FEATURES | INTERVIEWS | NEWS | FRIGHTFEST | REVIEWS | BOOTH'S BLOG Interview with Colin Minihan director of It Stains The Sands Red
By James Whittington, Monday 13th February 2017
Ahead of the UK premiere of his latest film It Stains The Sands Red at Horror Channel FrightFest Glasgow, Colin Minihan chats about the creation of his 'zombie love story', the challenges of shooting in Death Valley and his new movie Still/Born.
HC: Are The Vicious Brothers still an entity? You've only co-directed Grave Encounters under that moniker - Extraterrestrial and It Stains The Sands Red carry your separate credits. That's the way you want it from now on?
CM: Our roles were just less defined when we made Grave Encounters because we were both very young. If we make a film together and feel like it's a Vicious Brothers film, then I think we'd use it again... But then again there are far too many 'brothers' right now - it starts to feel a bit gimmicky.
HC: It Stains The Sands Red is such a terrific and deceptively simple idea, where did the inspiration come for the story?
CM: A combination of things. The main one was that I had just moved to LA and was eager to find an idea befitting of the desert - which I've always found to be extremely cinematic but never had a good idea for. I think after watching World War Z, I jokingly asked Stuart what hadn't been done with zombies and could be done on a low budget... He responded something like, "I don't know... one Zombie?" It was a light bulb moment for me, like, "That's it! ONE ZOMBIE!"
HC: Did the overall arc of the story change in the writing process? Molly's zombie pursuer would always become her best friend, then confessor, and finally saviour?
CM: The lead character changed throughout the writing process. The first drafts were actually written for a male protagonist who was a struggling alcoholic and had abandoned his son in the city. After rejecting that idea, we wrote this other script called The Last Stakeout, which I'd like to make someday, but then finally I pitched the new take on the story for ISTSR to Stu - which would follow Molly, a troubled Las Vegas stripper on her journey through the desert with and against the Zombie - who she would name Smalls. This version really clicked fast while writing... it wasn't like pounding away at the idea by force. It came out relatively quickly, which is always nice and usually means it's flowing well. It also felt more do able on a low budget as the flashbacks were extremely minimal and most of the shoot would be just two actors on screen, albeit one is in full prosthetics.
HC: You play with zombie cliches brilliantly, and upturn them like an expert. It makes the movie a constant surprise as a result?
CM: We tried to just let Molly's character arc guild the end result of the script. We knew we needed to break her down throughout and get there in an organic way - it was very challenging to write this film because she is talking to someone who can't talk back. So she is giving exposition but it can never feel forced - it has to be earned. Which is very challenging in this case.
HC: Brittany Allen carries the movie superbly. She's a Scream Queen favourite and you cast her in Extraterrestrial too. Was it written for her?
CM: When the script was re-written for a female lead... We knew right away that it had to be Brittany. There was never anyone else. She is a character actor who has been acting since she was a child and is completely transformative in many of the rolls that she's played... I hope people see how insanely talented she is with this film. It's definitely her film. I also want to mention my pal Juan Riedinger (who is in Grave Encounters as well). He brought a ton of depth to the role of Smalls and without his absolute commitment to the role, and his patience, this movie would not exist. He is both horrifying and lovable.
HC: The way Molly grows as a person from vacuous party girl to committed mother is superbly handled in the script by Brittany. That was always the core, the most engaging and surprising aspect of the movie?
CM: ISTSR was always a character journey through the desert. We were more inspired by Gus Van Sant's 'Jerry' more than anything while writing.
HC: Talk about the filming rigours; where was the location (the Valley of Fire in Nevada?), how long was the schedule, and it looks a really difficult shoot?
CM: It was probably the most difficult shoot I've ever been a part of. We kind of knew that going into it as when scouting Death Valley as a possible location we had a close call, almost passing out from the intense sun on top of a dune. This film is as indie as it gets. I didn't even have an AD or Script Supervisor on set - and those are two of the main people a director leans on while making a film. We had no money so we had to be as economic and guerrilla as possible in order to pull off this sweeping story. It was a rag tag group of like 10 people on set on any given day and the make-up crew was in a blood covered RV trying to get Juan camera ready. At one point, Juan even slept in his zombie make up for three days straight because the application was so time consuming, never mind the time it took taking it off. Because of what happened in Death Valley in the summer (heatstroke), we aimed for the Las Vegas' desert in November and December in hopes it would be mild and maybe a bit colder at night. Unfortunately it ended up being freezing cold most of the time, even during the day. If you watch the film it is actually taking everything in Brittany to pretend to be hot when really she is freezing.
HC: The movie ends on an optimistic note, you see hope in an impending zombie apocalypse?
CM: If there is an impending Zombie apocalypse, we are all f*****d. Much worse so than we already are.
HC: What can you reveal about your next project Haunted Temple?
CM: Haunted Temple, aka Temple is no more. Let's skip this question. Ha!
HC: So finally, If not Temple, what is next?
CM: I have a new film that I am very excited about called Still/Born. It is in the final stages of post-production. It's about a young mother trying to protect her new-born baby from a supernatural entity. It's probably the scariest film I've been a part of. I co-wrote it and produced it and it should premier very soon.
It Stains The Sands Red is showing at the Glasgow Film Theatre on Friday 24th February, 4pm as part of Horror Channel FrightFest Glasgow 2017.
MORE INTERVIEWS Interview with Ruth Platt, director of The Lesson
Posted on Wednesday 6th December 2017
On the eve of Horror Channel's network premiere screening of The Lesson, director Ruth Platt talks about the decision to quit RADA, why her film isn't 'torture porn' and what the future holds.
The Lesson received its World Premiere at FrightFest. How did you react when it was chosen? And what was the experience like?
RP: I was really excited when I found out we'd been picked - we got a call from the team, and they were passionate about the film, and they are such a knowledgable and experienced small team, Greg, Paul, Alan and Ian, and it meant so much. Especially when the making of it had been such an arduous and difficult process! I had no idea how people would react to the film - it was su...SHARE: READ MORE Interview with John Shackleton director of Panic Button
Posted on Wednesday 15th November 2017
As social media horror feature Panic Button gets a remastered DVD and Download release, writer and producer John Shackleton reflects on the film's inspirational journey.
To start at the beginning, what was the genesis or the seed of the idea for Panic Button?
JS: The model of how to make a film actually came before the concept. I'd made a short film with a group of trainees using a bunch of self-imposed restrictions for practicalities sake, to make sure we completed and delivered within the three-week timeframe of the training scheme, who were my employers. The rules were quite simple - no more than five minutes' walk from the office (we couldn't afford a van), no dialogue (we did...SHARE: READ MORE Interview with Damien Leone director of Terrifier
Posted on Saturday 28th October 2017
Ahead of the UK premiere of his latest film Terrifier at the Horror Channel Frightfest Halloween event today, director Damien Leone talks about the 'Art' of extreme clowning, his debt to Tom Savini and a terrifying Halloween experience...
Art, The Clown initially appeared in your 2008 short The 9th Circle, then the 2011 award-winning short Terrifier and in your first feature All Hallow's Eve. What made you decide to give him a fourth outing?
DL: Up until this point I never felt like I fully showcased Art's potential. I believe between the short films and All Hallows' Eve, there only exists about 20 minutes of Art the Clown screen time. For a character who's done so little, he seems to really resonate with horr...SHARE: READ MORE Interview with Mathieu Turi director of Hostile
Posted on Wednesday 25th October 2017
Ahead of the UK premiere of his debut feature Hostile at the Horror Channel Frightfest Halloween event, director Mathieu Turi shares his admiration for Tarantino, describes the challenges of filming in three continents and reveals his 'magic hour'.
You were born in Cannes so you grew up with film all around? When did you know for sure you wanted to direct?
MT: I think it's always been there. As a child, I used to steal my dad's VHS camera to make mini-movies. They were basically all about my Jurassic Park toys eating my dog or invading the garden. Later, I did more elaborate short films with friends, instead of studying. Then, I remember watching Braveheart and the making of the ...SHARE: READ MORE Interview with Marko Makilaakso director of It Came From The Desert
Posted on Tuesday 17th October 2017
Ahead of the UK premiere of his latest film It Came From The Desert at the Horror Channel Frightfest Halloween event, director Marko Makilaakso shares his admiration for Roger Corman, love of B-Movies, spoofing and overcoming homeland obstacles.
It Came From The Desert is inspired by Cinemaware's cult 1980s video game, which in turn was motivated by the giant creature feature craze infesting 1950s Hollywood. What was the main inspiration for you?
MM: There's so many movies and makers which inspired ICFTD, but the main inspiration was exactly that; creature feature infested 1950s Hollywood films, and the legendary Cinemaware Desert games and creature features and action comedies I grew up with in the 19...SHARE: READ MORE Interview with Can Evrenol director of Housewife
Posted on Thursday 12th October 2017
Ahead of the UK premiere of his latest film Housewife at the Horror Channel Frightfest Halloween event, director Can Evrenol tells us why film is a 'pervert's art' shares his feelings for Fulci and reveals his contribution to Horror anthology, The Field Guide To Evil.
Was it important to make your follow-up film to Baskin in the English language?
CE: I wanted to make the film available for a wider audience and to test myself with a different language movie. I thought it was a fun thing to do.
How do you describe Housewife? What would be your perfect pitch line?
CE: Man, I had this crazy f****d-up dream last night! Do you want to see it?
Like Baskin, Housewife shares man...SHARE: READ MORE Interview with Dominic Bridges, director of Freehold
Posted on Wednesday 4th October 2017
One of the stand out movies from Horror Channel FrightFest 2017 was the psychological chiller, Freehold. Dark and at times truly unnerving, the film caused quite a stir and will be released onto DVD on October 9th. Here the film's director Dominic Bridges talking about this superb debut.
HC: Where did the idea for Freehold come from?
DB: Based on personal experience my wife and I suffered a miscarriage whilst trying to buy a house in London whilst the Estate Agents had us bidding against ourselves... I reacted badly which was embarrassing to my wife and myself it all felt like too much fighting for a roof over our heads just tainted the whole of London for us and we moved also the realisation...SHARE: READ MORE Interview with Damien Power, director of Killing Ground
Posted on Monday 25th September 2017
One of the best from Horror Channel FrightFest 2017 was a superior thriller, Killing Ground. This tension packed movie looked incredible on the big screen so we decided to chat to its director, Damien Power.
HC: Did Killing Ground take a long time to write and did it change as you progressed?
DP: It took eleven years from the germ of the idea to stepping onto location to start shooting. Luckily I wasn't working on it full time! Once we had a draft we were happy with, it took five years to put the financing jigsaw together. It's a long journey! The biggest change was that for a number of years it didn't really have a third act. It ended very abruptly at the moment of maximum jeopardy. Fort...SHARE: READ MORE Interview with Michael Boucherie writer and director of Where the Skin Lies
Posted on Monday 28th August 2017
More new talent seemed to be around at Horror Channel FrightFest this year and one of the stand out movies for me was Where The Skin Lies from Michael Boucherie. Here he chats about this emotional movie.
HC: Did you know from a young age you wanted to be in the film-making business?
MB: Going to the movies with my family is a favourite childhood memory. There was no cinema in our home town, so it always involved a bit of a car trip. Afterwards we'd recount and quote our favourite scenes, for some movies up to this day. My mother also filmed and edited our home movies on Super 8, and she involved me in that. So, on some level I grew up with it. It didn't dawn on me that this was a v...SHARE: READ MORE Interview with legendary actress Barbara Crampton
Posted on Tuesday 15th August 2017
Ahead of her eagerly awaited presence at Horror Channel FrightFest 2017, genre icon, actress and producer Barbara Crampton talks exclusively about her latest film Replace, battling chronic fatigue syndrome and her passion for supporting new talent.
Q: Replace raises questions about beauty, body image and growing older, issues that many feel plague the Hollywood movie industry. What is your view on this subject?
BC: The best movies reflect our inner world, our hopes, our good intentions, trials and our demons. Growing old and the fear of death is endemic to all, not just the movie industry. Just when you begin to figure it out your back aches, your skin starts to wrinkle and you gain weight...SHARE: READ MORE Exclusive interview with Jen and Sylvia Soska, directors of See No Evil 2
Posted on Tuesday 4th April 2017
Jen and Sylvia Soska are two of the most exciting creatives around at the moment. Their work is visceral, dynamic, exciting and above all bloody entertaining. We've chatted to these multi-talented Canadians about their work to date in the build up to the UK TV premiere of See No Evil 2 this Friday on Horror.
HC: It's been while since we last chatted and apart from See No Evil 2 what have you both been up to?
SS: It has been a while, but it's really cool that we get to chat again. We hosted a reality horror gameshow from Matador, GSN, and Blumhouse called Hellevator that was like Saw: The Gameshow!. We had a blast making it. I really can't even believe that was a job a person could have. We're st...SHARE: READ MORE Interview with 'Life' star Rebecca Ferguson
Posted on Wednesday 22nd March 2017
Previously starring opposite Tom Cruise in Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation and Emily Blunt in Girl on the Train, Ferguson steps out as the lead, standing firmly in front of her co-stars Jake Gyllenhaal and Ryan Reynolds in the Horror/Sci-Fi spectacle Life, which opens in cinemas across the UK this Friday.
Starring as Dr. Miranda North, Ferguson plays the last astronaut on-board an International Space Station which has recently caught a space probe containing the first sign of extra-terrestrial life. Studying the life form quickly turns from fascinating to a complete catastrophe, as the organism rapidly grows strength and intelligence - with the desperation to prey upon those within its reach.
We spoke with Fergus...SHARE: READ MORE PICK OF THE WEEK
Sunday 24th December
Wednesday 20th December
Sunday 24th December