Exclusive Interview: Brent Tarnol (Captain Carol’s Cosmic Conquest)
What is your favorite horror movie and all time… and why?
Well this is a strangely hard question. I definitely can’t pick a favorite horror movie. So I’ll pick the one I’ve seen and can quote the most. Devil’s Rejects. I don’t even know if you can call it a horror. More of a character driven, brutally violent western. Rob Zombie was able to take the scum and dirt of the Universe and turn them into to likeable, almost lovable, witty hillbilly psychopaths. A movie that’s having you root for literal serial killers like they were the Avengers.
What made you want to get involved in movies?
I was really young when I got into writing and creating. I started writing short stories when I was like 9. I guess I was just a really weird thinking kid who asked a lot of questions. Telling stories was an outlet to get my weird thinking unto paper. I really did it for myself until people would read them. I always was allowed to watch R rated movies as a child, which I guess could be risky getting influenced. But I could tell the difference between fantasy and reality and was more curious about how they were being made…
I was always the funny guy and finally I was dared to audition for the middle school musical and got a leading part. Some lady in suit came up to me afterwards and was like “hey, wanna do this for a living?” I said okay and been in the bussiness ever since.
What inspired you to make Captain Carol’s Cosmic Conquest?
The creation of Captain Carol’s Cosmic Conquest is kind of a long bizarre story. It’s not even technically my concept. I was on a trip with a small group in Northern Europe and on our way from Sweden to Norway we were stopped in this tiny village that I don’t even think is on a map called Jødetreet. It’s so small and secluded, I’m pretty sure they think the Axis won the war. Can’t confirm but I was told to not mention my Hebrew Heritage. Anyway, Carol is this real guy who has never left the town. He told us that he loved American things, like Star Trek and Flash Gordon and wanted to make a similar show but for children. He took us to his hut and showed us a bunch of footage him and his late cousin shot and asked us to finish it because his cousin was the one who edited the pilot. They might’ve even shot it in the Early 2000’s. And that’s what we’ve been doing. We have hours of weird low budget footage of a children’s show we’ve been editing. BTW the show there is called “galaksevafler” which I’m pretty sure just means “Space Waffles.” It’s weirdly violent for what they think is a kid’s show.
Tell us about some of the show’s colorful characters?
The show has a ton of bizarre players involved. But I’ll give you a few. Obviously, Captain Carol, a big hearted space hero who loves to sings and dance and teach children.
Then there’s his co captain, WAFFLES. A grey bunny dog alien, who wishes he could lead his own crew one day. He is Captain Carol’s brace little sidekick.
Also, LT. Sourline, an Alien half Cyborg, with blue hair and one eye like Geordi La Forge from Star Trek TNG. He always seems to be getting the short bend of the stick. He either dies or becomes horrifically injured by space invaders every episode. Rumor is he has 1000 clones that just restore his memories every time he dies.
Finally, General Silly Beans played by horror prince, MIKE FERGUSON, who is the show’s antagonist. He’s like Thanos meets Emperor Palpatine with a memory problem. He seems to always forget attacking Carol’s space crew as he re introduces himself every time. Fun Fact: the real Carol cast a different actor to play General Sillybeans but had a technical issue and lost his footage. And the original actor tragically passed away in a Viking reenactment. So I suggested we shoot an American actor in the states to replace his coverage. We chose Mike Ferguson because A: He is blowing up in horror and this weird sub-genre and B: He is almost identical to the original Silly Beans actor. (At least with is half mask on.)
What has been the most difficult aspect of making Captain Carol’s Cosmic Conquest?
Without a doubt. Carol. Carol basically gave me control of the creative. But once we started and got digging away, it’s become very much about him. Apparently, and I don’t fully believe this but according to Carol and this guy Yakob, his new, creative advisor/agent, that galaksevafler is the second biggest show in Jødetreet and Carol is getting fame fever. Which honestly I can’t even look this information up because of how small Jødetreet actually is. I’m also pretty sure Yakob is actually Carol.
Where can people watch Captain Carol’s Cosmic Conquest?
Unless you live in Jødetreet you can watch CCCC on youtube www.youtube.com/watch?v=KdfwyA-nOjI&t=288s at least until were done editing the days worth of footage and someone notices it. We haven’t even tried to sell it here yet. It’s very early in the game. It’s also on our facebook page Captain Carol’s Cosmic Conquest or follow Carol on instagram: @captaincarolcosmic
BTW: “YAKOB” runs the page.
Who inspires your creativity?
I have two close friends that I’m a truly unbiased fan of. Andrew Huber is a very long time collaborator of mine. A genius. We’ve been writing together for over a decade. Whether it be a script or music or just a weird fucking poem. He writes a lot of the music and sound design for Captain Carol’s Cosmic Conquest. Dude’s an entertainment jack of all trades, A Broadway kid and a rock and roller. And a sick fuck like me.
Also, a big time inspiration is actor Matt Shively. My little big brother. The kid came from nothing and by acting chops alone made him successful in television and movies. On the outside he presents himself like an idiot but his one of the quickest, smartest guns in the west… a very useful mechanism. He was never handed anything and now stands out amongst his peers by pure talent and comedy alone, just by working hard and never quitting.
What the biggest obstacle you’ve had to face working in the film industry?
Money. Always money. Not even making it. But not being able to pay people the amount they truly deserve. They rely on the success of the project. This is such a saturated business that finding something steady is almost like a lottery. So finding the right people who believes in the project besides lack of large budgets is always great, but wanting to give them the moon in return is a crap shoot that’s tough if you don’t win the bet. That’s why I like the barter system. Quid Pro quo. And I don’t mean “I’ll give you exposure” bullshit, because who the fuck am I? But I will work hard for you like you did for me. No questions asked.
How do you think the movie industry will change as we start to move past the Covid pandemic?
Badly. No more big crowd scenes. No big crews. I actually think the people who can make their own content will thrive the most. Theatrical releases won’t be back for a very long time. It’s streaming time for a long time. I don’t think we’ll even go to a real set until there’s some sort of vaccine or answer…
What’s next for Brent Tarnol?
More Space Waffles, I’m producing an album with a band called “The Forever Endeavour” Might fully get back into horror. I had some success in horror with my films “April Apocalypse” www.imdb.com/title/tt2070604/?ref_=nv_sr_srsg_0
and Barrio Tales www.imdb.com/title/tt2170301/?ref_=nv_sr_srsg_0 both
written by me and Directed by my brother, Jarret. But we drifted and I miss it.
So if we go back to work anytime soon I’d like to get back to blood. Kill some fucking zombies, ya know? —