Writer-Director Jess Norvisgaard Fills Us In On ‘The Good Things Devils Do’

September 6, 2020

Written by Kelli Marchman McNeely

Kelli Marchman McNeely is the owner of HorrorFuel.com. She is an Executive Producer of "13 Slays Till Christmas" which is out on Digital and DVD and now streaming on Tubi. She has several other films in the works. Kelli is an animal lover and a true horror addict since the age of 9 when she saw Friday the 13th. Email: horrorfuelinfo@gmail.com

Writer-director Jess Norvisgaard sat down with me to talk about his new supernatural horror film, The Good Things Devils Do, which Horror Fuel’s Dan XIII called “a solid lil fright flick with a bit of the ol’ crimson, a great cast, and a vampire vixen run amok… so a ghoulish good time indeed!” in his review.



The film stars horror greats Kane Hodder, Bill Oberst Jr., and Linnea Quigley along with David Rucker III, Mary Katherine O’Donnell, Kelley Wilson Robinson, and Veronika Stoykova.


In the indie film, “Richard (Oberst Jr.), a small-time gangster who is retiring. Before he can, he must take one last job: to steal money from a rival gangster’s house. Miles apart, Melvin (Rucker) is a reluctant family man who has dreams of becoming a famous curator for his Museum of the Macabre. His newest acquisition? The remains of the notorious Masquerade (Stoykova), a vampire born from the embers of hell, slain centuries ago. On Halloween Night, their paths will collide and they’ll be forced to work together to fight centuries-old evil with everything on the line.”






Horror Fuel: “This is your debut feature film, is it not?”


Jess Norvisgaard: “That’s right.”


Horror Fuel: “That’s big. Congrats! What does it feel like knowing that people are now watching your movie?”


Jess Norvisgaard: “I mean it’s exciting. It was obviously a long process. I had fun and I’m glad that people are enjoying it. I’m ready to go on to the next one.”


Horror Fuel: “Tell us about the story?”


Jess Norvisgaard: “It’s a little cartoony, which I love. I really wanted to do a throwback to like The Return of the Living Dead, Night of the Demons, and ones like them. I was very happy with that. We go back to a world where you have this family which is almost like “Leave It to Beaver,” something like that. That’s a terrible way to describe it, but we have this zany little family yet I wanted to incorporate very serious, nasty horror tropes into this silly world, where the two collide. I wanted the vampire to have a great back story, and she did, but that never made it into the movie. It had to be cut. But there was a wonderful little background that explains why this once beautiful girl has turned into this raging sadistic Hellborn Vamp. I like the idea of taking fun, campy stories, and injecting cruelty into it – and this monster that didn’t give a shit about any of it. It’s silly, it’s lowbrow humor, but yet Bill and Kane Hodder are playing it straight down the barrel as if it’s a serious film.”


Horror Fuel: “Speaking of Kane and Bill, it’s a great cast. Those are two huge names in horror.”


Jess Norvisgaard: “Yeah. I love them both. The first I had to get was Linnea Quigley, then came Kane and Bill. We were very lucky to get them.”


Horror Fuel: “They’re great. I have to say, I liked that Masquerade doesn’t look like your average vampire. I have to say that Masquerade (Veronika Stoykova) doesn’t look like your average vampire. I like that. She reminds me a bit of the possessed girl in the Evil Dead reboot. Where did the idea for her design originate from?”


Jess Norvisgaard: “I’ve heard a lot of people say that. That’s good, I’m glad. That wasn’t intended, but it’s cool. I’ll take it. She does not look like where the influence comes from, but I’ll give you the answer: originally when the vampire comes out of the coffin I wanted her to be pale white, almost ghostlike. The answer is it was influenced by Salem’s Lot! Very slow, they look into your eyes like the stereotypical vampire tropes, but as soon as she got bloodied up, man it didn’t look anything like Salem’s Lot.”


Horror Fuel: “She looks good though. I’m glad it wasn’t your average vampire.”


Jess Norvisgaard: “With Masquerade again, she had this beautiful back story that never made it into the film. She was a young, beautiful Latin dancer in a dance troupe. It involved witches resurrecting her with her mother beholden to them with a Devils’ promise, and I just love witches too, by the way. It was important that she had to be right. With Veronika, my direction with her was always hatred, pent up for millions of years. She’s been in hell for so long and she’s finally out and she’s angry about all of it. And I really liked the idea of the vampire not being helpless because it couldn’t be invited in. She still had her eyes, and ability to possess, and if you think about it if something is trying to get in and you’re trying to stop it, how fucking hard is it to always look away. You’re going to look at it. And once you do, it’s over. In the original script, we had a final battle that harkened back to Perseus’ battle with Medusa in the original Clash of the Titans, but budget and time would not allow sadly. We shot this in 13 days or so.”


Horror Fuel: “I found it interesting that she went after the kid.”


Jess Norvisgaard: “Well, If there was a dog we would have killed it too I’m told, haha. I love animals and kids by the way, I have two beautiful daughters and a sweet little dog, I just needed to say that. But for the villain – and I might come under some fire for this – the bad guy has to be bad. I have to make the bad guy be something I personally fear. It kills everything. It just doesn’t give a shit. It comes from hell and it kills what it wants to kill. It uses cruelty to make the family suffer, to force the invite inside. Almost like death is a better option than what it’s doing. It’s a hell-born vampire and it’s out for blood.”


Horror Fuel: “So often, we see so many horror movies that are alike. I’m glad that The Good Devils Do isn’t one of those. I’m glad that you went full brutal horror with it.”


Jess Norvisgaard: “That makes me happy. That means a lot to me. I tell ya, this movie could have been two and a half hours long. We had to make a lot of hard choices. We had to cut it down to an hour and a half to get it distributed. Could it have been longer? Absolutely. The biggest thing for me is when I hear you say something like that – a lot of people say that it’s two stories in one. It could have been more linear, but that may have been a failure on my part, but it may not have. For better or worse, that’s what we did. A collision of two tales. I wasn’t building the Mona Lisa. I just wanted a super fun, anti-boring ass drivel horror throwback. Today’s horror movies are all the same and dull.

I wanted to put together a fun film, a nasty film,  so we had to have Kane Hodder get really nasty, to be a masochistic, misogynistic son of a bitch. To show that he’s tough, but isn’t above killing the little person either. He doesn’t care who he kills. He passes the torch to Masquerade. She’s like, ‘Look at me mother fucker!’ boom! I’ve heard the character and the movie are hard on women, I say bullshit. The same who bitch about that are sitting out that same white knight “here woman I’ll save you” bullshit. Trust women to know who bad guys are and that sometimes they are badder than bad. Yes, women are in distress in this movie. So are guys. You have to understand, I grew up being a fan of all the bad guys. Darth Vader. Cobra Commander. Skeletor. Megatron and Starscream. So the women get to chase the guys here. Why not have guys running away from women for once? To the reviewers who want to ride their white steeds, get the fuck out of here with that shit. Judge the movie on the film, not your pandering bullshit values.”


Horror Fuel: “Horror fans know that Kane is Kane. He does evil well.”


Jess Norvisgaard: “He’s a scary guy in real life.”


Horror Fuel: “He comes across tough and scary, but he’s a funny, nice guy. He even choked me once at a convention for a photo, I don’t just let anyone put their hands on my throat. I’m five foot tall, he’s a big dude and he’s very imposing and intimidating, but that’s mostly an act.”


Jess Norvisgaard: “He did everything so well, all of the fight scenes. The size difference between him and Bill was huge. I love him. He’s a hell of a guy. He’s a brute, but a sweet guy. When Kane puts on the mask, he got in the zone, pacing through the hallway, man. He gets into it. He’s an underrated actor, too. I hope more directors utilize the man, and not just the man behind the mask.

We’re going to give horror fans a ride. We want you to feel like a kid again watching those zanny horror movies back in the day. They’ll feel like they were in a fight, but at the end of it, they’ll be better for it. We do not want to insult horror fans. They’re a very loyal audience and they don’t play around. They will eat you alive. We’re dealing with Covid, we’re dealing with unemployment, all these real-life issues, politics and a lot of intense shit. The stress levels are so through the roof. It’s tough for everyone. The least we can do is give you a good time. ”


Horror Fuel: “There was something in the background that kept catching my eye, it’s a haunting painting of a girl with giant eyes. Is there anything you can tell me about that painting?”



Jess Norvisgaard: “That is from a local artist, Shellie Lewis Danbax from Brevard, NC. We had our art department to get pieces from local artists. We had to have this living room that made it look like Melvin is building this collection. It was important that we had to have strange, macabre things for the house.”


Horror Fuel: “I love it. It’s so creepy.”

Now that The Good Things Devils Do has been released what’s next for you?”


Jess Norvisgaard: “Now, I’m preparing for my next film. I’m writing it now. There’s another person trying to pull on and hire me to direct for hire for another film written by someone else I’m contemplating it. I’m definitely cooking something up.”


Horror Fuel: “Is there anything you can reveal about either project?”


Jess Norvisgaard: “Yeah. Still fun and fast, but more mature.  It’s not campy. It’s modern but gothic. You know how these things go. I don’t want to get too into it, I’m superstitious. I’m afraid I’ll jinx it.”


Horror Fuel: “I understand completely, I’m a little superstitious myself. I’m happy to hear that you’re already lining up projects. We look forward to following your career!


Grab a bag of popcorn, put on your comfy pants, turn the lights down low and watch The Good Things Devils Do, now out On Demand and on DVD.


To keep up to date on what writer-director Jess Norvisgaard is up to be sure to follow him on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.


Linnea Quigley, Jess Norvisgaard, Bill Oberst Jr.

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