ARTICLES

LATEST | FEATURES | INTERVIEWS | NEWS | FRIGHTFEST | REVIEWS


Interview with legendary actress Barbara Crampton
By James Whittington, 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 just by LOOKING at your food. Let's be frank: Aging sucks! But it also gives you a calendar to get things done. If we had an abundance of time we might be sloths putting off everything and accomplishing nothing. To me the best thing you can do is to live in each moment as successfully as possible. That translates to all areas of your life, personal, career and lifestyle choices. I am not immune however to feeling the anxiety of it all and I do believe most of us lack a grace about allowing nature and gravity to happen. We are collectively obsessed with youth and beauty that's a problem.

Q: Co-writer/director Norbert Keil says he got the idea for Replace after going to hospital for a back operation. Was that something you could empathise with - the feelings of mortality raised when in such a medical environment?

BC: It wasn't a medical environment that did it for me but rather a chronic illness. I developed chronic fatigue syndrome 12 years ago after a parasite I had went undiagnosed for 9 months. I was literally in bed for 2 years. The worst time of my life. I was confronted with the fear of the termination of my long term health. Some people live with CFS and never recover. The medical community is still baffled by the syndrome. For me it was quite possibly that my immune system was acting in overdrive, first to rid itself of the parasite and then not being able to turn itself off when the parasite was eradicated. One doctor saved me. Per his instructions I had to become a model patient and test every part of my being: physical, mental, emotional and spiritual. I worked on every system to lubricate every aspect. I actually healed things I didn't realize needed work. Finally my body calmed down and recovered. At one point though, when I was at my lowest, I thought, "Is this it? I haven't done enough yet!" After I was better, that's when I started working harder on everything, including my appreciation for being here.

Q: Doctor Rafaela Crober was a part originally written for a man, so what if anything changed in the script to accommodate your feminine side?

BC: Not too much. A few pieces of dialogue here and there. Science is not male or female and the quest for longevity, which is really what Dr. Crober is interested in, transcends gender.

Q: You've said you wanted to play Doctor Crober as someone in full control, can you elaborate?

BC: Crober is playing with science too, albeit for different reasons than Kira, her patient. She has to be so sure of herself and where she thinks the journey will take mankind to pursue such lofty goals. Saying more would give too much away if you haven't seen the film.

Q: Richard Stanley was a co-writer on Replace. Were you familiar with his work and reputation and did he attend the shooting?

BC: Of course, his reputation is legendary. Richard is a fascinating visionary, an artist. He got a very raw deal on The Island of Dr. Moreau. Fortunately people in the industry realize this and he has some great opportunities coming up. Long overdue.

Q: Replace is such a visually stunning movie with a very precise look. How does seeing that magic happening around you colour your performance?

BC: To be honest I did not visualize the movie as it was (in the finished film) while on set. I had a picture in my mind when I read the script that was very subjective to my character. The visuals blew me away when I saw the final finished film. It makes sense though I think, that the visuals are so beautiful and striking, as the movie is from the mind of protagonist Kira. She's looking for beauty to support the needs of her soul.

Q: The film has an early David Cronenberg feel, did director Norbert Keil discuss any body horror influences or inspirations with you?

BC: Cronenberg was a very direct influence. And I think the themes of Richard's work on The Island of Dr. Moreau.

Q: You have now been a guest at many of the world's fantasy festivals. And this is your second time at FrightFest. Why are these events so important and what makes FrightFest stand out?

BC: I am so grateful to back in the film community and to be fortunate enough to travel to Fests where audiences support and love genre cinema. We are in a transitional period though I believe and festivals for film are one of the only things keeping us alive, supporting new film makers. Film fests are sometimes your only theatrical release so it is of great importance to have your film shown at one that audiences will hopefully love and a distribution company will hopefully buy. FrightFest has a very saavy audience and a very vocal one. You want people to cheer for you and have journalists write a nice review to get distribution companies to make you an offer!

Q: You're more prolific in the genre than ever. You had four movies showing at FrightFest in 2015 and you have another four in post-production. You are clearly enjoying it more this time around?

BC: I'm having a ball really while enjoying the work in a way I never did before. I'm much more relaxed about my place in the business and I enjoy helping others realize the same dreams I had at a young age. I am invested in each project I work on even if I'm not involved in a producer capacity. I want to help others create the best film they possibly can.

Q: You've chosen to be a mentor for FrightFest and MPI Media's New Blood Initiative. Is supporting new genre writers an important mission for you?

BC: I am passionate about having the best script possible to begin the journey to creating a film. I do think that too many times the script isn't as good as it could be and "people" forgive themselves too soon about that and forge ahead with submitting a script or filming without being completely ready. The script is your foundation, spend lots of time on it. I love writers. They have the capacity for insight and understanding of human nature, of people's vulnerabilities, strengths and desires. When I read a great script with characters I care about, I fall in love with the writer a little bit. I feel I can help a lot with the development process of a screenplay. Character is story and story is character. The journey that an actor will take in the story is something I am very familiar with and have worked on a lot. The script is the very first thing you begin with, so let's get that right first. Then we can discuss the importance of making a great first impression with your freshman effort if you want to direct it as well. It used to be that you made a film and people in charge would see "promise" in you and you'd be able to move on to your next movie. That's becoming harder and harder for a lot of reasons. Make the best damn first film you can. My friend, esteemed journalist and film critic, Steve Prokopy said to me recently, "20% of all movies are truly great or really awful. The rest exist in a grey zone of average, above average or below average." What kind of movie do you want people to say you've made? Impressions are important on a first date and a first movie.

Q: You're increasingly becoming involved in films as a producer. Do you feel this is a natural progression in your career?

BC: At this point in my life and career it depends on the project. If I really love something I'll want to work on it. For me a story needs a strong narrative with an emotional core. That's what my sensibilities are attracted to. I really love acting and I do enjoy helping others realize their dream.

Q: Finally, what's next?

BC: I have two projects that I'm actively working on to produce. One, I may have an acting part in as well. There are also a few movies which I shot in the last two years or so as an actor only and they are still in various stages of post-production. Hopefully I'll be seeing you next year on the fest circuit with one of those!

Replace receives its UK Premiere on Sunday 27 August, 3.30pm at The Prince Charles Cinema, Leicester Square, as part of Horror Channel FrightFest 2017. Barbara is also a mentor for the FrightFest / MPI Media UK script writing talent search New Blood.


MORE FRIGHTFEST
Arrow Video FrightFest announces line-up for Halloween 2019 event
Posted on Thursday 3rd October 2019
FF19-Halloween logoArrow Video FrightFest continues on its highly acclaimed and hugely successful Twenty Bloody Year rampage with a fear-packed journey through Halloween traditions, religious deviance, unstoppable maniacs, warped fairy tales, terrifying board games and the very rules of horror themselves.

The popular Halloween all-day event returns to the Cineworld Leicester Square on Saturday 3 November and the 12-hour monstrous marathon embraces four UK premieres, one European and one International premiere.

The day kicks off with the European Premiere of Josh Hasty's Candy Corn. With an impressive all-star genre cast (including Tony Todd, who exec-produces), an innovative iconic killer...

SHARE: READ MORE
FrightFest favourite A Good Woman is Hard to Find coming to cinemas and HD
Posted on Thursday 26th September 2019
Sarah Bolger in A Good Woman is Hard to Find (Signature Entertainment, 25th Oct) (3)

Directed by Abner Pastoll and starring Sarah Bolger, Edward Hogg, Andrew Simpson and Jane Brennan the superb thriller A Good Woman is Hard to Find will be released in Cinemas and Digital HD on 25th October.

Written by Academy Award nominee and BAFTA winner Ronan Blaney, the movie closed FrightFest 2019 to much acclaim this crowd-pleasing and violent kitchen-sink revenge thriller is a dark and daring journey through Northern Ireland's criminal underbelly.

Recently widowed mother of two Sarah (a tour-de-force Sarah Bolger) is desperate to know who m...

SHARE: READ MORE
Interview with Evan Daves star of Porno
Posted on Friday 30th August 2019

In the bizarre and gruesome comedy/horror Porno, Abe, played by Evan Daves is a burgeoning pervert with a guilty conscience who works in a cinema and ends up battling a demon! Here, Evan tells all about this gory story. (Headshot - Matthew Murphy)

HC: How did the role of Abe in Porno come about?

ED: I had the audition come in through my agent. Adrienne Stern, the casting director, is great; she actually cast me in my first movie when I was 13, a comedy called "Harold" starring Cuba Gooding Jr. Since then she's always been kind enough to bring me in for projects that I'm right for. When I saw her name in the breakdown I knew it would be a wacky, cool project - she has a great eye for that stuff...

SHARE: READ MORE
Interview with Sara Garcia, star of True Fiction
Posted on Friday 30th August 2019

FrightFest 2019 was contained some of the best psychological thrillers we've seen in a long time. One of the finest was Braden Croft's True Fiction which boasts incredible performances from John Cassini and Sara Garcia. We chatted to Sara about her role of lonely librarian, Avery Malone.

HC: Did you always want to be an actress when you were growing up?

SG: I've always been a performer. As a child my parents encouraged my artistic side through dance classes, singing lessons and after school performing arts programs. When I was very young, I dreamed of being a singer and as a grew older I gravitated more towards the dramatic arts. I didn't seek acting out as a profession until later in life. I fel...

SHARE: READ MORE
Interview with Fernando Alle, writer and director of Mutant Blast
Posted on Thursday 29th August 2019

One of the wildest and most bizarre movies of FrightFest 2019 was Fernando Alle's gore-splattered sci-fi inspired feature, Mutant Blast. Here, he tells us the story about making this crazy piece of celluloid.

HC: Regular FrightFest goers will know you from your pieces Banana Motherf**ker and Papa Wrestling, why has it been so long for Mutant Blast to come along?

FA: I started making this film in 2012, and it has indeed been far too long. I figured that making a feature film would be 10 times harder than making a short film, but in fact it is at least 100 times harder. I am glad I was naive, because otherwise I would have cut a lot of stuff from the script and the film would not have turned out ...

SHARE: READ MORE
Interview with Chad Archibald director of I'll Take Your Dead
Posted on Wednesday 28th August 2019
Chad Archibald

Chad Archibald has been behind a number of FrightFest favourites in the past including Bite which is showing on Horror in September. With is latest movie, I'll Take Your Dead wowing audiences at FrightFest we chatted to Chad.

HC: We last spoke a few years back about your fabulous movie, Bite, I loved it, and would you consider a Bite 2?

CA: I would love to do a Bite 2 if there was enough demand for it. Bite was the most fun I've had making a movie and I think if we made a second, we would just amp it all up. More goo, more gore, more laughs. I've got tons of ideas already so it's never off the table.

HC: Where did the story of I'll Take Your Dead come from?

...

SHARE: READ MORE
Fear: The Autobiography of Dario Argento is coming soon from FAB Press
Posted on Tuesday 27th August 2019

To his legion of admirers Dario Argento is a horror legend of the greatest magnitude. And to his genre filmmaking contemporaries he's an inspiration and an icon. Now, thanks to FAB Press we can get the whole story on this cinematic legend in the book, Fear: The Autobiography of Dario Argento.

For many years Argento's ground-breaking shockers like The Bird with the Crystal Plumage, Deep Red, Suspiria, Inferno, Tenebrae and Opera meant box-office gold. Now the maverick auteur, lauded as the Italian Hitchcock and the Horror Fellini, has written his autobiography, revealing all about his fascinating life, his dark obsessions, his talented family, his perverse dreams, and his star-crossed ...

SHARE: READ MORE
Interview with Abner Pastoll director of A Good Woman is Hard to Find
Posted on Tuesday 27th August 2019

A few years back we met director Abner Pastoll at the world premiere of his thriller, Road Games. 2019 and he's back with his new movie, A Good Woman is Hard to Find so we caught up with him just before its premiere at FrightFest 2019.

HC: We first met when you unleashed the "killer of a thriller" Road Games, what have you been up to since then?

AP: Making this new film! And trying to stay alive.

HC: How did you become connected to A Good Woman is Hard to Find?

AP: I was looking for a writing partner to collaborate with. My producer knew a great agent so reached out to him, asking for writing samples from some of his clients. One of those 'samples' happened to be a...

SHARE: READ MORE
Not with a whimper but with a bang! FrightFest 2019 comes to a close
Posted on Tuesday 27th August 2019

The final two movies of FrightFest 2019 gave the crowd exactly what they wanted from the festival; invention, fun and truly shocking cinematic moments.

The much talked abut Rabid remake from Jen and Sylvia Soska didn't disappoint and delivered a smart updating of the David Cronenberg classic. Rose wants to become a famous designer in the fashion world, but a terrible accident leaves her scarred beyond recognition. Undergoing a radical untested stem cell treatment, wallflower Rose turns into the belle of the ball and starts to realize her ambitions. But everything in life comes at a price and Rose's newfound perfection is no exception as she unwittingly sets off a bloody spiral of contagion. Well-paced wi...

SHARE: READ MORE
Interview with Charlie Steeds director of The Barge People
Posted on Monday 26th August 2019
Ever wanted a horror movie set on a canal boat? Well your dream has come true with Charlie Steeds' new movie The Barge People.

HC: Looking at your CV you seem to be a big fan of the horror genre, can you recall which film inspired your career?

CS: Absolutely, I'm a horror fanatic, that's why I'm making horror films! I got hooked on this genre by watching Stephen King adaptations. I looked for anything with King's name on and knew I'd love it, this one guy's imagination produced a whole world of unique horror stories, the Stephen King brand, it still amazes me.

HC: Has any one director or other creative influenced your work?

CS: I'm a huge fan of Lucio...

SHARE: READ MORE
Where did that time go? Day 5 of FrightFest has dawned
Posted on Monday 26th August 2019

Hard to believe but in a blink of an eye the final day of FrightFest 2019 has dawned but the festival is going out with a real bang with a programme packed with some of the strongest movies from the entire event playing today.

Brian Hanson's The Black String allows Frankie Muniz to really get his teeth into a mature role and he carries it off perfectly. A slacker goes on a blind date with a strange woman, and his world suddenly begins to unravel in horrifying fashion as he's plagued by paranoia, illness and nightmarish visions. Part social commentary part tale of a truly lost soul this is smart film that takes us into a life that has been oppressed for so long and when he finally does think ...

SHARE: READ MORE
Interview with Justin Edgar director of Stalked
Posted on Monday 26th August 2019

The themes of fear of the unknown and being hunted collide in Justin Edgar's Stalked. Here he talks about the creation of this smart chiller.

HC: Where did the idea for Stalked come from and did it take you long to write?

JE: I believe we're living in a golden age of suspense thrillers and horror and I wanted to be part of that. I knew I had to come up with a cool suspense concept that could form the basis of the film. I've always been very interested in how we all love watching - reality TV, social media, CCTV, surveillance and phone cameras and how that relates to the nature of cinema -voyeurism and scopophilia - the fetish of watching. When I found...

SHARE: READ MORE
Frightfest Archive: 2019 | 2018 | 2017 | 2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2007
PICK OF THE WEEK
The Innkeepers
THE INNKEEPERS
Monday 21st October
9.00 PM
Tales From The Darkside
TALES FROM THE DARKSIDE
Saturday 26th October
8.30 PM
Amityville II: The Possession
AMITYVILLE II: THE POSSESSION
Sunday 20th October
9.00 PM