Kotori Magazine and others. From 2004–2011, he served as Associate Editor at Kotori Magazine. Freville attended a "Crash Course in Digital Filmmaking" at Huntington, NY's Cinema Arts Centre. His debut feature film "Hemo" was released on VOD from Troma Entertainment as of June 13, 2011. "Hemo" will be available on DVD from Troma and Cav in December 2012.
Bob Freville began a career as a freelance journalist at the age of sixteen. After dropping out of high school to write for ACJ Communications, Inc. Freville got a gig writing concert reviews for Good Times Magazine, a New York "entertainment paper" that was geared toward a college demographic. After less than a month of working for them, editor Jesse Serwer fired the unpaid Freville for using an "overly-collegiate vocabulary."
Shortly thereafter, Freville came across a website called Get Underground, which would later merge with Kotori Magazine, and was promptly hired to be a contributor and, eventually, a columnist. In 2004, shortly before Get Underground was dissolved by creator Shlomo Sher, Wasim Muklashy approached Freville about becoming a staff writer for his newly launched newsstand magazine Wav.
By the end of 2004 Freville's colorful prose had become a mainstay within the pages of Muklashy's magazine and he was promoted to Associate Editor. Around this time an affiliate of Clear Channel—publishers of The Wave Magazine served then-Editor-in-Chief Muklashy with a cease and desist. After careful consideration and a blessing from the Hopi Indian tribe of Southern California, Muklashy renamed the magazine Kotori, after the "screech owl spirit." Freville's role in the relaunch of the newly rechristened magazine included editorials, proof-reading, fielding interviews and penning an Op Ed piece.
Also in 2004 Freville's short story collection, The Flightless Cormorant was published, on a print-on-demand basis, by MAG Press, a print subsidiary of August Highland's Muse Apprentice Guild. Highland gave the book the MAG Award for "Best Fiction from an Emerging Author," but failed to send a standard Publishing Contract to Freville. Additionally, Highland had promised to coordinate East Coast radio interviews to promote the book's release. He failed to do so and, within one year of 'Cormorants publication, the book was out of print.
Bob Freville has written for newspapers, magazines, websites and anthologies across the U.S. His articles and short stories have appeared in Kush Magazine, Long Island Press, Nor'east Saltwater Magazine, Friendly Stranger, Ink Magazine, Good Times, Bust Down The Door & Eat All The Chickens, Movie Poop Shoot, F The World, the Babylon Beacon, the Amityville Record, the Massapequa Post, Muse Apprentice Guild and many others. He is the associate editor of kotorimagazine.com and a semi-regular contributor to killingboxx.com.
Since the advent of his career as a writer, Freville has covered everything from sporting events (The Amityville Record), the Long Island fishing beat (Nor'east Saltwater Magazine) and underground music, to marijuana legislation, pornography, illegal piercing, politics, indie cinema, trend setting and every manner of post-modern sociology. A self-professed "cultural critic," Freville's reviews of concert events and albums, movies and products have often served as a bold "caveat emptore" to his designated readership.
Freville's work for Kotori Magazine's early print issues received positive acclaim from members of network television writing staffs, among others, and resulted in numerous emails to former-editor-in-chief Wasim Muklashy. His three-part interview with Dr. Lester Grinspoon was so controversial that Dr. Grinspoon later threatened Kotori with legal action if they proceeded with printing the third installment. To the magazine's credit, they stood by Freville's writing and posted the article to their then-new website. It has since been taken down, for unknown reasons.
As a reviewer or critic, he has functioned as an unsung trendsetter, frequently introducing his readers to artists and innovative products long before their popularity has developed. Among acts Freville supported before their rise to prominence are emo band Brand New, Gnarls Barkley, and Linkin Park. Freville has also publicly espoused the Universal Life Church, a "secular come-one-come-all novelty pseudo-religion;" bawdy web sitcom Preggers; and the Tzu Chi Foundation.
His contributions to citizen journalism were further cemented with the arrival of his four-part series on Hurricane Sandy, a first-person account of middle class devastation in New York humorously titled Sandy Does Swindlehurst. In the piece, which began running on Kotori's website on December 17, 2012, Freville likens the storm to a scorned woman and sings the praises of Occupy Wall Street and the Tzu Chi Foundation while decrying the lackluster efforts of FEMA and other established institutions. A scorching indictment of establishment bureaucracy and suburban ennui alike, Sandy Does Swindlehurst is also a fabulist piece that underscored Freville's work as a modern humorist.
"Without Skinemax or an Internet connection, health magazines and AARP newsletters became commensurate to softcore pornography," Freville wrote in Part Two of 'Sandy,' describing the experience of sacrifice and social maladjustment borne of Sandy's aftermath.
Freville's writing was decidedly less frequent in the immediate aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, with the author opining on his Facebook profile that ninety percent of his literary archives were wiped out in the flooding.
In March 2013, Creem Magazine commissioned Bob Freville to pen a long mock-obsessed "stalker letter" to Canadian songstress Grimes. The piece ended up becoming the cover story to their "Cult Culture" issue, consuming the front and back of the magazine's pages.
In April 2014, Freville was commissioned by Bizarro Central to pen a flash fiction piece centered around an Easter holiday theme. The result was "Resurrection Day: They Have Risen" an irreverent and unorthodox splatterpunk piece about killer bunnies let loose on a Catholic school scavenger hunt at the behest of a vengeful messiah.
Vocabulary & Verbiage
Freville's writing style is driven by a playful love of alliteration and a knack for capturing the uncanny and absurd. He is notorious for repeatedly using the terms "guttersnipe," "bloodshot blues," "Eustachian tubes" and "exaltation" in his journalistic works, often without explanation. The term "bloodshot blues" refers to the broken blood vessels in Freville's baby blue eyes and was a phrase Freville first concocted for the final installment in a three-part interview with Dr. Lester Grinspoon, M.D., which ran in Kotori Magazine. Freville also coined the term "the prosthetic aesthetic" to refer to a rash of cultish American motion pictures which used latex masks to ensconce the true identities of the films' leading actors, and "sticky living," to describe a transgressive lifestyle.
Freville's work for Get Underground eventually parlayed itself into a regular column entitled Slippery Id. The column consisted of id-driven pieces about pleasure and pain, both human and alien, including essays on Dadaism, Darwinism, hedonism and more.
Later, after Get Underground had merged with Kotori Magazine, the Slippery Id column was resurrected, this time for the purpose of a four-part serial about a fictional hack-journalist named Rob Sayville and his bizarre sexual exploits at a tabloid website called Impish Scribbles.
In July 2012, Freville relaunched this column with a "Rob Sayville penned" expose of Nikkisplaymates.com and its star, Ms. Nikki Sims. The piece, entitled "The C Tease That's The Bee's Knees," features Freville's trademark "wicked wordplay," expressions synonymous with Freville's writing, such as "estrus" and "esto perpetua," and his stylistic blend of the ribald and the post-modern vis-a-vis pop culture and social mores. The piece is also one of several recent pieces to introduce Freville or, rather, Sayville's visual appearance with Freville going into lurid detail about his alter-ego's body image.
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Of Bitches & Hounds (2011, Intrepid Aspirations/Eroplay) Genre: Avant-Garde/Digital/Short Feature Running Time: 60 minutes
Synopsis: An unhinged woman purchases a man from a black slave trader and takes him as her pet and all-purpose whipping boy. Love, drugs and death follow in Freville's "lo-fi digital nightmare," with "visceral S & M scenes telling the sordid tale." Kotori's Sauceysack called it "Nascent and archetypal...dramaturgy of broken hearts" and hailed its atmospheric soundtrack from such indie luminaries as Black Moth Super Rainbow and Child Abuse.
Hemo (2012, Troma Team Releasing) Genre: Horror/Drama Running Time: 86 minutes
Synopsis: Felicia and Calvin are two "vampires" living in a devastated post-Gatsby Long Island. Their humanitarian methods of obtaining their drug of choice are compromised when the local blood bank beefs up security and they are forced to take drastic measures to get their fix. The advice of a neighbor (Steve Dash, Friday The 13th Part 2) reinforces what they know they must do and it's only a matter of time before their lifestyle turns toxic and our addicts come face to face with the monsters they've become. Tagline: Get bit!
The Slasher (2010, IndieFlix/Amazon, as "Mason") Genre: Horror/Comedy/Drama Running Time: 90 minutes Awards: Official Selection, Indie Gathering International Festival 2009
Freville's first film, the short experimental feature Of Bitches & Hounds, premiered November 6, 2007, at Peabody's Rockstar. The film, which was produced on a budget of just over $3,000, was co-produced by Kotori Magazine's current-Editor-in-Chief Jake McGee who also starred as "The Pooch" in the film. Of Bitches & Hounds was shot on mini-DV, in and around Kent, Ohio. Of Bitches & Hounds concerned itself with a man born into slavery and the emotionally unhinged woman who purchases him from a black slave trader. The story was conceptualized during a New Year's Eve visit to McGee's Kent apartment in 2004. Production had commenced shortly thereafter and took four weeks in total.
Coverage of the making of Of Bitches & Hounds was published in Ohio's Record-Courier. In 2011, Of Bitches & Hounds was screened as part of The Intimate Theater, a programme of Eroplay. It has since become an underground sensation on BTV, a public access network in Berkeley, California.
In 2010, Freville completed his first long feature film. Shot on HD equipment, with practical and CGI effects, Hemo marked Freville's third time working with long-time editor and frequent collaborator James Neyman. Freville and Neyman met when Freville used him to replace a previous editor on Of Bitches & Hounds. In 2007, Freville had starred in a supporting role in Neyman's directorial debut, the Indie Flix release The Slasher..
Freville wrote, produced, directed and photographed Hemo, collaborating with local musicians and Silber Records on the film's hip Indie soundtrack. Hemo starred Pamela Price and stage actor Kevin Petroff in the lead roles of "Felicia" and "Calvin," two "vampires" living in a desolate Post-Gatsby Long Island where things are tolerable until the local blood bank amps up security measures and they must forsake their humanitarian methods of obtaining blood if they expect to feed their sanguinary addiction.
Hailed as "a Vampire Bonnie & Cylde" by Bloody Disgusting's Mr. Disgusting, Hemo was rejected by several film festivals, large and small, before being picked up for distribution by New York's notorious independent filmmaking studio Troma Entertainment. The film has since garnered support from KillingBoxx.com and Rogue Cinema, among others.
Freville frequently uses leftover footage from shoots to create what he calls "B-sides," experimental short films intended exclusively for the Web. One such video is Hell Broth, a video on Vimeo (also distributed by KillingBoxx, LLC) which was constructed from public domain movie clips, genkai porn and snippets from an unfinished feature Freville intended to direct before financing fell through.
From 2010 to 2011 Freville attached a bevy of talented actors (Fangoria spooksmodel Shannon Lark, Stake Land 's Eilis Cahill, A Horrible Way To Die 's Brandon Carroll and commercial favorite James Di Giacomo) to star in an as-yet-unproduced feature film entitled No Image Available. The project, a dark psychedelic horror-comedy about a social networking stalker, was first announced in a press release on www.fatally-yours.com. As of October, 2011, No Image Available has yet to be produced.
Freville wrote, produced and edited a promo trailer for No Image Available to attract potential financiers. This trailer can be seen on YouTube and has been featured on several other websites and blogs.
As of 2012, Freville had publicly announced his retirement from filmmaking in a facetious if fact-based article for Rogue Cinema. In the piece, entitled "Spit Take," Freville describes the trials he had gone through in bringing his various cinematic visions to the screen; Throughout the piece we learn his unorthodox approach to budgetary fundraising, with Freville claiming to have knocked over a Korean deli in order to bankroll a two-week shoot. Among those referenced in the article is Gregory Hatanaka, director of the cult film Mad Cowgirl and an unlikely muse for Freville's later work.
Despite the self-proclaimed retirement, WLFK Productions' website has long boasted a banner for No Image Available and WLFK Productions' Co-Founder James Neyman has mentioned a possible collaboration in the near future, with Freville writing and acting.
Neyman, who has worked on all of Freville's films, hired Freville to co-write On The North Coast with him and collaborator Jake McGee. Freville has also earned an "additional material by" credit on IMDB for his dialogue contributions to Neyman's Irish Car Bomb.
Freville's plans for a self-financed follow-up to the feature film 'Hemo were put on hold when, in October 2012, Hurricane Sandy destroyed much of his Long Island studio, laying waste to equipment, paperwork and other materials in his Intrepid Aspirations, LLC, archives. According to posts made on Facebook, Freville was left to regroup in the wake of the superstorm's devastation.
After a limited VOD run on a YouTube platform, Troma announced a December 2012 street date for the domestic DVD release of Hemo.
Freville's first taste of the acting bug came at the age of eight years, in a stage play for a summer school programme in Queens, NY. In 2007, he played "Angus" in his first film Of Bitches & Hounds. The same year friend and frequent collaborator James Neyman cast him in the dual roles of "Mason" and "Johnny" in his feature The Slasher. It was Freville who suggested director Neyman check out Indie Flix, a niche distributor who Neyman would later partner with to release the film. The Slasher can now be purchased through Indie Flix's website or via Amazon.
In 2010, a double feature screening took place in the V.I.P. lounge of Cleveland's The Map Room, a downtown bar. The films exhibited were The Prophet of Lake Erie, a short directed by Jake McGee and The Irish Car Bomb, Neyman's follow-up to The Slasher which starred McGee as "Vegas Lou," a ruthless hitman, and Freville as "Drex Swann," a sawed-off Caucasian pimp.
In November 2010, Neyman directed On The North Coast from a script with McGee and Freville. McGee reprised his role as "Vegas Lou" with Freville joining him as "Detective Bill Davers," a damaged sleuth with an axe to grind. Post-production was underway as of June, 2011.
In August 2012, Freville was offered a "background role" in Troma's Return to the Class of Nuke Em High, but he turned the role down, feeling it would under-utilize his talents.
In December 2012, Hemo was released on DVD from Troma Team Releasing and CAV. On The North Coast enjoyed a Cleveland premiere before being released independently via Amazon and other DIY platforms.
Freville has been on the periphery of underground music, from the East Coast to the West Coast, for many years. His lyrics and vocals have been sampled by Michael Gardner, a former colleague at Get Underground, by Long Island rapper Prodigee Playa, and served as the impetus for a Silber Records instrumental that appeared in Freville's movie Hemo. Freville started several bands throughout the late-nineties and early-aughts. In 2009, Freville founded and fronted the freaky avant-folk noise group Ssteven! with Hemo co-conspirator Alexander Scire. Ssteven, whose moniker was a reference to Tom Goes To The Mayor (Freville's supposed inspiration for starting the group), disbanded in 2010 but not before becoming an inexplicable hit at children's birthday parties in Nassau County, New York, and developing into a dirty MySpace secret.
Freville's own Intrepid Aspirations published its debut zine Neuter The Damned in June 2012. The self-published, self-financed collection compiled previously unpublished short stories and essays by Freville, along with poems by Kotori colleague Kurt Broz and a feature on Hippie Hill by Salem K. The sprawling ninety-page length of the zine is unprecedented in the digital age, clearly reflecting Freville's yearning for the salad days of brick-and-mortar publishing and print publications. 'NTD Zine,' as it is nicknamed, is currently archived at several notable zine libraries across the U.S. Additional copies were donated to Looney Tunes, New York's # 1 Independently Owned Record Store, displayed ostensibly as a free preview edition with further zines to follow.
- http://www.killingboxx.com/content.php?section=BoxxOffice&cID=Hemo[permanent dead link]
- http://www.roguecinema.com/article3256.html[permanent dead link]
- Bob Freville Quotes @ The Internet Movie Database
- Rogue Cinema Interview with Bob Freville, by Cary Conley, July 2, 2010
- KillingBoxx.com Interview[permanent dead link] with Bob Freville, March 2011
- Bob Freville, Author's Page at Kotori Magazine
- "The Myth of Modern Punk Makes For Instant Marketing," Bob Freville at Long Island Press
- Bob Freville Interviews Screen Siren Liane Alexandra Curtis at Rogue Cinema
- Freville Reviews Drew Goddard's Cabin in the Woods, Proclaims Himself, "A bald and belligerent maniac..." at Rogue Cinema
- Freville Explores Odd Marijuana Policies Of Canadian Company Promoting Hemp-Based Car for Kush Magazine (originally published in Kush Magazine Print Editions)