An interview with actress, scream queen and burlesque performer, Kaylee Williams.

One of the genuine joys of this blogging malarkey has been the opportunity that it has given me to speak to a wide and varied selection of creative individuals. Along the way I’ve spoke to authors, filmmakers, actors and many other talented folks who have been taken in by my pestering and self delusion masquerading itself as any sort of influential blogging talent.

In amongst that ever growing list of genuinely creative individuals, there have also a couple of very famous names, one of which just happened to be long time scream queen loves of my life. Someone once told me you should never meet your heroes, well the meeting may only have been virtual, but nevertheless, Adrienne Barbeau was loveliness personified. If you don’t believe me, you can read about her loveliness herself either here on UKhorrorScene (click on the NEW Interviews A-Z tab above ) or on my blog HERE

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This particular article is in some way the polar opposite of that interview, because while this may indeed an interview with a scream queen, it is in this case one who is is just in the early stages of her career. I say ‘early stages’ because she may well be a fledgling when it comes to time spent in the business, but certainly isn’t a fledgling in terms of work output.

Kaylee Williams is a native of Chicago, Illinois. Since first falling into acting, she has become an established scream queen in the horror genre.

Kaylee was nominated for Best Actress in a Short for her lead role in The Many Monsters of Sarah Roth at the 2010 Oklahoma Horror Film Fest and won for Best Actress in an Anthology or Collection by NerdRemix’s Best of 2012 Awards for her role in the segment “Anti-Bodies” in the horror anthology Psycho Street.

Her most recent release is The Lashman (2014), a masterful contemporary slasher movie that I had the pleasure and privilege to recieve a sneak preview of just a couple of weeks ago, a review of which appeared previously here on UKHorrorScene HERE and once again on my blog at HERE

For these of you that haven’t read the review of The Lashman, or simply cannot be bothered to click on the link, Kaylee plays Jan, who is part of five school friends heading off on a weekend excursion into the hills for a weekend of fishing, swimming and campfire tales near their cabin retreat. For the group, it’s the chance for one final celebration before they have to go their separate ways to college and whatever different paths their lives will take them. Of course, there is a crate or two of beer to help the weekend along. And Mustard, lots of Mustard.

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Kaylee (front right), before the screaming begins…

Soon after arrival at their secluded (of course) cabin, the friends are sharing a scary campfire tale about a local urban-myth. He is simply referred to as ‘The Lashman’ – a man from many years past who was treated pretty badly by the local populace and now whose spirit magically wanders the hills seeking violent and bloody revenge on those that wronged him….or even those who haven’t wronged him, he isn’t particular. However, little do they realise that a harmless campfire tale of revenge and murder is going to become very real for them and turn into their own worst bloody nightmares!

It’s a tremendous slasher film that confounds many of the boring and tedious cliches that have worn down the genre over the years that had regarded apparently ‘mundane’ things such as character detail hardly being anywhere near the top of their requirements list. In The Lashman, the characters are given time to breathe and develop before the carnage begins – and Kaylee’s role in particular caught my eye (and many others eyes , it has to be said).

It’s a performance that is ballsy, sexy and full of wit – the scene where she turns the tables on her jerk of a boyfriend and chastises him is particularly funny. …….. and my god can she scream – the requisite qualities of a horror scream queen are there in mucho abundance.

Kaylee then fell into my cunning ploy of befriending her on Facebook and then foolishly kindly agreed to give me a short interview. so it transpired that a few weeks ago I compiled my list of my usually cutting edge and insightful questions and sent them to the lovely lady. Unfortunately for me, due to her being as busy as busy could be she was unable to respond straight away. Despite my pestering, she was niceness personified, even when I asked her recently if she still had the questions, she was apologising profusely for the delay.

kw3So earlier in the week I was delighted to hear from Kaylee after she had found a window in her schedule to answer my questions – so here it is……

K) “Hey there! Here you go! So sorry for the delay! Thank you for your patience! :-)”
Me) Hey no worries ūüôā
Firstly, Kaylee. Thanks for taking time out of your schedule to talk to me – I’ll try not to bore you too much! As professional I felt it important to fully, er, research, your Facebook photo’s before this interview. So why does Facebook hate boobs?

K) “Ha, I don‚Äôt know, you would have to ask Facebook about its personal feelings about boobs. But even if FB were totally pro-boobs, I still wouldn‚Äôt be giving away anything for free, LOL.”

Me) Hey, congratulations on being nominated for best supporting actress at the 2014 Indie Horror Film Festival for your role in Ron Fitzgerald’s “Dark Realm” Project!! You can now lie about how it’s being nominated that matters & not winning

K) “Well I actually did win and I‚Äôm SUPER excited about that! It was a huge honor to be named Best Supporting Actress. I think I actually squeeled quite girlishly with excitement when my name was called, haha.”

kw4Me) I know that give done working other genres, but you’re mostly associated with indie horror. Was working in this genre by design or just a case of where the work happens to be?

K) “Honestly, it‚Äôs just where the work has happened to be. Don‚Äôt get me wrong, I love doing horror films and I plan to keep doing them, but I‚Äôm definitely also open to branching out and doing other genres.”

Me) The indie horror scene seems to be incredibly healthy at the moment on both sides of the pond. Why do you think this is the case?

K) “I think that it‚Äôs just such a popular genre that there‚Äôs always going to be new and interesting indie horror films being developed/released all over the world.”

kw5Me) I recently interviewed Cameron Macasland who directed you in the soon to be released The Lashman. What are your memories of filming that project?

K) “What first comes to mind is that it was HOT! We shot in Kentucky in the middle of summer and it was over 100 degrees every day. But it‚Äôs easy to forget the heat when you‚Äôre having fun. It was such a great cast and crew and we all had a blast working together to create a really awesome film. I‚Äôve gotten to see it and I think it turned out great! It just had its premiere on April 19th. I‚Äôm really excited about this one. So far people really seem to be digging it.”

Me) So does working in ‘mainstream’ films interest you?

K) “Absolutely, if given the opportunity I would love to work in mainstream films!”

Me) Apart from your many film roles you are also a performer for the fabulously named, Gorilla Tango Burlesque – Provocative Parody For The Discerning Nerd – Tell us about this, it sounds simply amazing!

K) “We do nerd-themed burlesque shows and it‚Äôs tons of fun! Some of the things we have parodied include Star Wars, Super Mario Bros, Batman, Indiana Jones, and Star Trek. I currently play Princess Leia in ‚ÄúThe Empire Brings Sexy Back: A Star Wars Burlesque Sequel,‚ÄĚ Princess Leia/Han Solo in ‚ÄúA Nude Hope: A Star Wars Burlesque,‚ÄĚ and various characters in ‚ÄúTemple of Boobs: An Indiana Jones Burlesque.‚ÄĚ I also got to play Luigi in ‚ÄúBoobs and Goombas: A Super Mario Burlesque,‚ÄĚ which closed last year. I‚Äôve been performing with Gorilla Tango Burlesque nearly every weekend since October of 2012 and I plan to continue performing with them for as long as they will have me!”

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And a Billion Princess Leia fantasies are rekindled.

Me) I’d like to say many thanks for you giving your time & hope that the questions weren’t too tedious.

K) “Thank YOU for the interview!! ‚ėļ”

So there you have it, not only is she talented, funny, gorgeous and it seems a genuinely nice person, but to be honest she had me at ‚ÄúBoobs and Goombas: A Super Mario Burlesque‚ÄĚ, which believe me is something I would have given my right arm to have seen, if only for the fabulous title of the piece itself – genius.

Kaylee Williams can be reached by her Facebook page HERE

The most wonderfully named Gorilla Tango Burlesque – Provocative Parody For The Discerning Nerd ‘s Facebook page can be enjoyed HERE

The Lashman movie Facebook page link can be found HERE

An Interview with Hayley Derryberry by Dean Sills

SONY DSCAn Interview with Hayley Derryberry by Dean Sills

UKHS – Hi Hayley, welcome to UK Horror Scene.

First of all I would just like to say you have the most fantastic¬†name for an actress, it’s really cool. How did you get into acting and¬†writing especially in the horror genre and what is it about the horror¬†genre that you enjoy so much?

HD – Some actors get started in theater or commercials,¬†I got started in the ‚ÄúIndie‚ÄĚ world. I started my professional acting career in Albuquerque, New¬†Mexico, and there was a huge scene of independent filmmakers there and¬†where there is independent film there tends to always be horror. I¬†expected that I would end up in horror, but what I didn‚Äôt expect is¬†how much I would love it. The horror genre is one of the most¬†forgiving for new filmmakers starting out with low budgets. It also¬†has the most loyal and accepting group of fans that you‚Äôll find¬†anywhere. The best thing about working in horror is connecting with¬†the fans.

 

hdb3UKHS –¬†Your new movie ‘Rabid Love’ recently came out on DVD. You play the¬†lead character Heather Ross plus you also co-produced and co-wrote the¬†film. I did enjoy the movie and it was great we go to know the¬†characters. How did you and your husband Paul J. Porter (Director and¬†co-star) come up with the story and what’s it like working with your¬†husband especially when he is directing you?

HD –¬†The story was all Paul‚Äôs idea. And then, the script kind of formed¬†around the locations and actors that we had available. It was changing¬†down to the last day of shooting. The main driving force behind Rabid¬†Love was to get our first feature film made and do have fun while¬†doing it. We didn‚Äôt want to stress ourselves out too much because we¬†knew we‚Äôd be doing most of the work on our own. Working with Paul now¬†just seems like any other day. When we first started, we thought we¬†should try separating our professional and personal lives and all¬†that. That lasted about a day. Finally we realized that this is who we¬†are and how we work. Our work is a part of our home life and visa¬†versa.

 

hdb1UKHS –¬†I love how the movie is set in the 1980s and at times it almost feels¬†like it was made in the 80s. How did you find the perfect location and¬†how long did the entire shoot take?

HD –¬†Originally we wanted to find a very forest-heavy location, maybe¬†something up north with a big lake like you see in many summer¬†vacation movies. But Paul was just looking around on Google maps at¬†Hanston, Kansas (which is where he spent a lot of time while growing¬†up) and he saw a few wooded areas and a little bit of water and¬†thought we might be able to do it there. Hanston was well located for¬†us because it was close to Albuquerque and close to Kansas City and¬†Paul‚Äôs grandmother lives there so we would have some local resources.
The town itself still looks like it is in the 80’s so it worked out great. The cabin where the characters all stay is one that Paul’s family rents out every year for hunting trips and it also looked trapped in time. I can’t imagine now trying to shoot anywhere else. I think the entire shoot was 5 weeks.

 

hdb2UKHS –¬†What was it like working with Brandon Stacy (David) and the rest of¬†the cast of ‘Rabid Love’ and have you worked with any of them before?

HD –¬†Brandon and a lot of our main cast had worked with us on a short¬†version of Rabid Love that we shot to raise money for the feature,¬†then we brought on a couple more faces for the final shoot. The entire¬†cast was amazing. We were truly lucky to get them. They were all real¬†pro‚Äôs and we were even more lucky that they were willing to live with¬†us out in the middle of Kansas for a month.

 

UKHS –¬†How did you prepare for the role of Heather and how much of you is¬†actually in her?

HD –¬†Heather is pretty much me, or at least one of my sides. We actors tend¬†to have multiple people trapped inside us. Heather is one of mine. For¬†the feature I had to do a lot of running. I didn‚Äôt grow up doing any¬†kind of sports and certainly no track but Paul did and he taught me a¬†lot. I ran 5 days a week leading up to the shoot and learned how to¬†jump hurdles. I ended up really enjoying the running so I kept it up¬†afterward for myself.

 

hdb4UKHS –¬†When you are writing about horror or comedy where does your¬†inspiration come from?

HD –¬†I‚Äôve never been trained as a writer and I don‚Äôt think my brain works¬†the same way that many of theirs do. For me when I‚Äôm writing, I kind¬†of act out and visualize the scenes in my head as if I‚Äôm watching the¬†movie and as long as I understand each character, I can figure out¬†what‚Äôs going to happen in that scene. Its really important for me to¬†build up each character and understand their backstories and¬†motivations then writing everything else just falls into place.

 

UKHS –¬†Can you tell us a little about some of your other work as an actress¬†and which projects have you enjoyed working on the most?

HD РLike I said, I got started in the indie world. I’ve done a lot of low budget films, many of which never got finished or never got sold. My favorites are ones where I really get to develop a character. I’ve done a lot of bit parts on TV shows or bigger projects, but for most of them I don’t really get to do much with my character. The best is when I have a character with a major arc in the film and I really get to work on it. And then its even better if there are special effects involved. One of the coolest projects I’ve gotten to work on was Red, White, and Bluey last year in Australia. I had a major character in the film (White) and Paul and I got to fly out to Australia to work on it. Plus it was Sci Fi, so all around a really great job for an actor.

 

hdb5UKHS –¬†If you were stranded on a desert island, which three items would you¬†want to have with you?

HD –¬†Clean drinking water and a boat, maybe some sunscreen. Sorry got to¬†get back to my civilization. I love being around people. Solitude is¬†not for me.

 

UKHS –¬†I read that your favourite Horror movie is ‘Evil Dead ll’. I love how¬†it mixes pure elements of tense horror with comedy. What do you love¬†about this movie and why is it your favourite?

HD –¬†I didn‚Äôt grow up watching a lot of horror films and the ones I did get¬†to see always just scared me to death. So I grew up thinking that¬†horror was just scary. It was in my late teens probably about 19 years¬†old when I saw Evil Dead II for the first time. It was the first¬†horror film that I saw that was fun. Then it was like I just got it:¬†It is fun to scare the crap out of yourself sometimes. My favorite¬†horror films are the ones that can scare you and make you laugh.

 

hdb8UKHS –¬†Finally, are you currently working on any other projects which you¬†can tell UKHS about?

HD –¬†Paul and I are working on shooting another film soon, and I‚Äôve been¬†writing. There are a few projects that I‚Äôm working on as an actress as¬†well, but everything is still in its early stages so I don‚Äôt want to¬†make any announcements yet. Do follow me on Twitter. That is the best¬†way to keep up with me. I‚Äôm @HaylzBellz and I look forward to¬†connecting more with you. Thank you, Dean

 

UKHS РYou are welcome, Hayley. Thank you for your time and keep up the great work.

Rabid Love is available to buy on DVD from Amazon.com in the USA – HERE

Images courtesy: Hayley Derryberry

www.hayleyderryberry.com

Facebook – HERE

An Interview with Neil Stevens and Gary Rogers by Dean Sills

An Interview with Neil Stevens and Gary Rogers by Dean Sills

Neil Stevens

Neil Stevens

This month at UK Horror Scene we have a double interview with Neil Stevens and Gary Rogers. The two of them have worked together on a number of projects. Neil is a superb special effects make-up artist and Gary is a talented director.

Hi guys, welcome to UKHS and thank you for your time.

UKHS – Neil, how did¬†you get into special effects make-up and what’s it like being a special¬†effects make-up artist?

Neil – I’ve been interested in special effects¬†every since going on a visit to Granada Studios when I was at school in the¬†80’s. We were shown the make-up room and a make-up artist gave me a fake¬†congealed blood scab. After that I was hooked. I found some liquid latex in¬†a shop and the other kids in my class would pay me a pound to do fake cuts
complete with stitches on them. It is a great feeling as an artist to create effects for our films that will get a reaction from people.

UKHS –¬†Gary, how did you get into filmmaking and why horror?

Gary Rogers

Gary Rogers

Gary – I had a¬†fascination with film and film making right back from an early age after¬†seeing Star Wars at the Cinema. I watched a ‚ÄėMaking of Star Wars‚Äô program¬†on TV and seeing the models being blown up running down fishing wires just¬†fascinated me and I knew from that point I wanted to be working in films.¬†Then in my early teens I saw Alien. That was a real turning point for the¬†genre I loved! So how did I eventually get into filmmaking? I knew I needed¬†to find like-minded people to get involved and make films. I stumbled¬†across ‚ÄėMeetup‚Äô and searched for filmmakers, which led me to Eugene. Eugene¬†was passionate about writing so we started playing with ideas for filming.

Mine and Neil’s real break through was working on Bigger and Badder, the film that I first met Neil. Neil was already involved and through a mutual friend Steve Bosworth I was asked to shoot it as I had just brought the Sony FS100 which I convinced them was better than the Canon DSLR they was going to use! Bigger and Badder is a great horror and I guess this just paved the way for myself and Neil to do horror as Neil is an amazing sculptor and effects makeup artist.

Glass Cannon's Holmganga.UKHS – Neil, you have worked on a number of films with Gary including¬†‘Chestwyrm’ and ‘Bigger and Badder’. What do you enjoy most about working¬†with Gary?

Neil – Gary and I first met filming on Bigger and Badder. His¬†passion for film making was evident from the get-go. After such a great¬†experience with working on Bigger and Badder we decided to start making our¬†own films from that point. We have the same taste in films so we are on the¬†same page with what we want to put on screen. We love practical effects and¬†we’ll always push to make sure that we can achieve our effects in the real¬†world. Gary is like any other artist except his brush is the camera and he¬†uses that to create amazing shots.

 

UKHS – Gary, what’s your favourite¬†Horror film?

Gary – As for favourite horror film, there are many, but it¬†has to be Alien. I have so much respect for this film. Firstly it is real¬†art! Ridley Scott is an artist and a master of light and Alien never seems¬†to age or look dated. Even though I look at the chunky 70‚Äôs switches on the¬†consoles it still looks functional even today. There has been so many Alien¬†film clones since then and none ever come close to creating the atmosphere¬†that Ridley Scott did all those years ago! I have to mention John¬†Carpenters ‚ÄėThe Thing‚Äô though‚Ķ.. I love that film, scary as hell! I love¬†the fact it‚Äôs all practical effects and even though looking a little dated¬†today I am 100% sold on practical effects rather than CGI.

di1UKHS – Neil, Can you tell us how you got involved in ‘Crying Wolf’ and¬†‘Cute Little Buggers’ and how much time did you spend on set doing the¬†special effects make-up?

Neil – My involvement with Crying Wolf and Cute¬†Little Buggers came about after the director Tony Jopia saw me doing a demo¬†at a horror convention in 2013 called Scardiff. We got talking and when¬†they wanted to film some additional footage for both of the films they got¬†in touch with me to do the make-up. I think I worked for about 12 hours on¬†each film. It was a great experience, one which taught me a lot. I’m really¬†looking forward to seeing both films finished and the reactions to the¬†effects. I think people will have positive reactions to both films but¬†especially Cute Little Buggers. I can’t think of anything like it that I’ve¬†ever seen.

UKHS РGary, what lessons has your career in filmmaking taught you so far?

Gary – There has been so many lessons along the way. Firstly¬†it‚Äôs hard! Getting a project off the ground is hard especially getting¬†people together at the same time. Trust has been an issue too. Everyone we¬†work with currently I trust 100% which hasn‚Äôt always been the case. The¬†‚Äėindie‚Äô and ‚Äėlow budget‚Äô filmmaking community is a strange place! I have¬†seen so many arguments between people over what are really insignificant¬†projects; you would think they were major Hollywood projects costing¬†millions.

But at the end of the day I would say just go with an idea and shoot it. Don’t talk about doing things, actually make a date to go shoot stuff. Digital is cheaper than film! If it doesn’t look right shoot it again. You can only improve and grow as a filmmaker by practicing. We have pledged this year to shoot several projects, some big, some small all with the aim of improving what we do!

 

di2UKHS – Neil, what’s been your greatest¬†achievement as a makeup artist and how long does the process of using¬†prosthetic sculpting, molding and casting techniques take to create¬†advanced cosmetic effects on each project?

Neil – Best achievement so far,¬†I think make-up wise it is going to be Cute Little Buggers. I got to do¬†some unique character make-ups on that film which took me away from the¬†usual gore type make-ups I’ve done so far. As far as our best film¬†achievement, it has to be Chestwyrm. We got into the Top 50 out of about¬†300 entries Worldwide, which for only our second film I think was pretty¬†good. As far as the overall process of creating effects goes it really¬†depends what the effect is. It can take a couple of hours to do a piece¬†start to finish or several days.

UKHS РGary, what do you love most about working with Neil and how many films have you worked on together?

Gary –¬†Meeting Neil was quite a turning point. The reason we hit it off is that we¬†both want the same thing, to make films. Just when you think you know what¬†Neil is capable of he produces a new sculpt that blows everything else
before it out the water, he is full of surprises! Also when it comes to the¬†scripts he will come out with a suggestion that turns the story on it‚Äôs¬†head and makes everyone go ‚ÄėOMG why didn‚Äôt we think of that‚Äô! He‚Äôs a great¬†ideas man! To date we have worked on 4 main films together, Bigger and¬†Badder, Six Seconds To Die, Chestwyrm, Peter Crombie Teenage Zombie.

 

di3UKHS- Finally, are you both working on any other new projects which you can tell UKHS about?

Neil – Deserted Road Productions have some really exciting¬†projects in the works including the second horror film I’ve written called¬†George which will hopefully build on the success we have had with 6 Seconds¬†To Die and Chestwyrm. I really don’t want to give too much away and spoil¬†the surprise but to say George is a cross between Norman Bates and Mr Bean¬†is probably the best way to explain him. We always like to add a little¬†twist and keep people guessing with our films and I think George will¬†continue that approach. Hopefully we will have George ready to release by¬†the end of the summer and we’ll make sure UK Horror Scene are one of the¬†first to see it.

Gary РYes we have a few! As for horror we have started working on a short written by Neil called George. While not going into great detail there will be some amazing acting and just a little bloodshed! We are currently talking about two larger horror projects but really are just ideas for development at the moment and while not a horror project we are currently filming a hard hitting gritty drama called Consequence, a story revolving around the world of drugs and what consequences are unleashed for those involved…. Exciting times for all of us!

UKHS- Thanks guys and good luck with ‘George’ and ‘Consequence’. Keep up the great work!

For more info on Gary & Neil and their projects please check the links below.

www.pixelperfectionmedia.co.uk

www.desertedroadproductions.co.uk

Deserted Road Productions FACEBOOK PAGE

 

COPS AND WEREWOLVES: A FULL ECLIPSE retrospective with director Anthony Hickox

COPS AND WEREWOLVES: A FULL ECLIPSE retrospective with director Anthony Hickox

fe1It’s not everyday that you get to chinwag with one of your all time favourite filmmakers. Then again it’s not everyday a social media stalking campaign actually pays off without resulting in a restraining order. You see after spending two weeks grooming them like I were an online pervert, I finally got the sort of response I was after: an email. An email from a mysterious account known only as ‘007’.

“Hey there!” it read, “Just don’t ask me about the end werewolf!!!! Hahahaha.”
Fast-forward a few days later – after a little hotmail back and forth – and I was making a transatlantic phone call to someone whose work I had religiously obsessed over since I was fourteen. Keeping my fawning fanboy screeching in check and whacking my serious horror journo head on, I was about to talk to Anthony Hickox. Our focus? His 1993 lycanthrope gem Full Eclipse.

“God, I can’t even remember. Tell ’em to go on IMDb!” the Brit maverick laughs when I ask him to give you lovely lot a breakdown of his beginnings and career up to Full Eclipse, his sixth feature. “It all started with Waxwork (1988) but I’m not sure how it got from doing crazy low-budget gore-fests to HBO saying “Come and do Full Eclipse for us”. I think I might have done Extreme, a TV pilot, before then but I don’t remember the dates. Or they might have been friends with Pete Abrams of Tapestry, you know, where we’d just done the Warlock sequel. It might have been that way; I can’t quite remember exactly how.” Well let’s see if we can fill in some blanks…

Hickox was born into a film making family. His father, the late Douglas Hickox, was a director himself, the man behind Zulu Dawn and the Vincent Price classic Theatre of Blood. His mother Anne V. Coates meanwhile is the veteran Academy Award-winning editor of Lawrence of Arabia. Young Tony it would seem was destined for the movie biz. “Yeah, I don’t think I really had a choice,” he says. “My dad always said that if he was a butcher, I’d be cutting meat. Which is true because both of my parents worked all the time, so every holiday I had from school I’d be on a film set. Which helps a lot, you know? I mean, it doesn’t help you to make good movies ‘cos you either can or you can’t, but it certainly gave me the experience so that I wasn’t scared when I went to make Waxwork. Even though I hadn’t done anything before, I had the confidence and I’m sure that was a running help in it.”.

fe2A gleeful terror-comedy, Waxwork was part Hammer tribute, part eighties schlocker; an instant cult favourite that, for the next five years anyway, allowed the director to carve out his own unique niche as a key purveyor of lively B horror hokum. It’s a genuinely impressive run, from the excellent blood suckin’ and gunslingin’ Sundown: The Vampire in Retreat (1990); to his trio of ace sequels Waxwork II: Lost in Time (1992), Hellraiser III: Hell On Earth (1992) and Warlock: The Armageddon (1993); all the way right through to the mighty Full Eclipse: Hickox’s pi√®ce de r√©sistance.

“I loved doing Full Eclipse,” Hickox says. “It was a really fun experience, and we had a budget and we could actually do some stuff. It turned into chaos by the end because we went way over budget and schedule. We had all the HBO execs sitting on the set the last day and we had like six pages to shoot, and they were just like “Well we don’t care! We’re going to shut you down in two hours!”.

“There’s a new police force on the streets,” screams Full Eclipse’s tagline, “And they only come out at night!”. Decorated LAPD detective Max Dire [Mario Van Peebles] is burning out. His marriage is crumbling and now, thanks to the bizarre fallout of a nightclub shoot out, his partner Jim Sheldon [Anthony John Denison] has committed suicide. Soon, Max finds himself at the attentions of the mysterious and charismatic Adam Garou [Bruce Payne]; a high ranking police officer who shares Max’s increasing distaste for the scumbag criminals they have to contend with. Inviting Max to a special meeting with four other select officers [Patsy Kensit, Jason Beghe, John Verea and Paula Marshall], Max quickly becomes embroiled in Garou’s group The Pack: an elite squad of vicious vigilantes turbo powered by Garou’s werewolf serum. The only problem is, The Pack – and Garou in particular- are getting increasingly out of control…

Cops, vigilantes and mother-effin’ werewolves. Could it get any cooler? It’s hard to believe that a film with such a fruity premise was actually made for television; TV movies – back then at least – were hardly known for being so wild and wacky right? “Yeah, a big wild TV movie!” Hickox chuckles. “HBO wanted… I’ve forgotten who it was over there but he was a really nice guy, and they wanted to try and – well, they just liked the script – but they kind of wanted to do that Friday night action movie thing that they began after that. It ended up really successful for them too; like it ran for five years. I just liked the idea though. I love action movies and I love werewolves so it was just perfect!”

fe3Hickox’s attraction to the Michael Reaves and Richard Christian Matheson-penned screenplay – originally titled The Pack – was obvious in hindsight. Dissecting his body of work Full Eclipse is ram-packed with everything totally Hickoxian, from the adrenaline pumping set pieces to the bending, merging and subversion of multiple genre’s and conventions. More so, Full Eclipse continues to expand on Waxwork II and Warlock: The Armageddon’s core idea of regular characters transforming into superhero-like beings. Even beyond his horror work it’s a recurring Hickox motif. “That’s interesting,” the director says, “I’ve never thought about it like that. My favourite movie of all time though is North by Northwest where, you know, Cary Grant has to become, well, turn from a normal guy and become that kind of superhero. Obviously not in the mystical way, but he is put in these situations that he has to figure out and he has to become the guy that those pursuing him think he is. I guess it’s that I’m tapping into.”

“The script though didn’t actually have that much action originally,” he continues. “It was more just like the cop side: cops who become werewolves, kind of Judge Dredd, like the law and the executioner. I just added those two huge action scenes at the beginning. I love to blend genres; it’s fun as a director to try and blend. I kind of did with Waxwork, which was really kind of a time travel comedy as well as a horror movie. And with Sundown, I kinda love that, ‘cos I wanted to make a cowboy movie but no one was really making cowboy movies, and that original script came and I kind of rewrote it to become much more cowboy. The six shooters, the holsters… I did a TV pilot that never went too called Martian Law and that was cowboys on Mars. David Carradine was the bad guy and I literally… I mean, I did a full on western on Mars. The whole deal!”.

Never one to shy away from doffing his cap to his myriad of influences, Hickox stages Full Eclipse’s scenes of gun toting rough and tumble with real Hong Kong action-like flair. It’s a bold choice; a bold choice that makes Full Eclipse – along with his 1996 psycho drama Invasion of Privacy – one of Hickox’s most visually arresting movies. With his already keen eye for a ten-awesome shot, that’s really bloody saying something. “Yeah, I’d been watching all the John Woo – this was before everyone else started doing it – and I’d been watching all these crazy Hong Kong action movies, and I was like, “well this would be a great thing” about all the slow motion and all the double gun stuff. Of course, its been done to death since then but at the time no one had really done it, especially on American television. Now I’d always loved Sundown and the way I’d shot it really wide – like, there’s hardly any close ups in it – but I thought if I was going to be doing a TV movie, I’ve got to come close. I’ve got to get really close to try and make it stand out on a television screen. Tony Scott and the kind of movies he shot, those were a big influence too; where you just put it [the camera] on a 1000mm long lens and you kind of dig in and try find the moment. Most of those sets were three wall sets so the camera would be literally, you know, across the stage from the actors. It’s really interesting, but it helps kind of give it that really slick look, especially when you put a lot of smoke in there. I thought Sandi did a great job.”

fe4“She’s a tough girl and she has a real opinion,” Hickox says when I ask him to elaborate on his working relationship with Sandi Sissel, Full Eclipse’s BAFTA and Satellite Award nominated Director of Photography. “And I have got to say I got along really well with her, but she was very difficult to producers and stuff. She wouldn’t let them fuck with her, you know.”. As awful as it sounds, maybe it’s because she plies her trade in such a male-dominated area, I offer. “Maybe. There is hardly any female DP’s though. It’s really weird,” muses Hickox. “But, yeah, she was great. I loved her. I tried to get her on a couple more movies but she was busy, and I still want to work with her again at some point. She captured the look I wanted perfectly.”

Hickox is full of praise for the rest of his behind the scenes crew too. “All the costumes, you know; we had Tarantino’s costume designer [Jacqueline Aronson]. Everything was designed: all the suits, all the colours. There were very few accidents on Full Eclipse. We had a really good editor on it too, Peter – argh, what’s his name? I never know how to pronounce it! [Peter Amundson] But yeah, a big action editor. He’s still working on all the action movies. We had a really good team. It was just one of those things where everybody – the production designer, everybody- we all got along and we all had the same vision. HBO too; they didn’t hold me back at all. They just totally left me alone – well, until the last week where we went over and stuff! But creatively I had no, no nothing. They just said go for it which is why I think HBO right now has such quality. They pick directors they want to work with and they let them go and do what they want to do. They famously don’t try and control the film in any way: they hire you and leave you alone to do the movie. And that’s what good producers do.”

It’s hard not to smile hearing Hickox say that, what with his own experiences with meddlesome producers: first on 1997’s comic strip-based fantasy Prince Valiant (Hickox thought he was making The Princess Bride whilst the German producers wanted Braveheart), and then on 2000’s Jill Rips; an underrated serial killer thriller. “Oh my God, yeah,” he laughs. “Well, the problem with Jill Rips was it was originally meant to be Tom Berenger and we got… Dolph Lundgren. And, well, you know what? I should have probably just left the movie at that point but I can’t do that. Dolph’s a nice guy – we’d just worked together on Storm Catcher (1999) – but he was just wrong for the part, and the friend of mine who financed it was like “Just make it, Dolph’ll be great” and so we did the best we could. I actually love the way that looks too, by the way. I love the kinkiness and I love the fact I tried to make it look like a seventies porn movie, the whole thing. I wanted it to have that feel.”

fe5“But yeah, when everybody is kind of working towards – and doing – the same movie, usually something good will come out of it. Not always, but usually. As long as the creative team are all one vision, and the actors have to understand it too. We had a little problem with Patsy Kensit. She wasn’t quite used to shooting how we were.”. So was Kensit difficult to work with? Hickox pauses for a moment, chewing over a careful and diplomatic response. “Not so much difficult as… She came from a different place. We were all mucking in and it became a bit of a boy’s club. We were all like “Let’s just shoot, shoot, shoot” – I love to shoot and I hate just sitting around – and all the other actors understood that, but Patsy she was just like “Oh no, no; I’ve got my make up and my trailer” and we were all “No! Get her out, get her on set. We’re shooting!”. She didn’t know what was going on.”

Interestingly, round about the time she started appearing in Emmerdale eight or nine years ago, Kensit stated in a Sunday paper supplement that Full Eclipse was the most miserable shooting experience of her career. “Yeah, she actually mentioned it in her book as well!” Hickox cackles. “Somebody, a friend, said “Oh, you’ve just been insulted in Patsy’s book”.” Who hasn’t, I fire back. “Exactly! But, yeah, she was actually a friend before which is a bit weird, but she just couldn’t… She just didn’t understand the pace we were doing. And we were working long hours; sometimes like fourteen, fifteen hour days. We had five weeks which, you know, for a TV movie is a good amount of time, but we were packing a lot in and to light – to make it look like how it did – takes time. The lighting was just so important.”.

So what of the other members of the Full Eclipse cast? How were they to work with? “Van Peebles was fantastic. He’d directed before too which was great, and which was probably another thing with Patsy because he totally understood what I was doing, how I was doing it and… And I think she felt a bit left out. And, you know, he would encourage me to go even further all the time. I’d just saw that cowboy movie he’d made, Posse [which he also directed], and I thought he’d be great and I sent him the script and he said “I love it”. It’s funny because the part was never written for a black guy and, even when I sent it to Mario, it was written for a white guy. He said Full Eclipse was the first script he’d ever got that didn’t outright say “a black guy” in it.”

And Paula Marshall? “Oh, I love Paula. She’s great. She’s another one: she comes onto the shoot and she’s just fun to work with,” he says. Having starred in both Hellraiser III and Warlock: The Armageddon, it’s safe to say that she was once one of your stock players, yes? “It’s like, well, why not? Why not work with people who are good and that you know? It makes it so much easier every time you work them, so I’d work with the same people all the time if I could. I think it’s very important. Like when I work with Gerry Lively [Director of Photography and frequent Hickox collaborator], we don’t need to talk half the time because we just know what we’re doing together.”

fe6What about Bruce Payne then, I ask. Best remembered as the lip-smackingly wicked villain in the Wesley Snipes actioner Passenger 57, the English thespian is well known for his somewhat prickly on-set presence. He did, after all, give director Christophe Gans a bit of a hard time on the Lovecraft-inspired portmanteau Necronomicon. “Yeah, Payne… The name is quite appropriate!” Hickox chuckles. “But that’s what he does to get what he does, if you know what I mean. I’ve found with actors now that some are them are just like that: they don’t have to be fun as long as they’re good. And he was very professional. So, you know, he’d always be on time, he’d always do what he was told, he gave the performance… He doesn’t have to be a happy or joyous person on the set; that’s not what they were paying him for. I think he did a great job.”. And indeed he did. He’s completely electric actually, unleashing a turn of magnetic and seductive evil. Just look at the scene in which Payne’s Garou asserts his status as Top Dog over Kensit’s Casey Spencer: it’s quite possibly the highlight of the movie. On a cute interconnected side note, Payne would later assume the Julian Sands role in 1999’s Warlock III: The End of Innocence.

Irregardless of how problematic Kensit and Payne may have been, their behaviour was surely a cakewalk compared to the hell martial arts bloater Steven Seagal inflicted upon Hickox whilst making the 2005 dud Submerged. “Well, the script for Submerged was brilliant, I have to say,” he sighs. “It started life as a full on horror and sci-fi. I just thought wouldn’t it be great if you were stuck at the bottom of the ocean with fucking aliens on your submarine! So that was the original idea, and we story boarded it and we designed the creatures; like these little, mini kind of crab insects that could go down the drains of the submarine so you’d never know when they were coming. It was really interesting. And then Seagal came on board.”. So that’s how it turned into just another one of his garbled, straight-to-DVD action flicks? “Yeah. I met him at his house – which is when I should have realised it was all going to go wrong – but he was like “I love the script blah blah blah” and then I get a phone call like three weeks before we started shooting. We’d planned everything and he was like “I don’t think this movie should be on a submarine”. Erm, but it’s called Submerged and it is on a submarine! And then he was like “But I want a big opera scene,” – I mean, this is literally how it happened – “I want an opera scene!” But, you’re on a submarine! “Yeah, well I’ve decided I don’t like aliens and I don’t like monsters. I don’t want to be in a monster movie”. And basically that’s why it ended up like it did. We had no clue what we were doing: no script, and the whole mind control thing in the final film was made up the last week before shooting! It was really insane. At that point, again I should have quit, but I needed the cash.”

Though not entirely worthless, with Hickox’s visual verve and commitment to rapid fire incident as strong as ever, Submerged is perhaps the most frivolous of his films. It is though an almost near typical example of Hickox’s post Full Eclipse career, even if it’s not best representative of it on the whole. “Yeah, I sort of went off on a tangent that I’m now trying to get back from,” he explains. “I started getting… Well, you’ve got to pay the rent and I started getting these offers for like these ten million dollar action and thriller movies, like Blast (2004) and Submerged.” Full Eclipse then fits nicely between these two distinct phases, thanks to its potent mash up of good ol’ fashioned hare ’em-scare ’em horror and tough action. The more adventurous of you horror nuts would do well to give a bunch of these later Hickox flicks a look, the Armand Assante-starring caper Federal Protection (2002); the noir tinged erotic thriller Payback (1995), and Invasion of Privacy especially so.

fe9Even though Hickox moved away from horror it’s still easy to see just how much the genre courses through him, something the denouement of Invasion of Privacy can attest to. “Yeah, I kinda let myself go into my slasher head at the end,” he says. “I shot it a bit too slasher like when the rest of the film was… I was trying to do Polanski. I shot it all on 35mm, kinda doing Rosemary’s Baby. If you look at the sets, none of the sets have ceilings, which if you look at Rosemary’s Baby, you never see a ceiling. I was really doing my homage to Polanski with that style and the kind of weird relationships that he loves to explore. I think I went a bit too nineties slasher with the lightning and the rain at the end though. I mean, I love that, but did it need that in that particular movie? Should I have been a little more toned down, you know? I just love horror though; I don’t necessarily love all the new stuff, but I am a huge horror fan, like from the moment I could speak. I was always sneaking downstairs to watch Hammer movies late at night. And that’s why my Dad made Theatre of Blood; that’s the story. I was like, “You have to do a horror movie!””.

“Invasion of Privacy has got my favourite musical theme of all my movies though. It was an Angelo Badalamenti theme, who did all the David Lynch movies, and I just called him up and was like “I love your work, and I can’t afford you, but could you just do me a theme” and he said OK. So he did. He didn’t write the whole movie but he did me the theme.” What about the music to Full Eclipse, I ask. Gary Chang’s score is beautifully simple and slick. “Yeah, he did a great score. I don’t know what he’s up to now, but he’d just done – I think he’d done some big action movie just before that [ironically, it could either be the Berenger-starring Sniper or the Seagal hit Under Siege…]. I work with Guy Farley a lot [Last Run (2000), Submerged]; I like classical, you know. I like all the Bond themes and I’m a huge John Barry fan, but I really like what Gary did; that electronic kind of beat. He’s a really nice guy too.”.

Producers credits on his brother James’ Children of the Corn III: Urban Harvest (1995) and the Wes Craven-presented Carnival of Souls remake (1998) aside, Hickox wouldn’t make his return to horror proper until 2009’s Knife Edge. Sadly, critical and fan reaction was hardly positive: “Yeah, nobody liked that movie,” he sighs. A mature and measured throwback to old school woman-in-peril mysteries, Knife Edge was a refreshing change of pace for the generally more rambunctious auteur; the polar stylistic opposite of Full Eclipse’s white-knuckle elan. It’s far from perfect, sure, but it ain’t that bad either; certainly nowhere near as duff as its mass drubbing would have you believe. “Yeah, I very purposefully went for a very sixties Hammer look,” explains Hickox. “I think when we were originally going to make Knife Edge it was right at the beginning of that whole ghost-kid thing from Japan, and I think the problem with it was that we were just too late. We should have looked at the script and gone “You know, they’ve done it like a hundred times now and we’ve got to put something new in there”. It was actually not a very nice shoot either: we had another problem with an actress, Natalie Press [the films lead]. She made it very difficult. She’s insane! But then Hugh Bonneville [co-star] was just so great and so nice that he just balanced it out.”

fe7So what’s next for the idiosyncratic helmer? I take it there’s going to be more horror on the horizon, a return to Full Eclipse-style territory perhaps? “Well, I’ve started writing now,” Hickox says, “and I’m starting to become kind of successful on that front so hopefully I’ll be able to turn the career around and get back in directing the stuff that I want to do. I’ve just done a Mugabe script – Rhodesia- that Nick Cassavetes was doing, and then Ino Moxo that Peter Webber has signed on to about the Amazon. They’re kinda serious, big… They’re writing jobs, but hopefully one of them will take off and I can go, “OK, this is a movie I want to make”. It’s like if I can make money writing, so I don’t have to do all that shit, well that’s the way I’ve got to do it. After Submerged I just stepped back from directing for a sec and thought that I was just getting tied up in all this and that and not doing what I want to do. I did try with Knife Edge but… It’s the crazy, camp Dr. Phibes- style that I love. I want to do it kind of my way now.”

“Full Eclipse though,” he reflects, “was just one of those things that was just a really good experience; the kind that just doesn’t happen that often in movie making. You know, they say directing is compromising ‘cos you’ve got a budget, you’ve got a time and stuff. When you’re writing you’ve got all the time you need and anything you want, but when you’re directing, you’re constantly sorting out problems. With some movies, like on Prince Valiant, there’s a problem every day but then some, like Full Eclipse… It was fucking hard work yeah, but it wasn’t a problem. It just kind of worked.”

As our chat winds down – and the horror of just how much TalkTalk are going to sting me for for an hour-long international call becomes apparent – I’ve got just one more question that I need answering. It’s the one that’s been hanging over the both of us like the Sword of Damocles; the elephant in the room as it were. Well, maybe more the wolf over the phone: just why, exactly, does Hickox hate that end werewolf effect so damn much?! “OK, OK!” he laughs. “Well, my favourite werewolf that I’ve done is the Waxwork one. For some reason I just love that one by Bob Keen [Hellraiser, Candyman, Event Horizon]. I love Bob. And I love Tony Gardener [Full Eclipse’s FX man], but the thing with the end werewolf is that it was done very late so we couldn’t really work and refine it. It’s like a first draft of what it was meant to be, and it kind of just always pissed me off that we didn’t get into it earlier.”. I’ve always really liked it, I say. Compared to all the other actually really poor nineties lycans, from the surprisingly cheap-looking Rick Baker work in the horror-lite Jack Nicholson vehicle Wolf; to the tawdry CGI of An American Werewolf in Paris, Full Eclipse’s final beast looks ace. “Yeah, the design – it’s not really the design, it’s the fact it’s so unmovable. It’s kind of like wearing a suit of armour so it… Like the guy inside couldn’t even move the wolf’s hand it was that heavy! I kinda wanted a World War Z version of a werewolf; a fast moving one, that’s why he’s climbing all over the crate at the end. Like, CGI would have been great in those days! Emotionally, yeah it does what you want it to do, but it was all put together in the cutting, and it was tough to cut. It was just a guy in a suit, and that suit was really fucking heavy!”.

_______________________________________________________
A massive, massive thanks to Anthony Hickox.

Find Matty on twitter @mattybudrewicz
For obvious reasons, Matty urges the uninitiated to check out Full Eclipse and everything else with Anthony Hickox’s name stuck to it !!

An Interview with Rudy Barrow by Dean Sills

rb1Rudy Barrow- Interview with Dean Sills

UKHS – The last time I saw you was on the set of ‘The Hooligan Factory’,¬†so it’s good to catch up with you again and talk about your career. First¬†of all, can you please introduce yourself to fans of UKHS who don‚Äôt already¬†know you and tell us how you got started in acting and what was the first¬†Film/Tv show that you worked on?

RB РHi Folks My Name is Barrow, Rudy Barrow, I’m a British Actor, and I’ve been in many films over the years. As far back as I can remember I’ve always wanted to be an actor, so when the chance came up I took drama lessons at school, I was the first one to put my name on the list, My filming career all kicked off when I replied to an ad in my local paper, for extras wanted! I put my name down with the casting agent and bingo my first ever role was, in a film called Split Second, in which I played the part of a police officer. Some of the films and TV shows I’ve been in are. The Bill, Vicar of Dibley, A Killer Conversation, The Lee Mack all star cast, The Hooligan Factory, Evil Up Close, Exorcist Chronicles, Dead Walkers: Rise of The Fourth Reich, Blaze of Glory, The Wrong Floor, Torture and Apostle’s Manoeuvre.

 

UKHS – You recently played an Exorcist in Jason Wright’s ‘Blaze of Gory’¬†segment “Precious”. How did you get the part and what was it like working¬†with Emily Booth?¬†

RB РWell I was in a film called A Killer Conversation, and the director, David VG Davies, recommended me to his director friend Jason Wright, as being a good choice for an Exorcist. I do believe that it’s all about being in the right place at the right time, also word of mouth Is still one of the best ways of making contacts/connections. Working with the one and only Emily Booth, was a real pleasure, we worked well together she’s a real pro, and easy on the eye too!

 

rb4UKHS – How did you prepare for your role in ‘Blaze of Gory’ and get into¬†character?¬†

RB РPractie, Practie, Practie, at least 2 hours a night for a week I learned my lines, and then I learned to say them in different ways, I set up a video camera in my living room to record my performances, and when I was happy, I used that one on the day.

 

UKHS РDo you believe in the supernatural? 

RB РI believe that the is a force out there, which..yes could be called supernatural, put it this way, there are a lot of unexplained things that happen, which nobody, can explain. We are not alone!

 

UKHS РWhich film have you enjoyed working on the most and what made it so special? 

RB РWell it would be a bit unfair to pin point any one film, but in my top 3 in no particular order I would have to be.. A Killer Conversation, it was so much fun to make, never laughed so much in my life, next up is The Wrong Floor, action and horror, I got to play the role of a scientist, loved it. Last but not least.. Apostle’s Manoeuvre, in which I play a very old man, a challenge in it’s self.

 

rb3UKHS – How would you describe your acting style?

RB РI would say that my acting style changes with each movie, but on the whole I try to be as natural as possible, I find it looks better on screen, and makes the whole film more enjoyable.

 

UKHS РWhat is your favorite horror movie? 

RB – My all time Horror/Scifi movie has to be Event Horizon… wicked¬†film, I dare you to watch it at night… alone….an oldie but still worth¬†watching.

 

UKHS РFinally, are you currently working on any other projects which you can tell UKHS about and how do you choose which projects to work on? 

RB РI’m still filming on the set of The Wrong Floor, and Torture, check them out by clicking the links below.

The Wrong Floor – Click Here for IMDB page

Torture – Click Here for IMDB page

I normally choose my projects by director, and script, and when
recommended a trustworthy sorce.

Please see my IMDB Page HERE

My Star Now Page HERE

Blaze of Glory IMDB page HERE

rb2If anyone is free ‚Äď Film Director Brian Harley will be premi√®ring his new¬†short film, ‘Apostle’s Manoeuvre’ at the end of this month 30th April, in¬†which I play lead role. The link is on facebook below

Apostle’s Manoeuvre premi√®re page HERE ¬†

Thanks for the interview Dean, see you in the movies.

UKHS- You are welcome Rudy. Thanks for your time and good luck with all your latest projects. 

A Year In The ‘Knife’ Of A Low Budget Filmmaker: March

ayitkmarch2A Year In The ‘Knife’ Of A Low Budget Filmmaker: March

 
When you produce low budget movies there’s never really any danger of becoming bored, quite simply because there is always something that needs doing. This month is no exception, in fact, if anything March has been a little more hectic as we entered a cross over period.

With Legacy Of Thorn complete, it’s now that we face the daunting task of finding distribution for the film, which is nothing short of a minefield in regards to making the right decision for the film. At the same time we find ourselves in Pre Production for our next feature Blood On Santa’s Claws, it’s at this point that we have to wear our business heads and creative heads simultaneously on a daily basis and that can be tricky.

ayitkmarch1Running a low budget production company often means that you find yourself short on staff and therefore a large workload is taken on your shoulders. There are certainly upsides, in regards to knowing what stage everything is at and what needs to be done. However downsides include long days with little financial benefit and jobs being delayed or but on the back burner. So March has been about trying to get ready to tie up loose ends so to speak.

Such is the case with my first feature Creepsville, and still waiting for actors to free up sometime to finish the audio dubbing that needs to be done to finish the final cut. On top of that we are currently prepping to finish our segment for the anthology feature Blaze Of Gory ready to shoot mid April.

To top it off, the Lancashire International Film Festival asked us to debut our new show the Mycho Micro-Budget Massacre Master Class on April 5th which will be touring later this year around the UK and looks at our unique way of producing movies on show string budgets. The show is filled with on set horror stories and clips from our old movies, as well as our new ones, hopefully it will be informative whilst remaining a night of entertainment.

ayitkmarch3As we go into April it marks a significant moment for us. It’s been a year since Slasher House hit shelves in the UK and so it seemed the perfect time to announce our next project that’s we’ve been sat on for some time (since 2011 infact). However with it being April Fools Day on the first we decided to disguise the announcement behind a fake film that we dubbed slAyPRIL Fools Day, that by the time you read this will have launched on the Mycho site along with a fake Trailer and Poster, before we announce the real project at midday. Slasher House 2 which begins shooting in January.

It’s a large workload, but ultimately, it’s certainly worth it to do what you love day in and day out, breathing life into these things is great privilege and although it has its downsides, there nothing I’d rather be doing.

MJ

 

[youtube=http://youtu.be/fUFfrwgk2GQ]

Interview With Actor – Jasper Cole by Stuart Anderson

Interview with actor, Jasper Cole.

When I was growing up I, like many kids of my age I suppose, had¬†dreams of becoming an actor. In fact I pretty much had it all mapped out for myself. In my particular case I had no real desire to be a future James Bond or Count Dracula. No, for some reason I always saw myself as one of those familiar, but not too famous horror movie character actors that seem to pop up in seemingly every other film. You know how it goes – ¬†” oh that’s whats-his-name from that thingamajig movie”. My idea of an acting career was in part to be more concerned with the craft of acting but just as importantly (well in truth, probably more so), I wanted to spend my days biting the necks of beautiful bossomed Hammer horror actress’s rather than simply being famous. It was quite a few years until I realised that this was never going to happen, the fact that I had absolutely no tangible acting bone in my¬†body may have had something to do with that.

It all came to a depressing head during auditions for the School Nativity play when I was 12 and losing out to Craig Witherspoon for the role of shepherd number 5 – Not only did I lose out to the only other boy left in the class, he also had a bloody speech impediment that made ‘Jesus’ come out as sounding more like “JESHUSH’.¬†In my nightmares I¬†can still clearly hear “Hail baby Jeshush, the Messhia!”.

I knew at that point that my career as any sort of actor was dead right there…..not that the painful memory still lingers, you understand.

jasp1
Well I’m not going to mess with him – are you?

So It is my absolute pleasure this week to have the chance to speak to an experienced actor (I won’t use the word ‘veteran’ as I always think it makes one sound decrepit and ready for the knackers yard) who has well over a century of television and film credits,¬†not to mention a veritable string of theatre and writing credits¬†to his name.

Jasper Cole definitely has that familiar “I know him from something” look, being a long-time stalwart of TV and film.¬†As recently as¬†2013 ¬†he appeared in the much maligned (well I liked it actually) hit horror film,Hansel & Gretel¬†as “John”, the son of the legendary actress, Dee Wallace. His film credits also Include¬†18 Again, Alien Nation, Get Your Stuff, Friday the 13th Part VIII, andUrban Assault-TKO. Jasper is perhaps most well known for his portrayal of the genuinely creepy Zeke Pleshette in the film¬†MacGruber,¬†alongside a certain Mr Val Kilmer.

As well as film he’s also appeared in numerous theatrical and television productions, with his TV work continuing notable appearances on shows such as¬†C.S.I., Married With Children, Saved By The Bell, Touched by An Angel,Party Of Five, La Femme Nakita, Tales From The Crypt,Baywatch,PacificBlue and Clueless. Jasper has been regularly nominated for awards (nominated for best actor in the stage production of A Quiet End in 1996) besides achieving best supporting actor in the Drama-logue Awards for his role in Fool for Love in 1995. As recently as he¬†received critical acclaim for his work on Michael Eisner’s Emmy Nominated series,¬†Prom Queen.

jasp2
Prom Queen

It’s clear that Jasper’s career has been somewhat varied, though it would be fair to say that in recent years he has become a firm favourite of the contemporary horror community. In the last few months he has become a Facebook friend of mine (I know, get me) and not only is he talented and successful, he’s also a bloody nice guy. As you’ll now see for yourself.

Me) Firstly many thanks for taking time out of your schedule, Jasper. how’s life treating you at the moment?

J)¬†All is good and thank you…just chillin here at my house in Palm Springs. If I’m not working in Hollywood I’m here every chance I get.

Me) For those foolish enough not know much about you, could you tell us a little about yourself – I understand that you are part Native American for example?

J)¬†Yeah¬†I’m part Cherokee Indian and part Irish so needless to say there was a lot of alcohol involved lol…I grew up in Athens Georgia and moved to LA when I was 23 so I have been here 27 yrs this coming September. It’s been an AMAZING journey!

jasp3
Jasper & Val Kilmer in the ‘who’s bum looks best?’ competition
Me) I know¬†you’re probably sick of being asked what Val¬†Kilmer was like to work in¬†MACGRUBER¬†– BUT, ¬†I’ll ask you anyway!! ¬†I think he’s often had something of a raw deal over the years in the press. What was the experience like?

J)¬†Well, I was and am a big fan of Val’s so it was an honour to just work with him at all and it was a great time. He’s very funny and eccentric in the best way possible. We shot out in New Mexico and Val actually lives there as well and in fact at that time there were rumours he was gonna run for Lt. Governor of that state so we had some “interesting” conversations about politics. Needless to say he was GREAT in the film and a true highlight of my career.

Me) I’ve often thought that it would be preferable to be a regular working¬†character¬†actor than a more wider known famous figure¬†where¬†the craft of acting might be lost in the publicity machine. Would you exchange being well-known within horror and other genre’s but perhaps lesser so in the wider¬†public¬†consciousness¬†as you are now or to be¬†transported into the fame and money¬†stratosphere of a Val Kilmer?¬†

J)¬†lol the “grass is always greener” right? Honestly, all I ever really wanted when I started out was to be a working actor who is respected within my industry and it has taken me many years to get here but I wouldn’t change a thing…HOWEVER as I get older I would really love a steady television gig….second or third side kick maybe just recurring who shows up periodically and does his thing. Otherwise I’m good to go!

jasp4
Frank Giamona (left) & Jasper with ‘mum’ Dee Wallace

Me) Does it bother you (as it does me) that horror is still regarded as the poor man of movies and something merely to “move on from” for an actor?

J)¬†Its a real mystery to me because horror is one of the most profitable at the box office consistently…low budget or studio level and for me I have moved “into horror” rather than “move on” from…I’m truly grateful to be a part of this genre on any level. The fans are the most loyal and diligent in the world.


Me) You have a distinctive look (you know, good looking with more than a hint of menace) ūüôā . Have you had to fight against being typecast in movies as ‘bad guy number 1’ ?¬†

J)¬†Thanks,,I always laugh and say it took me so many years to be TYPECAST that I hope to stay on this beloved “list” til the very end…Theatre is the place to stretch as an actor and try different parts….TV/film is where you do your consistent thing and I am forever grateful to be typecast.

Me) It seems that you’re not that busy at the moment – well that is apart from appearing in¬†THE PURGE ANARCHY¬†opening in July. You apparently also have two horror thrillers coming out soon,¬†CAPTURED¬†and¬†MODEL HOME.¬†In addition to those I hear that you are about to start the horror film¬†SAVAGE SISTAS.¬†¬† Oh yes, if that wasn’t enough you’re in the middle of shooting¬†DARK SPIRITS¬†¬†opposite the gorgeous and talented Lynn Lowry and Mindy Robinson. What can you tell us about some of these productions?¬†

jasp5
Jasper and Erica Renee Johnson from the set of Savage Sistas
J)¬†Wow..when you put it like that I do seem busy..lol…seriously I’m beyond blessed to have worked on these great projects Obviously to work with¬†Michael Bay and Jason Blum in¬†THE PURGE: ANARCHY¬†was a huge¬†¬†honor and its an amazing script and film.¬†I play a “Homeless Man” who lives in a dipsy dumpster trash can and appears during the purge in a very scary way…….CAPTURED¬†is another great script written and directed by Joe Arias and its stars Brittany Curan and Kristin Prout and a ensemble of amazing young actors…I Play “Shelly” the creepy groundskeeper who holds a lot of family secrets that get revealed throughout the film……MODEL HOME¬†was a thrill to work with Monique Gabrilla Curnen and Emmy winner Kathy Baker. I play “Walker” a desert rat who stumbles into a nightmare and cant get out. Patrick Cunningham was a superb director to work with and his script is one of the best ever and a concept we haven’t seen before……¬†SAVAGE SISTAS¬†is my first lead in a horror film and it’s a blessing to actually play a “Cop” for a change although he’s not necessarily a good cop after all. Dan Smith has written and directed a true original film and the female leads are unique to the horror genre and KICK BUTT!……DARK SPIRITS¬†was a chance to reunite with one of the¬†CAPTURED¬†producers Ewan Bourne and I play a “Dark Butler” who is up to no good but is enslaved to¬†his “Master” who is played by the stunning ¬†Mindy Robinson.

Me) Would you¬†possibly be ably to tell Lynn Lowry that I’ve been more than a little smitten with her for quite a while and that I’d love to interview her…….pretty please?¬†

J)¬†Lynn is so lovely and kind and I will most definitely tell her and I’m sure you will love her too!
jasp6
The lovely Lynn Lowry

Me) Have you ever worked over here in the UK? 

J) I have not worked there but two of my goals left for my career are to do theatre in both New York and London.

Me) Finally, the most important question (remember, I’m a psychologist) – Alien or¬†Predator?

J)¬†Wow that’s a tough one but I’m gonna have to go with¬†PREDATOR

Me) Thanks Jasper, mate for taking the time to answer the questions. Take care!  

J) Thanks so much and keep up the great work!

So there you have it. He has a varied & successful career that keeps on going from strength to strength. He lives in Palm Springs, works in Hollywood but has managed to stay a genuinely nice guy with a good line answering my inane interview questions. So I will forgive him for getting the Alien or Predator question wrong – though obviously the man can look after himself so maybe I’ll keep that piece of information from him…..

Seriously though, I would like to thank Jasper Cole for the interview. A good guy & a good actor.
Jasper can be viewed, contacted and researched at the following links;

An Interview with Jacqui Holland by Dean Sills

jh1An Interview with Jacqui Holland by Dean Sills

UKHS РHello Jacqui, thank you for your time and welcome to UK Horror Scene. Aside from being an awesome actress, you also produce, write and have your own production company. How did you get into acting and why did you decided to start your own production company ?

JH –¬†I started acting at a very young age doing community theatre back in¬†Ohio. But it wasn’t until I took a history of cinema class and watched¬†some classic Film Noir that I realized I really gotta pursue this!

Back in 2010 I was producing Youtube sketches . I teamed up with an¬†App builder to create a line of iPhone apps called “Hot N’ Funny.” I was addicted to making stuff I¬†would stay up all night creating iPhone apps.¬† Simultaneously I was acting in many Independent Films. I¬†learned so much from being on different sets. I took my knowledge and¬†decided to produce and act in my own films. Truthfully, I couldn’t be¬†happier. I love film making the whole process.

jh2UKHS – Which horror actor or actress inspires you the most?

JH –¬†I’m a big fan of Lili Taylor loved her in “The Conjuring”. I also am a¬†huge fan of Jessica Lange, watched AHS (American Horror Story) like crack this past season.¬†Another one of my favourites is Danielle Harris I’d love to work with¬†her as an Actress or as a Director.

jh3UKHS – Your new movie¬†¬†‘Silent But Deadly’ is now out on VOD. You co-wrote the movie with¬†Jason Lockhart, the director. How did the two of you come up with the¬†idea of unleashing a serial killer in a retirement home?

JH –¬†It was actually his mother’s idea. Both his Grandpa and my Grandma had¬†just moved into a Retirement home. His mother was talking about all¬†the funny stories and wondered why weren’t more movies taking place in¬†a retirement home. Within days Jason and I were writing a¬†comedy/horror in a retirement home.

jh4UKHS –¬†You also produced the film and acted in it. Can you tell us a little¬†about your character Kitty and the rest of the cast including Lee¬†Meriwether (Catwoman in Batman: The Movie) and Dawn Wells?

JH –¬†I play the Activity’s Director, Kitty. She’s not the brightest bulb¬†but she enjoys her job and popularity at Lakeview Retirement Home.¬†Dawn Wells plays the protagonist, Rose. She really added a ton to the¬†role and made it her own. Lee Meriwether plays Vivian the ex-beauty¬†queen/model who still is looking to get married. Her character was¬†completely based on my Grandma Marcia who at 84 was talking about a¬†retirement home wedding while we were writing this script. Broadway¬†Star John Tartaglia plays Dale my half brother and now owner of the¬†Retirement Home. It’s an ensemble cast and honestly as a producer I¬†could not be happier, such an amazing cast!

jh5UKHS –¬†You have a few movies coming out in 2014 including ‘Dead Ringer’ and¬†‘Two Faced’. What can you tell us about these projects and¬†the different types of characters you play?

JH –¬†In “Dead Ringer” I play an obsessive stalker. It was totally one of¬†the most fun roles I’ve ever played in my life. My character Sandra¬†Bryce is sexy and sweet but when there’s another woman after her man¬†she’s deadly. “Two Faced” also goes along with the psychopath theme.¬†Jessica has the perfect life but when her soon to be mother-in-law¬†catches her cheating, Jessica has to do what she has to do to save her¬†perfect life. Jessica is definitely the most vicious Femme Fatale I’ve¬†ever played.

jh6UKHS –¬†You have appeared in a number of horror movies now including¬†‘Gingerdead Man 3: Saturday Night Cleaver’ and ‘Monsters in the¬†Woods’. Which one is your favourite as an actress and why?

JH –¬†I believe that “Two Faced” was definitely my favourite horror film to¬†date. I really enjoyed playing a two faced bitch, (hmmm what does that¬†say about me). But truthfully it was a great role and I got to work¬†with a phenomenal group of people that I truly adore. But I did spend¬†all of Gingerdead Man on Roller skates and that was one fun time, I¬†must say!

UKHS –¬†If you were stranded on a desert island, which three items would you¬†want to have with you?

JH – If I were on a desert island, I’d¬†want a companion, dog, cute boy, one of my girlfriends but would¬†totally need someone to talk too. A notebook so I could write, because¬†once I got off that would be one hell of a story. And, some sun screen¬†so I don’t end up looking like leather face.

jh7UKHS –¬†Finally, are you currently working on any other projects which you can¬†tell UKHS about?

JH –¬†Yes, I am shooting a Werewolf film, called “Shewolves” this April.¬†Then in May I head to Mississippi to shoot “The Ritual” where I will¬†be playing Detective Amanda Jenkins. It’s a modern day Jack The Ripper¬†story. Also my production company is looking to shoot a few features¬†before the end of 2014, so a lot to look out for.

UKHS РGood luck with all those projects.Thanks again for your time and keep up the great work.

http://www.jacquiholland.com/

https://www.facebook.com/JacquiHollandFans

https://twitter.com/jacquiholland

Interview with Producer, Director & Writer John Portanova by Stuart Anderson

Interview with producer/director & writer, John Portanova

 

It was a genuine pleasure to receive the amount of positive feedback about last week’s article for the May DVD release of the rather excellent¬†The Invoking. The fact that the positive vibes¬†weren’t¬†just from those¬†involved in the project, but others who had both enjoyed the article and been inspired to possibly go out and buy it when it’s released.

jp1
John Portanova standing in the ‘stalkers’ section
¬†– ¬†nope nothing to infer from that……

If that wasn’t enough, just a couple of days later I was more than a little pleased to be contacted by writer/producer/director and member of a mysteriously named group known as The October People, John Portanova.

If truth be told I was pleased on two counts. Firstly, it gave me the chance to pass onto my reader just part of the process behind the production of an indie horror movie. Secondly, it was the opportunity for me to gain answers to a few important burning questions that I had, such as; Was the rather excellent The Invoking really made on a shoestring budget? Just how annoyingly talented is Mr Portanova and his team? And are The October People really some shady group whose true intention to suck out the brains from our still breathing bodies?

 

As you’ll see below, John is a rather deft and excellent interviewee with a good line in intelligence, humour and detailed oration, besides, anybody who uses the word¬†‘cryptozoology’¬†in an interview is fine by me. Not only that, but it seems that he has the need also to get the odd rant off his chest – nothing wrong with that. So I hope that he doesn’t mind the odd minor amendment that I’ve made to his responses to my once again legendary, almost interrogatory in nature, interview questions by my altering his American English spelling (i.e incorrect) to UK English (i.e correct).
jp2

Q) Let’s start with me asking you just who and what are The October people?

The October People is a production company started by myself, Jeremy Berg, and Matt Medisch. It is based in Seattle and San Diego and specialises in producing independent films with a strong focus on character. Our first film was The Invoking, which Jeremy directed and co-wrote, I co-wrote and produced, and Matt produced and helped come up with the original story for. On future projects we will have similar positions some of the time, but other times we will switch things up and I could be directing, for example. We want to tell quality, character-driven stories through the prism of our favourite genres.

 
Q) The Invoking seems a little old-fashioned in terms of character development (and I mean that as a compliment) Was this an intentional approach from the start?

 

It was. We are all lifelong horror fans and of course a big part of that is loving the gore effects and monsters. But when you see as many horror films as we have, you start to see those same things over and over. We knew we didn’t want our first film to be another micro-budget zombie or slasher movie, so we decided to tell a story that was more about the characters and that took a more psychological approach. But even our upcoming projects, which do focus on different sub-genres of horror including monsters, will still be very much built off of a solid character foundation. Instead of just giving the audience cookie-cutter types that they’ve seen over and over again, we want to make sure there is interesting drama going on so that they are invested ¬†in the story even before a monster comes rampaging across the screen.

 

jp3
Q) The film looks amazing – where is the location and how did you find it?

 

Thanks. We shot the film in Red Bluff, CA. It was actually the home where our producer Matt grew up. Coming into The Invoking, we had a handful of short films and no money. We knew we wanted to make a feature and so we decided to do something in the vein of El Mariachi or the original Paranormal Activity, where the directors used what they had access to (locations and props) and wrote the film around those things to keep the budget low. So we wrote the script based off of this property we had the full run of. If something wasn’t there and available to us at the location, we didn’t write about it.

 

Q) Did The invoking only cost $11000 and one week to make? If so, just how was that managed ?

 

Yes. The budget for the film was $11,000 and principal photography happened in Red Bluff over the course of one week. Like I was mentioning earlier, the script was written with this budget and shoot schedule in mind. We only had so much money we could charge onto credit cards and so much time we could take over the location. So keeping to this schedule was easy in one sense because we were staying at our location and everything was shot within walking distance from the house. But, on the other hand, it was hard because we had so many shots to get. Some days we did up to 40 set ups and had a maximum of 3 takes for each shot. Having an awesome crew and a great cast of actors really helped us stay on schedule and get good stuff during the few takes we had.

jp4Q) What productions are next in the pipeline?

We are actually getting ready to shoot the next October People horror feature next week. It’s an alien abduction horror tale entitled¬†The Device. Once again it’ll be directed by Jeremy Berg from a script the two of us wrote and Matt Medisch will be producing. It’ll be another very low budget picture, but this time we will be shooting all around Washington State with an awesome cast and crew made up of local talent including a nice mix of old friends and new collaborators. The film centres on a fractured family coming together after the loss of a loved one and then spirals into a story of alien terror. We’re all big fans of alien abduction mythology and films in the sub genre such as Fire in the Sky, so we’re excited to film our version of an alien abduction story.

The plan is for the film to be out before the end of the year on home video after playing at a couple of film festivals.Two months after we wrap¬†The Device,¬†we are going to be moving onto¬†Valley of the Sasquatch. This film is based on a script I wrote many years ago and will be my directorial debut. Jeremy will be the cinematographer (a job he has performed on all of our films) and Matt will be producing. I grew up loving Bigfoot as much as alien abduction mythology (I was a big Unsolved Mysteries fan) and so I want this to be a film that treats the creature seriously. It’s not a slasher movie where Jason is replaced by a Bigfoot. The story treats them like wild animals and gives a reason for why they have begun to amass a body count. I think cryptozoology fans as well as horror fans will dig it. It takes a serious look at a monster that has been on film a lot, but not always in the best stories. We will be shooting on our biggest budget yet (although still conservative even by indie film standards) and with some awesome actors that fans of the genre will recognise. The plan is for the film to be completed by the end of the year and then go into a film festival run.

 

We are very happy with the response the film has got. For a film made for no money in no time, we’ve gotten many outstanding reviews and won a handful of awards from our film festival run. We even got a distribution deal that put the film out on store shelves and all over the net in a much wider fashion than a film of our size is usually afforded. So we don’t have much to complain about. But there are a few misconceptions about the film that people have had since our wide release that I want to clear up.
jp5
Most of the crew of The Invoking
1. We know that the set-up of the film (young people go to a cabin) has been done before. We had a microscopic budget that dictated how many characters and locations we could use. So we went with a classic horror set-up and then moved from there into our brand of psychological horror.

 

2. We intended this to be a slow paced, character-driven film. We keep a lot of potential story tangents in the air (Is the house haunted? Will one of the characters snap and turn the film into a slasher? Is everything in the lead character’s head?) and slowly reveal the true nature of the plot in order to keep those questions going through the audience’s head. If that doesn’t sound like your bag (which is fine, different strokes for different folks after all) you might be better off watching something else.

 

3. We shot the film in January of 2012 under the title Sader Ridge. We had no idea what The Conjuring was at that time as it would not be released for a year and a half. The distributor chose to change the name of the film to The Invoking and designed the key art which sells the movie as a classic ghost story (which it really isn’t).

 

4. The film was shot a year before Texas Chainsaw 3D was released and before we had ever heard of it. The similarity in the plot set-up is a coincidence.

All right, that’s all my ranting.¬†(laughs).

 

Q) Finally, Alien or Predator? (This is important!)

Alien. I think Dan O’Bannon and Ronald Shusett came up with the perfect horror creature with that film. The life cycle is great and keeps the terror constantly evolving. And the fact that the alien has acid for blood was a stroke of genius because the characters had to outsmart it as opposed to outgun it, which is usually the path the ending of a monster movie goes down.

 

jp6
Q) Finally finally, any chance of me getting hold of one of them there The Invoking signed T-Shirts?

 

The shirts were made by a great company who I buy most of my wardrobe from called Fast Custom Shirts. You can get one here: http://www.fastcustomshirts.com/servlet/Detail?no=1619.

 

On our Facebook page (facebook.com/theoctoberpeople) we recently ran a contest giving away a signed DVD & a shirt, but¬†unfortunately¬†the contest is already over. But if you buy the shirt and then find yourself in Seattle I’m sure you could find the cast around town and get it signed.

 

Thanks for the great questions Stu!

 

No worries mate, and thanks for the detailed responses and in getting the answer to the Alien/Predator question correct! ūüôā

 

I would sincerely like to thank John for taking the time to put up with my vague and shambolic ¬†attempts at cutting edge questioning, hopefully he and the rest of his team haven’t been put off too much in letting me see the fruits of their forthcoming productions. However I cannot guarantee that The October People isn’t in fact a covert organisation whose ultimate aim is to suck your brains out, luckily I’m safe as I’m often told that I don’t¬†have the brains I was born with…….

 

An Interview with Dani Thompson by Dean Sills

dt1An Interview with Dani Thompson by Dean Sills

Hello Dani, welcome to UK Horror Scene. Thank you for giving us your time especially when you are a very busy lady, we really appreciate it, thanks!
DT – You’re welcome

UKHS РBefore you became an actress you started out as a model doing all the major lads mags and newspapers including page 3 and front covers of the Daily Sport newspaper. Is the modelling part of your life firmly behind you now so you can focus more on your acting and writing?

DT – I haven’t¬†completely stopped modelling, I don’t do the glamour stuff so much anymore¬†but I still enjoy getting in front of a stills camera. I often do¬†photoshoots to promote my films so I guess that’s still a form of¬†modelling. I’m definitely focusing more on acting now but once a poser¬†always a poser!

 

dt2UKHS РHow did you get into acting especially in the horror genre and what is it about the horror genre that you enjoy so much?

DT – After¬†modelling for so long I wanted a new challenge, I’d always wanted to act¬†but I didn’t want to be one of those models who suddenly turn around one¬†day and claim to be an actress so I went to drama school and studied hard¬†so that I could be taken seriously and then while I was there I did a¬†little bit of presenting for GZ magazine which was a horror mag, met a few¬†horror filmy people and the rest was history, I’ve always been a horror¬†fan, I love the genre so I’m glad I seem to have found my niche.

 

UKHS – Can¬†you tell us about your role as Beccy in ‘Christmas Slay’ and what was it¬†like filming in Bulgaria?

DT – She is the lead character Emma’s best friend¬†which worked well as I was already friends with Jessica Ann Bonner who¬†played Emma. Bulgaria was an interesting place, and we had quite a bit of¬†free time to explore and go hiking in the hills.

 

dt4UKHS – ‘Cute Little¬†Buggers 3D’ starring Caroline Munro (The Golden Voyage of Sinbad and The¬†Spy Who Loved Me) is directed by Tony Jopia, with you playing the role of¬†Becca. What actually are the Cute Little Buggers and will fans get treated¬†to any close-up shots of your stunning breasts in 3D?¬†

DT – I can’t tell you exactly what the Cute Little Buggers actually are¬†because I don’t want to ruin the surprise but I can tell you that they¬†don’t stay cute for long! I haven’t seen any of the footage of the film so¬†will fans get a close up 3D boobs shot? Who knows, it’s a possibility . . .

 

 
dt5UKHS – You co-wrote ‘Serial Kaller’ with the director, Dan Brownlie. How¬†did the two of you come up with the idea for the movie and do you have any¬†plans to write some more screenplays?

DT РWhilst I was at drama school I worked weekends on a daytime version of a babe show and sometimes it could get a little dull so in between calls I kind of came up with a what if scenario, what if the microphone was left on and the callers could hear the behind the scenes studio gossip, what if one of those callers was a little bit crazy, what would happen then? And I thought, this could make a great movie so I came up with the characters and wrote the original screenplay, then I took it to Dan and he gored up all of the death scenes.

Our original¬†‘final’ draft of the script is quite different to the finished film mainly¬†due to investor type politics but you live and learn I guess. After Serial¬†Kaller wrapped Dan wrote a treatment for another film that he had me write¬†up in to a screenplay, it’s called Casa De Sangre and is set in Mexico and¬†at the moment I’m working on a vampire script to add to the brand-B slate.

 

dt6UKHS- What other projects are you currently working on that you can tell UKHS about?

DT – Currently we’re in pre production on a film called Bad¬†Moon Rising, it’s actually an idea I got whilst in Bulgaria filming¬†Christmas Slay. Jess and I managed to go out and get some footage shot in¬†our free time and we’re scheduled to film the rest of the movie this Summer¬†in the UK.¬†I’m also filming a Superhero movie this year in which I get to¬†play the villain which is going to be a lot of fun.

 

UKHS РIf you were stranded on a desert island, which three items would you want to have with you?

DT РMy iPad so then I could watch movies, facetime people and keep up to date on social media. My Yorkshire Terrier, Dolly and some jelly shoes so that I could paddle in the sea.

 

 

dt3UKHS РFinally, what is the hardest role that you have had to play and do you go to extreme lengths to prep for your parts and stay in character?

DT – Hmmm that’s a tough question, the hardest was probably the birthing¬†scene in Cute Little Buggers, it was fun but you’re reacting to things¬†happening that aren’t really there. I haven’t had to go to any real extreme¬†lengths yet but I’d definitely be prepared to.

UKHS РThanks again Dani and keep up the great work.

And please look out for the soon to be published article on Dani’s latest film Bad Moon Rising !!

Click the links below to find out more about Dani and support her projects!

Dani Thompson – Official Page

Dani Thompson’s Facebook Page

Dani Thompson’s Twitter Account