LATEST | FEATURES | INTERVIEWS | NEWS | FRIGHTFEST | REVIEWS Interview with Patrick Magee, writer and director of Primal Rage
By James Whittington, Monday 26th February 2018
There's been a spate of "bigfoot-style, beast in the woods" types of movies recently but none have come anywhere near Primal Rage. This superior creature feature from Patrick Magee will be having its European Premiere at Horror Channel FrightFest Glasgow this Friday so I decided to have a chat with this very talented and creative person.
HC: Did you know from a young age you wanted to work in the film industry?
PM: Since a very young age I was always into, even obsessed, with movies. Specifically horror movies, monster movies really. As a hobby, I got really into special make-up effects and drawing. It got to the point where I was so obsessed with it, I decided when I was a teen that I had to make it a career. At a young age I saw An American Werewolf in London, Thriller, Aliens and Predator, and they were big influences on me.
HC: How did you get your big break?
PM: With a lot of determination and dedication I worked. I worked on my own, and developed a portfolio. When I was 21 I was fortunate to meet Screaming Mad George, and worked for him for some time.
HC: What made you go from special effects to director?
PM: The biggest factor was wanting to have total control. Total control over what was made, how it was made, the story told, how it was shot and edited. With wanting to having control of the creature being made, directing was the best way to achieve that. A lot of special effects, especially if its a sequence, requires director's knowledge, knowing how to shot and edit it, so it was a natural progression.
HC: Where did the idea for Primal Rage come from?
PM: I wanted to make something that I wanted to watch. Since I was a kid drawing monsters and creatures, Bigfoot was one that I was gravitated towards. I felt like I had something to add to the genre. I was always a big fan of Harry and the Hendersons, and always wanted to make the opposite. I wanted to make a scary Bigfoot.
HC: Was it written with a cast in mind?
PM: It was not written with a cast in mind, at all. I had such a long pre-production time, the cast just fell into place. I knew the cast previously, for the most part.
HC: A lot of movies that involve a Bigfoot type creature are semi-serious but yours is done very straight. Was this a deliberate choice during the writing process?
PM: Yes, it was very deliberate to play it as straight as possible. While doing that, I wanted to assure that it started in a higher place, and take it very seriously. It is very easy to go to a campy and cheesy place, with a guy in the woods in a monkey suit.
HC: What sort of budget did you have?
PM: It was a very limited budget. The pre-production build for this was very long. I could only build what I could afford, so it took many years to produces all of the props, costume pieces and effects gags needed for the film. Most of principle photography was shot in February of 2015 and February of 2016. Rest assured, every dollar spent on this film is seen on the screen.
HC: Was all the movie shot on location and what was the most challenging aspect of it?
PM: Most of the film was shot on location. With the exception of a couple interiors, which were sets built in Los Angeles. We really wanted to shoot in the pacific northwest in the awesome Redwood Forrest, where so many Bigfoot sightings happen. It also benefited the production to have everyone together, and isolated. I was able to have everyone's full attention. I'd say the most challenging element of it, without a doubt, was getting our two leads, Andrew Joseph Montgomery and Casey Gagliardi, into the position they are in, in the woods. The car crash scene and the water scenes were the most challenging elements to shoot. Especially with a limited budget, it added extra stress and difficulties to get the the lead characters into their position. Both Andrew Joseph and Casey did a phenomenal job, as they had no stunt doubles, and did all of their stunts themselves, including jumping into that freezing cold water, along with myself, and DP, Jay Lee. There were moments of real danger shooting those scenes.
HC: Is it true you play the creature?
PM: Yes, it is. It became clear knowing how long the build was going to be, that I'd always be available for myself. I am pretty tall, and had played creatures in various productions in the past, so I knew I could do it. I know that I could always count on myself, and be committed to me.
HC: The effects are superb, how much were you involved with their creation?
PM: Thank you. I was heavily involved in all of the effects. I took it upon myself to sculpt the entire creature, on my own. The muscles, head, teeth, hands and feet, complete with fingerprints. I also sculpted everything on the Whispering Woman. I was directly involved with the victim as well as the kills. That being said, it was not a one-man show. I had an amazing crew that took items from sculptural phase into molding, casting and fabricating stages. I had a crew of people punching individual hairs into the creature head, hands and feet for weeks, if not months at a time. I also had mechanical designers to handle the moving elements on the Bigfoot's face. I had several fabricators that where integral to sewing the entire Bigfoot suit together. Lastly, I had myself a crew of four others who applied make-up during filming.
HC: The score is awesome, will it get a release of its own?
PM: Yes, Ceiri Torjussen did a phenomenal job. I believe he will be releasing this soundtrack on iTunes.
HC: What was the most important lesson you learned on this shoot as a director?
PM: It is very important to be open-minded, to change. You have to be able to adapt, and you can't be too stuck in your "vision." Things change, weather changes, performances change, you have to be flexible.
HC: You've worked in the industry for some time and on some of the biggest movies around, what's the main difference between studio movies and independents?
PM: Money, and some of the luxuries that a larger budget can afford. Which can afford you more time, when it comes to shooting. As well as equipment, and a larger crew to handle it. Typically, with a larger budget comes more opinions, suggestions, and input from the higher ups. Which we didn't have on this. We had such a small cast and crew, and I really appreciate the people that I had. I was able to take the story places that a larger production might not have let me to have.
HC: So, what are you working on next?
PM: Currently, I am making a really cool beast for an Australian Production, shooting at the end of the year. I also have several smaller projects in the works, and am in development on two other scripts.
HC: Patrick Magee, thank you very much.
PM: Thank you! Hope you and your readers enjoy Primal Rage.
Related show tags: PATRICK MAGEE, PRIMAL RAGE MORE INTERVIEWS Brand new interview with Dee Wallace, star of Cujo, The Howling and now Beyond the Sky
Posted on Sunday 12th May 2019
Dee Wallace is one of those people who seems to have be around forever and yet never ages in enthusiasm or her ability to bring to life some of cinema's most memorable characters. With a resume that includes E.T., The Hills Have Eyes, Cujo and now Beyond the Sky, we chatted to Dee about her career to date and how she prepares for each acting project.
HC: What made you want to be an actress?
DW: Oh, you know... I was born! (laughs) Seriously, I think creative people are just born to be creative and they have to find an outlet for that. My mother also was a beautiful actress, locally in my hometown and did all the plays at church so I think I naturally found my way into a family that supporte...SHARE: READ MORE Interview with Horror's Channel Manager Stewart Bridle
Posted on Friday 10th May 2019 Stewart Bridle is Horror Channel's longest serving Channel Manager. He has guided Horror for almost a decade and has managed to bring to our screens many classics as well as introducing us to some new horror movie talent. In this, our 15th anniversary month we chat to Stewart about his role and some of the juicy pieces he has lined up for the rest of 2019.
HC: Have you always been a horror movie fan?
SB: Yes! I've always been interested and fascinated with horror and all genre stuff. I have an older brother who would manage to rent or get bootleg VHS of some great horror titles and I have memories of watching things like the original Dawn Of The Dead or slashers like The Burning while far too youn...SHARE: READ MORE Interview with exploitation legend David McGillivray
Posted on Wednesday 24th April 2019 Ahead of Horror Channel's premiere of Pete Walker's Schizo on April 27th, horror and sexploitation movie writer/director David McGillivray reflects on disastrous scripts, his volatile relationship with Walker and writing smut for Julian Clary.
Q: Schizo is unusual in your body of work with director Pete Walker because the concept and narrative were not of your choosing. How much of a problem was that for you?
DM: Huge. I thought the script that we re-worked was terribly old-fashioned and this led to big arguments with Walker that ended our relationship.
Q: You often play a cameo in the movies you've written - you're 'Man at Seance' in Schizo. Any particular reason?
DM:...SHARE: READ MORE Interview with Abner Pastoll, director of Road Games
Posted on Thursday 21st March 2019
Horror Channel loves to promote new talent in the industry and one of the most exciting new directors around is Abner Pastoll. His first feature, Road Games, is an adrenaline packed killer of a thriller which is showing on the channel on March 22nd at 9pm. We decided to chat to Abner about this tense movie and his plans for the future.
HC: Did you know from a young age that you wanted to work in the film industry?
AP: Yes. I remember being as young as 4 or 5 and just knowing with such clarity that I needed to make films. My family had a cinema, drive-in and video store, all of which certainly enhanced my obsession with movies of all shapes and sizes.
HC: Was there one film t...SHARE: READ MORE Interview with Zach Lipovsky, director of Leprechaun: Origins.
Posted on Thursday 28th February 2019
On March 1st, Horror is bringing you the UK TV premiere of a real corker of a shocker, Leprechaun: Origins. The movie follows two couples backpacking through the Irish countryside who end up spending the night in an old cabin, and learn the terrible truth about Ireland's most famous legend. So begins a living nightmare... The movie is a smart entry into the franchise so we decided to chat to its director, Zach Lipovsky.
HC: Did you know from an early age that you wanted to work in this industry?
ZL: Yes, I grew up as a child actor. Mostly as an excuse to be on set and not at school. I was quickly more interested in making movies than acting and from the age of 10 started shooting silly pro...SHARE: READ MORE Interview with Tom Paton, director of Redwood
Posted on Monday 4th February 2019
Ahead of Horror Channel's UK TV premiere of Redwood, director Tom Paton reveals the secrets of his prolific work-rate, talks about tackling the subject of fake news and the twists and turns of his new film Stairs.
HC: Redwood gets its UK TV premiere on Friday 8 February, courtesy of Horror Channel. Excited or what?
TP: Honestly, I'm so proud that Redwood has made its way onto Horror Channel. I've been a huge fan since the channel launched and over the past decade I've discovered so many horror gems on there from classic through to films I'd never heard of but now love. It feels incredible to know that someone might discover Redwood in the exact same way.
HC: Is it true y...SHARE: READ MORE Interview with journalist and documentary maker Calum Waddell
Posted on Saturday 2nd February 2019
Calum Waddell has been involved in writing, reviewing, making documentaries and teaching about movies for over a fifteen years. His knowledge on cult movies has been used by such labels as Arrow Video and 88 Films as well as appearing in magazines such as Total Film, Fangoria and DarkSide.
We managed to talk to Calum about the ups and downs of his career and his plans for the future.
HC: When did you decide that you wanted to become a journalist?
CW: I am not sure I ever was a journalist [laughs]. Maybe just a for-hire film writer more than anything else! But my biggest inspiration about cinema was and still is Kim Newman, whose work I discovered at a very young age...SHARE: READ MORE Interview with Iain Ross-McNamee director of Crucible of the Vampire
Posted on Sunday 27th January 2019
Making its World Premiere at Cannes Film Festival and garnering rave reviews at other major festivals, Iain Ross-McNamee's gothic chiller Crucible of the Vampire is set to arrive in UK cinemas on 1 February.
This will be followed by its home entertainment release on 4 February on dual format DVD and Blu-ray and on digital platforms courtesy of Screenbound Entertainment.
Here he chats about this retro-feeling piece of cinema.
HC: What inspired you to write Crucible of the Vampire?
IRM: I chose the location first and wrote the story around it with my two co-writers, John Wolskel and Darren Lake. The idea of people ...SHARE: READ MORE Interview with Corin Hardy, director of The Nun
Posted on Sunday 20th January 2019
The Conjuring universe expanded recently with the box-office chill-filled thriller, The Nun. It's just been released onto Blu-ray and DVD so we had a quick chat with the very talented director of this gothic entry, Corin Hardy.
HC: How did you become attached to the project?
CH: I had made The Hallow and that had caught the attention of James (Wan) through his company Atomic Monster and he sent me The Nun script, I am obviously a die-hard horror fan, and I knew all of James' films and was particularly a fan of The Conjuring movies so I was quite intrigued as to what this story would be as I am always on the lookout. I have my own films I want to develop and make and I'm ...SHARE: READ MORE 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 A chat with Dominic Brunt and Joanne Mitchell ahead of Horror Channel's UK TV premiere of Attack of the Adult Babies
Posted on 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 incred...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 Interviews Archive: 2019 | 2018 | 2017 | 2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2007 | 2006 PICK OF THE WEEK
Monday 3rd June
Tuesday 4th June
Saturday 1st June