LATEST | FEATURES | INTERVIEWS | NEWS | FRIGHTFEST | REVIEWS A chat with Dominic Brunt and Joanne Mitchell ahead of Horror Channel's UK TV premiere of Attack of the Adult Babies
By James Whittington, Wednesday 2nd January 2019
Ahead of the Horror Channel's UK TV premiere of Attack of the Adult Babies, on January 5 at 9pm, director Dominic Brunt and actor/producer partner Joanne Mitchell unpin the nappies...
HC: Attack of the Adult Babies will receive its UK TV premiere on Horror Channel. Are you both excited?
DB: I'm over the moon. As a fan of horror, I'm also a fan of the Horror Channel. It's an honour to have our work premiered with one of our favourite channels. The Horror Channel (along with FrightFest and Metrodome) took Before Dawn under its wing when that was released as our debut feature film. It marked our transition from horror fen geeks to horror film makers and we were well looked after indeed.
JM: We're delighted and incredibly excited that the film will get its TV premiere with the brilliant Horror Channel. We've always been massive fans and the channel has always been incredibly supportive of us and our movies as well as so many other film makers.
HC: What would you like TV viewers to take away from the film?
DB: We'd like viewers to watch it first and foremost as entertainment but to hopefully take time to reflect on any wider meanings and intentions. We've really enjoyed the fact that the film has been embraced as a roller coaster of gore and insanity!
JM:: Primarily I'd like viewers to just enjoy themselves and give in to the crazy ride. We dared to make something totally different from anything else we've ever made and are proud that it has been called a stand out horror movie. It's a lot of fun, and was to make too!
HC: Dominic, do you think your Emmerdale fans will be surprised/shocked to find you're directing full-bloodied horror films?
DB: I think they'll either ignore what I'm up to, in regards to horror films, or they go along with the idea and support what we have "out there" on Netflix and Amazon etc. I've been involved in genre festivals in Leeds for over a decade and Before Dawn was made almost eight years ago. We've had clips shown on day time TV from a couple of the films so I'm not sure there's any shock at what we do any more (although hopefully the content of our films is willfully so). Before Dawn and Adult Babies are pure fantasy without any spite, and you can't argue that we weren't sincere with our intentions regarding Bait.
HC: Joanne, you've played four characters in Emmerdale and you've recently appeared in a lead role In Coronation Street. How does soapland compare with splatterland?
JM: Oh my goodness, they couldn't be more polarised! However, each genre is a great platform for stories and characters, just that soaps are much quicker and very slick. With indie horror films though you can take more risks!
HC: AOTAB, underneath all the satirical fun and gore, deals with some pretty dark issues. Was it always your intention to make a politically-motivated horror comedy?
DB: I do believe you can make an allegorical, political point without being dull or boring or preachy. Bait is incredibly political but it is clothed and presented as a thriller and (hopefully) a gripping story first and foremost. I don't think we'll ever make a film that isn't a metaphor or allegorical of something other than the surface story.
JM: Yes, it was our intention - the idea of big adult babies making important decisions within our society tickled us - such a great terrifying image. We wanted to see how far we could take it - and I think we succeeded in taking it pretty bloody far!
HC: Class issues rear their ugly head. Dominic, do you feel they are just as embedded in UK society as they were in the past - hence just as topical?
DB: Always were and always will be. For one single instance, look at the laws on hunting as a microcosm of the whole of society and the laws imposed on the working classes. Who adheres to what, and who carries on regardless? Who turns a blind eye, and in some cases actively supports the breaking of the laws passed in the same parliament supposedly enforced by the same police force created for "all of us"? The anger is hidden but it is there. I'm 48 so I've seen the unions crushed, raves stopped, films banned, ancient monuments cordoned off and football monetised to the maximum, traveler friends assaulted and stigmatised for living an alternative lifestyle.
HC: The movie certainly caught the attention of reviewers, Hey You Guys called it "...the sort of deranged, balls-to-the-wall grossness that only ever seems to show up once in a generation". How confident were you that you that the film could chime with audiences?
JM: To be honest, you just never ever know. Audiences can be so different. The FrightFest audience, for example, are always very supportive, but then it went down a storm with the regional festivals too, as well as abroad. The French audience for example (Paris) was a surprise - the film had subtitles and I really wasn't sure if it would translate well, but they had a great time watching it and really got it. We knew it would work well within the genre festivals though as I think horror fans are open to seeking and watching something different, it is a wonderful exciting platform to keep telling stories. So hopefully the fans of the Horror Channel will enjoy it too.
DB: Well it's hardly the new Star Wars but within its own little niche, I'm absolutely delighted. We have to be thankful for a good release in the form of distribution through Nucleus and AMP supporting us, and then people like FrightFest and the Horror Channel being there to broadcast our ideas and stories. Otherwise you're shouting at a wall.
HC: Its chaotic sexual anarchy made it felt quite Orton-esque in some media corners. Was Joe Orton an inspiration? Who did inspire you? Were there any films that were particularly influential?
DB: I LOVE Joe Orton but he wasn't on our minds at all I don't think. It's more a visual representation of the old EC horror comics from the 50s which I like reading. We tried to make them flesh around Jo's story and Paul Shrimpton's script.
JM: There was a mass of influences really, both from myself and Dominic, especially regarding political figures, exploitative male bosses and various scandals from the society we live in, with movie influences including the Blob, the stuff, all the saucy Carry On and Benny Hill farcical kinky humour too.
HC: Joanne, it was your idea to centre the film around the world of infantilism. How did you first discover this clandestine world?
JM: It was an amalgamation of things really. I'd spent talking to a very intelligent and articulate young woman who was a dominatrix. She ran her own dungeon and was very successful doing so. She fascinated me. She spoke fairly discreetly about what her job entailed - from what I could glimpse of that world it was pretty bizarre and interesting: Businessmen who wanted nothing more than to spend the day regressing as an infant or baby, relinquishing all the pressures and stresses of their high powered jobs. It piqued my interest and my imagination.
HC: Dominic, the acting was very strong and the casting of cult TV comedian Charlie Chuck particularly stands out. Was it difficult to get the actors you wanted?
DB: I think at our level you have to cast and audition for the part rather than fill your film with faces and names. We were lucky to have Kate Coogan, Sally Dexter, Jo, Andy Dunn, Nicky Evans, Thaila Zucchi, Seamus O'Neil, Laurence Harvey, Charlie Chuck etc who are all character actors of much experience, but we are limited by a budget so you have to cast smart. They liked the script first and foremost (fortunately) and not necessarily the budget.
HC: Your production company Mitchell-Brunt Films has been going for seven years and you must be proud of what you've achieved so far (feature films Before Dawn and Bait) What plans do you have for the future?
DB: Several folders FULL of stuff. Also, 101 films are looking to re-release Before Dawn and Bait on BluRay, with lots of new extras. They've only been previously released on DVD, so we're very pleased and flattered about that.
JM: We've more ideas for films in the future and currently have one film in development, Lost Dogs by Jeff Lemire. I've also just directed my first short film, Sybil, which is currently doing the rounds on the festival circuit.
Related show tags: ATTACK OF THE ADULT BABIES, BEFORE DAWN MORE INTERVIEWS Ahead of Horror Channel's premiere of zom-rom-com Ibiza Undead, we ask actress and producer Marcia Do Vales 10 scary questions.
Posted on Tuesday 8th January 2019
Ahead of Horror Channel's premiere of zombie rom-com Ibiza Undead, we ask actress and producer Marcia Do Vales 10 scary questions.
HC: When did your interest in horror films begin?
MDV: About the age of 11 or 12, I started enjoying watching horror films, after my parents had gone to bed. I remember watching Child's Play with the volume turned off, sitting directly in front of the TV so I could quickly turn it off if my parents came in.
HC: Tell us about your first horror film role.
MDV: In my first film role, I played The Girl in The Reverend I found myself working alongside the legendary Rutger Hauer who was cast as the Devil. He had his own private room...SHARE: READ MORE Interview with Leprechaun Returns director Steven Kostanski
Posted on Monday 17th December 2018
Horror's smallest terror is back to reclaim the treasure that's been lost for 25 years in Leprechaun Returns which has just been released across all streaming platforms. We spoke to its director, Steven Kostanski about this movie the challenges of carrying on a much loved franchise.
HC: How were you approached to direct Leprechaun Returns?
SK: The producers contacted my manager and he sent me the script. I had a few conversations with them over the phone discussing the direction they wanted go, and once I saw that they were looking to get away from the seriousness of Leprechaun Origins I knew I wanted to do the project.
HC: What did you think of Suzanne Keilly's script when y...SHARE: READ MORE Interview with Bill Watterson director of Dave Made a Maze
Posted on Sunday 4th November 2018
At Grimmfest 2017 we had the chance to view one of the most original pieces of cinema we'd seen in a long time, Dave Made a Maze. Directed by Bill Watterson it's an intelligent, thought-provoking film that deserves to reach a global audience and will be released here early 2019. We chatted to Bill about this incredible movie.
HC: Where did this concept come from?
WW: Three places: Steven was underway on a script called 'Operation: Death Maze,' or something cool like that. Portions of it were re-purposed after he jibed with a story I told about my mom coming home and seeing an incredible fort that I'd build in my bedroom, and concluding that I'd gotten lost within it when I d...SHARE: READ MORE Interview with Paul Hyett director of Peripheral
Posted on Friday 2nd November 2018 Paul Hyett is a firm FrightFest favourite. His work jumps from genre you genre with ease but still retains that "Hyett" feeling in each piece. His latest work, Peripheral is having its UK Premiere at the FrightFest Halloween 2018 event so we decided to chat to Paul about this and his view on technology.
HC: How did the project of Peripheral come together?
PH: Peripheral was bought to me by the original producer, he thought I'd be a good fit. Originally he had pitched me a one woman in a room, contained location about bad technology theme. It didn't feel appealing as after Howl, which was a big film in terms of cast, VFX, stunts etc and I was looking for a more challenging film logisticall...SHARE: READ MORE Interview with Julian Richards, director of Reborn
Posted on Wednesday 17th October 2018
Ahead of the World premiere screening of Reborn at FrightFest Halloween, Julian Richards discusses the torturous challenges of Daddy's Girl, why he wishes every actress was like Barbara Crampton and future plans, including directing the English language remake of Rabies.
HC: After six years away from directing, you have two films, Reborn and Daddy's Girl poised for distribution. Why these two very different films now?
JR: My previous film Shiver was completed in 2012 and it took longer for me to get back into the directing saddle because of commitments I had to my sales company Jinga Films. The company was growing quickly and needed more of my time and energy. We had grown from handling th...SHARE: READ MORE Interview with Jules Vincent, co-writer and producer of Alive
Posted on Thursday 4th October 2018
Grimmfest 2018 is well underway and delivering some memorable movie moments, and one of the best is showing on Sunday, Alive. This cracking film sees the return of Grimmfest favourite Rob Grant as director and has been co-written and co-produced by Chuck McCue and Jules Vincent. Here Jules tells all about this brilliant piece.
HC: Where did the idea for Alive come from?
JV: We'd talked about writing a horror screenplay for a number of years before we finally came up with the right idea. We're both big fans of classic horror and we love the works of Hitchcock, Carpenter, Friedkin, and Cronenberg so in a way we had a very specific style and feel in mind before we even had the story. A...SHARE: READ MORE Interview with Olivier Afonso director of Girls With Balls
Posted on Wednesday 3rd October 2018
Grimmfest 2018 kicks off tomorrow and one of the many highlights of the four day event is the blood-splattered shocker Girls With Balls. We chatted to it's director Olivier Afonso about this fab film and his career as an SFX artists.
HC: What inspired you to write Girls With Balls?
OA: My co-writer and I we wanted to write a trash comedy to entertain an audience because we love festivals: the atmosphere, people screaming, laughing... Personally, I'm inspired by the eighties and nineties movies such as of Sam Raimi, Peter Jackson, Alex de la Iglesia. We wanted to make a survival movie but with strong women, a girl ...SHARE: READ MORE Interview with Ezequiel Endelman and Leandro Montejano, the creative forces behind Crystal Eyes
Posted on Saturday 15th September 2018
FrightFest 2018 exposed attendees to horror from all over the world and one that made an incredibly stylish and retro impact was the superb giallo inspired shocker, Crystal Eyes. Here the co-writers and co-directors Ezequiel Endelman and Leandro Montejano tell us all about this affectionate love letter to the classics of the 80s.
Where did the idea for Crystal Eyes come from?
Crystal Eyes was supposed to be the third episode of our web-series called No Podras Dormir Esta Noche (You Won't Sleep Tonight) which paid homage to different horror sub genres in each episode, and eventually it turned into a feature film. We love Giallo si...SHARE: READ MORE Exclusive interview with Adam Green, director of Hatchet.
Posted on Thursday 13th September 2018
Ahead of Horror Channel's UK TV Premiere of Hatchet on Friday 14th Sept, director Adam Green gives an exclusive interview about his beloved franchise and what the future holds for Victor Crowley...
Hatchet is finally getting its first showing on UK TV, courtesy of Horror Channel. We're excited, are you?
I couldn't be more excited! I've always said that even though Hatchet may have world premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival in NYC, it was at FrightFest in London where "Victor Crowley" was truly born. FrightFest was "the screening heard around the world" and the UK audience was so enthusiastic over Hatchet that every genre festival on t...SHARE: READ MORE Interview with Tom de Ville, director of Corvidae
Posted on Wednesday 5th September 2018
HC: This is your first short as a director, what inspired you to write this script?
TdV: I read a really interesting article about how smart crows are, in particular how they can hold grudges. Apparently a group of scientists had gone out and harassed a murder of crows whilst wearing masks. If they went back wearing the masks, the crows would remember them and fight back. If they didn't wear the masks, the crows would leave them alone. This made me start thinking about what would happen if someone tried to save a crow from a bunch of kids who were trying to kill it. Would the other crows from its murder remember this? And what would they do to help her?...SHARE: READ MORE Interview with Stewart Sparke, director of Book of Monsters
Posted on Wednesday 5th September 2018
HC: Your last movie, The Creature Below was two years ago, what's life been back since then?
SS: Since The Creature Below premiered at Frightfest in 2016 things haven't really stopped for myself and my collaborator Paul Butler. We were lucky enough to have the film released on DVD and VOD in over eight countries under various names. I think my favourite has to be Japan's Leviathan X: From the Deep! The film even had a theatrical release in Taiwan which was quite surreal as it was playing opposite Thor Ragnarok over there so overall, we've been completely blown away by everything that's happened. Paul and I are always coming up wit...SHARE: READ MORE Interview with Ferdinando D'Urbano actor, writer, producer of The Laplace's Demon
Posted on Tuesday 28th August 2018
A stand-out movie from FrightFest 2018 tested the brain power of those who saw it. The Laplace's Demon is an incredibly powerful piece so we chatted to one of the creatives behind it, Ferdinando D'Urbano.
HC: I'd never heard of Laplace's Demon theory before, can you give us a quick explanation of what it is?
FDU: The Laplace's Demon is a philosophical theory of the early 1800s. Pierre Simon Laplace was a French mathematician who in his work "Essai philosophique sur les probabilites" (A philosophical essay on probabilities), theorized that if there were an intellect capable of knowing al...SHARE: READ MORE Interviews Archive: 2019 | 2018 | 2017 | 2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2007 | 2006 PICK OF THE WEEK
Sunday 20th January
Monday 21st January
Wednesday 23rd January