Thursday, 17 September 2020

Arrow Video FrightFest announces line-up for October 2020 Cineworld event

The UK’s biggest horror and fantasy film festival gets physical and celebrates its 21st year with a return to the Cineworld Leicester Sq. London

Following the cancellation of the traditional 5-day August event, Arrow Video FrightFest is back at the Cineworld Leicester Square from October 22 – 25, 2020, with a packed programme of thirty-four new features, presented over three screens. Embracing ten countries and spanning four continents, the nation’s favourite fear-a-thon includes seven World, two International / European and twenty-four UK Premieres.

Tickets will go on sale Mon 21 Sept.


As previously announced, the opening night attraction is the UK premiere of TRAIN TO BUSAN PRESENTS: PENINSULA, one of the most hotly anticipated action fantasy happenings of the year, and closing the festival is the World Premiere of HELD, described as “Parasite and Get Out meets The Stepford Wives”, from The Gallows franchise directors Chris Lofting and Travis Cluff.

British directors feature prominently: Neil Marshall joins us, alongside co-writer and star, Charlotte Kirk, with the UK Premiere of his plague-driven tour-de-force THE RECKONING, as does Chris Smith with the UK Premiere of his pre-World War II haunted house horror THE BANISHING. Also returning is Marc Price, who caused a media sensation with his Zombie horror Colin, made for £50. He’s back with the World Premiere of the slightly more expensive space survival thriller DUNE DRIFTER. A home-grown survival thriller with a more malicious bent is Adam Leader and Richard Oakes’ possession pandemic debut feature HOSTS, which enjoys a World Premiere, as does Will Jewell’s CONCRETE PLANS, in which five builders spiral out of control.


There are also extraordinary British debuts from director Gavin Rothery with his gripping futuristic thriller ARCHIVE and Damian McCarthy with CAVEAT, a terrifying journey through madness and memory loss. Both directors will be attending for their UK Premieres.

Then there is the popular ‘First Blood’ strand, sponsored by Horror Channel, which continues to unearth home-grown talent in spectacular fashion. There are four further entries this year with the World Premieres of Danielle Kummer and Lucy Harvey’s wonderfully infectious ALIEN ON STAGE, Leroy Kincaide’s paranormal chiller THE LAST RITE (based on real-life experiences) and David Ryan’s blood-soaked REDWOOD MASSACRE: ANNIHILATION, starring Danielle Harris. Last but not least is the UK Premiere of Karl Holt’s BENNY LOVES YOU, where Chucky meets Fatal Attraction!

Charlotte Kirk in THE RECKONING

FrightFest will also be physically screening RELIC, by first time writer/director Natalie Erika, who has crafted an unforgettable new spin on the haunted-house movie – a theme that, laced with isolated and murderous desperation, runs through Bryan Bertino’s harrowing THE DARK AND THE WICKED, LET’S SCARE JULIE, which is cleverly filmed in one uninterrupted continuous take, and HONEYDEW, in which a young couple seek refuge in a house belonging to an unforgettable new geriatric horror villain. Home is also certainly not where the heart is in Julius Berg’s THE OWNERS, in which the seventh ‘Doctor Who’ Sylvester McCoy and Swinging Sixties icon Rita Tushingham take on Maisie Williams and her invading gang, and home invasion is taken to new gory heights in Canadian entry FOR THE SAKE OF VICIOUS, an eye-grazing splatter rollercoaster ride.


There is a different kind of murderous ride with the UK Premiere of TAILGATE, a Dutch Duel with a ferocious bite, and the action continues with the UK Premiere of SKYLIN3S, the thrilling third entry in the epic sci-fi Skyline franchise, once again written and directed by co-creator Liam O’Donnell. Another successful franchise is The Final Destination and its creator, Jeffrey Reddick, gives us DON’T LOOK BACK, a new take on supernatural karma and its horrific consequences. And wanting to be someone else can have murderous consequences, as presented in Jill Gevargizian’s portrait of a female serial killer, THE STYLIST, a stunning debut feature based on her 2016 short, starring Brea Grant and Najarra Townsend.

Comedy horror, thankfully, is in rude health, and FrightFest has its finger on the genre funny-bone. So get ready for the UK Premiere of SLAXX, the tightest fitting bloodbath in history as a pair of vengeful jeans goes on the rampage. Other laugh-out-loud entries are New Zealand’s supernatural buddy murder mystery DEAD and Andrew Thomas Hurt’s crazy action body horror SPARE PARTS.

Emily Mortimer in RELIC

Completing the line-up is Takeshi Kushida’s captivating and visually mesmerizing WOMAN OF THE PHOTOGRAPHS, Courtney Paige’s THE SINNERS, an occult take on the Seven Deadly Sins, John Berardo’s twisty teen slasher INITIATION, Teddy Grennan’s gritty survivalist thriller RAVAGE, with Bruce Dern in menacing form, Aaron B Koontz’s bloodthirsty hybrid Western horror THE PALE DOOR, Thomas Robert Lee’s dark, coming-of-age shocker BLOOD HARVEST (US Title: The Curse of Audrey Earnshaw), Adrian Langley’s brutally served dish BUTCHERS and, from the producer of It Follows, BROIL, a fairytale about a family with a monstrous secret.

Three shorts have been added to the monstrous menu: Italian director Federico Zampaglione’s BIANCA: PHASE 1 and BIANCA: PHASE 2 – a double-bill of creepy family stories set in Rome under lockdown, which Zampaglione shot single-handedly on his iPhone and LITTLE WILLY, Andrew Bowser’s dark comedy about a failed actor’s distorted relationship with the puppet he found fame with.

FrightFest co-director Alan Jones said: “Thrilled as we were that our virtual event in August was so well received, applauded and reviewed, nothing beats the real FrightFest deal and our globally envied community interaction. So we have extended our usual one-day Halloween celebration to an action-packed four-day get-together in order to put our mutually inclusive world back on track and fill that missing summer gap”.

The full guest line-up will be revealed in due course.

For detailed information on the line-up, ticketing details & event guidelines

Arrow Video FrightFest October 2020 takes place at the Cineworld Leicester Sq. between Thurs Oct 22 & Sun Oct 25.

Different Categories of Online Slots

There are multiple different types of slot games available for you to play online which not only benefits the player but also enables these games to differ in the ways that they are designed. Let’s take a look at the most common types of slot games available online for you to play so that you can find the best type of new game to play for you.

Classic Online Slots

The “original” version of a slot game is a three reel slot. This is an online slots game based on the traditional slots machines that you can play on when you go to a bricks and mortar style casino which is often why they are so popular with players. They are very familiar in their layout and they are really easy to play. All you have to do is align the symbols on any of the three visible rows to be able to win yourself some prize money.

5 Reel Slots

Very similar to the format of the three reel slots games, the five reel slots game are the modern equivalent. They have changed in their design due to the technological advancements and because gamers were wanting more from their experience of playing slots games online. With five reels in play, the games developers were able to make slots games more exciting, more diverse and have a wider range of interesting themes to entice the players.

But the other things that make these slot games so popular is that because they have more reels in play, there is always more money available for you to win and there are also more paylines in play so you always have the chances of winning more cash as you play. This makes the overall experience more exciting for the players and entices them, not only into playing more and for longer periods of time, but also to return for another game.

Progressive Slots

These are the types of slots games where the largest amounts of jackpot totals are lurking. This is because the jackpot will keep increasing if the jackpot is not won and will continue to increase until the jackpot is won. This results in enormous wins, where players can become multi-millionaires just by spinning the reel.
These slots games are generally much higher risk to be able to play them but the rewards are much greater so players are generally happy to take the bigger risk.

If this style of slots game interests and excites you, keep your eyes on the prize as the jackpot will be forever changing. Make sure that you play the game when you know that the jackpot is at an increased level so that you can be sure that you have the best chances of being able to win the largest amount of cash available to you in that specific slots game online of the progressive variety.

Non-progressive Slots

This type of slots game may be similar to the progressive slots game via its name but that is where the similarity ends. Non-progressive slots have a specific jackpot total and this does not alter or increase at any time. You know what you are able to win before the game starts and you also know that this will be won by a player during the game. This is a very self-explanatory style of slots game and is not something that will change in its jackpot size if you come back and check it at a later time or date.

Mobile Slots

This is the most popular way in which people choose to play on their favourite slots game. This is because of their ease and convenience as mobile slots games can be accessed from any location and at any time of the day or night. You do not have to attend a casino to be able to play and this means that the concept of playing on slots has been opened up to a much wider audience.

Mobile slots can be played on a Smartphone or on a tablet. Either of these methods are popular. Some people prefer to be able to see more of the finer details of a slots game so prefer to play on the larger screen of a tablet. But for other players, the convenience of your Smartphone always being on your person is much more of an overriding factor for playing slots on the go.

Slots with Mega Spins

If you are the type of player who likes to multi-task or needs lots of action to keep your attention, then the Mega Spin style slots game could be the perfect solution for you. This is where you have the ability to be able to play lots of different slots games all at once so that you can increase your chances of winning but decrease the amount of time these wins could potentially take.

This is a clever concept because you can play all of the different slots games you enjoy playing all on one screen so that you can keep a close eye on all of the action as it happens but you don’t have to flit between lots of different screens. You don’t want to lose track of what is happening, especially when your hard-earned cash is at stake.

Another of the best features of Mega Spin slots is that the majority of them have progressive jackpots. This means that they combine the excitement of playing multiple games with the draw of being in the running for winning big cash returns. You might even be able to win multiple progressive jackpots at the same time which could result in life-changing amounts of cash coming your way!

Online Slots Categories

There are many different categories of online slots which you can choose from. You need to know what you are looking for so that you can find the perfect slots gaming style for yourself before you play. From the more traditional to the multi-taskers dream, there is a slot gaming online style for every player.

Ban on credit card: How it can influence slots players

The data on gambling in the UK claims that the British invest around £3 billion every year on casino games.

This consists of the hugely popular slots, and these account for a good proportion of that total, staggering, amount. It is little wonder that increasingly more funding has been invested in internet casinos, plus slot designers are spending a lot of their time developing innovative and new games to offer folks a thrill and entice them to play (and pay) at SlotsUK even more.

But although it's the casinos and app developers that have taken notice of the massive sum of money folks are investing, so too has the United Kingdom Gambling Commission (UKGC). This regulatory body has spotted that online gambling is developing at an extremely rapid rate, and it is worried about the spending that's taking place. Naturally, not many are overspending, but it's certain some are since £3 billion is an enormous amount of cash, and this means some people have to be entering into debt just to enjoy some games. Put like that, to most people it just wouldn’t be worth it, but for those in the middle of the problem, it is definitely an issue.

Due to this, the UKGC has placed several additional security measures on online casinos – and slot games – to stop people from spending too much. One of these ideas, as of April 2020, is that credit cards can no longer be used to bet with. The money has to come instead from a debit card or, in some cases, cryptocurrency although this is not yet a universal payment method for online casinos. So is this move a good one or not?

The Positives

The credit card ban for internet gambling websites certainly has several benefits to it. For all those individuals who might have been getting carried away when it concerned their gambling, the fact that credit cards can no longer be used is a great thing; it means they're able to stop and consider before playing, and tailor their budget appropriately. For these individuals, the everyday players, the credit card ban has helped them to be much more sensible, and not get carried away.

This is great news; there is going to be less unwanted debt incurred plus, with a good budget installed for playing, no one’s finances should be affected.

The Negatives

At first glance it may appear that you'll find no negative factors with regards to banning using credit cards at internet casinos; it is helping folks and preventing them from adding to their debt. This is accurate for the vast majority of people who play online games, but for many it is a really terrible thing that will not have helped them whatsoever – in fact, it will have hurt them more than anything.

For somebody with a really serious gambling addiction, the credit card ban will have meant they have to source their cash elsewhere. They will not be content with simply using the money in their bank account (and making use of much more than they have to, possibly meaning they cannot pay for food or even pay bills), and instead they will be looking for other ways to obtain money. They are going to try to borrow cash from others, maybe get a re-mortgage from a bank. If their credit is bad… well, there are always unscrupulous folks that are willing to lend money for a hugely inflated interest rate. And since the cash is being used to gamble, and everyone always loses more than they win, paying the money back might just become impossible. Lives could be ruined all because a credit card has been banned online.

Tuesday, 15 September 2020

Horror Channel reveals October slate of premieres

October boasts eleven premieres on Horror Channel, including a hellish Halloween night double-bill of Corin Hardy’s impressive Irish monster movie debut THE HALLOW and Ante Novakovic’s rampant Halloween slasher FRIGHT FEST. Both channel premieres will be broadcast on Saturday 31 October, with THE HALLOW at 9pm and FRIGHT FEST at 22.55pm.

There are also four prime-time UK premieres: Demon chiller FIRSTBORN, with Misfits star Antonia Laura Thomas, hashtag horror SELFIE FROM HELL, the haunting, award-winning ECHOES OF FEAR and the pint-sized gold-digger is back in the Leprechaun sequel LEPRECHAUN RETURNS.

There are five further channel premieres: PET, a twisted tale of obsession and complexities of the human condition, starring Dominic Monaghan, David Cronenberg’s cult classic body horror THE BROOD, British director Tom Paton’s giddy nerve-shredder, THE ASCENT, psychological thriller THE RESIDENT, starring Hilary Swank and featuring Christopher Lee in his final movie performance and finally, killer crocodiles and giant anacondas clash big-time in LAKE PLACID VS ANACONDA.

Full film details in transmission order:

Saturday 3 October @ 21:00 – LAKE PLACID VS ANACONDA (2015) *Channel Premiere

Get ready for a non-stop bloodbath in this vicious battle between mutated crocodiles and genetically engineered anacondas In the latest instalment of the Lake Placid and Anaconda franchises. When they’re not hunting for human prey, they’re more than willing to take on each other. Staring horror legend Robert Englund

Sunday 4 October @ 21:00 – FIRSTBORN (2016) *UK TV Premier

Charlie and James are just starting their lives together. Young and in love, they’re relishing having no responibilities until Charlie discovers she is pregnant. In a moment of youthful abandon, they decide to keep the baby. So into their world comes Thea, a beautiful girl. But her arrival brings with it terrifying entities that threaten their newly formed family.

Friday 9 October @ 21:00 – SELFIE FROM HELL (2018) *UK TV Premiere

Socially awkward Seth (Dominic Monaghan) works diligently at an animal shelter. One day he sees old schoolmate Holly on a bus and tries to rekindle the acquaintance. But the waitress is just coming off a failed relationship and isn’t remotely interested. Realising his feelings will never be reciprocated the stalker takes drastic action to find a new way of showing his crush how much she needs him in her life.

Saturday 17 October @ 21:00 – LEPRECHAUN RETURNS (2018) *Channel Premiere

The eighth instalment of the Leprechaun franchise picks up 25 years after the original​. Lila, the daughter of Tory Redding, returns to the home that changed her mother forever. Joined by a group of girls who attempt to convert it into an eco-friendly sorority house, Lila is forced to face the demons of her mother’s past. Although Lila grew up to believe the demons lived purely inside Tory’s head, it turns out there really is an indestructible Leprechaun on a murderous rampage in search for his gold…

Sunday 18 October @ 21:00 – ECHOES OF FEAR (2018) *UK TV Premiere

After inheriting her grandfather’s house, Alysa must confront the mystery of his sudden death and the evil that hides inside.

Friday 23 October @ 21:00 – THE ASCENT (2019) *UK TV Premiere

A special operations squad known in secret elite circles as Hell's Bastards is sent to infiltrate a civil war in order to retrieve vital intelligence. But the crack unit soon finds themselves trapped on a never-ending, twisting and turning stairwell, which they are forced to climb - or they will die. To survive, they must revisit past sins and take important steps if they ever want to get off the staircase to nowhere. With: Shayne Ward, Toby Osmond, Simon Meacock and Rachel Warren.

Saturday 24 October @ 22:35 – THE BROOD (1979) *Channel Premiere

Frank Carveth is becoming increasingly concerned about his ex-wife Nola’s secretive treatment at the sinister ‘Somafree Institute of Psychoplasmics. Headed by cult figure Dr Raglan, his controversial and extreme methods seek to unleash his patients' rage, often taking on physical manifestations. As Frank delves deeper he is finally led to an horrific and repellant final confrontation.

Sunday 25 October @ 21:00 – THE RESIDENT (1979) *Channel Premiere

After separating from her adulterous husband, Dr. Juliet Devereau (Hilary Swank) moves to New York and settles into a new life in her spacious apartment, Mysterious occurrences lead her to suspect she is not alone and quickly her fears become all too real as she discovers her seemingly charming landlord, Max, has developed a dangerous obsession with her. A terrifying game of cat and mouse ensues as Juliet is forced to fight and free herself from Max’s increasingly sinister intentions. The film also features a cameo from Christopher Lee, in his first collaboration with Hammer Films since 1976's To the Devil a Daughter and his last before his death in 2015.

Saturday 31 October @ 21:00 – THE HALLOW (2015) *Channel Premiere

When a conservationist is sent to Ireland with his wife and infant child to survey an area of forest believed to be hallowed ground by superstitious locals, his actions unwittingly disturb a horde of demonic creatures who prey upon the lost. Alone and deep within the darkness of the remote wilderness, he must now fight back to protect his family against the ancient forces’ relentless attack.

Saturday 31 October @ 22:55 – FRIGHT FEST (2018) *Channel Premiere

Blood runs rampant on Halloween night when the Mayor of Sommerton decides to mount a live Fright Fest event within the walls of a long abandoned lunatic asylum. Only problem is a van of criminally insane prisoners crashes just outside and the trick or treaters think their murderous acts are part of the performance. Enter if you dare…

Find The Horror Channel
Freeview UK: Channel 70
Sky UK & Ireland: Channel 317; Channel 318 (+1)
Virgin Media UK: Channel 149; Channel 202 (+1)

Thursday, 10 September 2020

TRAIN TO BUSAN PRESENTS: PENINSULA to open Arrow Video FrightFest October 2020

Four years after TRAIN TO BUSAN was voted the most popular FrightFest Closing Night film ever, comes the hotly anticipated stand-alone sequel, TRAIN TO BUSAN PRESENTS: PENINSULA, which will open this year’s Arrow Video FrightFest October event, courtesy of STUDIOCANAL. The film will play on Thurs Oct 22, 6pm, across three screens at the Cineworld, Leicester Square.

FrightFest co-director Alan Jones commented: ”Ask any die-hard FrightFester what their favourite ever Closing Night film was and they will say the fabulous TRAIN TO BUSAN. The continuous standing ovations, cheers and applause engendered by our sell-out screenings of that instant genre classic has become the stuff of FrightFest legend. So we are delighted STUDIOCANAL is granting us the opportunity of opening our Arrow Video FrightFest October event with the epic stand-alone sequel TRAIN TO BUSAN PRESENTS: PENINSULA. The FrightFest audience really connects with Korean director Yeon Sang-ho’s stellar work and we have no doubt his latest Asian blockbuster will raise the roof once more with his resonant brand of turbo-driven, fantasy action entertainment”.

Four years after South Korea’s total decimation in TRAIN TO BUSAN, the zombie outbreak thriller that captivated audiences worldwide, acclaimed director Yeon Sang-ho brings us PENINSULA, the next nail-biting chapter in his post-apocalyptic world. Jung-seok (Gang Dong-won), a soldier who previously escaped the diseased wasteland, relives the horror when assigned to a covert operation on the quarantined peninsula with two simple objectives: retrieve and survive. When his team unexpectedly stumbles upon survivors, their lives will depend on whether the best—or worst—of human nature prevails in the direst of circumstances.

Directed by Yeon Sang-ho, the film stars Gang Dong-won, Lee Jung-hyun, Lee Re, Kwon Hae-hyo.

STUDIOCANAL will preview the film for Halloween, it will then be released in cinemas on Nov 6 and available on Blu-ray, DVD & Digital from Nov 30.

The full-line up for the October event will be announced on Thurs 17 September, along with ticketing details and the first news of the Halloween Digital event.

Arrow Video FrightFest October 2020 takes place at the Cineworld Leicester Sq. between Thurs Oct 22 & Sun Oct 25.

Tuesday, 8 September 2020

w4free, the UK’s newest AVOD platform, gets scary with raft of premium horror titles

Bobcat Goldthwait’s critcally-acclamied Bigfoot parody WILLOW CREEK, Bruce McDonald’s  terrifying tour-de-force PONTYPOOL, Adam Green’s jaw-dropping slasher HATCHET and ELFIE HOPKINS, the twisted tale of cannibalism starring Jamie and Ray Winstone head up a slate of impressive genre movies, which are free to stream via the W4free App.

Also unleaahed on the new, already popular, UK AVOD service are Romero’s NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD, the infamous Welsley Snipes’ cowboy zombie mash-up GALLOWWALKERS, the stylish and erotic chiller AFTER.LIFE, 80’s cult classic DEAD AND BURIED and THE HAUNTING OF MOLLY HARTLEY, starring Haley Bennett (Girl on a Train, Swallow)

Chris Sharp, Chairman of W4free, said today: “The Horror genre has always been dear to my heart and today’s announcement is only the beginning of what will be a steady output of international genre titles, ranging from cult classics to the contemporary”.

w4free, founded by Chris Sharp, former Chief Operating Officer for Cello Zone and AMC Networks UK, has also acquired a raft of international hit movies including Lars Von Trier’s DOGVILLE, Grant Gee’s celebrated documentary JOY DIVISION, the Irish musical drama ONCE, Oscar-winning LA VIE EN ROSE, the irresistible Australian comedy MURIEL’S WEDDING and the inspiring New Zealand drama, WHALE RIDER.

The entertainment service, which also provides TV series and documentaries, can be accessed on all mobile devices and via Apple, TV, Swisscon TV Box and Sky Ticket. It has also  recently launched on Netgem TV in the UK and Ireland.

The group behind the service, Philipp Rotermund’s Video Solutions AG, provides a range of AVOD and SVOD brands in Europe, including Watch4, available in Germany, Switzerland and Austria with a reach of 10 million people per month.

Friday, 4 September 2020

Interview with Jeff Schneider - Director of Evil Under The Skin

Ahead of the release of his latest film Evil Under the Skin – on DVD and Digital 8th September – filmmaker Jeff Schneider talks about making the transition from being a circus performer to a filmmaker.

When did your filmmaking career kick off?

I started my career with a circus and performing arts troop traveling for several years all over the United States doing pole climbing, hoop diving, juggling, hypnotism, sword fighting and other arena and outdoor entertainment.

I have loved film my whole life. As a kid playing make believe, acting in high school, and working on a circus for 20 years. Film, though, when I got my chance to start that journey of my life it really grabbed me. I love seeing how different people get different things out of films. 10 different people have 10 different strong opinions and interpretations of the meanings of the film.

Most cite “Star Wars” as one of the films that spurred them towards a career in the industry. What film was it for you? 

Yeah it was Star Wars! I still remember not wanting to see it I was thinking it would be like the other sci fi films I had seen. But that film, I saw it when I was five, it just blew me away. It cemented my love of sci fi in an instant.

Have you always naturally been drawn to horror?

 I do like horror I remember seeing Alien and that movie scaring me to death. I like the different ways horror can affect you I remember seeing the Blair witch Project while in a trailer by a spooky forest and being alone. That really amplified the feel of it. Hearing the noises outside and watching the film at the same time. It is always fascinating how watching a film with a group and watching a film alone how that affects you.

In the case of Evil Under the Skin, where does the story come from?

Luc Bernier wrote the script for Evil Under the Skin and we partnered with him.

I imagine you’re very close to it, so maybe the wrong person to ask (filmmakers hate the question), but what do you believe makes the film superior to others of a similar type?

I think films are like people so each is slightly different and its own person. For me I think it’s the cast and everyone’s love of the craft that elevates it. I think when people watch they will feel that love. We want people to enjoy it and we do the most with what we have so for me it’s not about it being superior as much as making a connection.

Tuesday, 1 September 2020

COMPETITION: Win Koko-Di Koko-Da on Blu-ray


Koko-Di Koko-Da is released on Blu-ray on September 7th

And to celebrate we have a great competition and a copy on Blu-ray to give away.

A couple, Tobias (Leif Edlund Johansson) and Elin (Ylva Gallon), embark on a trip to find their way back to each other and repair their broken relationship. A sideshow artist (Peter Belli) and his shady entourage emerge from the woods, terrorizing them, luring them deeper and deeper into a maelstrom of psychological terror and humiliating slapstick.  Desperately the couple tries to escape, only to find themselves back where they started: in their tent, waking up at dawn. By way of their tangled dreams, we relive one particular night in their lives over and over again.  From this nightmarish atmosphere, underpinned by a haunting score and striking cinematography, a poignant story emerges about relationships, grief and reconciliation, and love as a healing force.

KOKO-DI KOKO-DA is written, directed and produced by Johannes Nyholm, a Swedish writer and director regarded as one of the most original and intriguing filmmakers of his generation. With a background in classical animation, Nyholm often mixes different styles and cinematic universes, moving freely in the border between dream and reality.  He first gained recognition for his animated film series The Tale of Little Puppetboy, widely shown at festivals and galleries around the world including Directors’ Fortnight in Cannes in 2009.  His shadow puppetry short-film Dreams from the Woods which followed also premiered in Cannes.  In 2011 his short film Las Palmas gained worldwide fame from its trailer alone and won a flurry of awards, screening in Cannes and Sundance.  In 2016 Nyholm made his highly anticipated feature film debut with The Giant, a fantastical and wondrous drama that received critical acclaim from its premiere at the Toronto Film Festival, followed by San Sebastian and a host of other international festivals.  The film won three Guldbagge Awards as well as prizes at the San Sebastian, Rotterdam and Warsaw film festivals.

Buy from Amazon at
For your chance to win both just answer the question below.

Which actor plays Tobias in Koko-Di Koko-Da?

Send your name, address and of course the answer to

Terms and conditions
1. Closing date 14-09-20
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.
5. Only entries from this page will be accepted, the competition question is changed regularly, and entries from other websites are not allowed and will mean your email address will be disqualified.

Thursday, 27 August 2020

Interview with G-Hey Kim - Director of Don't Click

Ahead of the FrightFest World premiere of DON’T CLICK, director G-Hey Kim talks about the challenges of making her debut feature

Your 2017 DON’T CLICK short was hugely successful on the festival circuit. Is that when you decided to expand it, or was that always the plan?

I never planned to extend my film because I never expected it to actually happen. Only a few short films have had the opportunity for a full feature version such as Saw (2004), Mama (2013) and Lights Out (2016). So I wasn't expecting that my short film would ever get that chance. When I got a call from George Mihalka about creating a full length production of my film, I was very surprised and incredibly glad. From then on I began to think of my film as a full length feature

Was it difficult to think of ways to elongate the concept into feature length?

It would have been difficult without my amazing writer, Courtney. It's  hard to extend the plot of a short film without it dragging or feeling bloated. But Courtney was a fantastic writer. She understood the exact concept I was going for and knew the best way to get there. I enjoyed developing the story for the feature version with her.

Your executive producer is slasher royalty! How did you get George Mihalka (MY BLOODY VALENTINE) on board?

I may have had a bit of help in that regard, due to the fact that when I created my short film DON'T CLICK, it was as an assignment for a class that he was teaching. He was really impressed by the film and recommended I submit it to some festivals. He's been a good mentor, helping me a lot to get this project off the ground. I'm so thankful I got the chance to work and learn from him.

Valter Skarsgard in DON’T CLICK

Had you seen Valter Skarsgard in LORDS OF CHAOS? Did he jump at the chance to play Josh?

I hadn't seen the film before his name was brought up during the casting meeting but after I had seen his work, I was convinced that he would be perfect for the role of Josh. We sent the script off to his agency and we were all incredibly pleased when word got back that he was interested. It was a huge relief because he was definitely the right person for the job.

You didn’t want to act in the feature like you did in the short?

Seeing as it was my first time as the director of a feature film, I wanted to make sure I was focused and wasn't taking on more than I could handle. That's why I decided to stay behind the camera this time as otherwise it could quickly become overwhelming. It turned out to be the right decision, but the experience that I had as an actor did come in handy while working on the feature film. It helped me to communicate with the actors, knowing what they were experiencing on the other side of the camera.

Websites, technology, the nasty side of the Internet, is DON’T CLICK a warning for our times?

Absolutely. Due to the ever evolving nature of technology and science, our lives are rapidly becoming more convenient. But we're also facing new problems that we've never seen before, such as what I show in my film -  the disconnection to criminal and pornographic violence when viewed over the Internet. It may feel like something that only happens in movies. But the online chatroom sex abuse case in South Korea was real. It's time for us to really sit down and think about it.

What were the main challenges for you as director this time around?

As I mentioned before, it was my first time as a director of a feature film. I went from having a crew of 3 to having a crew of 45. It often made it difficult to communicate everything I needed to the right people. I made some mistakes, but luckily the crew I was working with were amazing people with lots of experience. They were experts in their fields and they always supported throughout the project. Not only the staff, but the actors were fantastic as well. The feature film is a well-made horror film thanks to their efforts, dedication, and passion.

The feature was shot in Canada and we are seeing so much talent emerging from that territory. Why is that, because it’s easier to fund genre pictures?

One of my favorite genres is horror. What I believe is that a director can make a film very well when he likes the genre and understands it fully. Ideas are popping up left and right and filmmakers here are clamoring to make them. Hopefully. this surge of talent continues, and helps Canada grow more and more on the global stage.

FrightFest is delighted to be hosting the World Premiere of DON’T CLICK at their virtual August event. What does that mean to you, and is it the perfect platform considering the subject matter?

Don't Click is about the disconnect in the virtual world. So it's meaningful to me to show it to the audience for the very first time through a virtual event. I think the audience may feel more scared watching at home alone on their laptop, just like the characters Josh and Zane did. They may find that on the internet, anyone can find themselves in Josh and Zane's place.

Finally, what’s next for you?

The feature film Don't Click was a great opportunity for me. I have learned a lot of things from it. I almost feel as though it were my first love. But now I need to think about my next step. I've been looking into making some short films and I'm currently shopping around some feature length scripts that I'm hoping will get picked up.

DON’T CLICK is showing online on Saturday 29 August, 8.45pm, in the Arrow Video Screen, as part of the Arrow Video FrightFest August Digital event.

Tuesday, 25 August 2020

Interview with Jordan Barker, Director of Witches in The Woods

Ahead of Horror Channel’s UK TV premiere of WITCHES IN THE WOODS, director Jordan Barker reflects on the challenges of filming in sub-zero temperatures and the time-bending ambitions of his next film…

Why did you respond so strongly to Christopher Borell’s script (originally titled STRANDED) – because it mixed an age-old witch hunt tale with up-to-the-minute contemporary issues of sexual harassment? 

Hi All and hope everyone is staying safe and sane during these very strange times.  Borrelli’s script spoke to me on many levels.  I felt it took a contemporary look at what it means to live in our post truth world; how our realities are shaped by the lens through by which we choose to observe.  To me the film was summed up by nothing being more terrifying than being possessed, not necessarily by a vicious evil demon, but instead by an idea.

Is it based on any actual folklore tale or urban legend? Did the Stoughton Witch Trials actually exist?

Stoughton Valley is a fictional place in Massachusetts but named after the very real William Stoughton, the judge who oversaw the Salem Witch Trials in the 17th century.

There are seven characters in the movie and what is so good about the script is that each has a proper back-story. Is that why you could attract such a great cast? 

Thanks for that.  We really worked hard to make the characters as real as possible.  David Fincher once said to make all your characters right and we definitely tried to take that advise.  One thing I said during the writing was to ground each character to at least one other person in the car with some kind of issue or conflict.  I also wanted to make sure we had different types of relationships to play off of.  We thought it would be fun for instance to make one of the people in the car only connected to the others through her new boyfriend, that way when things went to shit, she’d have no one to hang on to.

WITCHES IN THE WOODS takes a very thoughtful approach to what in other lesser hands would be cliché material. How hard is it to do different yet still be creepy and involving?

I don’t know that we tried too hard to be different other than just trying to find the most exciting way to bring the pages to life.  For example we open on a very complex single take shot set inside the car as we introduce all our characters.  In some cases this might be considered gimmicky, but I believed it was the right way into the story as I wanted the viewer to start off the film as an almost omniscient observer floating through the car, following the conversation.  We are meant to start objectively and then slowly move into the subjective point of view of our lead character.

Good to see such strong, sympathetic female characters and the performances of all three actors are evidence of that. They come off as so much more level headed and together than their male counterparts? 

Hannah (Jill), Sasha (Alison) and Humberly (Bree) brought so much to these characters.  During the Salem witch trials, many women were persecuted, not for any real crime, but as scapegoats for a patriarchal societies anxieties and fears.  There is a backstory laid into Witches in the Woods of an event that victimizes one of our female characters in a multitude of ways.  It was important for us to give all the characters, male and female, a place to stand up for themselves and be pushed to show who they really are and what they are capable of.

WITCHES, tick. But what about the WOODS? You make the forest environment as much a character as anyone else?

I don’t know about you, but whenever I’ve found myself alone at night in the wilderness and I take a moment to tune into the sights and sounds around me, I feel like I’m paying attention to something that maybe I should have noticed earlier on.  You realize it’s always been there, just outside your senses and when your brain tunes you in, you think for a moment…why? Is there danger?  In so, the environment can become a foe and especially in a film like this, it was important to make the audience feel that way as well.

What were the challenges of filming in the freezing cold in Ontario, Canada, especially as you caught pneumonia?

Everything is just slower. Everyone takes up more space because they are layered up.  Equipment freezes. Safety precautions have to be put in place due to dangerous terrain and weather.  We wanted our characters to be wearing fashionable clothes that look good, but don’t necessarily protect you from long periods of time in the cold.  The film has an underlying theme about the thin veneer that separates us from chaos and our reliance on technology (cell phones, the car, heat, fabrics) comes at a cost.  That being said, the crew was warm and the actors were as cold as their characters which made it incredibly difficult for them to do long takes out in the cold.  We also had issues with our lights up on big cranes, swaying in the harsh winds.  Continuity was one of the hardest things to deal with in regard to the cold.  Our film takes place over one night but we filmed it over a month and the weather kept changing.  One night it would snow, then the snow would melt, then it would be windy etc.  And then yes, I caught Pneumonia!

Is the overall message about the primal urges that kick in when you go from what passes as civilization to the rawest of natures? 

I think that is certainly part of it.  I said above one of the most interesting threads throughout the film for me is the thin veneer between civility and chaos.  This is a group of friends going on a trip, but what happens when you peel the onion.  Are they actually good friends? It’s very easy to be nice and civil when your life isn’t at stake.  This also plays into the question of truth and point of view.  We all agree to disagree and can see the world slightly differently in a civilized society.  What happens when that falls apart? All of a sudden, a different point of view makes you the enemy and you have to be eliminated…for survival.

You’ve been to FrightFest with three movies (THE MARSH, TORMENT), what is the importance of the global genre festival circuit to your work?

I am so grateful to have been invited back to FrightFest.  As directors, you spend so much time tinkering in a dark room well after most of the crew has left and done 2 or 3 other films.  Being able to share the work in a live space with other like-minded genre fans across the world is an integral part of keeping the artform alive. It is honestly why I do it, to share the experience with an audience.

Finally, what’s next for you?

I can tell you that my next project is a time-bending sci-fi horror called HARBINGER.  It’s an adaptation of a LoveCraftian short story about a group of particle physicists who are working on a machine to transmit information faster than the speed of light.  When they begin receiving ominous messages from their future selves, things take a dark and dangerous turn as they race to save themselves from a mysterious entity.  It’s a bit of a Primer meets The Thing meets Memento.

WITCHES IN THE WOODS is broadcast on Horror Channel, Saturday 29 August @ 21:00
You can also purchase from Amazon at -

Thursday, 20 August 2020

Carpenter, King & Kane Hodder usher in Horror Channel’s September line-up of prime-time premieres

Carpenter, King & Kane Hodder…genre royalty ushers in Horror Channel’s September line-up of prime-time premieres, including the UK TV premiere of outlandish Brit Zom Com SHED OF THE DEAD, starring Ewen MacIntosh, Lauren Socha, Emily Booth, Kane Hodder, Bill Moseley, Michael Berryman and Brian Blessed, followed by the Channel premieres of hard-core space thriller JOHN CARPENTER’S GHOSTS OF MARS, starring Natasha Henstridge, Ice Cube, Jason Statham and Pam Grier, and A GOOD MARRIAGE, a gripping psychological thriller based on the Stephen King novella.

There are also UK TV premieres for supernatural heist thriller THE VAULT, starring James Franco, and Blumhouse frightener VISIONS, plus Channel premieres for Clive Tonge’s intensely demonic jolter MARA, starring Olga Kurylenko, creepy alien-zombie adventure NIGHT OF THE CREEPS, and the powerful supernatural angel-avenger  LEGION, starring Paul Bettany and Dennis Quaid.

Full film details in transmission order:

Friday 4 September @ 21:00 – SHED OF THE DEAD (2016) *UK TV Premiere

Trevor and Graham live very ordinary lives. Except when they inhabit their alter egos, Casimir and Sir Brandt, characters from the fantasy war games they play in Graham's basement and Trevor's allotment shed. Then, they really are the heroes they imagine themselves to be. So when a neighbour's murderous activities unfortunately coincide with the zombie apocalypse, Graham and Trevor set off on a quest to save the women in their lives, and therein try to live up to the mantle of 'hero'. With starring Ewen MacIntosh, Lauren Socha, Emily Booth, Kane Hodder, Bill Moseley, Michael Berryman and Brian Blessed

Saturday 5 September @ 21:00 – THE VAULT (2017) *UK TV Premiere

In order to save their brother Michael, the Dillon sisters have organised a bank robbery, but when the upstairs vault doesn’t have enough money to cover Michael’s debt, on the advice of Assistant Bank Manager Ed Maas (James Franco), they drill into the downstairs vault. The bank’s basement hides a terrible secret and before long, the Dillons have to choose whether to face the police outside or the terrible supernatural forces in the vault below.

Friday 11 September @ 21:00 – MARA (2018) *Channel Premiere

Criminal psychologist Kate Fuller (Olga Kurylenko) is assigned to the murder of a man who has seemingly been strangled in his sleep by his wife and the only witness is their eight-year-old daughter, Sophie. As Kate digs into the mystery of an ancient demon which kills people as they lie in slumber, she experiences the same petrifying symptoms as all previous victims and spirals through a chilling nightmare to save herself and Sophie before she dares to fall asleep again.

Saturday 12 September @ 21:00 – JOHN CARPENTER’S GHOSTS OF MARS (2001) *Channel  Premiere

Mars, 2176 AD. On a Red Planet that has become the dangerous manifest destiny of an overpopulated Earth, police Lt. Melanie Ballard (Natasha Henstridge) is on assignment to bring James “Desolation” Williams (Ice Cube), the planet’s most notorious criminal, to justice. What began as a battle between cop and criminal soon turns into a battle for human survival and escape from the doomed planet, as Ballard and Williams join forces in mortal combat with the “Ghosts of Mars”.

Friday 18 September @ 21:00 – NIGHT OF THE CREEPS (1996) *Channel Premiere

The night of the prom becomes the "Night of the Creeps" for a small-town college with a big-time problem! Johnny (Ken Heron) and his girlfriend Pam (Alice Cadogan), the perfect co-ed couple, are enjoying Lover's Lane one evening in 1959 when suddenly Johnny's attention is diverted to an evil light. He leaves to explore it, never to return again. Twenty-seven years later, when two college boys, Chris (Jason Lively) and J.C. (Steve Marshall), pledge a tempestuous fraternity, they encounter Johnny's frozen body.

Saturday 19 September @ 21:00 – A GOOD MARRIAGE (2014) *Channel Premiere

From the legendary Stephen King comes a terrifying thriller. Celebrating 25 years of marriage, Darcy feels her life is complete with a loving husband and wonderful children. Outside their lives a serial killer hunts his victims, killing young females, whilst a suspicious stranger stalks Darcy’s family. Gradually, she realises that her husband is not who she thought and it’s not only her marriage under threat, but also her life.

Friday 25 September @ 21:00 – VISIONS (2015) *UK TV Premiere

Leaving her hectic city lifestyle behind, young mother-to-be Eveleigh (Isla Fisher), joins her husband David (Anson Mount) at their beautiful new vineyard home only to be plagued by terrifying noises and visions of a sinister hooded figure. No one else hears or sees these hallucinations, not even David, who grows increasingly worried about his wife’s well-being. Desperate to prove her sanity, Eveleigh hunts down locals who reveal the haunted history of the vineyard in which she now resides. But when the pieces come together, the answer is far different – and more dangerous to her and her baby – than she ever imagined.

Saturday 26 September @ 21:00 – LEGION (2010) *Channel Premiere

The Archangel Michael (Paul Bettany) descends to earth to ward off God's legion of angels sent to herald the Apocalypse and destroy mankind. He travels to the remote Paradise Falls diner, an unlikely battlefield where the diner's owner (Dennis Quaid), a group of strangers and a young pregnant waitress (Adrianne Palicki) are humanity's only hope for survival.


Monday, 17 August 2020

Interview with Barbara Crampton

Ahead of Horror Channel’s UK TV premiere of Julian Richards’ REBORN, on Sat 22 August, actress, producer and genre icon Barbara Crampton reflects on how You’re Next changed the direction of her career, the joy of discovering new talent and the possibility of directing one day…

Talk about art imitating real life! REBORN is about a B-Movie actress trying to get back in the game after a career rough patch. Is that what you responded to in the script?

That was certainly something I could relate to. As I hit my late 30’s, jobs started to dry up and the phone didn’t ring as often. I was married around that time and my husband convinced me to move to San Francisco as he was being transferred with his work. I honestly thought I was leaving Hollywood and the film business behind. I wasn’t sad as much as I looked forward to a new adventure with my husband and hoping for the children who came very quickly. I felt that perhaps I had already made my mark in RE-ANIMATOR and FROM BEYOND and that would be that. About six years later, I received a call out of the blue to appear as the mom in YOU’RE NEXT. I did it as a lark, for fun, not knowing the filmmakers or their wild talent and not realizing the new path that special film would put me on. I feel like my character in REBORN was ME hoping to get a part for many years and then being fortunate enough to be offered a stellar film like YOU”RE NEXT. That would be akin to the role my character In REBORN receives from Peter Bogdanovich. So in reality, what happens to Lena in the film happened to me.

Although director Julian Richards had you in mind for the part of Lena O’Neill early on, you were actually cast right at the very last minute. Was that jumping in with virtually no time to prepare a difficult challenge?

Another wonderful actress was cast before me even though Julian had me in mind at the outset. Sometimes casting takes place by committee and not everyone gets their first pick. The other gal wasn’t able to do the part after all and so I was called in with about 48 hours notice. It was a bit harrowing. I read the script once, packed up my car and drove down to LA within 24 hours. I knew many of the people on the film so I really leaned in for advice from our DP Brian Sowell, who also worked on BEYOND THE GATES, Michael Pare who I’d worked on PUPPET MASTER: The Littliest Reich with and the effervescent Rae Dawn Chong, whom I didn’t know, but became a close and trusted ally on set. Julian And I know each other well and he trusted me and I appreciated his gentle care in guiding me along on the role. We filmed many scenes in Brian Yuzna’s house, which doubled for my character’s residence and it was warm and welcoming to see him shuffling about in his slippers during our filming.

CARRIE and FRANKENSTEIN are the obvious inspirations for REBORN. Did you see any other resonances in the script you wanted to draw attention to? 

As far as the character of Tess is concerned those two films are apt references. For me and from the perspective of my character, the film is about regret and second chances and what gets in your way, if you let it. Lena is held back by something in her past. She’s haunted by the death of her daughter and she just can’t move forward. She’s stuck both in both her head and heart. I actually looked at REBECCA 1940, as the leading character played by Joan Fontaine is stuck by the overwhelming shadow of her new husband’s deceased wife. I also used aspects of IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE. Jimmy Stewart as George Bailey is so consumed by his life, he can’t see the goodness of what’s right in front of him. Of course I always use myself. How would I feel if I were in the same circumstances as my character? My own children mean the world to me and if I’d lost one…. That thought are pretty devastating.

You shot a lot of the movie in Brian Yuzna’s house, the producer of your horror breakthrough REANIMATOR. Did you ask him for that favour? Are all the framed movie posters a fixture in his house or just there to help your character’s back-story?

I believe John Penny, our producer, asked Brian if we could use his house. It’s right off Hollywood Boulevard and it has a lot of old world charm and glamour. Perfect for Lena’s house. Pretty much all the posters you see on the wall belong to Brian and some of the items reflect movies we’ve done together so it was perfect!

Barbara Crampton as Lena in REBORN

What an incredible cast, some you worked with before; Chaz Bono, Michael Pare (PUPPETMASTER: THE THIRD REICH, Rae Dawn Chong, Monte Markham (WE ARE STILL HERE) and more! Is a prior connection a blessing or a curse?

It’s always a blessing unless you didn’t get along with someone! I started my career working with Jeffrey Combs, made 4 projects with him. The familiarity you have with someone always bleeds into the work and there’s a comfort, especially on indie horror where you’re working very quickly. I very much enjoy working with people I know and trust. It was a joy to work with the legend Monte Markham once more. Meeting Chaz Bono was fun, as he is so excited and passionate about the work, although we didn’t have any scenes together. I do love working with new people as well. I feel like I learn something from just about everyone I work with and I am able to collect may new friends along the way.

Did you ever expect to get so busy post YOU’RE NEXT?

No! I thought it would be just a brief return to acting and that would be that. Yet, I had such a great time performing again, I knew I had to return to working if I could. I actively sought out more roles, hired a manager and became reacquainted with my agent. After I did SUNCHOKE, ROAD GAMES and WE ARE STILL HERE, I felt like people knew me again, that I was serious and committed to a second round of my career. People then started to call me. In the last few years, I’ve also been working as a producer and I can easily say I’m more excited about this business than ever! I don’t intend to slow down.

Your career resurgence has been one of the greatest and most gratifying aspects of the current genre scene. What do you see as the main differences between working with Stuart Gordon etc in the 1980s heyday as opposed to now?

There’s more being made. It’s wider field and the kids today know more about all aspects of film making then in the 80’s We all stayed in our lanes then: Director, actor, producer. But many wear more than one hat today and it’s easier and more accessible to be able to go out and make something without a studio. The emergence of smaller film festivals has allowed new filmmakers to find an outlet for their art to be showcased and network with other like-minded creatives. A young filmmaker can get noticed and make a name for themselves through these fests. Hopefully they can parlay that into working on bigger material.

Is directing something you would like to try? If so, what sort of horror subject would attract you the most? 

You really need to make a commitment to one project for at least a whole year and while the idea is intriguing to me to direct, I have so many other projects I’m developing as a producer and have the occasional acting gig and so it would be hard to fit in directing a feature. However, I would love to direct a short and I’m keeping my eye out for material for that possibility.

As the First Lady of FrightFest, what value do you see in the global genre festival circuit of which you have become so much a beloved part?

These fests are the lifeblood of independent genre cinema. All these global fests and the talented programmers who run them are like grand hosts who introduce the world to fresh and new voices. They are the biggest champions to new filmmakers, many of whom prove themselves to be so gifted, they are invited back again and again. Without them, how who we meet these new talents? The audiences love to watch new films and studios and distributors send scouts to check out emerging talent at film fests across the globe. Also, I am able to meet many genre loving and passionate cinephiles and the fest circuit is really so much fun! Movies, panels, karaoke, contests, celebrations!

Finally, what’s next for you?

I produced and starred in JAKOB’S WIFE, which we finished filming right before the covid-19 shutdown. We are currently in post and it will be available sometime in 2021. I’m working hard on developing three other features and one TV show. Hope to see you all again soon in the flesh with hugs and love…

REBORN is broadcast on Horror Channel, Saturday 22 August @ 21:00

Thursday, 13 August 2020

10 Questions with JESSE O’BRIEN, director of TWO HEADS CREEK

Ahead of the UK premiere of TWO HEADS CREEK, a playfully dark cannibal horror comedy, director Jesse O’Brien talks about the joys of cannibal karaoke, tackling immigration issues and filming in a haunted hotel.

How did Jordan Waller’s TWO HEADS CREEK script end up in your hands and did you see it as more a family comedy than a cannibal gore-fest?

Producer Judd Tilyard and I were developing one of my own scripts, Inherit the Earth, which we thought would take a while to finance - and during that process he asked if I’d like to take a look at another script, which was then called Flesh and Blood. I read it with a sense of hesitation. Did I want my second film to be a cannibal horror comedy set in the outback? But from page one, Jordan Waller’s writing really leaped off the page. I knew immediately it was a film with something to say - a hilarious parody of our greedy and violent attitudes towards immigration - but it was also filled with a lot of heart, all about a family finding each other.

Did Waller always want to play Norman, or was that budgetary casting?

Jordan wrote it with himself in mind but when I was presented with the project, I didn’t know him. Our producer Jayne Chard, who was so wonderful to work with, really believed in Jordan. His involvement as a very collaborative writer, as well as his vision for himself as a unique and charming leading man, was really a gift to this film. He and I clicked immediately, and he had a lot of trust in me when it came to interpreting his words.

Waller and Kathryn Wilder (playing Annabelle) are brilliant as the bickering siblings who immediately turn supportive of each other in the face of others criticizing them. Was their chemistry instant?

Casting Annabelle was a challenge, because we didn’t just need to find someone to play Jordan’s sister - we needed a twin sister. So looks were important. We saw a lot of audition tapes. The character is a bit stuffy and conceited, so we needed that, but we also needed her to evolve and be likeable underneath that facade. So finding both was a real challenge. When we presented Kathryn’s audition tape to Jordan, he was delighted, because they happened to have met and hung out before. After they got together and filmed some scenes to show us, we knew their believability as twins was hard to deny. Every time they were on screen together, I would smile because they just got the rhythm and the tone of it all. I couldn’t be happier that we found Kathryn

Was it always the intention to channel the old school Ozploitation gonzo attitude in TWO HEADS CREEK? WAKE IN FRIGHT, TURKEY SHOOT, LONG WEEKEND all come to mind in terms of setting and atmospheres? And the gore feels very early Peter Jackson?

Oh yes. As I said before I couldn’t have enjoyed this if it was pure Ozploitation. But when I knew we had a solid story, the more outlandish elements just became decoration. My creative angle was to lean fully into what makes Australia goofy and silly. To do it more sinister and realistic would have been inauthentic; and Wolf Creek already has that covered. So my brief from the start was to do a 70s throwback. Welcome to Woop Woop was the biggest influence. The absurdity of Australia that it’s always flaunting itself in the background, for better or worse. The immigration themes in this are not the point of the story, but they are an important piece of the puzzle.

Do you expect to provide a new fan base for the pop hits of Australian teen idol Normie Rowe whose fab songs pepper the soundtrack?

I sure hope so. It was a pleasure to bring this soundtrack together. It was my Dad, a walking rock n’ roll encyclopedia, who suggested Normie Rowe’s music, so the connection to Norman’s name was purely coincidental. As integral as Normie is, the real kicker for us was getting the rights to Skyhooks’ Horror Movie. That Cannibal Karaoke sequence was a big reason we were able to convince people to work on the film. It’s where the film becomes itself. Exploding into blood, guts, glamour and absurdity.

You filmed in a Queensland hotel supposedly haunted by ghosts?

We were warned before we arrived that our crew would be haunted, that gear would go missing, that we’d be cursed by the devil. And in preproduction, things had been going a small part of me dreaded being cursed. But once we arrived, the whole experience was a joy. The hotel was our safe haven after a hard day’s work. Our producer was serving tequila shots from the bar we’d been filming at. We all bonded and had an amazing time. The only thing haunting us was an onslaught of green tree frogs that refused to leave anybody’s toilets. Day one, I thought I could never sit down on that porcelain with an immovable frog staring up at me. By the end, the frogs were just part of the crew.

How did your background in visual effects help make TWO HEADS CREEK? 

I was pretty hands off with the visual effects this time. Empire Post managed our entire postproduction pipeline, and they hired a team of VFX artists to do our 90+ shots. I suppose my knowledge in effects helped me communicate what I wanted to see - and the effects were only there to help strengthen or improve what we captured in camera. There’s a shot where a head flies up towards the camera right after its cut off; that idea only came about because I knew the exact elements we’d need to put it together. But it was other artists who did the hard work and made it shine.

The contrast between the British and the outbackers is stark and funny, was it difficult to get the tonal balance of light and dark right?

Jordan did the heavy lifting with that, because so much of the wit is in the script. I worked with him a little bit to add some more authentic Aussie spice and some extra slang. But I’d say the other important factor though is casting. I made sure we found actors who already understood the tone and could just inherently have a good time with what Jordan had written. It’s incredibly important to not settle when casting, and to cast for the right reasons. It was great to work with actors who understood the tone and were part of the gang.

Why has Australia so lagged behind in the contemporary genre stakes, considering they led the field back in the 1970s/80s? Are you trying to give Ozploitation a higher international profile with TWO HEADS CREEK?

I didn’t have a mission to bring Ozploitation to the world, it was just a choice that grew organically out of this material. The style was the perfect fit for the lunacy Jordan wrote. I think the real glue that gave me confidence here was the music. Too much violence can put some viewers off, so one response could have been to tone it down. But I went the other way with it - really leaning into it - because when people are singing, dancing and laughing, I think you can get away with the gorier moments. In truth, if people don’t love the film overall but they walk away appreciating that Cannibal Karaoke sequence, I’ll be satisfied!

Finally, what’s next for you?

I’m planning a few things. Next on the slate should be Holy Water, a gothic horror that I wrote, which is set in 17th century Scotland. We have some great cast attached and we’re hoping to shoot once current restrictions allow. It’s deadly serious in tone and not at all like Two Heads Creek. But my own scripts tend be more serious, like my first film Arrowhead (Alien Arrival) was. Judd and I would still love to get my other project off the ground, Inherit the Earth. That’s basically Lord of the Flies with hellish lava monsters. Everything I do starts with strong images because I don’t want to settle for realism or everyday life...I want to be taken somewhere else when I’m on set, because if I’m excited about going inside the world of the movie, then maybe the audience will be too.

TWO HEADS CREEK is showing online on Sunday 30 August, 4pm, in the Horror Channel Screen, as part of the Arrow Video FrightFest August Digital event.

FrightFest Presents and Signature Entertainment are releasing TWO HEAD CREEK on Digital HD from September 7th.

Tuesday, 11 August 2020

Interview with Alastair Orr

Ahead of the UK premiere of TRIGGERED, his cat-and-mouse slasher, Alastair Orr talks about being inspired by old console games and why he loves working in South Africa.

We last saw you at FrightFest with FROM A HOUSE ON WILLLOW STREET, how’s life been treating you since that time?

It’s been great. I got married, had a kid, got into massive amounts of debt with Bitcoin - I’ve made a lot of great life decisions since FrightFest 2016.

How did David D. Jones’ TRIGGERED script end up in your capable hands?

I was working on a bigger film with David that we couldn’t raise the money for. So he pitched something way cheaper that we could do. It’s eleven characters in the woods, so it seemed super easy on the page, but was quite a nightmare to shoot,

Was the script really inspired by retro video games from the 1990s?

Yes, it’s definitely inspired by the old console games where you get to steal time from your opponent, there were a couple out there back in the day. Then to some extant even your Street Fighter and Mortal Combat games had the element where you have to kill your opponent before your time runs out. Things have come full circle now with Battle Royale games like Fortnite, but we wanted to make something with old-school graphics and sound effects and music, so we feel our film is definitely a throwback to our childhoods as opposed to the new wave of these type of games.

What do you think you brought to the project or was everything very much in place in the final draft?

David did an awesome job getting it over the finish line and shoot ready. It was only on set when things bombed out that I was able to step in and make decisions on the set. If he was down in South Africa I’m sure he would’ve been right there next to me making those decisions. Script-wise…his original idea was to have you get rewarded with time by doing certain activities like helping your friends out, or getting closer to solving the murder mystery that runs throughout the film. We decided to simplify the gamification a lot once we got closer to shooting.

Give an insight into how you assembled the cast: what qualities were you mainly looking for?

We were looking for actors that just wanted to be there and didn’t bring a plethora of demands and attitude. We knew it was going to be a tough shoot so we looked for kids that had a great attitude and were up for anything. We also tried to cast the actors as close to the characters as possible so that we could improves if necessary.

Just like with your past four movies you edited the movie yourself. Do you direct knowing in your mind how exactly you want to cut it together, or is it a more organic process than that?

I edit my movies because there isn’t money to hire an editor, so it’s definitely not a control thing.  The editing on Triggered was harder because we had less footage. While we were shooting at night, I would do a rough cut of scenes during the day, so there wasn’t a lot of sleep going on. The pros of editing your own film are that you get to do things your way, but a serious con that worked against me on this one was that some insecurities that festered with me on set made their way in to the edit suite. I had to constantly get reassurances from the producers that this was the right way to go - where as if I had an editor, he/she probably would’ve convinced me straight away that things weren’t as dire as I thought.

And just like your past four movies TRIGGERED is once more in the horror thriller fantasy arena. Why is it you gravitate towards the genre?

These are just the kind of films Ariye (my producing partner) and I want to make. We’re just not drawn to stories that don’t have some kind of genre spin on them

What was the hardest aspect of making TRIGGERED?

I know every filmmaker says time and money, but we really were in short supply on both on this. We got so tired of waiting for investors and finding distributors to invest in us that we decided to fund it ourselves. We (Ariye Mahdeb and I) just had to make a film. We shot for fifteen days, four of which were probably completely lost to rain, but the crew and cast never once dropped the ball. Our vests were pretty problematic also, we had to keep bringing our buddies with electrical engineering degrees onto set to keep wiring them and programming them. You really get a sense of who your real friends are when you ask them to come out and help you at midnight on your indie film.

How is working in South Africa and what do you see as the future for genre filmmakers in the country?

Working in South Africa is the best. People are so willing to help out and jump on board that you really do get to play with awesome tools even if you don’t have the budget your overseas contemporaries are playing with, and the government really helped us with some funding on this one also. South Africa is really exploding with Genre films now. When I started with my first film in 2010 it really was a lonely club, but now South African genre films are popping up at festivals around the world and guys are making some really awesome stuff. It’s really exciting and a lot of the directors who would usually only make drama films are now seeing how commercial Genre fair is and what an appetite the rest of the world has for it.

Finally, what’s next?

We’re busy with a big action movie that was scheduled to shoot this year, but with Covid hitting that doesn’t look likely. It’s a way bigger budget to what I’m used to and I’m loving the freedom a bit of extra money allows. I’m also really digging the way my horror background can tie in with the action scenes and how the two can play nicely together.

TRIGGERED is showing online on Friday 28 August, 9.30pm in the Horror Channel screen, as part of the Arrow Video FrightFest August Digital event.