Christmas Special: The Jessica Messenger Interview by Dean Sills

jm5Christmas Special: The Jessica Messenger Interview by Dean Sills

It’s almost Christmas and we have another Christmas cracker of an interview for you. Please welcome the lovely Jessica Messenger to UKHS. I know yule all going to love this one!

UKHS – Welcome Jessica. How did you get into acting?

JM – I got into acting by circumstance is really the answer. I studied dance for most of my childhood and teenage years. It’s all the eggs I put in my basket. Until I got to about 18 years old and I basically realised I wasn’t good enough to pursue it professionally. It’s at that point I starting digging around to find out what else I loved, and movies was what came to the forefront. I took a giant leap of faith and went to university to study film & television. I loved it but felt something was missing from my life that I’d always been so accustomed to and that was the performing arts. I realised that I wanted to perform, I loved movies and wanted to make them but I didn’t want to become a filmmaker. And so, the girl you see today was born!

jm1UKHS – It was great meeting you this year at STARBURST Magazine film festival in Manchester. I know you were there representing the short film ‘Rats’ and it’s great you got to work alongside Laurence R Harvey and Nicholas Vince in this short horror flick. Can you please tell us a little about the film and as an actress why do you find horror films so appealing?

JM – Thanks Dean, it was a pleasure finally meeting you! I’d seen a lot of you online and it was long overdue. RATS is about a professor (Nicholas Vince) who goes to a castle to audit a ton of books in the library. Along the way he meets the castle Guard (Laurence Harvey) who appears a little off kilter. He isn’t there completely innocently however, since he has plotted to bring his student Jess (moi) to the castle in order to seduce her. Jess is a bit of a madam. You’ll see why. As you can imagine the castle stay isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.

I love horror films because quite honestly I was terrified of anything remotely scary as a youngster. They really did have a profound effect on me, and it wasn’t until I studied film intrinsically that I realised how truly wonderful that is. Horror has the ability to make people go through a whole range of emotion in one film. And for me, being afraid, truly afraid, is one of the strongest emotions there is.

jm3UKHS – You play Mira in ‘Six Hot Chicks in a Warehouse.’ What can you tell us about your character and the film and how does this film compare to the other film you made with the director Simon P. Edwards?

JM – Mira is in essence everything 90s girl power you can think of. She strong minded, she’s independent and she’s one of a kind. I wanted to emulate all those 90s action / comedy / horror chicks that influenced me so much in my teen years and thus led me to want to do movies in the first place.

The film is homage to the grindhouse genre but with a truly British slant. It comes from the mind of a drama writer, so all the characters have been written in ways set apart from the horror genre status quo. While the film is given its own bizarre universe, there are elements that feel completely normal within it, which to me is exactly why is feels so odd. Simon labelled it a Neon soaked ultra-violent grindhouse movie, which I love. This film doesn’t compare at all to Beneath A Neon Tide. That was a family drama, this is leather clad chicks, brutal fight sequences and more butts than you can shake a stick at. My mother would be proud.

jm2UKHS – I recently watched the Christmas horror flick ‘Krampus’ which I really enjoyed. Do you have a favourite Christmas horror movie or do you prefer yuletide family movies like ‘Elf’ and ‘The Polar Express’ instead?

JM – I totally prefer Christmas family comedy or dramas. I have a few firm favourites but I think Love Actually wins for me. It’s typically British humour which I find hilarious. It’s all the awkwardness of Christmas. It doesn’t have a happy ending for everybody. It makes you laugh, cry, cringe. What more could you want! And, Alan Rickman. Need I say more?

UKHS – If you could have Christmas dinner with three guests (living or dead), who would you choose and why?

JM – Interesting. I would choose Marilyn Monroe. Because who wouldn’t wish to stare at that over the family table? Secondly, Will Smith. Absolute legend, could crack a few jokes. Lastly, David Attenborough. His voice could soothe me to sleep after a huge meal and a full tummy.

jm4UKHS – Finally, what new projects are you working on which we can all look forward to seeing you in during the new year?

JM – This year has been slower than average. Next year you’ll mainly see me promoting the hell out of Six Hot Chicks. I do have another feature due out but it’s a bit part, Dead Heading – directed by David Easton. I have a few scripts to read, and some decisions to make regarding zombies. That’s all I can really say!!

UKHS – Good luck with all those. Thank you for such an awesome interview. Merry Christmas and all the best for 2017!


Christmas Special: The Sara Dickson Interview by Dean Sills

Christmas Special: The Sara Dickson Interview by Dean Sills

UKHS – Hi Sara, welcome to UKHS. How did you get into acting and what is it about the horror genre that you enjoy so much?

SD – I started performing when I was still in primary school, getting a part in my schools’ Christmas play and after that I was hooked! After years of taking part in youth amateur dramatic groups, where I found my love of singing alongside acting, I began studying performing arts at college and later graduating from a degree in Drama at university. I’ve always been involved in performance some way or another, from performing in local theatre productions, singing groups or, what I really love being involved in, the independent horror scene. Being involved in the horror genre gives me more creative control than other forms of performance because it can be anything you want it to be.

There’s less rules to follow, you really can go over the top and it still makes great films. The flexibility between real and surreal lends itself to making sure that you can be as creative as possible. Another point I enjoy about working in the horror genre is the willingness of horror directors to portray strong female leads rather than women playing supporting roles to men, or just stripping off and being something to be ogled, which is what I find tiring about mainstream cinema. In horror women really can have the opportunities to step up and take charge.

UKHS – I really enjoyed your performance in ‘Steve’. Lee Bibby did a superb job directing this comedy short about a zombie called Steve. The first time you saw the film what was your immediate reaction and do you have a favourite scene?

SD – My first reaction to ‘Steve’ was honestly, to blush! I really can’t stand watching myself on screen! But in all seriousness, when I first saw ‘Steve’ I thought the film was fantastic. The fact that it took such a short time from conception to completion made it seem all the more rewarding, as the whole film was shot in one day and still looked exactly the way we wanted it to. It was such a simple idea but the genius of it was in the fact it was so simple.

It didn’t need any elaborate story or huge Special FX it is what it is – something quick, funny and really effective. Everyone involved worked so hard on it – it’s been one of my favourite projects to work on. My favourite scene has to be the final shot of the two characters drinking tea! We had finished the rest of the film but weren’t too sure how it should end, so we were all just messing around and joking, making random shots and one of the takes ended up being the final scene.

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?

SD – As an actress I’ve worked with so many talented people in different ways – be it in theatre or film. It’s the opportunity to work with so many different people, that’s what makes each project enjoyable. I am incredibly lucky that I’ve had the opportunity to work with such fantastic people – Antoni McVay, Lee Bibby, Ian Lawlor, Peter Kane, Lawrence Neale, Simon Craig, Graeme Donaldson – having the opportunity to work with such a diverse group of people means that there’s always a collaborative effort, everyone has input to make the production even better. Working with Lee and Ian on ‘Summer’s Night’ was probably the most enjoyable time I’ve had filming. They both had a clear idea of what they wanted from the film and worked really well as a team.

Something I found enjoyable was in their ability to give all of the actor’s direction and guidance as well as letting us develop the character’s ourselves. The main production days of ‘Summer’s Night’ were possibly the toughest I’ve ever had. We had such a tight timescale for the location we were using for the bulk of the film, but I also don’t think I’ve had as much fun on set as we did then. Everyone managed to keep motivated and have a laugh while doing it – which is just what you need after filming in a corset and heels for 10 hours!!

UKHS – You have worked with the directors Antoni McVay and Lee Bibby a number of times, both of them are awesome guys and fab directors. Do you feel they bring out the best in you as an actress and how much of your own ideas do you bring to each character you have played?

SD – Antoni and Lee have been involved in one way or another with every project I’ve worked on and over the years we’ve been able to build up such a good working relationship. The differences between them are what makes them such a good team to work with. Antoni really lets his actors take control over the character and do what they feel comes natural. Lee’s technical knowledge and skills means he plans out every scene – every shot even – in the finest detail and works with you to get you to see the same things he does.

The guys are great at letting the actors have their own input into how, not only the way in which the characters develop but the overall film as well and when it’s finished it’s a great sense of achievement for everyone. Working with the pair of them, has been some of the best shooting days I’ve had, as they work together as such a fantastic team.

UKHS – You have worked on a number of films as a make-up artist including ‘Blaze of Gory’. Leading up to a shoot, how much preparation do you do as a make-up artist and which film have you enjoyed working on the most ?

SD – When I’m taken on board as a Special FX Make Up Artist, I always start off with a discussion with the director to get an understanding of what it is they are looking for – is it gory? Is it more subtle or is it completely off the chart surreal – it all depends on what the aesthetic for the film will be. From there it’s a matter of going over the script and working on what make up is needed. That’s when I get to have fun! I disappear off into my studio and start crafting props and prosthetics and (usually the case if I’m working on one of Antoni’s scripts!) making as much blood as I can. It takes a lot of research, as it’s not something I’ve studied professionally, rather I’ve taught myself but that just makes it more fun. I get to be inventive and come up with my own ideas.

One thing I have definitely realised is the simplest idea is more often the best. The creative process is really rewarding, trying to figure out the most realistic way to slit someone’s throat or (probably the most gruesome effect I’ve done) ripping a man’s “member” off! Working on Special FX leads to some interesting conversations! The most enjoyable project I’ve worked on is really hard to say, as each film is different and needs different FX, so each one is always challenging. Out of all the FX work I have done, ‘Nightmares’ – the first film I worked on with Antoni – was a big project with a lot of people, brilliant fun and well worth the long day!

UKHS – If you could have Christmas dinner with three guests (living or dead), who would you choose and why?

SD – As sentimental as this is going to sound I would really love to have three of my grandparents there as they have sadly passed away. This will be the first Christmas in four years that I’m not working which means I am able to visit my family. It would be brilliant to see all the old folk sitting at the end of the table getting drunk and causing mischief!

UKHS – Finally, what do you want for Christmas this year?

SD – I am really terrible at this! My partner has been asking me for months what I want and I just can’t answer her! Whenever someone asks me I draw a complete blank – however if anyone wants to buy me 1967 Mustang I wouldn’t turn it down!

UKHS – Thank you for your time,Sara. Have a wonderful Christmas and all the best for 2016.

IMDB Link –

An Interview with Michael Haberfelner by Dean Sills

An Interview with Michael Haberfelner by Dean Sills

Michael Haberfelner

UKHS – Welcome to UKHS. You were recently in the UK to start work on a new indie film which you have written and also producing called ‘There’s No Such Thing as Zombies’. Can you tell us a little about this project and how it came about?

MH – A little? No, sorry mate, but you’ve opened the floodgates, now try make me stop telling you about it!

More seriously though, ‘There’s No Such Thing as Zombies’ is set in a world after the zombie outbreak, but the media can’t really report about it because it might hurt ‘the economy’ and anger their sponsors – and that’s the backstory for Carlotta inviting her ex Paul into her home, not acknowledging that he’s actually one of the undead, while her husband Colin, who has (unbeknownst to her) actually killed Paul, he is … well, a bit worried – but he still tries to sell Paul a car insurance.

Carlotta’s played by the wonderful Eirian Cohen, who’s also producing this with me, and she’s amazing in front of and behind the camera and has saved my butt on this project a few times too many to be true already. Colin and Paul are played by Rudy Barrow and Rami Hilmi, both of whom I’ve worked with before, so I knew they’re great, but they have exceeded my expectations. By some stroke of luck, we also got to cast horror icon Lynn Lowry from George A. Romero’s ‘The Crazies’, David Cronenberg’s ‘Shivers’ and Paul Schrader’s ‘Cat People’ as CEO of the company responsible for raising the dead who’s denying the mere existence of zombies – and working with her was beyond exciting, and at the same time she was such a pleasure to work with, and an all-around lovely lady! Other cast include Rachel Brownstein, Alexander Fernando, Paul Sutton, Martina McClements, Rosie Pearson and Chris Kaye – and I couldn’t have asked for a better bunch of people, really! The film’s directed by Eddie Bammeke, who’s beyond great to work with and whose energy is simply infectious – to a point that we finished early each and every shooting day so far.

Speaking of “so far” – ‘There’s No Such Thing as Zombies’ is in fact far from finished, we’ll have one more shooting day in January to finish a promotional short and then shoot the rest in late spring – provided funds are in place … so if your pockets are lined with gold and you like your zombies on the comedic side, it’s not too late to spend a few quid on ‘There’s No Such Thing as Zombies’ 😉

You can find more info on the movie here:

UKHS – Will this be a follow on from your last film ‘A Killer Conversation’ considering you have Rudy Barrow and Rami Hilmi in the cast?

MH – That’s a great observation, and yes, ‘There’s No Such Thing as Zombies’ was actually meant to be a sequel to ‘A Killer Conversation’ – but what can I say, projects just change over time, plus some of the cast and crew of the earlier film had to pull out for personal reasons, so the sequel approach was dropped, plus the material was strong enough to stand on its own – so that’s where we stand now. That said, for fans of ‘A Killer Conversation’, I’ve hidden plenty of Easter Eggs in ‘There’s No Such Thing as Zombies’ which ought to make it fun to watch from this perspective alone.

Oh, and if you haven’t seen ‘A Killer Conversation’, you might get yourself a copy here:

UKHS – You are from Vienna in Austria so how did you find yourself getting involved with British directors and would you have still got ‘A Killer Conversation’ made if you had decided to film in Austria?

MH – Hah, that’s an interesting question … and I think the answer to the second part of your question would be no – but let me elaborate a bit: Through my indie movie website, I’ve made contacts with filmmakers from literally all over the world … except from Austria (with a couple of exceptions maybe) – don’t ask me why, it’s just a fact, no intention behind it. As for working with you Brits, that’s actually totally random – the wonderful Melanie Denholme, who produced and starred in ‘A Killer Conversation’ was actually the first person I showed the script to (other than my flatmate at the time I wrote it), so when she hopped onto the opportunity to produce it, who was I to say no. That said, I love the UK, and here in Austria, “British comedies” are held in the highest regard, so to make some of them is simply great.

Rachel Brownstein, Eddie Bammeke, Alexander Fernando, Lynn Lowry, Michael Haberfelner from There’s No Such Thing As Zombies!

UKHS – We all know story ideas exist but as a writer how do you come up with them and why horror?

MH – Now that’s a hard one, because I’m not sure whether I can answer this … but basically most of what I write starts with “that’s a silly idea” or “that’s a terrible idea” or “we can’t do this unless …” – which leads right to the second part of your question, why horror? Actually, while I LOVE the horror genre, writing horror doesn’t come easy to me. But let me give you an example: I’m with this writers group, the WPaD, and we occasionally publish short story anthologies of different genres. So once we did a romance anthology, and no problem, I just made up a story about a shrunken head (silly idea). Then we had a Christmas one, so naturally I did something about a serial killer (terrible idea). Then we decided to do horror – and I drew a total blank. I tortured my brain for a few days, then just said to myself, “That’s it, I can’t do it – unless I call my story ‘So Cute and Cuddly'” – which I did, and you might want to read it in ‘Creepies 2’ –

UKHS – OK, let’s talk about your fantastic website (re)Search my Trash. How did this get started and how many reviews and interviews have you done to date?

MH – Back when I started (re)Search my Trash 12 years ago, I just wanted am easily searchable website that would cover genre, B and exploitation movies from all ages – and since I couldn’t find one (back then) I decided to just launch it myself, figuring my DVD collection big enough to last me a while. At first, I actually featured vintage movies mostly, but it wasn’t long before I got contacted by more and more contemporary indie filmmakers who wanted me to review their stuff and do interviews – which was great of course, and still is. I really enjoy doing press for all these movies, and the contacts I make are priceless.

As for how many reviews and interviews: I’m beyond confident I’ll review my 8,000th movie in 2016, and have probably done 1,500 interviews, give or take a handful … which probably makes me sound like a big show-off, so maybe I ought to just answer with an evasive “Oh I really couldn’t tell.”

Lynn Lowry & Michael Haberfelner

UKHS – What’s your favourite horror film and why?

MH – Tough one, as I love so many – but if I had to reduce myself to one, it would probably be 1935’s ‘The Bride of Frankenstein’ – wonderful cast, the most elegant direction, and the perfect mix of terror and irony. I can only hope to one day make something that’s half as good …

UKHS – Finally, where do you see yourself in 5 years from now?

MH – Hah, that’s an easy one: Exactly where I am now. Sounds defeatist, right? But quite the opposite is true: For one, there’s nothing wrong with liking one’s life, and on top of that, as a writer you just spend most of your time in front of your computer almost by definition … plus I do hope in five years I will also be in the process of booking an airplane ticket to the UK (or wherever fate takes me) to go over for a spot of filming, as I plan to do later today (booking, not filming). That said, I hope to have a few more movies under my belt in 5 years, and you’ll find me a worthy enough interviewee to invite me back for another talk then – or sooner even 😉

In the meantime, though, thanks for this one, was great talking to you!!!

UKHS – Thank you for your time, it was great talking to you too!

Seize The Night (2015) Short Film Review

Seize-the-Night-Poster-Web-SSeize The Night (2015)

Director: Emma Dark

Runtime – 13 mins

Starring: Emma Dark, Carey Thring, Anthony Ilott and Paul Ewen.

‘Seize The Night’ is an ambitious horror/sci-fi short from the super talented British independent filmmaker Emma Dark.

After escaping from a secret government bio-research compound renegade vampire assassin Eva (Emma Dark) is hell bent on revenge. Receiving a tip off from the mysterious Dante (Anthony Ilott) she meets with arms dealer Joe (Paul Ewen) who informs her that an enemy is hot on her tail. Eva hunts the hunter and encounters a team of werewolves, led by pack alpha Tobias (Carey Thring). During their confrontation Eva learns a terrible secret and is forced into a situation of such gravity she may have to join forces with the devil she knows in order to fight the greatest of all evils.

STN-BTS-Emma-Dark-promo-photo-by-AJ-Singh‘Seize The Night’ does displays elements of ‘Underworld’ and ‘Blade’ but Dark creates so much more in her own unique way, injecting new ideas that are bursting with energy. It would be wrong to label this as a blatant rip-off because it’s totally fresh! My first viewing of this short was wow! If only this had been a feature?

The first thing that hits you on ‘Seize The Night’ is the stunning score by Eric Elick. The soundtrack will blow you away and it’s up there with any Hollywood movie generating the perfect eerie tone as you step into Eva’s world.

‘Seize The Night’ has a monochromatic bluish look which gives the perfect sinister atmosphere. Along with the impressive visual effects, a nice backstory and interesting characters, this short will keep you hooked right to the end. Dark as Eva, looks a little too cute at times to be a bloodsucker until she gets those teeth out and displays her excellent combat skills, making her one total badass!

STN-BTS-Emma-Dark-and-Paul-Ewen-on-set-photo-by-AJ-SinghThe action scenes were coordinated by Roy Scammell (Alien), which all look outstanding on screen and exciting to watch. The film is now hitting the festivals so if you get a chance to see it please do!

The only thing I found wrong with ‘Seize The Night’ is the fact the film is way too big to just be a short. Dark leaves you wanting much more but overall ‘Seize the Night’ is a fang-tastic short! A film you can really sink your teeth into!


An Interview with William Marshall by Dean Sills

An Interview with William Marshall by Dean Sills

UKHS – Hi William, welcome to UK Horror Scene. How did you get into acting and which role has been your favourite so far?

WM – I took drama as one of my GCSEs back in school and it quickly became my favourite subject. After completing my GSCEs I chose to study a national diploma in performing arts and now have elevated to the final year of Bachelor’s Degree in theatrical studies. Acting had always been a passion from since I was young, I found a great deal of comfort in becoming other people/characters, plus I loved being eccentric as I was a very excitable child when I first took to the stage. It’s really quite interesting and humbling to see how far I’ve come in terms of my ambitions and drive with acting, from just doing youth theatre and drama clubs to eventually taking on supporting and leading roles in film and theatre, it really has been a remarkable journey thus far.

As for my favourite role so far in my career? Without a doubt I would say playing the role of Macbeth has been my biggest highlight thus far. I’ve always enjoyed portraying psychologically unstable characters, but the transitions and character arc of Macbeth was something else entirely to come to grips with. He is such an astonishing character to play, from being this proud and noble warrior with a sense of duty and right & wrong to a malevolent and tyrannical maniac…its very challenging.

WM3UKHS – You are playing Jock in Slasher House 2. What can you tell us about this film and how will this role compare to your other two roles you have done for Mycho Entertainment Group?

WM -Yes I am really excited to have been cast in Slasher House 2 and of course it’s always an absolute joy to work with the Mycho team on their gory exploits. All I can really say about the Slasher House sequel is that it’s gonna be big!!! MJ Dixon has got a lot of special stuff planned for this film, I’ve read the script and it is a fantastically ambitious and gripping narrative and he’s assembling a phenomenal cast. The likes of Francesca Louise White who has took on the role of Red after Eleanor James’ retirement and I’m positive she’ll blow us all away once filming commences.

As for my role, I’m playing the classic American egomaniac, loves sports, thinks very fondly of himself and believes he’s top dog (as is the usual with high school jocks). Compared to the other characters I’ve portrayed in previous Mycho films, Jock is arrogant and self absorbed, so he’s not gonna be the most liked of characters. For me I’m usually typecast as “Mr Nice Guy” breed of character, which strangely enough when Mj Dixon and Anna McCarthy talked to me about being in Slasher House 2, I had originally been cast of the kind hearted character of the stereotypical teenage entourage you see in most slasher flicks. But the most interesting thing about my characters in the Mychoverse is the fashion in which they meet their demise and I’m sure MJ has got something special planned for Jock. So yes I’m really looking forward to this upcoming project and what Mr Dixon has in store for me hahaha!

UKHS – What do you enjoy the most about working with the director MJ Dixon and as an actor why do you love doing horror?

WM -Working with MJ as a director is always a fun and rewarding experience. He is ambitious and resourceful and it’s inspiring to watch him orchestrate his actors and equipment to produce the highest standard of performance for his films. MJ is just an absolute delight to work with.

To me as a genre, horror is a very broad subject and is open to a wild variety of interpretations that people can regard as horrifying and scary. I believe that you can explore an in depth of understanding of supernatural, paranormal and realistic elements of horror. As an actor I enjoy any type challenge and horror provides the task of either placing yourself/character into an extreme psychological state to enhance your performance as a victim or villain. Plus scaring the living crap out of people is great fun too!!!

WM5UKHS – Talking of horror, you also worked on Case Files playing Agent Alex Scott. What can you tell us about the film and your character?

WM – I joined the cast of Case Files earlier this year and I’ve loved the shoots so far. Damien Kage is a fantastic director and spares no expense in helping his actors develop scenes and their characters. Both through information he provides as the writer/director and his intentions for the character’s journeys he helps to create gripping and naturalistic drama for such an ambitious and exciting twist on the zombie genre.

My role as Agent Alex Scott has been both a great deal of fun and a challenge to showcase my naturalistic acting style in an action filled drama. Alex is a member of the Elite Group’s paranormal division and has found himself caught up in a situation his is not prepared for. He is a very moral character and is searching answers to what has happened to the city after receiving reports of multiple murders and other cases of the paranormal. He does his best to remain close to his partner Shannon Walker and loyally fulfils all tasks he is appointed with.

It’s been a fun filled experience in Case Files so far and my thanks go to Damien for making me part of the team.

UKHS – I had the pleasure of working with you on Tears in the Dust which was a real honour. How did this film compare to the other films you have done and is it nice to get away from doing Horror?

WM -Yes, it was brilliant to work on Tears in the Dust with you Dean, thank you. At first when I was cast in the film, I wasn’t sure what to expect from the script and the overall production. As you know I contacted yourself and Steve Call to learn more details on the film’s narrative and my character. Once I had the information and saw early marketing material my excitement for the project went through the roof.

Throughout the process of filming Tears, I was so impressed with the professionalism and organisation from Steve, yourself and the rest of the cast and crew. Everyone I’ve worked throughout the film have been so welcoming, friendly and they are an amazingly talented bunch. It has been nice to get away from horror and gain experience in naturalistic and thought provoking drama like Tears, that also communicates a growing social issue. What’s more, working with Steve Call has been a fun filled adventure as he is just simply amazing, both in providing detailed direction on set and allowing his actors to develop and experiment with their roles. I enjoyed myself so much whilst working on Tears in the Dust and I can easily say it has been one of the memorable experiences of my career thus far.

UKHS – What would you consider to be the three main ingredients that you need to make a classic horror flick?

WM – Ingredient 1) A script filled with amazingly gory and blood filled plot points & death scenes.

Ingredient 2) An extremely creepy setting that helps provide the desired atmosphere that sends shivers down your audience’s spines

Ingredient 3) Most important of all!! You need a badass and horrific villain/monster that will terrify the viewers and leave them with nightmares……and maybe a surprise in their underwear hahaha!

UKHS – What career would you do if you couldn’t be an actor anymore?

WM – Oh the horror of that thought! *sobs in the corner* In all seriousness, if I was no longer an actor, I would love to undertake a profession in animal care or just working with animals in general. Maybe being a zoo keeper or animal rescue.

UKHS – Finally, I will be working with you on Up North which will be amazing and great to do some comedy. What are you looking forward to the most about this project and are you working on any other projects in the near future that you can tell UKHS about?

WM – Yes I’m looking forward to working on Up North, mainly as I’ve never tried my hand at a comedic role in film before. I wouldn’t say comedy has ever been a strong point of mine, so I’m looking forward to developing my acting capabilities within that genre of work. It will be great fun I’m sure, mainly since I’ll be working with the likes of yourself, Steve Call, Ross Marshall, Kuljit Singh, Jessie Joan, Steve Pollard and many familiar faces from Tears in the Dust. So how can I not be looking forward to it? As for other projects, there isn’t much to tell you as of yet aside that I’ve been confirmed for The Most Unusual Mr Wood sequel that we’ll be putting into production around early 2016. Case Files is still ongoing as well and I’m looking forward to the completion of Heart of Chaos (an action feature in which I had a supporting role), so there’s still enough upcoming projects alongside my Bachelor’s Degree work in theatre. So I look forward to what the future holds in store.

Thank you for having me for this interview Dean, it’s been a pleasure and I’ll see you back on set very soon!

UKHS – You’re welcome William, thanks for your time and keep up the great work!



Banjo (2015) Review

banjo1Banjo (2015)

Director: Liam Regan

Runtime – 82 mins

Starring: James Hamer-Morton, Damian Morter, Dani Thompson and Vito Trigo

Peltzer has an imaginary friend. Unfortunately for him, it’s Ronnie!

I recently watched ‘Banjo’ at Cutting Edge film festival in Newcastle and really enjoyed it. The film is a low-budget comedy horror with Liam Regan fabricating a comical but dark world about the frenulum, bullying, an imaginary friend and revenge. Think ‘Drop Dead Fred’ with a splash of blood and a nice portion of gore done in the style of the movies by Lloyd Kaufman, Michael Herz & Frank Henenlotter and you have ‘Banjo’ which Liam brings to the screen superbly in his own unique way. A nice exploitation horror movie with an edge which definitely does tick most boxes.

The story involves Peltzer Arbuckle (James Hamer-Morton), a weak and bullied office employee, made an embarrassment by his power-crazy boss (Vito Trigo), teasing work colleagues and his cheating partner (Dani Thompson). Peltzer spends his days and nights suffering, trapped in his own humdrum life. Once word gets out about his mortifying sexual accident around the workplace, Peltzer decides to put up with his humiliation no more, and conjures up his childhood imaginary friend Ronnie (Damian Morter). His world is soon unsettled, when Ronnie deviously attempts to manipulate Peltzer to exact revenge on his taunting co-workers in the most horrendous fashion.

banjo2The film is a little slow to begin with until Ronnie appears. Damian Morter does a superb job as Peltzer’s imaginary friend playing him over-the-top, caked in prosthetics and stealing every scene he appears in. Damian’s brilliant performance does remind me a little of Jim Carrey in ‘The Mask’. His scenes with James Hamer-Morton are all great to watch and James also gives a great performance as Peltzer. The bloody manhood scenes and the condom scene made me cringe and probably have the same effect on many male viewers but it was good to see it done in such a humorous way. I did also enjoy the acting from Serena Chloe Gardner as Melissa Lee Ray and Vito Trigo as Mr. Sawyer.

Credit to Liam for bringing together a fab mixture of British and American actors in his first feature along with small roles from Laurence Robert Harvey (The Human Centipede 2 & 3) and a cameo from Lloyd Kaufman (Mr Troma) which are exciting to see on screen. Sadly I did find Dani Thompson a little wooden at times in her role as Deetz Montgomery but overall her role was still fun to watch. The film delivers some great vulgar one-liners and endless slapstick gore and entertains in every scene but I did feel the ending was a little flat considering how good the rest of the film was.

banjo3Director Liam Regan made this feature following on from the success of his short film ‘Confessions Of Peltzer’ which also screened at Cutting Edge and is one of the segments in ‘Self Induced Nightmares’. I look forward to seeing what Liam Regan will do next in the indie film world, for a first time feature he should be really proud of what he has achieved with his feature ‘Banjo’.

‘Banjo’ is a superb comedy horror which may not be for everyone but if you love the movies of Troma you will definitely love ‘Banjo’.


An Interview with Emma Dark by Dean Sills

edark7An Interview with Emma Dark by Dean Sills

*Please welcome Emma Dark to UK Horror Scene. *.

UKHS – Thank you for your time, Emma. How did you get into acting and modelling and what is it about the horror genre that you enjoy so much?

ED – I’ve liked the dark, the macabre, the sinister – horror – from a very early age. I think I naturally have a disposition for horror in all truth but I’m sure my dad working as a butcher throughout most of my childhood years must have added to that. As a child of three or four I used to ask to go in the walk in fridge in the butchers shop to see the animals. Not in a particularly grim way, I wanted to see if any of the animals still had heads on and stroke them, OK that sounds quite grim doesn’t it? Anyway, what I’m trying to say is I don’t particularly see the macabre as something as grim as perhaps those who are not horror fans, and I’m a Goth essentially so it’s all about beauty in darkness at the end of the day.

In terms of modelling I fell into that when I joined a photography meet up and they had assumed I’d joined as a model and not a photographer. For my age and the genres I’ve worked in I’ve been fairly successful but it’s not very cerebral in truth which is why I tend to favour acting and filmmaking.

edark2UKHS – I have seen the trailer for ‘Seize the Night’ and the film looks really good, well done! How difficult was it to make a film like this when you had to take on so much from playing the lead role to directing and producing the film?

ED – It was very difficult. I often worked until very late in the evening most days and even on Christmas day, literally for months on end. I’m still working hard on it with the promotional materials and festival submissions and everything that goes with that. Of course I’ll be attending as many screening festivals as possible too. A film as complex and ambitious as Seize the Night is a tough call on tight timescales and a low budget. However as you may have guessed I’m up for a challenge and I’m not beyond throwing myself in at the deep end. Despite the complex nature of a fast paced action short like this both myself and my cast and crew put 100% and more in, working well together, maintaining a high level of commitment, and I believe that speaks for itself in the result. It does look slick, it does maintain a high production value throughout and more importantly I hope it entertains people and leaves audiences wanting more.

edark8UKHS – You play Eva in the film. Can you tell us a little about her? Who did you base your character on and how much of the real you did you bring to the screen?

ED – The greater world Seize the Night is based in sees all mythical creature (including vampires and werewolves) having been created by early forms of scientific experimentation, hundreds of years ago. These creatures are separated off from human society for their own protection. Although they don’t mix each type of creature has they own military unit of protectors who essentially keep their existence hidden. We don’t see this backstory in the short, all we know is that Eva is a vampire assassin. Holding this responsibility to protect her vampire species for literally hundreds of years has made Eva guarded in the least.

The humans having later rediscovered these creatures have been capturing vampires and werewolves for their own experimental purposes, one of those captured was Eva. She managed to escape but really doesn’t recall her time
spent in captivity clearly. It’s pushed her over the edge, she’s now essentially renegade, she won’t follow orders and kills anyone who gets in her way. She’s lost trust in herself and those around her and she’s putting her own kind in further jeopardy.

There’s a lot of me in her yes. Not from the extreme lack of trust, anger management issues or the sense of tipping over the edge, but I’m a pretty fearless no-nonsense kind of person and that really helps with this kind of role.

edark5UKHS – Ok, lets talk about ‘Island of the Blind Dead.’ It’s a fan film created to celebrate the 1971 Spanish cult classic, Tombs of the Blind Dead. You filmed ‘Island of the Blind Dead’ in Corfu, Greece. How did this all come about and how long did it take to make this 3 min short?

ED – To be perfectly honest this was purely a ‘for fun’ kind of project although it’s been really well received by both audience and critics alike. If half of the trip to Corfu hadn’t meant being trapped indoors while storms hit outside it might not have happened, certainly not in this way. Originally the costume was brought along simply to catch some test shots along the beach. However having some time to think and plan a script on our hands myself and fellow indie filmmaker Merlyn Roberts approached the local amateur dramatic society and asked if they wanted to get involved. St George South has a strong film history with the iconic James Bond film ‘For Your Eyes Only (1981)’ having been filmed there, most famous for the dune buggy scene.

The local actors really got behind the project and we just took it from there really. I have to say we were completely unprepared equipment wise, I literally had a compact consumer camera to film on, however if anything the reduced quality only added to the realistic retro effect. Obviously I also aged it in post, paying particular attention to both the original series and other films of that time and taking note of colour, film quality and fonts used. Actually shooting it only took a couple of days and I have a lot of extra footage I might compile at some point too.

A little piece of trivia for you, I later discovered my Seize the Night fight coordinator Roy Scammell did the stunts for For Your Eyes Only in St George South, so a strange little connection there!

edark1UKHS – What would you consider to be the three main ingredients that you need to make a classic horror flick?

ED – It really depends, what I consider key is probably not what the general movie going audience would. I’m not really one for jumps, gore and screaming women for example. OK, I know doing a homage accurately for something like the Tombs of the Blind Dead series obviously would include two of those elements in the minimum, but for me personally it’s not my key formula. I like a good horror film to have beautiful cinematography, a sense of dread and a great storyline. Most of my favourite horror films have a sci-fi or thriller element as I find those are the films for me that break the traditional mould. Women are stronger, it’s more about what you don’t see than what you do see and there’s a stronger sense of all encompassing doom.

Of course many of the older Italian Giallo and Mediterranean horror films get away with more blood, screaming women and slasher killers as often the cinematography is very well executed and backed up by interesting storylines, often creating works of high quality and beauty despite having been relatively low budget films of their time.

edark10UKHS – Finally, what’s next for you and where do you see yourself in five years from now?

ED – Five years from now I have no idea, apart from putting as much effort in as possible to push my name and work out there it’s really both about public perception and reception of myself and my work that will decide that I think.

Regarding my next projects, I have a few things in the works, including starring in a faux snuff film by cult indie director Dan Brownlie alongside scream queen Jessica Ann Bonner. I’m looking forward to that as I get to be rather sadistic. I also have Fragments of Fear segment to make for horror entrepreneur Richard Gladman. It’s a sort of horror Jackanory story series and features horror greats such as Caroline Munroe and Francoise Pascal among others.

I have my own plans for continuing Seize the Night but I’ll not be able to finalise those until I have a funding plan in place.

UKHS – Thank you for your time, Emma and good luck with ‘Seize the Night’ and your other projects!


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An Interview with Zombeavers Star Cortney Palm by Dean Sills

cort2An Interview with Cortney Palm by Dean Sills

UKHS -Thank you for your time, Cortney and welcome to UK Horror Scene. I know you are a theatrically trained actress. Can you please tell us how did the transition into film occur and what is it about the horror genre that you enjoy so much?

CP – The transition into film was gradual. I was studying at California Lutheran University and was a part of the theater program when I saw a casting notice for a short film. I decided to submit to the notice (which was an extra role) and on that set I learned what SAG was and more about what it takes to make a film. I later signed up with Central Casting and began working in the background of film and TV. I always wanted to be a film actor, but I literally knew nothing coming into it. I am still learning!

I have always enjoyed watching horror films and to be honest, they were the easiest films to book and the community is so small that I was able to get some form of consistent work.

cort10UKHS – Congratulations on the UK TV premiere of ‘Zombeavers’. The film is showing daily on Sky Movies at the moment. I really enjoyed watching it and loved your performance as Zoe. How cool was it playing a sexy zombeaver-killing badass and are you ever going to look at beavers the same way again?

CP – First of all, thank you! Second of all Zoe was quite an amazing character to play and I had a blast getting to know everyone on set and work each day.

I went to Idaho last year and saw beavers in across a river and I was a bit fearful! Not because the beavers could be zombies, but because I really have never seen a real beaver before! (stealing a line from the movie!) I absolutely love and respect animals, but I doubt I would have gotten in the water near them with my new irrational fear. haha!

cort1UKHS – I have seen some great footage of you doing gymnastics on Youtube and I know you did all your own stunts on ‘Silent Night’ and this is awesome, well done! Did you do all your own stunts in ‘Zombeavers’ and was that really you or a stunt double in the scene when Zoe escapes by jumping through a window?

CP – I miss gymnastics so much. I think there needs to be a film about it and I could play a coach who is nostalgic and is living through her gymnasts careers and in the end she finds some form of acceptance and joy. As we age we tend to miss the things we used to do as kids and I feel like we make ourselves grow up instead of staying young. Anyway, I do most of my own stunts; however, on *Zombeavers* my double jumped out the window and crashed the car through the house. I did the rest of the stunts. I did get injured on set from a stunt that malfunctioned, and that just reiterates why we have a stunt double team. If the actors get hurt, you don’t have a movie. I would love to be in a film where I can do more. Something such as Underworld or Tomb Raider, both Kate and Angelina did most of their own work!

UKHS – Talking of ‘Silent Night’. I loved your role in this as Maria and the wood chipper scene which was brilliant. How scary was it filming a scene like this and how long did it take to shoot?

CP – If I remember correctly it was a three day shoot for me and we shot the wood chipper scene the first day! No one can really teach you how to die a horrible death like that, so I had really one shot to make it work and a really great SFX team behind me. I remember getting into the shaft and sticking to the blood. We had to pour water on me so I could slide down! But it was fun and I lived to tell the tale!

cort3UKHS – OK, I have to ask you about ‘Sushi Girl’. How did you get the role ? Did you enjoy working with Mark Hamill (Star Wars) and how difficult were the scenes when Sushi is served on your beautiful naked body as the con men eat their dinner and you are lying completely still?

CP – I always browse LA Casting looking for roles and I saw a casting which said must be comfortable nude. I have done a lot of nude and implied modelling so I was comfortable with the content. I was called in and the next thing I know I was naked at call-backs lying on a table! Pretty sure my amazing boobs got me the part! That aside… :)….. I thoroughly enjoyed working with everyone. Each actor brought their A game every day and I didn’t mind having to lay for hours on the table. The only downside was if I had to use the ladies room we would have to undress the sushi and then redress it when I came back. So I tried not to eat or drink! Otherwise, lying still for so long wasn’t a big deal because I was completely invested in that character and it didn’t bother Sushi Girl because she was on a mission and she wasn’t about to fail.

UKHS – 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?

CP -Well extreme would be Shia pulling out his own tooth and I am nowhere near THAT! I definitely take the time to read the script multiple times, and not just my scenes because there is always something in the script that can help shape your character, especially given circumstances. The hardest role hasn’t really come my way yet, but I do look forward to that day. My favourite role was Sushi Girl, and I also loved Zoe. Keep an eye out for my new exciting role of Detective Kate in Bond: Kizuna (which we are currently getting funding for and I will post the crowd-funding information as it comes) She is someone I can’t wait to tackle!

cort9UKHS – If you were stranded on a desert island, which three items would you want to have with you?

CP – Now this is a tough one. Are the items something we can bring with us, or items we hope the deserted island has? If the first, then I would bring my two dogs, a water purifier, and a machete. If the latter, then I would hope for coconuts, large palm fronds, and wood!

UKHS – Finally, are you currently working on any new projects which you can tell UKHS all about?

CP – I am currently involved the development of several films and trying to get a few others off the ground. I am going to be working on The Final Table, Blood Moon, Bond: Kizuna and hopefully I will be able to get two scripts off the ground that my amazing writer colleagues have written. One is a horror feature and the other is a futuristic apocalypse story. Otherwise, I am still looking for the next big role that I can sink my teeth into. Hopefully something soon!

Thank you for the interview! Cheers!

cort7UKHS – You’re welcome! Thank you for your time and keep up the great work,


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Terry and Brenda (2014) Short Film Review

TERRY_AND_BRENDA_POSTERTerry and Brenda (2014)

Director: Jamie Hooper

Runtime – 15 mins

Starring: Tim Blackwell, Debra Baker, Lucy Hutchinson and Tom Geoffrey.

You can’t choose your family… but you can choose your victims.

Terry and Brenda is a dazzling 15-minute short film written and directed by the talented Jamie Hooper. The film revolves around a northern dysfunctional couple who have simple values in life. Hooper displays a stereotypical portrayal of low income family life with Terry and Brenda reminding me of the Royle Family with seedy elements of Fred and Rosemary West thrown in for good measure.

TERRY_AND_BRENDA_2The film begins with Terry and Brenda sat talking and watching television having a cosy night in with a plate full of biscuits, some filthy chat about fish fingers and discussing if Arnold Schwarzenegger was in Robocop. The only excitement the two of them get up to this point is when Terry records Robocop and Brenda gets a brew made for her. This is sweetly written and Hooper gives us a nice mixture of horror and comedy.

Suddenly we find out what the couple are really into when they make their way to the bedroom and we see them bound in leather with Brenda taking control ready for a night of weird sexual fantasies including making Terry beg like a dog for a bourbon biscuit. Brenda as a leather clad mistress gets her pleasure in a number of ways and the two of them even film themselves carrying out their aggressive fantasies. Without giving too much away other other elements are added to the storyline including a nice performance from Lucy Hutchinson playing the role of Kelly.

TERRY_AND_BRENDA_3The acting is really good in this, Tim Blackwell as Terry and Debra Baker as Brenda have great on screen chemistry and I would love to see much more of their characters even if I do find them a little scary. The weird thing is I know people who actually remind me of Terry and Brenda, it’s scary to know what goes on behind close doors and if these people have dark secrets and weird fantasies like Terry and Brenda!

Hooper gets everything spot on in this tasty short from Terry’s dirty vest and cheesy souvenir mugs to the atmosphere and superb cinematography. The humour works really well along with the unease throughout and not knowing where Hooper is taking us but one thing’s for sure Terry and Brenda will keep you hooked until the end!



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An Interview with Emory Slone by Dean Sills

es1An Interview with Emory Slone by Dean Sills

Last month Emory Slone and Malevolent Magazine interviewed me about my acting and did a wonderful 4 page feature in their April issue. Now it’s my turn to get Emory in the chair to fire a number of questions at him about his magazine and love of horror.

UKHS – Welcome Emory and thank you for your time. You are the owner and editor of Malevolent Magazine. Can you please tell us a little about yourself and Malevolent Magazine?

ES – Thanks so much Dean. It’s an honour to be a part of UK Horror Scene. I’m from the small town of Catlettsburg, Kentucky here in the US. I spent many years working as a custom picture framer, but was always a die-hard Horror fan. Indie Horror has been on the rise in recent years, especially with today’s technology where social media and crowdfunding can get these projects made and seen, when 10-15 years ago it was impossible. I noticed that there were no publications that were devoted to the Indie Horror film scene. That spawned the birth of Malevolent Magazine. I wanted to focus on all the talented filmmakers, actors and Scream Queens in the indie scene. Fortunately, Malevolent was welcomed with open arms by the Indie Horror community and will remain focused on getting the amazing people involved with it as much exposure as possible.

es2UKHS – You also write and do great interviews for your magazine. Who have you enjoyed interviewing the most and what’s been your favourite review so far?

ES – I’ve had so many wonderful people be a part of Malevolent, but the very first two issues hold a special place with me. In the première issue, SPFX legend Tom Sullivan (Evil Dead) and actors Bill Oberst Jr and Robert LaSardo were kind enough to take a chance on this new publication and deliver some of the most epic interviews ever. Then, for issue #2 indie Scream Queen Melantha Blackthorne did the first ever exclusive Malevolent Magazine photo shoot for the cover and went out of her way to create one of the most entertaining interviews I’ve read, even incorporating a little fiction playing off the theme of the shoot. (She really didn’t gouge her eyeball out. lol.)

As far as reviews go, filmmaker Johnny Daggers sent me the first 9 minutes of the upcoming documentary about the independent Horror filmmaking scene, Blood On The Reel. This is one Indie Horror fans need to be on the look out for. It features tons of Indie Horror filmmakers, actors and actresses telling tales of the hardships of independent filmmaking and their experiences in the field. Johnny was nice enough to have me film some footage for the film as well, so I’m very excited for the release later this year.

es3UKHS – In terms of your writing style, who would you say is your greatest writing influence?

ES – My greatest writing influence would have to be H.P. Lovecraft. I always loved his approach where less is more. To leave readers to their own imagination to conjure whatever their darkest fear is within themselves. That’s how I approach the interviews for Malevolent. I leave the questions open so the one being interviewed can tell us about a project from their point of view. Of course, I hope this doesn’t conjure fear in them. Haha !

UKHS – What’s your favourite horror movie?

ES – Without a doubt the original Evil Dead is my favourite horror movie. For what was such a small budget independent Horror film, it has grown into one of the most well known franchises in the scene. Bruce Campbell’s portrayal of Ash created such a likeable character that so many people can relate to because he was not perfect…a hero with the same flaws as the rest of us. Plus, for the time that it was made it had some groundbreaking practical SPFX that may be over the top by today’s standards, but still withstands the tests of time.

es4UKHS – If you could have dinner with three guests (living or dead), who would you choose and why?

ES – Oh man! lol. It’s a unique combination, but I think my three guests would have to be Bruce Campbell, Hulk Hogan and Katharine Isabelle. Bruce, because he is the ‘King of Indie Horror’ and my favourite actor. Hulk, because he’s been a hero of mine since I was a kid and it would be interesting to see how he and Bruce interacted with each other. Katharine, because she is my favourite actress/Scream Queen.

UKHS – Finally, where do you see yourself and Malevolent Magazine in 5 years from now?

ES – 5 years from now I see Malevolent Magazine on bookshelves in stores with worldwide distribution. The Indie Horror scene is growing stronger everyday and soon indie will be mainstream. I also want a strong web based presence, so an interactive website will be established by then with a community page. I am launching a side project as well called Malevolent Magazine X-treme.

MMX will feature Horror photography, art, tattoos and alternative models, where Malevolent Magazine focuses on Indie Horror films. So, that is the 5 year goal…if all goes well we move on to evolving into hosting the Malevolent Horror Film Festival after that. Plus, I will get more involved in actual filmmaking myself. Fingers crossed 🙂 Thanks again Dean for having me and I look forward to your upcoming projects and the UK Horror Scene as well.

es5UKHS – Thank you Emory, it was a pleasure. Keep up the great work and good luck with Malevolent Magazine X-treme and your other projects in the future!