Ethan Dettenmaier writer and director of upcoming Horror flick Sin-Jin Smyth
The GOBLINHAUS exclusive interview (3/6/07)

The whole platoon we worked with was made up of quality people, Gary Kasper. Richard Tyson. John Philbin who, when I asked him to do the film said: 'I don't even need a script, I trust you, just tell me where to show up.' Also Jacqueline Moore, (Kevin) Gage, and a bullet-proof crew that worked through some tough conditions.

It was a tough film to make, shot entirely at night, in the elements, (Smyth takes place moments after the region is struck by a tornado warning) and the resources were super tight so it was a real privilege to have these people around because they could work through it.

See, I tend to specialize in mistakes (laughs)---I'm an expert at it---But one thing I did right was...I got the right people. .

GH: You are the master of building a buzz on the internet. I’ve never seen such relentlessness, and from where I sit it seems to be paying off. Where does this come from?

ETHAN: I'm just glad some people out there found it (The film's concept) interesting...

GH: Is production finished?

ETHAN: Just about.

GH: Where are you with getting this thing released? You’ve got so much hype built up; do you know when everyone will get to see it?

A fire-fight breaks out at the shed (Set photo)

ETHAN: Hello Shrub.

GOBLINHAUS: Hello. This is your first movie right?

ETHAN: Right.

GH: Going in, what were your goals for Sin-Jin Smyth?

ETHAN: The goal was to try to make a film people would appreciate.

GH: Did you try somehow to aim for a specific demographic?

ETHAN: No. Nothing was geared to a specific demographic...We wanted to make the best film we possibly could and hope that the effort and content would sell itself to an audience no matter what their age may be.

It's easy to staple your project to a trend by trying to guess what people might like at a certain age but that mentality seems to take away from the genuine creative effort within the script...It seems to box the material up in a way.

GH: Did you try something to make it stand out from the crowd?

ETHAN: We did what we could in an effort to earn the respect of the audience through invention...We hired the best professionals we could and tried to break new ground in creative ways. Now, only an audience can say if we got that right---and their opinion is their privilege---but the effort is certainly there.

Respect for the audience is the only reason we do what we do! The audience is the most important thing. It's what allows us work in this business and today's horror audience is smart.

They have had to watch prices at the box office sky-rocket through the roof and quality, for the most part, has just gone to shit!

With retro-grade ideas that seem to be the same script over and over---with different character names and settings----but the same format and blue print! As a member of the ticket-buying public I wanted a little more out of the experience this just another b-grade/PG-13 joke!

So we worked from the script, not a marketing plan. There was no specific demographic to hit---although the studio's would've liked this thing to be cut and edited to a familiar format that supports their marketing research...I still think the best thing to do is to try and make the best film you can and hope it makes some sort of impact on an audience.

GH: How well do you think you accomplished these goals?

ETHAN: That's for an audience to decide. (Some advance reviews have already hit the net: HERE and HERE )

GH: Sin-Jin Smyth is star studded to say the least. What was it like working with this assortment of actors?

ETHAN: It was excellent. The first day I wasn't sure how is going to work because I had limited experience but the cast was understanding and understood the script to the point that they allowed me to work though it.

It makes it interesting when you have cast made up of what is primarily career bad guys and have them get together and work through the material...But, like I said, they were a forgiving group and were patient with me as I got a grip on the terminology and the technology in transmitting the script from the page to the screen...

Richard Tyson plays Marshal Tyree, an instructor at THE FEDERAL SCHOOL FOR INTERROGATION (Set photo)

ETHAN: All the distribution talk is for it (the film) to premiere at Cannes (The Cannes Film Festival) but we still have some work to get through and I'm grateful to anyone who has taken an interest in what we're doing.

GH: Should we look for wide theatrical release, indie circuit or what?

ETHAN: The contract talk is for a wide release...

GH: OK give us something exclusive! You’ve got interviews all over the place; can you give our readers a tidbit that no one knows yet?

ETHAN: Are you asking me to give something away?

GH: Yes.

ETHAN: Forget it!


Be sure to check out the SIN-JIN SMYTH COLLECTOR'S BOOK with cast and crew contributions and some special features at







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GH: Two actors in particular peak my interest, Roddy Piper and Lee Ving. As a wrestler and a legendary punk rocker, they projected real hard assed personas. So what’s the real story with those two? Nice guys?

ETHAN: I just saw Lee actually; he invited me up to this Sunday brunch where he's been trying out some new acoustic material. I've known both of them for a long time now and they're solid. Both Piper and Lee deserve a lot of respect as people, not just for what they've accomplished but for who they are - And I have a lot of respect for them.