Tuesday, 16 October 2018

Interview with Julian Richards

Ahead of the World premiere screening of REBORN at Arrow Video FrightFest Halloween, Julian Richards discusses the torturerous challenges of DADDY'S GIRL, why he wishes every actress was like Barbara Crampton and future plans, including directing the English language remake of RABIES.

 
Q: After six years away from directing, you have two films, REBORN and DADDY'S GIRL poised for distribution. Why these two very different films now?

My previous film SHIVER was completed in 2012 and it took longer for me to get back into the directing saddle because of commitments I had to my sales company Jinga Films. The company was growing quickly and needed more of my time and energy. We had grown from handling three films a year to handling ten films a year and our titles were getting stronger. At the same time my wife and I decided to have a family and in 2016 we became parents to twins. I think we both underestimated how demanding parenthood would be, and understandably, I lost momentum with the directing projects that i was developing.


But I had no intention of giving up on directing and was always on the lookout for new opportunities. The first, DADDY'S GIRL came from an unexpected source; an Indian broadcaster Zee Studios, based in Dubai who approached me to help them put together a slate of three horror films that they planned to shoot in Eastern Europe. I sent them three scripts from which they chose DADDY'S GIRL for me to direct and OPEN 24 HOURS for Padraig Reynolds to direct. My sales company Jinga Films represents two of Padraig's earlier films RITES OF SPRING and WORRY DOLLS, so I was happy to share this opportunity with him.


The next opportunity came during Cannes when I was asked by John Penney and Brian Yuzna to recommend directors for REBORN, a feature they were planning to produce in Los Angeles. I recommended myself,  gave feedback on the screenplay and was quickly hired for the project. Of course, the idea of directing two feature films in 12 months whilst raising twins was daunting, but I had lost time to make up for, and with the support of my wife, Rosana,  I (we) somehow managed to do it.



Q:  DADDY'S GIRL is a contentious, challenging film, to say the least. Did you have reservations about the storyline, given the way the film industry is shifting morally and sexually?

The screenplay for DADDY'S GIRL that went into production is different from the original screenplay. The original had a Haute Tension-esque twist whereby several characters in the story turn out to be the same character, the protagonist, with many events taking place inside her mind. It was this deeply psychological context that attracted me to the script, but the producers didn't like it and so it was removed. Without this twist, and with the torture scenes actually happening rather than being the machinations of a deranged mind, the project was in danger of becoming just another torture porn film, and being a sales agent as well as a director, I was acutely aware of the problems this might cause, particularly post #metoo. So, I introduced a new theme to the story, making both the killer and the cop Iraq war veterans and linking the torture to Abu Ghraib, turning the film into a metaphor for the anxieties of post Iraq war America. When I directed the torture scenes, I panned away or cut away from anything too extreme or degrading, focusing instead on the protagonist as she watches. Re-action is stronger than action, and horror is more effective when left to the imagination. The producers did question my direction, they wanted less clothes and more torture, but I did not want to make an exploitation film and personally I felt uncomfortable taking the material in this direction. Ultimately DADDY'S GIRL is not a film about a bad guy torturing women, it is a film about a captive women staving off the desire to commit suicide and choosing to survive instead.


Q: Jemma Dallender puts in a brave, compelling performance. What she your first choice for the role?

Actually, we first cast Jemma as the vigilante, but when two of the actresses cast to play Zoe pulled out we had to re-shuffle our cast and offered Jemma the lead. She jumped at the opportunity because she had never played a character like that before.


Q: You extract an equally commanding performance from Barbara Crampton in REBORN. What was it like working with such a genre legend?

When I read the script for REBORN, Barbara was the first actress I thought about for the part of Lena, so I was really pleased when she agreed to board the project. Actually another actress was already attached to the project but had to leave just before we started shooting, so when Barbara arrived she only had a couple of days to prepare. It was a fraught start to the production but she was like the cavalry coming to the rescue.



Barbara gives commanding performances in all her films, so all a director has to do is cast her and provide her with a good script with good dialogue. Occasionally I would step in and ask for a little less or a little more, but generally speaking, you just roll the camera on Barbara and often you get what you need in one or two takes. Working with Barbara is therefore a director's dream. She comes fully prepared and is willing to go above the call of duty to get the best result for the film. I wish every actress were like Barbara...

Q: Even though REBORN is a violent supernatural thriller, at heart it's a moving story of a young woman's search and reunion with her birth mother. How did you find balancing the emotional narrative with the brutal tone of its visual effects?

It was the mother, daughter reunion aspect of the story that attracted me to REBORN. The script had a strong, dramatic, emotional through-line which reminded me of Frankenstein. Most horror scripts don't have such a strong dramatic ingredient, so I knew that this was something special. However, the script was lacking in strong horror beats, so I did a directors pass, ramping up the kill scenes in which Tess uses her electro-kinetic power. The Omen franchise became an influence here, dramatic family scenes intercut with inventive murder set pieces. Of course, Carrie was also an influence, as was The Fury and Scanners. The film has a strong sense of nostalgia for the genre, so I introduced a meta-horror ending to give it a contemporary twist.


Q: Juggling a career as a film director with that of running an established sales and distribution company (Jinga) must be a constant challenge. How do you do it? Do both give you equal satisfaction?

I moved into sales after making THE LAST HORROR MOVIE. I put a lot of my own money into that film and needed to make sure that I got it back. I also wanted to learn more about the business side of films and sales seemed to be the most immediate and accessible way to do that. I never intended to switch career, but I did need to do something that would provide me with a more reliable income. Jinga went from strength to strength and by the time we released A SERBIAN FILM in 2012, we had established ourselves as one of the key genre companies in the World. It was, and still is, an incredible learning curve and it compliments my film-making in many ways.


I think the opportunity to direct DADDY'S GIRL and REBORN came because of my experience in sales, so although Jinga initially diverted me away from directing, it ultimately provided opportunities that I might not have got going through the conventional employment channels such as agents and managers.


Q: You made a massive impact with THE LAST HORROR MOVIE and many people are still hankering for a sequel. Is this on the cards?

I did toy with the idea, about doing something with Max on Facebook and Twitter etc., but technology and social habits are evolving so quickly that I was concerned that any script that we came up with would be dated by the time it got made. Also, the market has changed. There is not much of an appetite for found footage, and crime films are less popular than supernatural. If somebody out there has a viable idea and wants to write a sequel to THE LAST HORROR MOVIE, I would certainly consider making it.


Q: When you look at the Jinga library, are there any films you would have liked to have made?

Well, A SERBIAN FILM does spring to mind, but actually no, I don't think I'm capable of that level of transgression. The three films I would choose are STILL/BORN, OUR EVIL and THE HOUSE AT THE END OF TIME. All have a strong family drama at their core which gives them a greater sense of reality, despite the supernatural events wreaking havoc elsewhere in their stories.


Q: You come from Wales but your last film shot there was the BAFTA Cymru award-winning SUMMER SCARS. Do you plan to return to your homeland to make more movies?

The first opportunity I got to direct a feature came from Wales, when I received lottery finance from Film Agency Wales to make DARKLANDS, which is arguably the first Welsh horror movie and which has been credited as kickstarting a new wave of UK genre production which continues to this day. Film Agency Wales also supported SUMMER SCARS, and without this support I may not have been able to achieve the level of success that I have obtained, so I owe them and Wales a huge debt of gratitude. I would love to make more films in Wales, particularly films that focus on Welsh history, myth and folklore. If any writers out there have a script that I could shoot in Wales, please send it my way and I would be happy to read it.


Q: Finally, what's next for Julian Richards?

I am in talks with Israeli production company UCM to co-produce and direct the English language re-make of RABIES and I am also developing  an action thriller based on the terrorist attack on British holiday makers in Tunisia. I am also involved as a co-producer with the English language re-make of THE HOUSE AT THE END OF TIME which is currently in development at Good Fear.


REBORN has its World Premiere at Arrow Video FrightFest Halloween, Cineworld, Leicester Square on 8 Nov, 10.40am.

http://www.frightfest.co.uk/tickets.html

Monday, 15 October 2018

BBC One and Netflix team up to co-produce Dracula from Sherlock producers Hartswood Films


BBC One has commissioned Dracula from the co-creators of multi-award-winning hit BBC drama Sherlock. It will be produced by Hartswood Films and is a co-production between BBC One and Netflix.

The 3x90’ mini-series is written and created by Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss and inspired by Bram Stoker’s classic novel. Three feature length episodes will re-introduce the world to Dracula, the vampire who made evil sexy. In Transylvania in 1897, the blood-drinking Count is drawing his plans against Victorian London. And be warned: the dead travel fast.

Co-creators, writers and executive producers Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss said, “There have always been stories about great evil. What’s special about Dracula, is that Bram Stoker gave evil its own hero.”

Charlotte Moore, BBC Director of Content, says:“Genius duo Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss turn their attentions to Dracula for unmissable event television on BBC One."

Piers Wenger, Controller of BBC Drama, says: “Steven and Mark’s ingenious vision for Dracula is as clever as it is chilling. In their talented hands the fans will experience the power of Bram Stoker’s creation as if completely anew. We are thrilled to be collaborating with them and the brilliant team at Hartswood on yet another iconic British series.”

Larry Tanz, Vice President, Content Acquisition, Netflix, says: “We can’t wait to bring Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss’ brilliant storytelling to our members around the world and we are eager to collaborate on yet another series with the BBC.”

Sue Vertue, Executive Producer, Hartswood Films, says: "We are absolutely thrilled to be back at the BBC, and also delighted that Netflix are coming on board with Dracula. There’s nothing like fresh blood.”

Dracula was commissioned by Charlotte Moore, Director of BBC Content and Piers Wenger, Controller of BBC Drama. It is written and created by Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss; executive producers are Mark Gatiss, Steven Moffat and Sue Vertue for Hartswood Films, Ben Irving for BBC and will be handled by Larry Tanz for Netflix.

The series will premiere on BBC One in the UK and on Netflix outside of the UK, and China where the service is not available. BBC Studios Distribution, who brokered the deal with Netflix for Hartswood Films, is the international distributor.

Competition: Win Down A Dark Hall on DVD


Down A Dark Hall is out on Digital and DVD 22nd October

And to celebrate we have a great competition for you and 3 copies to give away.

Synopsis
In an old mansion deep within the forest, Blackwood Boarding School promises to turn rebellious teens into straight-laced young adults. Desperate for a fix to her daughter’s dissident behaviour, Kit Gordy’s mother sees no other option. Kit (AnnaSofia Robb) is placed in a class with four other equally reluctant teens, miles from any outsiders and no contact with the outside world.

There is something odd about the enigmatic Madame Duret (Uma Thurman) who’s unconventional methods unsettle her pupils. Strange inexplicable events occur during the night, and the girl’s behaviour grows increasingly unnerving.

The girls must band together to unravel the terrifying secrets at the heart of Blackwood Boarding or risk losing their sanity completely.


For your chance to win just answer the question below.

Who Directs Xtro?

Send you name, address and of course the answer to competition@mastersofhorror.co.uk

Terms and conditions
1. Closing date 29-10-18
2. No alternative prize is available
3. When the competition ends as indicated on this page, any and all entries received after this point will not count and emails blacklisted due to not checking this page first.
4. Winners will be chosen randomly and will be informed via email.

Competition: Win Xtro on Bluray


Xtro is out on Bluray on October 22nd.
And to celebrate we have a great competition for you and 3 copies to give away.

Synopsis
Three years ago young Tony watched with horror as his father was taken into the night sky by a mysterious blinding light and never seen again. Until now. His father is coming home but he's not the man he used to be!

A 'must-see' cult rental of the 80s, Xtro is one of the most outrageously bizarre, gory and insanely enjoyable horror films of its time complete with infamous 'alien birth' scene. 'Not all extra terrestrials are friendly'!

SPECIAL FEATURES:
New restoration featuring option of alternate endings plus the original UK video version edit
New director restoration
‘Xploring Xtro’ - a new 57 minute documentary featuring interviews with Harry Bromley-Davenport, Mark Forstater, Bernice Stegers, Susie Silvey, ‘Tik’ – Tim Dry, ‘Tok’ – Sean Crawford, Robert Pereno, Alan Jones and Craig Lapper
‘The World of Xtro’ - a new featurette with Dennis Atherton, Harry Bromley-Davenport and Mark Forstater
‘Beyond Xtro’ – a new featurette with Harry Bromley-Davenport and Mark Forstater looking ahead to new reboot ‘Xtro – The Big One’, including excusive test footage
‘Xtro Xposed’
‘Loving The Alien: A Tribute to Philip Sayer’ featuring exclusive Brian May music tribute
Reversible sleeve with 2 original artwork options
English subtitles for the hearing impaired


For your chance to win just answer the question below.

Who Directs Xtro?

Send you name, address and of course the answer to competition@mastersofhorror.co.uk

Terms and conditions
1. Closing date 29-10-18
2. No alternative prize is available
3. When the competition ends as indicated on this page, any and all entries received after this point will not count and emails blacklisted due to not checking this page first.
4. Winners will be chosen randomly and will be informed via email.

Sunday, 7 October 2018

Competition: Win The Amityville Horror on Blu-ray


The Amityville Horror is out on Bluray on October 15th.
And to celebrate we have a great competition for you and 3 copies to give away.

Synopsis
Based on terrifying true events, The Amityville Horror tells the story of George and Kathy Lutz who believe they have found the perfect family home on the coast of Long Island. But the house has a shocking history and within its walls a demonic presence lies in wait that will turn the Lutz’s lives into a living nightmare. Their only hope is to get out before it’s too late!

SPECIAL EDITION FEATURES
‘Brolin Thunder’ – A New Interview with Actor James Brolin
‘Child’s Play’ – A New Interview with Actor Meeno Peluce
‘Amityville Scribe’ – A New Interview with Screenwriter Sandor Stern
‘The Devil in The Music’ – A New Interview with Composer Lalo Schifrin
‘My Amityville Horror’ – Feature-Length Documentary with Daniel Lutz
‘For God’s Sake Get Out’ – Archive Interviews with James Brolin and Margot Kidder
Intro by Dr Hans Holzer, PhD. in Parapsychology (Author of ‘Murder in Amityville’)
Audio Commentary by Dr Hans Holzer
Original Trailer, TV Spot, Radio Spots
DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 and Uncompressed Stereo Audio Options
New Optional English Subtitles for the Hearing Impaired



For your chance to win just answer the question below.

Who Directs The Amityville Horror?

Send you name, address and of course the answer to competition@mastersofhorror.co.uk

Terms and conditions
1. Closing date 22-10-18
2. No alternative prize is available
3. When the competition ends as indicated on this page, any and all entries received after this point will not count and emails blacklisted due to not checking this page first.
4. Winners will be chosen randomly and will be informed via email.

Thursday, 4 October 2018

Arrow Video FrightFest announces line-up for Halloween 2018 event

 

Arrow Video FrightFest unleashes an intoxicating six-pack of horror, sci-fi and fantasy for their popular Halloween all-day event, now at the Cineworld Leicester Square on Saturday 3 November. The 12-hour monstrous marathon embraces four continents and includes two world premieres and four UK premieres

 

The day kicks off with Julian Richards' latest chiller REBORN, a Carrie for the Z Generation, starring the First Lady of FrightFest, Barbara Crampton, and featuring a stunning performance from rising newcomer Kayleigh Gilbert. Richards, famous for The Last Horror Movie, is with us for this World Premiere screening.

 

Next up is the UK premiere of PARALLEL, director Isaac Ezban's first English language horror fantasy after The Incident and The Similars. Be prepared for an ingenious killer alternate-universe concept, pitch-black thrills and a top-notch cast including Brit-star Georgia King.

 

You'll definitely keep your eyes wide open for the UK premiere of MARA, Clive Tonge's intensely tormenting psychological thriller about Sleep Paralysis, This demonic jolter stars the dazzling Olga Kurylenko, with sterling support from Craig Conway. Olga is planning to attend.

 

Technology has no boundaries in our next presentation - the world premiere of Paul Hyett's sinister and unsettling PERIPHERAL. Hyett's latest sci-fi horror fantasy boasts an astonishing performance from Hannah Arterton and both Hannah and Paul will be present, alongside co-star Elliot James Langridge.

 

This is followed by the UK Premiere of Swedish blockbuster THE UNTHINKABLE, a nail-biting disaster epic reminiscent of The Mist and the Cloverfield franchise, with jaw-dropping action sequences, a gripping plot and punchy performances that will leave you breathless.

 

Last but definitely not least, is the UK premiere of The Onetti Brothers' ABRAKADABRA, the final instalment of their fantastic giallo trilogy after Sonno Profondo and Francesca. This is definitely their wackiest, wildest and most twisted thriller yet, complete with film stock grain, a trippy Suspiria colour scheme and black-gloved maniacs!

 

Plus, we'll be showing two fantastic shorts, the London premiere of comedy horror DEEP CLEAN, starring Paul Kaye, and the world premiere of Zombie romance THE PREDICAMENT, And of course there will be intros, Q & A's, give-aways and a few special surprises…

 

Alan Jones, FrightFest co-director, said today: "After a hugely successful Arrow Video FrightFest at the Cineworld Empire Leicester Square this August, we are thrilled to be returning to such an auspicious venue for our annual sort-of-Halloween, all-screaming, all-entrancing Shriek Saturday. Team FrightFest searched long and hard for the most trenchant, traumatizing and trend-setting movies, which we hope you'll remember for a long time to come".

 

Day passes (£45) and single tickets (£15) go on sale at noon on Saturday 6th October. 

To book: http://www.frightfest.co.uk/tickets.html

(Online booking only)


Tuesday, 2 October 2018

Competition: Win The Hatred on DVD


The Hatred is out on DVD on October 8th.
And to celebrate we have a great competition for you and 3 copies to give away.

Synopsis
Reagan and three of her closest friends travel to her former professor and mentor's recently purchased country estate for a weekend of fun, house sitting, and watching the professor's young daughter, Irene. Unbeknownst to everyone, the house and grounds hold a dark secret and evil deeds perpetrated and buried within by its former malevolent owner, a former Nazi officer in hiding, who menacingly forbade anyone from entering his property.

Their arrival, the first since these secret acts of horror occurred, unleashes a night of terror and a fight for survival none of them could have ever imagined.

Stars: Sarah Davenport, Andrew Divoff, Darby Walker


For your chance to win just answer the question below.

COMPETITION CLOSED

Terms and conditions
1. Closing date 15-10-18
2. No alternative prize is available
3. When the competition ends as indicated on this page, any and all entries received after this point will not count and emails blacklisted due to not checking this page first.
4. Winners will be chosen randomly and will be informed via email.

Wednesday, 26 September 2018

Competition: Win Halloween 4K UHD Blu-ray


Revisit Haddonfield this Halloween as John Carpenter’s classic horror film is re-released on DVD, Blu-ray
and for the first time on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray (which also includes 5 lobby-style artcards) to celebrate 40
years of terror.

And to celebrate we have a great competition for you and 3 copies on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray to give away.



Synopsis
It may have been 40 years since Michael Myers returned to terrorise his hometown but the horror is as real
today…

Jamie Lee Curtis and Donald Pleasance star in the ultimate, original slasher movie HALLOWEEN… Escaped psychopathic child-murderer Myers returns to the home where he butchered his sister with a carving knife to torment and murder residents once again. Baby-sitter Laurie Strode becomes his new target in this creepy, evil and unforgettable film.

With a soundtrack to remember, a face mask you’ll want to forget and scares that stay with you beyond the 31st October - this is the only movie worth watching this Halloween.

HALLOWEEN is out for the first time on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray from the 1st October.

Click here to buy from Amazon (Opens in a new window)

COMPETITION CLOSED


Terms and conditions
1. Closing date 08-10-18
2. No alternative prize is available
3. When the competition ends as indicated on this page, any and all entries received after this point will not count and emails blacklisted due to not checking this page first.
4. Winners will be chosen randomly and will be informed via email.


Tuesday, 25 September 2018

Film news (UK): 13-night Halloween Season haunts Horror Channel


Horror Channel presents its Haunted Halloween season this October, taking possession of the nation’s TVs for thirteen nights with a supernaturally spooky selection of premieres and classic favourites, including the UK TV premiere of Jesse Thomas Cook’s THE HEXECUTIONERS, a nerve-shredding American Gothic tale of terror. There are also network premieres for the gripping US-remake of THE GRUDGE starring Sarah Michelle Gellar, and Carles Torrens’s paranormal chiller APARTMENT 143. Amongst returning channel hits are James Wan’s supernatural stunner INSIDIOUS, John Carpenter’s iconic THE FOG, and Lluis Quilez’s Colombia-shot suspense thriller OUT OF THE DARK.


Full film details of season in transmission order:

Fri 19 Oct @ 21:00 – APARTMENT 143 (2011) *Network Premiee

A team of parapsychologists sets out to investigate a series of strange phenomena taking place in a newly occupied apartment. With the residents plagued by telephone calls with no caller, mysterious shadows and flying objects, the team attempts to contact the “other side” in order to bring peace to the apartment. However, the investigation grows increasingly dangerous as the team delve further into the apartments mysteries


Sat 20 Oct @ 21:00 – THE UNBORN (2009)
Sun 21 Oct @ 21:00 – THIR13EN GHOSTS (2001)
Mon 22 Oct @ 21:00 – DEAD SILENCE (2007)
Tues 23 Oct @ 21:00 – OUT OF THE DARK (2014)
Wed 24 Oct @ 21:00 – THE FOG (1981)
Thurs 25 Oct @ 21:00 – THE HAUNTING IN CONNETICUT 2

Fri 26 Oct @ 21:00 – THE HEXECUTIONERS (2015) *UK TV Premiere

In a future world where sanctioned euthanasia has become an industry, Malison is has just started a job assisting suicides for the Rite-To-Die company. After a distressing first call-out, she is paired with seasoned veteran Olivia, and they head to the remote estate of a man on his deathbed wishing to expire via a Tibetan death. Soon the shocking reasons why this arcane method has been chosen become clear, as the demise-inducing duo find themselves fighting vengeful spirits determined to stop it.



Sat 27 Oct @ 21:00 – THE GRUDGE (2004) *Network Premiere

In this remake of the original horror, also directed by Takashi Shimizu, the action moves to Tokyo, where where American nurse Karen (Sarah Michelle Gellar is exposed to a mysterious supernatural curse, one that locks a person in a powerful rage before claiming their life and spreading to another victim. Also starring Bill Pullman, Ryo Ishibashi (Audition) and Roswell’s Jason Behr.


Sun 28 Oct @ 21:00 – WIND CHILL (2007)
Mon 29 Oct @ 21:00 – CONFINED (2015)
Tues 30 Oct @ 21:00 – DEMONIC (2015)
Wed 31 Oct @ 21:00 – INSIDIOUS (2010)

There is also a small screen debut for Bruce McDonald’s atmospheric and impressive Halloween horror HELLIONS, and network premieres for Scott Derrickson’s terrifying THE EXORCISM OF EMILY ROSE starring Jennifer Carpenter and Tom Wilkinson, Peter Webber’s HANNIBAL RISING, Greg McLean’s ROGUE starring Sam Worthington, vampire action thriller PRIEST starring Paul Bettany, and found-footage monster horror EXISTS.


Plus Stephen King’s popular sci-fi adaptation UNDER THE DOME returns for Season 2 from Wed 10 Oct at 8pm, with Season 3 kicking off on Mon 29 Oct at 8pm.


Horror Channel: Be Afraid
TV: Sky 317 / Virgin 149 / Freeview 70 / Freesat 138

Thursday, 20 September 2018

Interview with Ruben Estremera

Ruben Estremera left “corporate hell” to work in the significantly more exciting world of film just three years ago. Since then, he and producing partner Gregory Wolk have produced several movies, including the sci-fi zombie movie Apocalypse Rising, Trump-Halloween spoof President Evil and A Lesson in Cruelty.


When did your producing career begin, sir?

Fairly late to the game, in 2015. Left the corporate world to do something I’ve been wanting to do for years. I’m finding that my years in corporate hell are coming in handy. Filmmaking is a business.


Was it always the dream to produce movies?

I wanted to be involved in making movies but producing them wasn’t in the initial plan. Once my partner and I experienced being ripped-off by a hired producer, we knew we had to do it ourselves.

How many films have you done now?

Four feature films


The one we’d like to discuss is your addition to the fantasy category. Is that a genre you’ve always been fascinated with or was it a matter of simply making a movie that you know would sell?

I’ve always loved dark fantasy. Would it sell? I knew it would appeal to a wide audience, even though some studios gave me the brush-off, saying that “zombies are done.” When someone tells me that I can’t do something, it makes me want to do it even more.


And how did APOCALYPSE RISING come to be?

My partner, Gregory Wolk, had written a novel called “The Dead Site” and we decided to adapt it into a film.


What came first? The script or the idea?

The novel came first, and then the script.


How did you pitch the film to your cast? What interested them?

If you like The Walking Dead, Star Trek, or Game of Thrones, you’ll love this. As if that wasn’t enough to have everyone wanting to be involved, saying that the film contained sex, violence, zombies and Jesus Christ, clinched the sale.


And the look of the film, based on the trailer, suggests a similar tone to the classics. That intentional?

Yes. There’s so much great material from what came before us. However, today’s audiences demand a fresh take on everything. There is no going back to the old days (tell our politicians that, please!) but we’re wise to keep what works and incorporate new methods, updated humour and sensibilities.


When did you watch your first cut?

Autumn of last year. Then it sold at AFM.


Did the distributor change anything when they came aboard?

They suggested that we change the title. We filmed it with the working titled of The Dead Site. I came up with a few alternates, one of which was Apocalypse Rising, and they loved it.