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By Emily Booth, Friday 25th March 2016
Yes, this coming Saturday (26th March) Horror Channel’s superb Laugh Or Die season is back with splat-stick king Jake West’s Doghouse getting its network premiere and I couldn’t be more proud for I take on the role of ‘The Snipper…’
But I’m not going to just give you the low down on what the movie’s about – you can get that anywhere online, I’m going to give you the inside story on what it was really like working on the most intense film project I’ve ever done; the real Danny Dyer, the stunts, what the Zombirds got up to behind the scenes and the incredibly creepy history behind the stunning derelict hospital where we stayed and shot the movie.
Briefly the film is a zombie-esque twist on the battle of the sexes; Six lads on a bonding trip head to nowheresville ‘Moodley’ only to discover the village is deserted and a hideous virus affecting the women has turned the female of the species into gruesome blood thirsty mutated zombies – or in this case; Zombirds.
Firstly it was amazing to get in touch with my inner monster. I was not required to learn dialogue or look remotely pretty, the opposite in fact. Jake West being a total fan boy took the zombie element of the film very seriously and signed all the actresses playing Zombirds up to ‘Zombie Boot Camp! We all did deep meditations to help us deal with the daily 3-4 hour routine of having full prosthetic make up applied, we had to train in ‘zombie movement’ but because we all had character back stories we had to make our physicality unique. For example I used to be the flirty local hairdresser (hence my name ‘The Snipper) so as a Zombird I made all her movements very slinky and a bit sexual, my long scissors becoming part of my physical DNA! So this in itself was such a great fun start to the movie and all the actresses bonded straight away. Then came the exciting day (finally after months of prep, costume fittings, face and body casts) when I drove up to a strange derelict hospital in Midhurst, Sussex called King Edward VII Hospital – a former Tuberculosis Sanatorium and half way through development into luxury flats. The place was huge and amazing – every urban explorers dream complete with underground tunnels where we shot the Zombird’s nest, abandoned chapel and morgue!
The deal was sealed for me when one of the Zombirds told me this creepy hospital was exactly where horror legend Boris Karloff died in 1969! The hospital and grounds became our home for a good 4 weeks. We stayed in the tiny patients rooms, complete with hospital bed and itchy sheets (I had to drive home to get my duvet) we hung out largely in the make up room where we spent hours getting our prosthetic masks, hands and skin applied, mainly by female SFX artists due to the intimate nature of having full body prosthetic applied so it really was a girl power kind of movie to work on!
As the film largely takes place over 1 night we had to film at night, every night! So that meant a call time of 3pm, make up application till about 6-7pm then dinner then it was shooting till 4–5am. Because these were very unsociable hours and we were in the middle of nowhere with a huge cast and crew – the producers had a bar made especially for us on site which opened at 5am and went on till lunchtime! Suffice to say this was the most unhealthy naughty and fun four weeks of my life! And the only reason we all got away with it is because the girls had masks over their faces anyway so it didn’t matter if we looked and sounded a little rough and jaded. It probably helped….
So what of the men in the movie?! Jake pulled together an incredibly strong male cast all of whom have gone on to star in major films and TV series. Danny Dyer is of course the household name here and yes he does pull off his EasterEnders geezer routine in Doghouse, but I was with him the whole time during his most difficult scene (even filming a behind the scenes doc) and I can wholeheartedly say, he took it very seriously, needing time alone to be able to bring on tears and fear.
Doghouse - Saturday 26th at 10.55pm on Horror.
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Posted on Thursday 23rd November 2017
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Posted on Friday 17th November 2017
I am genuinely so excited about the network premiere I'm about to talk about. It's a film that the critics enjoyed panning, but the fans loved. My recent Twitter-bate confirmed there's a lot of underground love for this strange, dark film. It started out as a grimy, pixelated survival horror game by Konami on the PS1 back in 1999, and it was revolutionary for being the first computer game experience that was genuinely psychological. It had the ability to be truly unnerving and unsettling, and I for one could not stop playing it. It's time for reality to literally crumble as we enter the world of Silent Hill.
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Posted on Tuesday 7th November 2017
There is something incredibly primal about our fear of sharks. Just one look at the Great White Shark's gargantuan mouth peppered with oversized teeth designed to tear you in half and you can feel the fear pervade your entire body. We have always known about this supreme killer of the seas, but it was not until 1975 when Jaws was released unto an unsuspecting audience that the 'hysteria' surrounding the Great White Shark was born. Jaws has come to represent a huge turning point in the film industry. It invented the 'summer blockbuster', it was one of the first films to use high concept marketing and merchandise, and it continues to be deconstructed globally in film schools for its multi-layered metaphors, ranging from 'Vagi...SHARE: READ MORE Booth's Blog: Keira Knightley digs deep in Bloody British Season
Posted on Friday 3rd November 2017
Britain has been put through the ringer over the past couple of years. However, we at Horror Channel are here to remind you all of our proud horror heritage this November, so Keep Calm and Carry On with November's Bloody British Season!
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Posted on Tuesday 24th October 2017
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Posted on Tuesday 17th October 2017
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Posted on Wednesday 11th October 2017
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Posted on Wednesday 4th October 2017
Stephen King fever is everywhere right now, and with the icon turning 70 last month, it doesn't look like he's slowing down anytime soon. This summer's IT reboot caused cinematic shock waves on a global scale, and the recent Gerald's Game is being touted as one of the must-see horrors of the year by the critics.
Let's be honest; the King movie adaptation has always been fraught with controversy, from both fans, critics, and even the man himself. While Stanley Kubrick's The Shining is considered by many to be one of the best King adaptations (and indeed the best horror film of all time!), King himself publicly criticised the film, writing and producing "Stephen King's The Shining"; a TV mini-series in 1997 ...SHARE: READ MORE Booth's Blog: A pre-Matrix Keanu comes to Horror...
Posted on Friday 22nd September 2017
Back in 1995, the year 2021 seemed thankfully such a long way off. As the millennium dawned ever closer and prophecies of doom and demise were thrown around we reacted the only way we know how. With movies! The 90's saw a slew of paranoia fueled films exploring the increasing interfacing of humans with information technology, as for the first time in history the internet came to define and control our lives. The Lawnmower Man ('92), Hackers ('95), Strange Days ('95), Existenz ('99), and of course the daddy of the cyberpunk bunch - The Matrix ('99). But surely there was nothing to truly worry about, right? The Future's not here yet?! Well, according to our dystopian thriller on Friday, it'snow only f...SHARE: READ MORE Booth's Blog: Big Ass Spiders and James Wan this weekend on Horror!
Posted on Tuesday 12th September 2017
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Posted on Tuesday 5th September 2017
I am now fully recovered from five days of (on-screen) bloodshed at Horror Channel FrightFest 2017 which finished last week. It was my 11th year at the festival presenting for Horror Channel since first cutting my teeth as the Horror Channel host way back in 2007. During this memorable year there was a film that really stood out from the crowd - Black Sheep - which incidentally gets its network premiere on Horror this Friday at 9pm! So I thought I'd scratch my brain cells and tell you a bit about this previous FrightFest hit.
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Posted on Wednesday 16th August 2017
The term 'Folk Horror' has become widely used in Horror academia to describe usually British films that dabble in all things pagan and witchy. With a strong connection to our pagan routes, 'Folk Horror' was popularised by countless Hammer Horror and Tigon films in the '60s and '70s with The Witches (1966), Witchfinder General (1968), and The Blood on Satan's Claw (1971), although arguably the most iconic of the sub-genre is The Wicker Man made in 1973, which is now a beacon of worship in its own right!
With the death of hippie culture there was a hiatus within the subgenre in the '80s and '90s, however there has since seen a resurgence, specifically with the critically acclaimed The Witch in 2015; a ...SHARE: READ MORE Booth's Blog Archive: 2017 | 2016 | 2015 | 2014 PICK OF THE WEEK
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