Friday 20 December 2013

Interview with Navot Papushado (Director of "Rabies" & "Big Bad Wolf")

This month Horror Channel is showing the UK TV premiere of RABIES, the first slasher to come out of Israel, One of its directors, Navot Papushado (left), took time out to chat about this movie and its equally horrifying shocker Big Bad Wolves due to be released in the UK in January 2014.

RABIES is broadcast on Saturday Dec 28 at 10.50pm.

Q: Have you always been a big horror fan?

NP: Oh yes! We grew up in the 80s and watched everything that came out of the US . We grew up on Steven Spielberg and George Lucas and Wes Craven and John Carpenter, everything that came out of the US . Later on we discovered European and Korean cinema and obviously the Coen Brothers and Tarantino.

Q:: Did your classification system ever censor these films?

NP: No, actually the opposite. The Israeli censorship board don’t take any notice of horror films, for example Piranha 3D came out in Israel at the same time that Rabies did and we got rated 18 and above, whilst Piranha 3D for 14 and above. Kick Ass got 12 and above! I think it has to do with Israeli audiences not being that keen on horror films, even the big US horror films like Saw, Hostel and Paranormal Activity don’t do very well.

Q: Where did the idea for Rabies come from?

NP: We decided we wanted to get rid of the serial killer character and decided that we wanted to have all of the other characters kill each other, so there had to be more than the motive of running away from a serial killer so we had to write more complex characters therefore everyone would need a background story. Everyone would have a motivation to kill. The first story we wrote was the one about the Cop who always leaves messages for his wife who never answers and then he leaves this horrible one and then she answers (laughs) so we realised we had to write all the others to match that dramatic element and character development and that’s how Rabies was born.

Q: Did the script change much from the first draft to the shooting script?

NP: No, we pitched it to a couple of producers, we showed them the draft and they were like, “OK, let’s wait for Government funds” but we didn’t want to do that. Then we met a guy who said, “How much do you want?” and we said an amount and he said, “OK I’ll give you half!” Then he asked, “How many days do you need?” and so we told him at least 20 and he said, “I’ll give you 15!” We got the green light from that script and just went out and shot it.

Q: Was it a tough shoot?

NP: Yes and no. We didn’t realise it at the time that it was tough as it was our first feature even though we had done a few shorts before. But it was a shoestring budget and everyone on set was less experienced than us so we had to hide this from the actors!

Q: Did you have any actors in mind when writing the script?

NP: Yeah, a couple of them. Actually when we pitched we told the producer that we wanted all these actors and they pointed out that we didn’t have that kind of money and we told him not to worry and that we’d take care of that!

Q: Rabies has a very strong story, do you think that helped reach out to audiences?

NP: Thank you very much. One thing is we cast all A-list actors from Israel so it was like seeing Kate Blanchet or Tom Cruise in a horror movie so Rabies was kind of an event. It was more than a horror movie, everyone wanted to see their favourite actor get murdered, or something like that (laughs)

 Q: Do you think one of its greatest assets is that most of the effects are practical and old school?

NP: Yeah, even on Big Bad Wolves there is only one shot that lasts only three or four seconds that we had to use visual effects. We believe in getting everyone done on the set.

Q: What did the critics think of Rabies when it was released in Israel?

NP: I think they were split. The older critics didn’t quite get it. They also don’t like violent films so they don’t like Tarantino films or Korean films for example. The younger critics, and when I say younger I mean under 45, they all loved it and gave it 5 stars, they loved it. It was a critical success and a box office success. There was an older critic whom we admire, considered to be the most acclaimed critic in Israel who writes for a newspaper whose logo is, “A Newspaper for Thinking People”, and he loved it! It gained a cult status through VOD and DVD sales.

Q: If you had made Rabies before Big Bad Wolves would you have approached it differently.

NP: That’s a really tough question. Rabies is Rabies because of the time it was shot, because of the budget when it was shot and the ideas that we had at the time and our approach. Rabies was shot hand held in the woods because that is the genre. You have to shoot films and edit films to fit the genre so I’m really pleased with everything we did with Rabies.

Q: Would you make Rabies 2?

NP: Oh, maybe when I’m old and Rabies has gained such a cult status and they give me $10 million dollars and a budget for $100 million dollars (laughs).

Q: Are you pleased Rabies is being shown on the Horror Channel?

NP: Yeah, defiantly. We are huge fans of the UK . The UK has been so kind to us over he last couple of years starting from FrightFest from two years ago when they showed Rabies. You really can’t compete with the British audience. They are fanatics, they love horror films. The screening of Big Bad Wolves earlier this year in front of 1,300 people was incredible. We are extremely happy with what’s going on in the UK with our films. You guys seem to get us!

Q: So what are you working on at the moment?

NP: We are promoting Big Bad Wolves which is coming out in the UK in January and working on a couple of projects here in Israel that we are starting to push and also receiving a few scripts from the US. We are writing a spaghetti western that’s set in the early 40s and a few science fiction scripts.

Q: Navot Papushado, thank you very much.

TV: Sky 319 / Virgin 149 / Freesat 138 |

Wednesday 18 December 2013

TV News: Horror Channel goes down under for season of outback slashers

Plus,  there are network premieres for Victor Salva’s box office smash JEEPERS CREEPERS, HALLOWEEN 2 and Steven Spielberg’s TV cult classic SOMETHING EVIL

Horror Channel presents an OZploitation season on Fridays @ 22:55 from Jan 4 2014, featuring a dark collection of the best of Australian contemporary horror, Grisly with a capital ‘G’.

Fri 3 Jan @ 22:55 – STORM WARNING (2007)
On a weekend boating trip a couple become lost in a heavy storm and end up in a desolate swamp. They come across a decrepit house and discover a large crop of marijuana, suggesting the owners might not welcome their accidental arrival.

Fri 10 Jan @ 22:55 – SAVAGES CROSSING (2011)

When a flood rages around them, a group of strangers are forced to take shelter in an outback roadhouse. But the danger lurking within is far greater than the threat from outside. As the water level rises, so does the tension, as the line between the hunter and the hunted starts to blur.

Fri 17 Jan @ 22:55 – ROAD TRAIN (2010)

Four young people are on a camping trip in the outback. Nina and Craig are enjoying a close relationship, but there's tension between Marcus, and Liz Out of the blue, the quartet find themselves menaced by a road train that runs them off the road.

Fri 24 Jan @ 22:55 – CRAWL (2011)

Claustrophobic heat and brooding tension seep from the screen in this chiller set in an unknown rural town. Seedy bar owner Slim Walding hires a mysterious Croatian hit man to murder a local garage owner. but the plan backfire when an innocent waitress becomes involved.

Fri 31 Jan @ 22:55 – WOLF CREEK (2005)

The Ozploitation season finishes with director Greg McLean’s much acclaimed debut feature – a pulsating, stomach-churning tale based on the true story of the ‘Back Packer Killer’ who held the outback in a grip of early 90s terror. Stars John Jarratt, Cassandra Macgraph and Kestie Morassi. Watch out for the sequel in 2014

Wed 22 Jan @ 16:00 –SOMETHING EVIL (1972)

Considered a cult TV classic, Spielberg showed early signs of his cinematic genius in this possession story of a married couple with two young children whose farmhouse turns out to be inhabited by demons. The oldest child becomes possessed and begins to torment his family and their friends. When the mother begins to sense that something may be wrong with her son, her husband and friends think she is going insane.

Sat 11 Jan @ 22:50 – JEEPERS CREEPERS (2001)

Writer/director Victor Salva came up trumps with this smash-hit teen-slasher flick, produced by Francis Ford Coppola's American Zoetrope studio. Trish and Darry are road tripping home from college across the U.S. After being menaced by a trucker, they see a man dumping a human body into a drainage pipe. Investigating, they become the intended prey of an indestructible, supernatural creature hell-bent on eating them.

Sat 25 Jan @ 22: 45 – HALLOWEEN 2 (1981)

Certainly gorier than the original, Halloween II is the second instalment in the Halloween series and is a sequel to Carpenter's Halloween, picking up where it had left off, set on the same night of Oct 31, 1978 as the seemingly unkillable Michael Myers continues to follow Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis) to a nearby hospital while Dr. Sam Loomis (Donald Pleasence) is still in pursuit of his patient.

TV: Sky 319 / Virgin 149 / Freesat 138 |

Thursday 5 December 2013

Interview with Stephen R. Coar by David Kempf

Stephen R. Coar has been a teller of stories all his life.

One of seven kids, he took to the dinner table spotlight most evenings, telling tale after tale.

As an adult he has been heavily involved in live theatre-acting, directing, and writing children's plays for the theatre he helped begin, the Ritz Theatre in Oaklyn-the most successful theatre in southern New Jersey.

A longtime member of the National Storytellers League and the New Jersey Storytellers League, he also volunteers a few hours each month to read some of his original short stories.

Interview with Stephen Coar

By David Kempf

Tell us how you became involved in the theater?

I have been involved in stage theatre from a very early age.  My high male soprano / tenor voice and some very basic dance training gained me entry into many lead roles in musicals all the way through my school years and later into community college and local theatres.  My natural flair for humor in all life’s conundrums brought work in straight comedies, too.

Please tell us why you decided to pursue writing novels at this point in your life?

I had always been a writer of one kind or another since my role of chief writer and editor of my monthly elementary school paper in Jacksonville, Florida.  I filled the same jobs at Holy Cross High School in Delran, NJ.  Due to my resume, the editors of a Jersey Shore paper where my family moved hired me.  For two years I wrote my own personal column for a weekly newspaper in Cape May Courthouse, NJ commenting on what my eyes and ears found were the little things that made the  town and the region so unique.
After a near fatal auto accident left me permanently disabled with a brain injury I was for the most part a stay at home dad, (but happy to be alive). Since I was alone with the house and my word processor and most of all ‘TIME’, the tiny, huge question I’d kept to myself for 15 years was suddenly front page center!

How you ever written any short stories? 

Many and for many magazines over the decades, (and I even got paid). My 2nd book is actually an anthology of short shorts, 18 in all.

Tell us about your earliest inspirations.

My family of two brothers and four sisters, seven of us in all, made for a wondrous childhood. Yes, it was the 50’s and the 60’s and we were at times wacky and raucous, but because our parents grew up when they did there were standards. Mealtimes were at 7:30 am, and 6:00 pm during the school year. While we ate fresh made breakfasts mother somehow created seven brown bag lunches that went out the kitchen door clutched in our little fists on the way to the bus stop. The largest of all inspirations was my youth.

My second biggest influence was my 8th grade teacher, one Mrs. Haas. By that time I was 14 years old and thought I knew lots about the way things were.  Mrs. Haas set me and many, many others straight about that over her decades in a classroom.  With her soft spoken lessons she daily helped open the miracle of books to us as well as the miracles of the human heart. I shall never forget her.

How did you come up with the idea for THE DEADLY TRACK?

There is a very easy, exciting, and personal answer to that question! When my older brother Allen and I were invited in the early 1960s to spend a summer month on our Uncle Jerry’s farm in Pennsylvania, there was no question of us flying.  We lived in Jacksonville, Florida and were maybe nine and twelve years old. No, no!  It was decided that there was a much better and safer plan. (Uh oh.) We were too young to know where this was headed).  We were put on a train in downtown Jacksonville for a one stop only overnight ride to Philly’ 30th St. Station where we would be met by the open, waiting arms of our dear Grandmom and Aunt Annette.

As we boarded and took our seats our Dad brought the train’s head porter to us and in a very serious voice he told the man we were traveling alone and were his responsibility. He said he understood. Then he pulled the man close and over us. “Here is the plan for tomorrow morning,” Dad said. “You’re tickets say you are traveling to the North Philly Station. That’s the 2nd stop in Philadelphia.”  He glared at the porter for a nod. He nodded to us, saying, “Right, when I say Philadelphia the 2nd time that’s when it’s time for you to get off. And I’ll get you’ bags for you.”

To make a long train ride short, as they say, we rolled northward through the night. As the sun rose we went to the dining car and ate breakfast.  As that was digesting with us back in our seats, we noted our porter crossing down the aisle and announcing, “Next stop, Philadelphia / Camden.  Philadelphia / Camden next stop. Very few departed the train and off it went again. We were so excited we couldn’t speak, but we each pointed an index in the air and mouthed, “That’s one.”

Well, the rest is history, of course.  History even in the archives of the Philly FBI! The passing porter next yelled, “30th Street Station, Philadelphia.”

Well, we bounded out our seats, not waiting to be helped with our bags, and hopped off the train onto a very crowded and underground platform, nothing like the one from which we’d left. But there was even worse to confront. No Grandmom or Aunt Annette. We wandered up an escalator to behold a sight unlike any we’d ever imagined; the enormous domed interior ceiling of the station had to be close to the Vatican’s in our minds. But our awe was soon overtaken by our fear and worry.

Meanwhile, once the train was permanently stopped and emptied by authorities at North Philly Station and a full unsuccessful search could be made, someone had the bright idea that maybe we got off a stop early. It was probably no more than a few hours but it seemed a lifetime to two small brothers in a very large city.
I have never ridden on another train since!

But I have always been fascinated by them even so!

What do you feel is your greatest accomplishment as an artist so far?

Some of my musical stage work, using mostly my natural acting and singing talents and only some dance instruction. I met my wife while performing in theatre. And of course, though it took some years due to my injuries, my two self-published books are right up there.

Name some of your favorite books. 

Lonesome Dove;  The Da Vinci Code;  The Road;  The Story of Edgar Sawtelle;  The Help;  Never Have Your Dog Stuffed; Angela’s Ashes; any fiction by James Lee Burke; The Source.

Name some of your favorite films. 

My Favorite Year; The Bucket List; Awakenings; Dave; Crazy Heart; Doubt; Witness; When Harry met Sally; Chicago.

Name some of your favorite plays. 

Agnes of God; Sleuth; J.B. by Archibald Macleish; The Foreigner; Noises Off; Les Miz; Sweeney Todd;  anything by Neil Simon; Crimes of the Heart.

Why do you think thriller movies and books remain popular?

Escapism, pure and simple.

What are your latest projects?

I am preparing an outline for a subtle political thriller. Think all lotteries in the world are universally banned……. Except one!  And it is run globally by only one enormous, gargantuan, conglomerate; larger than any combination of countries………. for it must be.
Details? Read the book.

Please in your own words write a paragraph about yourself & your work.

My Traumatic Brain Injury, TBI, has been not only a strain on me but on every one of my friends, family, and associates for 20 years now.  The percentages of marriages that survive an injury such as mine, is only 5% to maybe 10%. I must keep busy to make myself seem useful to our home. I am a good house husband. Hey, I kill the bugs!!!

I find I can only manage to keep solid focus on my writing for spells of two hours.  Then I must take breaks. I admit to taking nearly two years to complete The Deadly Track, with one re-write and a full professional edit.

If you are in the US you can buy the book at the following link

For those of you in the UK you can use the link below.

FILM NEWS: ( UK ) Drew Cullingham’s full-frontal apocalypse nightmare THE DEVIL’S BARGAIN gets download release

Unseen. Uncertified. Unmissable. Drew Cullingham (UMBRAGE: THE FIRST VAMPIRE, BLACK SMOKE RISING) has written and directed a savage, psychological portrait of love, lust and the end of the world, which will be available to watch from Mon Jan 17, 2014, via and for just £3.99.

It’s 1974 and Earth is about to be obliterated by a massive asteroid. Adi (Jonnie Hurn) and his young wife Ange (Chloe Farnworth), haunted by memories of the death of their son, journey to the idyllic rural setting where he was conceived, determined to shed clothes, inhibitions and psychological traumas before the planet is destroyed forever. But the arrival of Luca (Dan Burman), a charismatic and mysterious young photographer, turns what’s left of their world upside-down and the horror to come is of biblical proportions.

Cullingham told us: “It was made on a shoestring budget in twenty-four hours over
four days, using an experimental ‘pinhole’ technique to give it a unique look. Containing copious amounts of full frontal nudity, the mantra for this film has been: No money. No clothes. No fear”.

A Disparado and Monk3ys Ink Films production, written and directed by Drew Cullingham, produced by Drew Cullingham & Ian Manson, co-produced by  James Fisher & Andrew Mackay. Starring Jonnie Hurn, Chloe Farnworth & Dan Burman.


Monday 2 December 2013

Film News ( UK ): Movie Mogul’s supernatural horror thriller THE SLEEPING ROOM goes into production

Production Company Movie Mogul (Panic Button, Shortcuts To Hell) announced today that shooting on supernatural thriller THE SLEEPING ROOM begins on Wed Dec 4, for a three-week shoot on location in Brighton .

Starring Leila Mimmock (Becoming Human), Joseph Beattie (Hex) and Julie Graham (Tower Block), this intense tale of Victorian revenge is written by Ross Jameson, Alex Chandon and John Shackleton and directed by Shackleton with Jake West directing the ’Mutoscope’ action sequences. Director of Photography is Simon Poulter, (Panic Button).

Set in present day Brighton, THE SLEEPING ROOM is the story of Blue (Leila Mimmock), a call girl who falls for a new client, Bill (Joseph Beattie) But the real attraction for Blue is Bill’s apartment and a mysterious room that seems to hold the key to the dark secrets of her family’s past – a room that is about to unleash terrible physical and supernatural forces. Nobody will escape unless a score for a heinous crime is settled.

The cast also includes David Sibley, Chris Waller, Christopher Adamson and Mike Altmann. A Movie Mogul production, it is produced by Gareth I Davies and John Shackleton. Production Designer is Lorna Gay Copp, Costume Designer is David Blight, Production Manager is Tansi Inayat. Editor is John Gillanders and Bang Post Production are handling picture and sound.

John Shackleton, said today: “Support for the film has been first rate and we are immensely proud to be surrounded by such a talented cast and crew, particularly given the huge budget restraints, which we are operating under. Brighton is proving to be not only a wonderfully cinematic place in which to shoot, but also a very accommodating town in which to house a production”.

THE SLEEPING ROOM is the first film to be crowd funded for equity over at