The Deadly Ponies Gang returns to screens

The cult hit of last year's New Zealand International Film Festival, The Deadly Ponies Gang is returning to Kiwi cinemas for a limited run. James Croot caught up with one of its anarchic stars Clint Rarm.

How did you first meet your buddy and Deadly Ponies' co-star Dwayne (Sisson), how did you hit it off and what makes him such a great friend?

Dway was hustling out of a house I knew about. He was hooked up and I wanted to get hooked up. One think led to another and before we even knew about it we were the best wingmen weed could buy. Dwayne would do anything for me. Hell, we have shared girlfriends in the past. But you can't break a rock as solid as me and Dway. Ninjas have tried. And best of all, he makes me look good...

Where did you come up with the idea of the Deadly Ponies Gang?

After Dway had his car accident, neither of us could afford a new car or had a license for that manner. One day I noticed how chicks would come up to you if you were walking a dog, say, and just start patting it and that gave you a in with them that you normally wouldn't get. 'Cause me and Dway look tough I think chicks are a little scared of us. Those walls come down if you're in the company of a cute-as-shit dog, let alone a freakin' horse. I think the community seen me and Dway with our bandanas on and our toughness and just labeled us a gang. They created us. I think New Zealand needs people like us to change their perception on people that don't look like them. We are givers and takers.

How did you meet Deadly director Zoe McIntosh and what persuaded you of the idea of turning Dwayne and your story into a movie?

I met her by chance, and that day she asked me if she could get a lift into the city. I said "yes" and an hour later I worked out I in fact didn't have my pony on me. Instead of taking her on my sweet pony I had to walk her to a bus stop. What made matters worse was I slipped over on a baby bird that was on the footpath (forget bananas, they should put warnings up for those things). I told her about my mate Dway one day and said, "That guy needs to be filmed. Handsome man." 

Really it was Zoe's "horesome" humour that even started this thing. She's got an eye for laughter and beautiful faces and it seems that people that hold all the money in New Zeland for TV and film are starting to see that humour is changing direction and that there is a market for it. Hopefully we start seeing more twisted comedy's coming out of NZ because I think we all need to laugh (especially at ourselves) and Kiwis are as funny as people get.

What was the toughest challenge of the shoot for you?

Knowing that after all this is done, that if we pull of the unthinkable. Dway is going to get more action with the ladies than me.  

How did the other locals react to having the cameras around?

Well, our hustling definitely dropped off a little. No one wanted to do transactions while the cameras were around and there were loads of those pony chicks going cold turkey without their normal suppliers. Let's just say I didn't get any loving from them while this was getting made.

What do you hope viewers take away from the film?

Don't judge a movie by its thumbnail. We can adjust ourselves and blend in like Chameleons. You could take us to your momma's house for scones and we would flirt the pants off her (seriously).

We are just trying to change the world and make it a better place for the wee whipper snippers that me and Dway once were. Life's hard on the fringes of New Zealand's cities and most people don't get to see this but it's filled with beautiful, generous people. Let's not take ourselves too seriously; all we want is for people to laugh.  

You toured around with the film during the film festival. Were you surprised by the reaction to it? Where was your favourite place to visit and why? And what was the hottest item of merchandise?

Yeah, we got some great responses and the best places were the ones that were less likely. Taking the film to Great Barrier was a blast. After the screening peeps put us up in their houses and fed, us which is always helpful to ninjas like us. Stink we couldn't get our ponies over there - maybe next time. Hottest merch would have to be the fridge magnets: who in their right mind doesn't want me and Dway in our underwear on their fridge. 

How was making the film changed your life? How are Dwayne's teeth? What are you currently up to and what's next for your guys?

Well, I've been chatting up the chicks and Dway has gone and gotten some filly knocked up. Can't wait to do another project with that hot chick Zoe. We are thinking about a TV series, which hopefully will get some NZ backing (fingers crossed we do it on Great Barrier), or we take this shit offshore. I'm writing in heaps of strip bar scenes 'cause if we are going to do this for not much money then I wanna be entertained...

The Deadly Ponies Gang begins screening in New Zealand cinemas on Thursday, April 3.