Movies & TV / Columns

Cry Havoc Writer/Director Rene Perez On Making The Film, Robert Bronzi’s Involvement

May 4, 2020 | Posted by Bryan Kristopowitz
Cry Havoc

The 411 Interview: Rene Perez


Rene Perez is a writer, director, cinematographer, editor, musician, and producer that, according to imdb, has been cranking out movies since at least 2010. Perez has directed such movies as War Machine, The Obsidian Curse, Death Kiss, Once Upon a Time in Deadwood, Cabal, and so many more. Perez’s latest movie in his slasher horror movie Havoc series is Cry Havoc, starring Emily Sweet, Robert Bronzi, and Richard Tyson (the movie hits Video On Demand on May 5th, 2020). In this interview, Perez talks with this writer about making Cry Havoc, working with Robert Bronzi, and more.



Bryan Kristopowitz: How did you know you wanted Cry Havoc to be the next movie in the Havoc series?

Rene Perez: I just make whatever I’m assigned to. If my producer tells me to make another Havoc movie, then I get to writing and do it. I’m always happy to make another Havoc movie. He’s my most popular creation. People seem to really love that character. I do need time in between. I couldn’t do two of these movies in a row. Too intense.

BK: How key was Robert Bronzi’s participation in Cry Havoc in making it happen?

RP: He wasn’t part of my original concept, and no one asked me to include him. I had a police character in the story and then I thought, this could be a “Bronson vs Havoc” movie. I called Bronzi, he said yes. I informed my producer, he said “Sure, why not?” and that’s how he came to be in the movie.

BK: Is it necessary to see the other three movies in the Havoc series before Cry Havoc?

RP: I make every Havoc movie easy to follow as a standalone. I’m well aware these are the cheapest B-movies in the B-movie world so, to play it safe, I assume the audience hasn’t seen the others. Make it consumer friendly. But they are all in order and they all do have puzzle pieces that come into play if you have seen them all. And I add in little flashbacks to help the chronology when needed.


BK: Where was Cry Havoc made?

RP: Shasta County California. I live here and I film almost all of my movies here. I like being able to drive home after work to my wife and kids. We filmed Cry Havoc right after a holocaust scale fire took over almost our entire area. The burned trees and the black ash that was the entire ground gave us a look that we could not have afforded to create through set design. Out of a tragic fire came an interesting look for a horror movie.

BK: How long did it take to make Cry Havoc, from finishing the script to completing post-production?

RP: I’m given 4 months to make every movie, from start to finish. From the moment my check arrives, I have 4 months to turn in a hard drive with a complete movie ready for duplication in domestic and foreign territories.

BK: How did you come up with Robert Bronzi’s specific look for Cry Havoc? The leather jacket and bell bottom pants are very cool and remind you of Charles Bronson in Mr. Majestyk.

RP: Good eye. Very close. His wardrobe is actually from a movie called The Mechanic. In every movie I’ve made with Bronzi I have him wear an exact duplicate of what Bronson wore in a movie that both he and I like.

BK: How difficult were the various practical gore effects to set up and film in Cry Havoc?

RP: In Cry Havoc you see gore effects from Oliver Müller and Marcus Koch, both very talented FX guys. On a horror movie I usually film the entire movie first, then on the last day of filming I have the FX guy come in with all of his gore FX made up and film only gore footage for a day or two. I’m one of those weirdos who doesn’t like computer generated effects so it all has to be done practically.

BK: What was the hardest part of making Cry Havoc? What was the easiest?

RP: I love my job so the difficulties don’t actually bother me too much, but it might be interesting to share that I’m a film crew of one and I don’t make movies that take place in one house or one location. So, my actors and I are climbing mountains with heavy equipment for hours on these movies. Also, I have to make them look like million dollar movies, when in fact, I’m only given fifty thousand to make each movie. Total. So that’s where I can note some difficulty.


BK: How did you meet actor Robert Bronzi?

RP: I was filming a TV show in Spain on a cowboy town set and Bronzi worked there as a stunt man. They put on “wild west” stunt shows for the tourists. As soon as I saw him, I knew I had to put him in my movies. It took a while. At first, none of the producers I work for wanted to cast him. I had to sneak him into one of my movies just to show how incredible it could be. Now he’s been in several of my movies. I hope to continue to film with him until he gets taken up to the big leagues on bigger budget movies.

BK: Why is Robert Bronzi’s voice dubbed?

RP: My responsibility is to the audience. When they see Bronzi, they want to imagine it’s Bronson. Bronzi’s tone of voice is perfect, but his accent isn’t. I would always dub him if the decision is left to me until he can make his accent more American. He’s working on it and he’s almost there.


BK: How did you meet actor Richard Tyson, another actor you’ve worked with several times?

RP: Wow. I’m drawing a blank. I think someone just introduced me to him. Since I was a fan of Richard’s from Three O’Clock High, I asked him if he would consider being in a micro budget B-movie. He said he’d have to read the script first and review previous work. Happily, he eventually accepted. We’re now longtime friends and collaborators. He’s one of the best actors I’ve ever worked with. He has actual artistic talent and I plan to continue filming with him.

BK: How has the movie business changed for you since you started making movies, both for the good and the bad?

RP: Oh, yes. It gets more corrupt each passing year. Every distributor, every sales agent, every studio. I’ve never met one that I liked. All con-men. If I never have to go to LA again it will be too soon. The only thing that has improved is the technology. The new cameras get better every year. All filmmaking equipment is dramatically cheap and efficient. It’s a great time to be a filmmaker.

BK: Any movie making heroes?

RP: Oddly, no. There are about 25 or so movies that I’m absolutely in love with as a fan but I don’t study them. I don’t try to emulate them. I think George Lucas was an artistic genius for Star Wars and advancing film making in general. That’s the end of my fascination. I’m more of a music buff.

BK: Any upcoming projects you can tell us about?

RP: Yes, thank you for asking. Please go see my newest movie called The Insurrection, which can you see via Vimeo and via Amazon.

BK: Within the world of B-movies, which is your favorite genre: action or horror?

RP: I love them both but I think action movies rely a lot on spectacle. Explosions and destruction can be achieved best on an A-list movie. I think horror might drive better in the B-movie world.

BK: What do you hope viewers get out of watching Cry Havoc?

RP: I hope they get scared. That’s the first duty of every horror movie is. To be scary. I think if you turn down the lights and turn up the sound, Cry Havoc will take you on a horrific B-movie ride.



A very special thanks to Rene Perez for agreeing to participate in this interview and to Alicia Diaz and Clint Morris for setting it up.

Cry Havoc will be available via Video On Demand starting May 5th, 2020.

Check out my review of Cry Havoc here

Check out Rene Perez’s official website here

Cry Havoc poster and Richard Tyson image courtesy of Midnight Releasing. All other images courtesy of Rene Perez.