Thursday, 20 February 2020
Carnivorous sandworms, murderous ant hybrids, a giant snake and deadly creepy spiders...Horror Channel gets beastly this March with a CREATURE-FEATURE SEASON – a monstrous collection of creature carnage, which includes the UK TV premieres of IT CAME FROM THE DESERT, Marko Mäkilaakso’s smart, funny and very creepy homage to Ray Harryhausen, and Micah Gallo’s skin-tingling directorial debut ITSY BITSY, every arachnophobe’s worst nightmare. Broadcast on Friday nights throughout the month, the season also includes the channel premiere of TREMORS, Ron Underwood’s affectionate throwback to 1950s creature features, starring Kevin Bacon, and the star-studded jungle snake nightmare ANACONDA, starring Jon Voight, Owen Wilson, Jennifer Lopez, Ice Cube and Eric Stoltz.
Full film details in transmission order:
Friday 6 March @ 21:00 – TREMORS (1990) *Channel Premiere
Kevin Bacon stars in this revved up monster movie made with an enthusiastic nod to classic 1950s monster flicks. Two handymen must battle giant carnivorous sandworms that threaten their small Nevada town. The eccentric and resilient townspeople must do everything in their powers to survive this new menacing species.
Friday 13 March @ 21:00 – ITSY BITSY (2018) *UK TV Premiere
Kara (Elizabeth Roberts), a single mother struggling to raise two children in New York City, receives a job offer to work as a private nurse in the mid-West. At first things seem normal enough, but what Kara doesn’t know is that doom preceded their arrival in the form of a mysterious ancient relic. And, if her family are to survive the horrific nightmare now lurking in the shadows, they will need to confront their deepest fears and personal demons.
Friday 20 March @ 21:00 – IT CAME FROM THE DESERT (2012) *UK TV Premiere
Inspired by Cinemaware’s cult 1980s video game, itself motivated by the giant creature feature craze infesting 1950s Hollywood. Get ready for the pulp action horror mutant monster movie of the year, involving rival motocross heroes and cocooned heroines, out-of-control kegger parties in the New Mexico desert, crashed meteors from outer space, secret underground labyrinth military bases and epic havoc caused by massive spider/ant hybrids!
Friday 27 March @ 21:00 – ANACONDA (1997)
A documentary film crew led by anthropologist Steven Cale (Eric Stoltz) and director Terri Flores (Jennifer Lopez) enters the mysterious world of the Amazon in search of the legendary Shirishama Indians. But when they meet Paul Sarone (Jon Voight), who is on his own dark quest to track a lethal 40-foot Anaconda, the expedition becomes a jungle nightmare and they must use every primal resource just to stay alive.
Horror Channel: Be Afraid
TV: Sky 317 / Virgin 149 / Freeview 70 / Freesat 138
Tuesday, 18 February 2020
Ahead of the UK premiere of BUTT BOY at Arrow Video FrightFest Glasgow 2020, director Tyler Cornack reflects on Fincher-esque cat & mouse games, creating a ‘colon cave’ and taking anal retention to a whole new level…
Is it true that BUTT BOY started life as a sketch on your Tiny Cinema comedy channel?
Yes, it started out as a very simple sketch about a man who goes to the doctor to get a prostate exam, and begins to get addicted to the feeling. It was always one of our favorite sketches because we found an interesting horror-esque tone. We also realized eluding objects with just a blank stare is just a joke where the punchline can grow through visuals. The first twelve minutes of the film is a very similar rhythm and tone to the original sketch.
For those who have yet to see it, how would you describe the film?
I understood from the beginning of writing the screenplay with Ryan that the movie was going to be very hard to explain to people. But I feel that I am getting better at it. Here goes nothing:
It’s a classic cat and mouse thriller but centered around a joke. The entire film takes one little joke and then plays it as straight as an arrow. It never apologizes or backs out of the bit. A man is stuck in a redundant and stale lifestyle, he goes to get a rectal exam and his whole life changes. He becomes addicted to putting things up his butt. Objects turn into animals, and animals turn into children, children turn into adults. As the things get bigger his Butt gets stronger. A detective who is also dealing with his own addiction comes along and begins to put the pieces together. It’s sort of our weird messed up version of a comic book movie. A Fincher- esque cat and mouse game, with a little Pinch of Butt.
I acted in the original comedy sketch so I think it was organic for us to write it around that. I don’t love acting nearly as much as directing. However, I really enjoy making people laugh and the choice came very organically. To be honest I barely remember acting in the film. I was thinking so much about the edit in my head and getting everything right logistically. I think it actually worked well though because he’s sort of this guy stuck in his own head. I don’t think I will ever write a large role for myself ever again, but I’m really glad I got to do it in this movie.
The tone of the film is very interesting. The central premise feels like a playful joke but everyone plays it dead straight. How did you achieve that fine balance between satire and gritty realism?
As I said before, the original sketch really made tone easy to build upon. But we wanted to make something new that you haven’t seen. Something you will walk away from and kind of be like what the hell did I just experience? But also have pulpy movie tropes and homages you have seen before. As far as the balance goes with the comedy, we cut many scenes out because they felt too funny. It took you out of the story. I always say it’s like the opposite of “Airplane”. In Airplane the characters are in a very serious situation of a plane going down but the movie is filled with jokes. In Butt Boy, the situation is the joke, but it’s played very seriously. It’s like listening to a good Norm Macdonald joke, and I truly think we deliver with the punch line in the end.
Tyler Rice is magnificent as the investigating police officer. How did you cast him?
He is one of my favorite actors in Los Angeles. Since the moment I met him I have been trying to write things for him. We met years ago when I was casting for a short film. He’s a pretty serious actor that I love to see in comedy stuff. It cracks me up how into it he gets if that makes sense? I love seeing him on screen. He’s got one of those faces that belongs in movies. He’s a super hard worker and puts 110 percent into everything he does, and what director wouldn’t want that from an actor?
Addiction is at the heart of the story. Were there any real-like experiences that you drew upon?
Not to sound like a pretentious nightmare, but I think we all have addictions. Luckily, I personally haven’t had any that are toxic enough to ruin my life. But I have had and continue to have people in my life that struggle with substance and stuff. You take things from personal experience and from others around you I think.
Where did you shoot the ‘Colon Cave’ and why did you decide to go down a fantastical route?
We shot that over near Beachwood Canyon at the Bronson Bat Caves. I spent years hiking and brain storming up there. It was the cave from the old Batman series with Adam West. Shooting there was the most grueling but by far my favorite part of the shoot. It was 115 degrees in the dead of summer. We would shoot until five am. All the sweat you see is real. It was super intense and exhausting but I think it was the best time of my life. It felt so magical to me. We knew from the beginning we had to take it there in the story. It’s a slow build into this huge thing. I always love third acts that take it there…
Were you ever tempted, or put under pressure to change the title?
Many people definitely told us too, but it was always the kind of people that love to hear the sound of their own voice. They give opinions based on zero experience or fear of something being different or out they’re comfort zone. It’s been nothing but good for us so far and has created nothing but attention and discussion for the film. We love it.
What do you hope audiences will take away from the film – apart from inspiration for some new Butt jokes!
We hope that people walk away feeling that they saw something that they have never seen before. We never set out to make something predictable. We wanted to hit new territory and we hope viewers can see that. We want people to think it’s ridiculous because it is. We want you to laugh, and enjoy our little weird ride.
Finally, what’s next for you?
I am currently finishing up two more screenplays and we are about to shoot a TV pilot based on our comedy channel ‘Tiny Cinema’ on Instagram. It’s sort of little extensions of what we did with the movie but with different jokes.
BUTT BOY is showing at the Glasgow Film Theatre on Saturday 7 March, 6.30pm, as part of Arrow Video FrightFest Glasgow 2020
Tuesday, 11 February 2020
It has been five years since NIGHT FARE premiered at FrightFest London, what have you been up to since then?
I worked on two, very singular, projects as a producer and/or director. I signed for both with Wild Bunch, but we’ve failed to produce them yet. So I keep fighting. And I did a lot of commercials, TV series and music videos.
When did you first hear about the ANDERSON FALLS script and why did you think it was perfect for you to direct?
I received the script late 2017. I read it and said ‘yes’ in the same day. It was a perfect American experience for me because it was low budget, so not a lot of stress, and another type of movie for me - a slow burner and not an action thriller. I felt that I needed to test myself on this movie.
We are well acquainted with writer/producer Giles Daoust (RADIUS, STARRY EYES, HOSTILE, THE MAN WHO KILLED HITLER AND THEN THE BIGFOOT). Did you know him prior to ANDERSON FALLS?
We met through Facebook because he co-produced Hostile with two friends of mine who were co-producers on Night Fare. He saw Night Fare, was pretty impressed with the result, so he send me the script.
You have an amazing cast in ANDERSON FALLS – Gary Cole, Shawn Ashmore, Lin Shaye etc. – how easy was it to assemble?
Gary Cole saw Night Fare on Netflix US. He was the first one to respond. He said that he loved the poetical violence of the film. Then Shawn Ashmore saw it too. I had a conference/video call with Shawn. We connected instantly. Jessica Sherman was our casting director. She did a great job. Lin Shay, Daniella Alonso, Sonya Walger, Vahina Giocante, Richard Harmon, Stefania Spampinato, Judah Mackey. I was very lucky to work with this great cast for my first experience in the US.
Where did you film and for how long?
We prepped the film for two and a half weeks in July 2017, and we shot it in eighteen days in Los Angeles in August the same year. It was a hot and a very fast shoot.
(Shawn Ashmore in ANDERSON FALLS)
The prep was really short and the shooting schedule very tight, but I had a lot of fun on the set. It was a blast. I decided to use this tight schedule as an advantage and to shoot no coverage for the edit room. I shot a fight scene (1’30”) in one long shot. Shawn was very excited with the idea, the stunt coordinator too. But some people on the crew were convinced that we wouldn’t be able to make it. Of course we did it. We shot it in one hour. Eight takes.
What would you say the hardest part about making ANDERSON FALLS was?
Post production was the most painful part for me. In France, the director is creatively the man in charge. He needs to work closely with his producer, but the film is his vision. With Anderson Falls, I knew from the start that it would be a possibility to have a completely different cut than mine, but I thought on the set, that I did enough to protect myself from that. I was wrong. Only the work with our composer, Sacha Chaban, was creatively fantastic.
How important are festivals to your work?
FrightFest was the first festival to respond to Night Fare with such positivity at the Cannes film festival in 2015. With those kind of indie movies, festivals are very important to make the films known worldwide. So I’m really excited to come back and to feel that FrightFest spirit again.
You have roughly six projects on the go at the moment. What can you tell us about your future plans and films?
I need to stay active and to express myself with a camera more than once every two or three years.
I have another American movie for late 2020 or 2021, Blank written by Jeremy Drysdale and produced by Sentient Pictures and Pierre Morel (Taken, Gunman). It’s an incredible action movie that we want to shoot in Asia. There’s also a Canadian thriller called Finding The Right Child at the casting stage.
And I will go back to the indie mood of Night Fare with one of my scripts - All We Have Left. I need to shoot a very personal story with my unique vision from time to time. My heart and mind need that. I also have a great project with Elodie Yung (Netflix’s Daredevil, The Hitman’s Bodyguard, Gods of Egypt) and Xavier Laurent (The Kid is not my Son). As a director I can shoot one or two films every year. That’s why I fell in love with commercials and now television too. You can stay active and continue to learn every month.
ANDERSON FALLS is showing at the Glasgow Film Theatre on Saturday 7 March, 11.00am, as part of Arrow Video FrightFest Glasgow 2020
Tuesday, 4 February 2020
Ahead of the World premiere of A GHOST WAITS at Arrow Video FrightFest Glasgow 2020, director Adam Stovall reflects on getting through depression, creating paranormal romance and the influence of Tom Waits…
You have an interesting CV – from comedy theatre and film journalism to writing for The Hollywood Reporter and second assistant directing. Was all this a game plan to becoming a fully-fledged director?
I’ve known since I was a little kid sitting in the basement watching the network TV premiere of Back To The Future while holding my Back To The Future storybook and waiting for them to premiere the first footage from Back To The Future 2 during a commercial break that movies meant more to me than they did to those around me. And that’s not a low bar - my Dad worked as a projectionist all through his college years, and my Mom takes my Aunt to see at least one movie a week. I remember seeing Pulp Fiction in the autumn of 1994 and suddenly realizing that a) cinema is far more elastic than I had previously thought, and b) it helped the world make sense in a way nothing else could. That was when I knew this was my path.
But I grew up in Northern Kentucky, which felt like the furthest you could possibly get from Hollywood. I spent my 20s trying to do anything else and be happy, to no avail. Towards the end of my 20s, I was mired in a severe depression, getting wine drunk and writing scripts on the weekends. Then, my dog died, and it put into stark relief just how alone I was. So I sold as much of my stuff as I could and moved the rest to L.A. so I could pursue film.
Quickly I had the thought that I’d feel pretty stupid if I moved 2000 miles and just sat in my room, so I started volunteering in the Creative Screenwriting screening series. After eight months of that, I wrote for a magazine, which closed down, then a friend asked me to work on his movie. I was not supposed to be the 2nd AD, but they ended up with a budget far smaller than they thought they’d get, so as people left the production for higher-paying gigs, I kept getting promoted. It was an incredible experience, though, and the best education I could have asked for in terms of no-budget filmmaking. It clarified for me where money needed to go, and where money went out of habit.
So yeah, that’s a game plan…
Did the story of A GHOST WAITS come as a sudden flash; were you inspired by the likes of GHOST and BEETLEJUICE?
The idea for A Ghost Waits came from a video game and a web comic. I am not a gamer, but I was visiting some friends and they told me I needed to play a game called P.T. which was designed by Guillermo Del Toro and Hideo Kojima. It’s a first person puzzle game where you have to walk through an L-shaped hallway in a haunted house, doing specific things in time in order to open the door at the end of the hallway, which then puts you back at the beginning of the hallway.
How long was the development process and where did you obtain financing?
Development on A Ghost Waits moved irresponsibly fast, haha. I had the idea in November 2015, and we shot in August 2016. Normally I have all the time in the world to write, since nobody cares about a spec script being written by a no-name, so the process of writing with so many eyes on me was equally exciting and daunting. Fun fact: I usually name characters and title the piece late in the process, but I wasn’t able to do that here since we needed to create documents for casting and whatnot. So I went home, opened up my Tom Waits discography, and named every character after a Tom Waits song. And then named the movie after him, because he is one of my creative north stars…
MacLeod and I had spent the previous year trying to get another movie made, but just weren’t able to raise enough money. One of the investors we met in that time remained very excited to make something, so when I had the idea for A Ghost Waits he immediately said he’d invest half the production budget. My Mom had told me to let her know when we had a firm budget number, so once we had half the budget, she invested the other half. That covered principal photography, and then MacLeod and I put in our own money to cover pickups and post-production.
How do you describe the movie, a supernatural comedy, a paranormal romance, what?
I’ve been referring to it as a haunted house love story, but paranormal romance is good - maybe I’ll start using that!
MacLeod Andrews & Natalie Walker in A GHOST WAITS
A bit of both, to be honest. I love the B&W aesthetic, so it was always a possibility in my mind, I mentioned my idea to my UPM during prep while we were on a location scout, and she told me not to do that. We shot in color with the intention of staying that way, but we also shot with two different cameras, the Blackmagic Ursa Mini and the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema, which yielded slightly different looks. I drove myself crazy trying to match the images in color-correction, and one day MacLeod said, “Have you thought about just making it B&W?” Because MacLeod is the best person ever. Once we put a B&W LUT on it, it felt right, tonally and aesthetically. Would we have gone with B&W even if we had more money? Who knows! Just another possibility for the pile…
When did you first meet MacLeod Andrews? He says you’ve wanted to make something together for years? So did you write the part of Jack with him in mind?
MacLeod and I met on the set of a film called Split, a bowling rom-com, which filmed in Louisville, KY. I met the filmmaker on a panel, and he asked if I’d be down to come work on his movie. MacLeod is a native of Louisville, and had worked with one of the producers on the film before. We instantly hit it off, and I was struck by his obvious talent and charisma so I sent him a script I’d recently written. He dug it, and we decided we wanted to work together.
I absolutely wrote the part of Jack for MacLeod. To the extent that if he’d said no, the movie would not exist. Fortunately our brains function on similarly weird frequencies, so we’re usually intrigued and excited by similar ideas.
What about Natalie Walker? How did you come to cast her as Muriel?
I’d been following Natalie on Twitter for a while, and was impressed by her humor and brilliance. I had a feeling that casting her in a role that demanded she sublimate her energy would yield a similar result as when Robin Williams was asked to do the same for dramatic roles. I emailed and told her about the project, and offered to send over the script so she could check it out and see if it interested her. She responded that she was very interested, so we talked and she did a self-tape, which was perfect. We hopped on FaceTime and I offered her the role.
The chemistry between MacLeod and Natalie is wonderful. Was that instant or did it need nurturing?
Instant! We never even had a table read, much less any rehearsals, so the first time they met was on set. Since we had such a small crew, I was always doing a multitude of jobs, which limited how much time I was able to spend with them. A lot of their dynamic is due to the work they did on their own. It is my profound hope that the three of us are able to work together again.
Where did you film and for how long?
We filmed in Cincinnati, OH, and Lakeside Park, KY. Principle photography was 12 days in August 2016, and then we did the first set of pickups over four days in April 2017 and the last set over a week in February 2018.
What does having the World Premiere at FrightFest Glasgow mean to you?
Cesar A. Cruz once said, “Art should comfort the disturbed and disturb the comfortable.” At my lowest, movies have made me feel less alone, and I wanted to make something that could do that for someone else. We made a small, personal, weird film, and it means the absolute world to know it means something to others and is finding its place in the world. Absolutely thrilled FrightFest get to show it first”.
Finally, what’s next for you?
We're working with a couple producers on two films, which we're obviously hoping to make soon. One is an existential horror drama, and the other is a coming-of-age comedy-drama. In the meantime, just writing a few things and hoping for the best.
A GHOST WAITS is showing at the Glasgow Film Theatre on Friday 6 March, 8.40pm, as part of Arrow Video FrightFest Glasgow 2020
Monday, 3 February 2020
Under The Shadow is released on Blu-ray on February 10th.
In 1988 Tehran, Shideh's attempts to rejoin medical school are thwarted as a consequence of her politically active history. Her husband is sent off to serve in the Iran-Iraq War while Iraqi air raids draw perilously close to their own apartment. As neighbours and friends flee from a city in chaos she is left alone with her daughter Dorsa who becomes increasingly ill and seemingly disturbed. Shideh initially dismisses her tantrums over a missing doll but is soon terrified they've been targeted by a djinn - a malevolent spirit that steals from those it seeks to possess.
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