ARTICLES

LATEST | FEATURES | INTERVIEWS | NEWS | FRIGHTFEST | REVIEWS


Interview With Simon Rumley Director Of Johnny Frank Garrett's Last Word
By James Whittington, Sunday 28th August 2016

Simon-Rumley-300x189Today sees the European premier of Simon Rumley's latest movie Johnny Frank Garrett's Last Word. Simon is a regular at FrightFest and his work is always very creative and guaranteed to have the audiences debating their content. This makes him one of the most exciting directors working at the moment. Here he chats about this latest project.

HC: Is this the first movie you've directed that's not been written by yourself and if so did you find it restrictive in any way?

SR: I actually directed a short called The Handyman with Greta Scaachi. The script had won a screenwriting competition so was really great. Subsequently I also directed Crowhurst which wasn't initially written by me but I worked with the producer to come up with a script that everyone was happy with and on that I got an 'additional material' writing credit. With Johnny Frank Garrett, given that this was a 'Hollywood' film, things work differently over there and as a director I was brought on board to visualise the film the producers wanted to make. This was restrictive in as much as I would have, given carte blanche, treated the subject matter differently but that wasn't what I was hired to do and I knew that from the offset. Ultimately I was allowed final cut which in these situations is relatively unusual.

HC: You can tell it's a Simon Rumley movie by your use of colours and sound, were you tempted to add any more of your traditional style to it?

SR: Thanks! Well, as above, I was allowed final cut so, given the script, this is the best that I think I could have done with it. A lot of what is considered my 'traditional style' comes from how I write scenes and how I write a whole script so without having the luxury of writing this particular script, some of what would be considered my style is inevitably missing. I very much write to shoot and shoot to cut and although we do drop scenes in the edit, my scripts are usually very lean and there’s also a structural consideration which has an element of non-linearity.

HC: One of the stand-out performances is from young Dodge Prince; did he read for the role?

SR: Yeah, Dodge was amazing! Our casting director Karen Hallford held auditions in Shreveport and Austin for kids and I think Karen had seen him first and then brought him back and he did a reading which blew both of us away. He’s the loveliest kid, very bright, mature for his age and asked a lot of pertinent questions and really humbled some of the other actors; he's a complete natural and actually, can be seen next in the remake of The Magnificent Seven which I'm excited to watch. He comes from a very tight and loving family and I think he's an actor who could go all the way if he wanted to. Hopefully I'll get to work with him again some time.

HC: How do you look after a young actor when working on a movie with a dark theme like this?

SR: One of Dodge's parents was on set all the time and, as above, they're very grounded and nice people. I'm pretty sure they read the script first and went through the themes with him in an intelligent way. One has to be sensitive that these little people don't necessarily have the same stamina as adults or the same ability to concentrate so I always make sure they're OK and happy to continue whatever scene they're doing but Dodge was a real trooper and was always happy to do more, always wanted to get it to the point that I was happy. There's a lot of misconception about director's getting good performances from their actors but more than anything, this comes from the casting process and, with the producer and casting director, being able to spot that spark or that ability that will make that actor work for that role better than any other actor is the most important thing.

HC: What are the major differences of shooting a movie in the USA as compared to the UK?

SR: Well I've shot three features in the US now. What I like about shooting there is that lunch is usually shorter and you shoot for another hour or hour and a half a day which means you can get a lot more done in a shorter period than you can in the UK. I've often heard it said that the crews in the UK are the best in the world but I've found the crews in the US to be just as good.

HC: Though it states it's based on a true story how much is actual fact?

SR: The whole story about the juror and his family is fictionalised but everything around that is completely true; all the facts, the deaths etc, etc. There's only one death which is slightly fabricated and that's the teacher's although she did commit suicide.

HC: Do you believe people can be cursed?

SR: Not really, but that said, I'd preferred not to be cursed myself!

HC: You're a FrightFest regular; do you get nervous when your movies play at this festival?

SR: Yep, this is the 5th film I've shown in 10 years, staring with The Living And The Dead in 2006 so this will be a 10th year anniversary! FrightFest is always a slightly weird experience for me because I always find myself apologising that the film I'm presenting isn't an 'obvious' horror film, and actually, isn't really a horror film at all! I'd describe most of my films more as extreme dramas than horror films and although Johnny Frank Garrett isn't extreme in any really way, I'd describe is more as a thriller with supernatural overtones than an out and out horror film; I think it's creepy rather than scary.

HC: So what projects are you working on at the moment?

SR: I've got a couple of features that I'm completing at the moment; one is Crowhurst - based on the real life story of Donald Crowhurst who entered a race to sail around the world non stop in 1968 and ended up cheating. It's a very sad story about the flip side of the British Empire and for all the success stories that we're fed this is one of failure and misguidedness. It features a tour de force performance from Justin Salinger. The other is a thriller called Fashionista which stars Amanda Fuller who was the lead in Red White & Blue. It has a great cast which also includes Ethan Embry (Cheap Thrills), Eric Balfour (Texas Chainsaw Massacre), Alex Essoe (Starry Eyes) and Devin Bonnee (Johnny Frank Garret's Last Word). It's set in Austin, Texas and is a non-linear story about a woman's fashion fetishism and how that adversely affects her life. I'd like to think it's quite an unusual/unique film and am looking forward to getting it out there...

HC: Simon Rumley, thank you very much

SR: Thanks and my pleasure!


MORE FRIGHTFEST
Graham Humphreys' beautiful artwork for FrightFest 2018 revealed
Posted on Thursday 14th June 2018
FrightFest Logo 2018

Team FrightFest has finally revealed Graham Humphreys' anticipated poster for this year's event.

The stunning artwork for this year's annual Bank Holiday event, the UK's largest celebration of genre cinema, taking place at Cineworld Leicester Square and The Prince Charles Cinema between Thursday August 23rd and Monday August 27th.

For Graham, celebrating the 200th anniversary of Mary Shelley's 'Frankenstein' seemed too important to ignore: "In the same way that Frankenstein gave life to his monster, horror films stimulate our imagination and give form to ideas that otherwise dare not leave the shadows", he commented. "The painting shows our familiar host enjoying ...

SHARE: READ MORE
FrightFest and Horror Channel renew their sponsor partnership
Posted on Thursday 7th June 2018
Horror Channel logo

Horror Channel and FrightFest have agreed a one-year partnership deal, which sees the UK's No.1 TV destination for genre fans become the Broadcast Sponsor for the country's biggest and most popular horror and fantasy film festival.

The agreement means that the CBS Studios International and AMC Networks International - UK owned channel continues its long-standing relationship with the festival, which dates back to 2005, and includes a two-year tenure as headline sponsor from 2016-2017.

As part of the deal, the channel will devote thirteen nights in August to a FrightFest Season, broadcasting twenty-six films from past festivals, which will include five UK TV premiere...

SHARE: READ MORE
Prepare yourself for the Attack of the Adult Babies' stunning artwork!
Posted on Sunday 6th May 2018
Nucleus Films have released the stunning new artwork created exclusively by the legendary graphic artist Graham Humphreys for the slipcase 1-1000 numbered limited edition Blu-ray of Dominic Brunt's Attack of the Adult Babies, which is being released nationwide on June 11.

And, in further good news for genre fans, HMV will be racking the limited Edition Blu-ray in their "Special Edition range" in stores across the country.

Nucleus Films have released the stunning new artwork created exclusively by the legendary graphic artist Graham Humphreys for the slipcase 1-1000 numbered limited edition Blu-ray of Dominic Brunt's Attack of the Adult Babies, which is being rel...

SHARE: READ MORE
Friendly Beast - FrightFest review
Posted on Sunday 18th March 2018

Horror Channel FrightFest Glasgow was a true showcase for world cinema. One of the stand out pieces came from Gabriela Amaral Almeida who wrote and directed Friendly Beast, a film so visceral yet beautiful at the same time, it left an indelible mark on this reviewer's mind.

It's nearly closing time at a struggling restaurant. Staff want to go home while the boss struggles with money troubles and a desire for more power in his life. Enter two robbers, the catalyst for a violent situation, which the boss is initially able to contain and gain the upper hand. Suddenly, the already dangerous and explosive situation turns deadly; sides are taken, and people turn to the most abhorrent behaviour in an instant.

Thi...

SHARE: READ MORE
Errementari: The Blacksmith and the Devil - FrightFest review
Posted on Tuesday 6th March 2018

Ever wished that Terry Gilliam made more movies? The man who gave us Jabberwocky, The Fisher King and Brazil gave the world a new perspective and encouraged budding movie makers around the world to make their own visions and to stick by what they wanted to create.

Step forward Paul Urkijo whose demonic movie Errementari: The Blacksmith and the Devil just had its UK premiere at Horror Channel FrightFest Glasgow. This film is the closest thing to anything Gilliam has made in the past but at the same time feels so original and fresh that it deserves multiple views just to appreciate the detail and love in every single frame.

Ten years after Civil War in Spain 1833, orphan Usue (Uma Bracaglia) seeks es...

SHARE: READ MORE
Book of Monsters - Exclusive look at new poster
Posted on Monday 5th March 2018

Those of you lucky enough to make it through the snow to Horror Channel FrightFest Glasgow at the weekend were treated to a quick look at Book of Monsters.

From the team that brought us The Creature Below a couple of years back, this female lead, action-packed monster movie draws inspiration from the cult horror cinema of the 80s and 90s including such classics as Scream, Gremlins and Buffy The Vampire Slayer. With sick, gory practical creature effects and a dark comedic edge, the film promises to be a fun, bloody and sexy trip back to a time when making it through high school was truly life or death.

The film was successfully funded through Kickstarter in August 2017, raising £45,000 and became one...

SHARE: READ MORE
Pyewacket - Frightfest Review
Posted on Monday 5th March 2018

You know the feeling you get when you see a film that you know nothing about, not even the title gives anything away and you view with an open mind and then it blows your proverbial socks off? Well this is exactly what happened to me with Pyewacket.

Confused and infuriated for being forced to move away from friends after the death of her father, Leah (Nicole Munoz) performs a blood incantation calling on an evil entity to punish her grieving mother (Laurie Holden). Immediately regretful, she realises she can't reverse the ritual curse and an unholy presence now stalks them both in their rural home.

 

Where do I start with such a movie? Well, let's begin with the sc...

SHARE: READ MORE
Attack of the Bat Monsters - FrightFest Review
Posted on Saturday 3rd March 2018

For a movie that's had a longer gestation period than any project I've known of, Attack of the Bat Monsters looks as if it could have been made yesterday, or the 1950s where its set! More on this later, here's what the film is about:

The movie follows schlock impresario Francis Gordon as he and his intrepid crew attempt to shoot an impromptu monster movie in the three days left over from the film they've just wrapped. This is the 1950s Z-Grade movie industry as its never been seen before.

From the Saul Bass opening title homage (which is worth seeing by itself) the movie perfectly encapsulates the era of post-World War II guerrilla film-making. Attack of the Bat Monsters ha...

SHARE: READ MORE
Interview with Paul Urkijo, director of Errementari: The Blacksmith and the Devil
Posted on Thursday 1st March 2018

One thing that Horror Channel FrightFest prides itself in is by championing new talent. This year's Glasgow event is no different with a whole host of newbies bringing their first features. A real highlight is Paul Urkijo's Errementari: The Blacksmith and the Devil which is a sumptuous piece that Terry Gilliam would be proud of. Here he chats to us about this stunning movie.

HC: Where did the idea for Errementari: The Blacksmith and the Devil come from?

PU: I was inspired by the Basque story "Patxi Errementaria". He was registered by JM Barandiaran, an anthropologist priest who dedicated his life to recording stories and legends of the Basque Country. It is a legend about a blacksmith who was so ev...

SHARE: READ MORE
Interview with Adam MacDonald, writer and director of Pyewacket.
Posted on Wednesday 28th February 2018

There have been a number of occult and demonic movies over the last few years but none have come close to the tension and terror of Adam MacDonald's Pyewacket. The superb piece of cinema is showing at Horror Channel FrightFest Glasgow this week so I had a quick chat with Adam about this superior shocker.

HC: Have you always been a horror fan?

AM: It really started when I was about 7 years old when my older brother showed me Evil Dead. I couldn't believe what I was watching, it truly rocked me. The card scene in the film did not leave my mind for days. That film is stained on my brain. I was terrified. But then I had a realisation that I loved that feeling. It was primal. Then I watched The Shinin...

SHARE: READ MORE
Interview with Kelly Greene, writer and director of Attack of the Bat Monsters
Posted on Tuesday 27th February 2018

Making movies can be a tough business but to have to wait almost two decades to release your work takes true dedication. At Horror Channel FrightFest Glasgow this weekend Kelly Greene's Attack of the Bat Monsters is finally unleashed. Here he tells us the story behind this celebration of 1950s creature features.

HC: You were inspired to write Attack of the Bat Monsters when you were researching 50s movies, did it take long to write?

KG: It took quite a while because I was working 50 to 60 hours a week at a video production facility while raising a 2-year old and 8-year old, along with my wife, who was also working. I would write at night between 9 and 11pm, and maybe a little more ...

SHARE: READ MORE
Interview with Patrick Magee, writer and director of Primal Rage
Posted on 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 ha...

SHARE: READ MORE
Frightfest Archive: 2018 | 2017 | 2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2007
PICK OF THE WEEK
Wind Chill
WIND CHILL
Thursday 28th June
10.50 PM
Eden Lake
EDEN LAKE
Tuesday 26th June
10.55 PM
DeepStar Six
DEEPSTAR SIX
Monday 25th June
10.45 PM