Friday, 30 June 2017

Film news (UK): Horror Channel FrightFest 2017 announces monstrous 18th year line-up


Back in the heart of London’s West End for its 18th  ‘adults-only’ anniversary, the world renowned horror and fantasy film festival will take place at the Cineworld Leicester Square and The Prince Charles Cinema from Aug 24 - Aug 28 2017, taking over five screens to present 64 films including 20 World, 22 European and 18 UK Premieres. Fourteen countries are represented spanning five continents, reflecting the current global popularity of the genre.

The opening night attraction is the global premiere of Universal Pictures Home Entertainment’s criminally entertaining CULT OF CHUCKY, with writer and director Don Mancini and stars Jennifer Tilly and Fiona Dourif in attendance, alongside the iconic deadly doll of destruction himself. This is the seventh instalment for one of cinema’s most terrifying and enduring franchises and will begin its worldwide rollout on Blu-ray™, DVD and Digital in October.
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Cult of Chucky
Mancini said today: “it’s a true pleasure to be hosting the world premiere of CULT OF CHUCKY at FrightFest. I have fond memories of unveiling CURSE OF CHUCKY there in 2013 so it’s great to be returning to the UK’s acknowledged home of horror – especially as this film picks up from where CURSE…left off”.

Two more of the horror genre’s most popular and beloved franchises are given their World Premieres: To celebrate a decade of his cursed Victor Crowley creation, writer/director Adam Green is returning to FrightFest with a version of HATCHET never seen before. Plus, there is a presentation of Julien Maury and Alexandre Bustillo’s LEATHERFACE, the stunning prequel to the terror classic THE TEXAS CHAIN SAW MASSACRE

FrightFest unveiled a bright new directorial talent when it screened Tyler McIntyre’s PATCHWORK at the Glasgow Film Festival and the closing night film is the UK Premiere of his amazing TRAGEDY GIRLS, where HEATHERS meets SCREAM in a dream combo. It stars super-powered heroines Alexandra Shipp and Brianna Hildebrand.


Tragedy Girls
FrightFest also welcomes back Adam Wingard with the European Premiere of his supernatural manga DEATH NOTE, Joe Lynch with the European Premiere of his highly infectious action thriller MAYHEM, Mickey Keating with the European Premiere of his eye-shattering PSYCHOPATHS, Graham Skipper with the European Premiere of his surreal sci-fi romance SEQUENCE BREAK and genre favourite Barbara Crampton, who stars in Norbert Kell’s skin-crawler REPLACE, receiving its UK Premiere.

In a programme packed with innovation, uniqueness and individuality, other tips of the ice-pick are Ryan Prows’ powerful cult-in-waiting LOWLIFE, Trent Haaga’s stunning 68 KILL, high voltage THE VILLAINESS hot from Cannes, Alex de la Iglesia’s bleakly comic THE BAR, Miguel Angel Vivas’ remake of the French extreme thriller INSIDE, Daniele Misischia’s undead Romageddon THE END? Todd Tuckers’ affectionately creepy THE TERROR OF HALLOWS EVE, Brandon Christensen’s terrifying STILL/BORN, Sebastien Landry & Laurence Morais-Lagace’s head-exploding GAME OF DEATH, Kurtis David Harder’s  provocative sci-fi horror INCONTROL and Royce Gorsuch’s kaleidoscopic mindbender MINDHACK.

Continuing the festival’s important and vital commitment to highlighting the cream of the homegrown crop, our British strand is well-populated with World Premieres for Dominic Brunt’s perverted shocker ATTACK OF THE ADULT BABIES, Christian James’ prison-set vampire comedy FANGED UP and Matthew Heaven’s scorching revenge study ACCOUNTABLE. There are also European Premieres for Dominic Bridge’s debut dark morality tale FREEHOLD, Tom Paton’s nerve-shredding REDWOOD and Benjamin Barfoot’s hilariously blood-soaked DOUBLE DATE. And the ‘First Blood’ strand Is back on the menu with five tasty titles: actor Jason Flemyng’s blood-sucking feature debut EAT LOCALS, Louis Melville’s squaddie shocker BOOTS ON THE GROUND, Hendrik Faller’s ice-cold thriller MOUNTAIN FEVER, Michaël Boucherie’s tattoo-terror WHERE THE SKIN LIES and Peter Stray’s alien-invading black comedy CANARIES.

The festival’s accent on rising talent is further enriched with Preston DeFrancis’ extreme slasher RUIN ME, Natasha Kermani’s sci-fi fantasy IMITATION GIRL, Clay Staub’s supernatural detective thriller DEVIL’S GATE, Caroline Labrèche and Steeve Léonard’s mesmerising RADIUS, Samuel Galli’s devilishly shocking OUR EVIL, Andrés Goteira’s dazzling DHOGS, David Chirchirillo’s Tinder Terror GOOD MATCH, Tini Tuellman’s spine-chilling psycho suspense thriller FREDDY/EDDY, Haritz Zubillaga’s car-killing giallo THE GLASS COFFIN, Scott Poiley’s hard-edged chiller EXHUME, Adam Graveley’s Aussie outback shocker 3RD NIGHT, Michael Mongillo’s audacious and haunting DIANE, Peter Ricq’s stark comedy DEAD SHACK and Carlos Algara and Alejandro Martinez-Beltran’s gripping psychological twister VERONICA.


Mayhem
Three documentaries will receive their eagerly awaited premieres at FrightFest this year. KING COHEN: THE WILD WORLD OF FILMMAKER LARRY COHEN is a dazzling career overview of the maverick director behind such classic horrors as IT’S ALIVE, Q THE WINGED SERPENT, fantasy television series like ‘The Invaders’, HELL UP IN HARLEM Blaxploitation, recent releases CELLULAR and soon the MANIAC COP remake. We welcome back on screen Kane Hodder, everyone’s favourite Jason Voorhees in the FRIDAY THE 13th series, with his moving and eye-opening TO HELL AND BACK: THE KANE HODDER STORY. Finally there’s the extraordinary MANSFIELD 66/67, a super Hollywood Babylon-style whisk through the final years of movie goddess Jayne Mansfield's life and untimely, possibly Satanic, death.

Other attractions include Emilia Clarke in VOICE FROM THE STONE, Robert Englund in NIGHTWORLD, the French graphic novel adaptation ALONE, the outrageous gore-fest MEATBALL MACHINE KODOKU, the Aussie chiller KILLING GROUND, the hilarious TOP KNOT DETECTIVE and Episodes 1 & 2 of the amazing Japanese TV series CROW‘S BLOOD. Plus two FrightFest Glasgow hits are being rescreened: Simon Rumley’s FASHIONISTA and Colin Minihan’s IT STAINS THE SANDS RED.

This year’s retrospective restoration strand highlights the underrated British horror DREAM DEMON, RETURN OF THE LIVING DEAD III, two classic Hammers, BLOOD FROM THE MUMMY’S TOMB and DEMONS OF THE MIND, plus the longest version found of the seminal proto-giallo DEATH LAID AN EGG, lovingly restored by Nucleus Films’ Jake West and Marc Morris.

The Duke Mitchell Film Club is back with a hosted presentation of the UK premiere of Stefan Ruzowsky’s COLD HELL, a gripping serial killer thriller. This is followed by the not-to-be missed DUKE MITCHELL PARTY, where the audience and invited special guests can expect all manner of madness guaranteed to kick off your Saturday late night in style.

Alan Jones, co-director of FrightFest, said today: “The whole cinema landscape is changing and Horror Channel FrightFest is listening. We know the fans want to see the films first, see them fast and see them in an environment that is second to none. That’s why we have what we believe is the finest line-up ever assembled and are showcasing the superlative selection in premium surroundings. So, the West End becomes the Dark Heart of London once again. And we’ve made it to our 18th birthday. It’s going to be quite some party”.

This year’s guest list, special events and the Short Film Showcase entries will all be announced in the coming weeks.

Festival passes will go on sale Sat 1 July at noon and will only be available to buy online: http://www.frightfest.co.uk/tickets.html

Single tickets will go on sale on Sat 29 July from 9am.

Tuesday, 27 June 2017

Interview with Gabriel Campisi - Producer of Death Pool

Gabriel Campisi is a Los Angeles-based filmmaker who shot his first movies on Super-8mm and 16mm as a kid, the more elaborate ones going on to win national competitions. Proficient in creating practical and optical special effects at a time when computer-generated imagery was not yet prominent, he was recognized early on by national film festivals and magazines for his stop-motion animation and split-beam cinematic techniques.

Born and raised in Los Angeles, California, Campisi spent many years dealing in the high-stakes world of motion picture finance, subsequently writing the bestselling The Independent Filmmaker's Guide to Writing a Business Plan for Investors (McFarland Publishers) presently in its second edition.

Campisi studied with UCLA's screenwriting professor Richard Walter, and has written for industry publications and genre magazines, including Hollywood Reporter, Variety, and Fangoria Magazine. He is a partner at Traplight Pictures and a member of the Producers Guild of America (P.G.A.).

Gabriel joins us today to talk about Death Pool


How did you get into producing, Gabriel?

I started making movies around the age of 8, when I discovered my father’s Super-8mm movie camera.  Star Wars came out around the same time, and I remember experimenting with stop-motion animation.  Of course, I didn’t have a clue what I was doing at the time, but I just knew it was something I really enjoyed.  I started shooting more elaborate “movies” over the next few years and eventually shot award-winning short films.

As I got older, the natural progression of “making movies” led to handling the productions from the ground up, and that meant putting on the producer’s hat.


Do you find producing more interesting than directing?

I find both positions equally exciting and challenging.  They each have their own distinct set of nuances and rewards, but as producer you’re more in charge of the production, and there are a lot more responsibilities involved.

I enjoy the creativity involved with directing.  Right now I have too many projects I’m dealing with as writer and producer, and not enough peace of mind to take on the responsibilities of a director, but it’s something I will be going back to again soon.


And what about on Death Pool, what were your main responsibilities?

On Death Pool, I had all the responsibilities inherent in any production to contend with.  From preparation and pre-production to post-production and delivery of the finished movie to our sales agent and distributors.
Making sure the project stayed within budget and on schedule was always a dominating factor, as well as making sure the director Jared Cohn could get all the shots he needed to bring the screenplay to life.
Safety was also an issue, since we were dealing with a lot of water and drownings.  As producer, you always want to make sure nobody gets hurt in any way, so that often means jumping in and saying, “Sorry, we can’t do this.”  No shot is worth someone getting hurt.

Luckily, we had a great crew and great actors, and things went very smooth.


What was your toughest day, as a producer, on Death Pool?

I think the first day is always the toughest on any movie.  It’s also the most exciting, but the first day is when all the wrinkles are fresh and need to get ironed out.  Cast and crew learn to work together, and everyone sort of has to feel each other out and learn each other’s personalities, strengths and weaknesses.
A good producer must possess good diplomacy skills and know how to deal with different character types – and believe me, you see every character trait imaginable on a movie set!

Like I said before, though, we had an amazing cast and crew, and they made the entire production fun and laid back.


In terms of casting or creative choices, were there ever disagreements between you and director Jared Cohn?

Jared and I are best friends, first and foremost.  As business partners, we equally respect one another, which is fundamental to the success of any creative and business relationship.  For this reason, it’s very rare that we disagree on things.  However, if we do, we merely discuss the issue at hand, point out the pros and cons, and either compromise or convince the other to our point of view.

The casting on Death Pool was spot-on perfect.  Randy Wayne, Demetreus Stear and Sara Lane are amazing and incredible performers, and they brought life to the fictional characters.  So did all the other actors.


Was the film inspired by a real-life case?

There were some stories in the newspapers many years ago about some drownings in the San Fernando Valley that were viewed as suspicious and deliberate, and were never solved by the police.  At the same time, there was a guy who was arrested for drowning a victim in the same area, and the question arose: could he be responsible for these other drownings?

Although there was never any formal connection between the events, and a serial killer was never declared by authorities, Jared used these elements as the basis for the screenplay.

The original title of the movie was “The Valley Drowner.”  But apparently the title didn’t translate well in other languages, so our distributor strongly recommended we change the name.


Any of those death scenes disturbing to film?

Everything in a movie is make-believe, and there are many people standing around the set, so it’s not as disturbing as seeing the finished project unfold on the screen.  However, there was always some form on anxiety while shooting the drownings, because the actors really got into their scenes.  For a split second you could suspend disbelief and just say, “Wow,” because you know how real it all looked.


Why was MTI Home Video the right home for this one?

MTI has been around since 1984, so they really know what they’re doing.  They have broad experience with genre movies, including horrors and thrillers.  They have a vast library of movies, with connections to every outlet imaginable, and a very intelligent staff that runs the operation.

The same goes for Artist View Entertainment, our sales company.  Scott Jones, the CEO, is a genuinely nice person and really knows the industry.  It was his idea to go to MTI, and I couldn’t be happier.


Can you tell us what’s next for you?

We’re prepping another movie through Traplight Pictures, but I’ve been busy writing a new book tentatively titled Paradigm Shift: The New Hollywood for Independent Filmmakers.

The finance models Hollywood has been using for the past few decades are changing.  There are new players in town (i.e., Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu, etc.) that are shaking things up and changing how audiences watch scripted entertainment.  This change has affected how money changes hands, and a lot of the money pots that used to help finance companies in the past are no longer viable.  My new book discusses all this, and I’m supplementing it with interviews with industry executives and producers, like I did with my last two books.

I’m also working on a project called Damnation Come, which hopefully everyone will hear more about soon.


Death Pool is out now on DVD and you can order it from Amazon at the following link.
Death Pool DVD (Opens in a new window)

Wednesday, 21 June 2017

Interview with Tim Curran by David Kempf


Tim Curran is an American author of horror fiction. His works include the novels Skin Medicine, Hive, Dead Sea, Resurrection, Skull Moon, The Devil Next Door, and Biohazard. His most recent books have been The Spawning, the short story collections Bone Marrow Stew and Zombie Pulp, and the novellas "1867: The Skulleater Campaign", "The Corpse King", and "Fear Me"


When did you first become interested in writing?

Oh, probably when I was 12 or 13. Up until that point my exposure to horror fiction came in the form of movies, TV, and horror comics. It was then I started ordering horror books from the back pages of Creepy and Eerie magazine. That’s when I really started falling in love with it—the Pan Books of Horror, Masters of Horror, Horror Times Ten, the Frankenstein Horror Series, those Dracula paperbacks by Robert Lory. I fell in love with horror fiction then. Before that I read a lot of science fiction, particularly H.G. Wells, Robert Heinlein, Issac Asimov, and those Ace Double science fiction books.


How did you get involved in fantasy/horror?

That started even younger. I used to watch Dark Shadows when I was a little kid. Sometimes it really scared me bad, but I loved it. Around that time, I also went to a movie called The Oblong Box with my mom and sisters and it absolutely destroyed me. I was never so scared before. I remember my sisters showing me an ad for it on the back of a magazine…that oblong box nailed shut. I knew something awful was going to be in there. I was terrified of what it might be.

Later on, when I was 8 we had this guy called Alexander, a horror movie host, who came on late Friday nights and showed the Universal Shock package of movies, all the classic ones with Karloff and Lugosi, as well as giant bug movies like The Deadly Mantis and, of course, my personal favorite, the Creature from the Black Lagoon movies! I was hooked and have been ever since. When I was in grade school, all the neighborhood kids would get together and walk down to Main Street to see things like The House of Dark Shadows and Hammer movies. What attracts you to it? Who knows. It’s just in you and when you make contact with it, you’re never the same again. It’s your thing. It sure was mine. Still is.


Is this a full time job?

No, part time. Over here in the U.S. our health care system is shit. You have to work a job to get it. If I loved in the UK or Canada, I’d probably write full-time. I’m sure I would.


How would you classify the genre you write?

I write horror fiction. I’m not too proud or pretentious to say that. I’m proud of the fact. I see it as a very legitimate form of writing. I realize there’s a tremendous amount of shit that comes out, both in books and film, but the small percentage of really good stuff makes it all worthwhile for me as not just a writer but as a reader.


Why do you think horror and fantasy books remain so popular?

Oh, it’s pure escapism. It gets us away from the troubles, stress, and real horrors that lie beyond the pages. It can be inspiring to see characters in a story go through things ten times worse than anything you ever faced and come up standing. It’s also cathartic, they say. Horror helps us purge negative emotions.


What inspires your stories?

Oh, everything. I think as a kid I was scared of a lot of things—fear of the dark, fear of strangers, fear of being left alone, fear of death etc. All that is pounded into your head by your parents and friends and siblings. I’m sure there’s also a level of instinctive fear involved, too. I channel it into stories. That’s really the yardstick for a scary tale. If you write it alone, late at night, and it chills you, you’re doing it right. Your channeling childhood fears and transforming them into deep-seated adult phobias.


What do you see as the differences between American horror and British horror?

I’m not seeing much distinction between the two these days. There was a time when there was a difference--you know, Stephen King was very different from James Herbert, Ramsey Campbell was different from Jack Ketchum. I think the splatterpunk thing over here in the ‘80’s and the paperback nasties of the UK might have changed that, blurred the differences.


What are your favorite horror books?

Well, I like the classics, that’s for sure—Lovecraft and Blackwood, Machen and Hodgson and Henry S. Whitehead. I like Stephen King’s early stuff a lot, particularly ‘Salem’s Lot and Pet Sematary. There’s nothing wrong with his new books, of course, but the old ones were more straightforward horror. The Doll Who Ate His Mother by Campbell. Ghost Story by Straub. The first three Books of Blood by Clive Barker. The Totem by David Morrell. The Specimen by Pete Kahle. Ghoul by Brian Keene. Ghoul by Michael Slade, too. I love Thomas Ligotti’s Songs of a Dead Dreamer. Usher’s Passing by Robert R. McCammon. Cold Moon Over Babylon by Michael McDowell. Off Season By Jack Ketchum. The Stake by Richard Laymon. Snowblind by Michael McBride. Light at the End by Skipp and Spector. The list could go on and on, from old things to new things. And if you asked me next week, it would all probably change!


What are some of your favorite horror movies?

The list would be too long. It would stretch from Karloff’s The Bride of Frankenstein and Lugosi’s White Zombie to the Val Lewton films of the 1940s, Godzilla, Fiend without a Face, and Curse of the Demon in the 1950s to the AIP Poe films and Hammer Films of the ‘60’s to Halloween and The Thing and on and on. A couple in the last few years have really caught my eye—Spring, The Babadook, and especially, The Blackcoat’s Daughter. Just blown away by that one. Like Picnic at Hanging Rock (another of my absolute favorites), you really need to pay attention to subtlety and detail. Wonderful, disturbing movie.


What do you consider your greatest accomplishment as an author?

I think it was probably when Cemetery Dance put out my novella, The Corpse King. That was a real thrill for me. When you make it with CD, you know you’ve reached the upper echelon. I don’t mean that to sound egotistical or anything. It’s just that when you reach the level where Rich Chizmar and Brian Freeman pay attention, you figure you’ve done something right.
             

Do you have any advice for new writers?

The best advice is the simplest: READ! Read everything. Not just in your chosen genre, but everything, fiction and non-fiction. Feed your head, expand your mind. Some of the worst horror I’ve ever read is where you can tell that the author is influenced by movies and TV. That’s fine if you’re a screenwriter, but if you’re doing books, then you need to dig.

You need to go back to Poe and the Gothics and climb the ladder up through Lovecraft and Machen and Blackwood right up to King and his contemporaries and onto the current crop of writers. You need to do this. You need to absorb their ideas. I’m sure some writers do fine without doing this or reading outside their genre, but I don’t recommend it. Another thing, and this from my own experience as well, make your writing lively. Don’t let it lay there. Energize it. Create atmosphere and describe what you see in your mind’s eye. Don’t just tell us that a zombie is rotting, tell us how it’s rotting. Subjective viewpoint is everything.
     

What is your opinion of the new self-publishing trend?

I think it’s a good thing to give people a venue to express their creativity and a bad thing because, well, let’s face it, there’s a lot of really bad books coming out of it. Stuff that would never make it past a legitimate editor. All we can hope for is that for every twenty or thirty bad ones, we can mine one good one.


What are your current projects?

My projects are currently up in the air. DarkFuse, as you know, is coming to an end. As sad as that is, I saw it as a sign to explore other possibilities, time to begin working with new publishers and try a few things I hadn’t done before. It’s so easy to get comfortable and get in a rut, that sometimes when things like this happen, it can shake you up and get you moving. I’m talking with a couple other publishers right now, so we’ll see what comes of it.


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

There’s not much to tell about myself, but as far as my work goes, I write the kind of thing I like to read. I’m not sure if this is what others do, but to me it’s the main thing. I have to be passionate about what I’m writing or it just doesn’t work. I really need to embrace my subject matter. When it’s something historical like The Corpse King or Skin Medicine, I can be a very diligent researcher. Every detail is important. There’s nothing worse than a weird western that riddled with historical mistakes or one that draws its inspiration from crappy Hollywood westerns, most of which have nothing to do with the Old West and are pure invention. I use this as an example. I like research. I like finding out things. That’s part of the fun of it for me. An interesting story with a solid background. That’s what it’s about with me.

Links
http://www.corpseking.com
https://www.amazon.com/Tim-Curran/e/B002OXU6R8

Film News (UK): Horror Channel brings murder and mayhem to Saturday nights in July


Horror Channel has five prime-time Saturday night film premieres in July including the UK premiere of Brad Parker’s chilling disaster horror CHERNOBYL DIARIES. The film is written and produced by Oren Peli, who first terrified audiences with his ground-breaking thriller Paranormal Activity.

There are also network premieres for Todd Lincoln’s supernatural spine-tingler THE APPARITION, starring Tom Felton, Don Coscarelli’s surreal cult classic PHANTASM, David Jung’s paranormal found-footage soul-shaker THE POSSESSION OF MICHAEL KING and Andrew Paquin’s murderous home-invasion debut OPEN HOUSE co-starring his sister Anna Paquin and Stephen Moyer.

Full details of premieres in transmission order:


Sat 1 July @ 21:00 –CHERNOBYL DIARIES (2012) *UK TV Premiere

A group of young tourists (Ingrid Bolsø Berdal, Jonathan Sadowski, Devin Kelley), hoping for an adventure off the beaten path, hires an extreme-tour guide. In spite of warnings, the tour guide takes the sightseers to the town of Pripyat, Ukraine, once home to workers at the nearby Chernobyl nuclear power plant but abandoned after the 1986 nuclear disaster. After briefly exploring the ghost town, the tourists find themselves stranded -- and worse, they are not alone.


Sat 8 July @ 21:00 –THE APPARITION (2012) *Network Premiere

Plagued by frightening occurrences in their home, Kelly (Ashley Greene) and Ben (Sebastian Stan) learn that a university's parapsychology experiment produced an entity that is now haunting them. The malevolent spirit feeds on fear and torments the couple no matter where they run. Desperate, Kelly and Ben turn to a paranormal researcher (Tom Felton), but even with his aid, it may already be too late to save themselves from the terrifying presence


Sat 15 July @ 23:00 –PHANTASM (1979) *Network Premiere

The residents of a small town have begun dying under strange circumstances, leading young Mike (Michael Baldwin) to investigate. After discovering that the Tall Man (Angus Scrimm), the town's mortician, is killing and reanimating the dead as misshapen zombies, Mike seeks help from his older brother, Jody (Bill Thornbury), and local ice cream man Reggie (Reggie Bannister). Working together, they try to lure out and kill the Tall Man, all the while avoiding his minions and a deadly silver sphere.


Sat 22 July @ 23:00 –THE POSSESSION OF MICHAEL KING *Network Premiere

Michael King (Shane Johnson) doesn't believe in God or The Devil. Following the sudden death of his wife, the documentary filmmaker decides to make his next film about the search for the existence of the supernatural. Michael decides to make himself the centre of the experiment in the hope of proving that religion, spiritualism, and the paranormal are nothing more than myth. But something does happen. An evil and horrifying force has taken over Michael King. And it will not let him go. Also stars Dale Dickey, Tomas Arana and Julie McNiven.


Sat 29 July @ 22:45 –OPEN HOUSE (2010) *Network Premiere

Alice (Rachel Blanchard) is just going through a divorce from Josh (Stephen Moyer) and has her house on the market. Unknown to her, a murderous couple, David (Brian Geraghty) and his accomplice Lila (Tricia Helfer), has sneaked in and hidden. When Alice returns, instead of killing her, David takes her captive, locking her up in the crawlspace in the basement. He wants to keep her alive but doesn’ttellLila. Whilst the psychotic couple engage in a sex and kill-spree with anyone visiting the house, Alice begins to understand the strange bond between her captors and David's interest in her…

TV: Sky 319 / Virgin 149 / Freesat 138 | Freeview 70
www.horrorchannel.co.uk | twitter.com/horror_channel | facebook.com/horrorchannel

Friday, 16 June 2017

Interview with Charles Pinion - Director of American Mummy

Charles Pinion is a visual artist and director who made the punk rock skateboard zombie movie Twisted Issues (1988), the post-Cinema of Transgression witches in the snow movie Red Spirit Lake (1992) and the gritty San Francisco cannibal movie We Await (1996). His 3D feature Aztec Blood (chapter one in the American Mummy trilogy) premiered at the Revelation Film Festival in Australia (2014).

Wild Eye Releasing has unleashed American Mummy on 3D + 2D Blu-ray and standard DVD out now!
So we sat down with Director Charles Pinion to find out more

Did anyone or anything inspire the film, Charles? 

What inspired the film originally, back in 2004, was the title American Mummy. From there we explored different ideas of what “American” meant. One early idea was to set the story in a Native American village. Then we thought about setting it in the Revolutionary War. What does “American” mean? Finally my partner went with the mesoamerican Aztec god Tezcatlipoca, Lord of the Smoking Mirror. That’s who our American mummy is.


Tell us about the Mummy – what it’s motivation in the film? 

Tezcatlipoca wants to be fully in his body, so that he can fulfil his destiny. Right now he’s a shrivelled husk, hundreds of years old. The blood ceremony helps him begin to wake up. For him to fully embody, he will need a lot more blood.


Did you model the look of it on any from films past? 

No. We did our research based on various archives of Aztec artifacts. The very scary mask that our mummy wears is made from a human skull, which was an Aztec tradition.


And was it all done via CGI? 

There was no CGI on American Mummy. We shot the movie in 3D, and 3D CGI would have been too expensive. Every messy effect was there in front of the camera, and often all over us who were behind the camera as well!


Is there anything you did on this one that you wouldn’t do on the next? Or did it all go perfect? 

It is very difficult to shoot in 3D. I’m glad I learned so much from the experience, and had so much fun with it, and I’m pleased with the result in American Mummy. Still, it will be nice to shoot in 2D again.


Can you tell us who is distributing and what we can expect from the bonus features component? 

American Mummy is being distributed by Wild Eye Releasing. The bonus features are some trailers (one very bloody), a couple of behind the scenes videos (one of them pretty funny), and a short video about our 3D rig, the Polecam.


Is there a sequel? 

Yes, it’s always been thought of as a trilogy. Part 2 requires a pretty big budget. Lately I’ve been thinking of making a smaller, less expensive movie that lies between 1 and 2.

Thank you for your time and for joining us today.

Buy from Amazon By Clicking Here  (Opens in a new window)