LATEST | FEATURES | INTERVIEWS | NEWS | FRIGHTFEST | REVIEWS Exclusive Interview With Dead Snow Director Tommy Wirkola
By James Whittington, Sunday 30th August 2009 Tommy Wirkola hails from Norway and is a multi talented writer, producer and director. His second full feature, Dead Snow is playing at this years FrightFest celebration and is coming to DVD on August 31st so we decided to have a quick chat to him about blood, guts and Zombie Nazis. ZH: How did you get started in the movie industry? TW: I made a couple of Internet shorts while still studying film in Australia. They became really popular, so when I finished school I invited a lot of my fellow students up to the north of Norway to shoot the movie version of the shorts. The movie was called Kill Buljo: The Movie, and is a spoof on the Kill Bill - films, as well as tons of other American films I loved growing up. ZH: Have you always been a fan of the horror movie genre? TW: Yes, always...Even more when I was younger. I loved the “Nightmare on Elm Street”-films, the “Friday the 13th” films, and all the Spielberg productions like “Gremlins” and Poltergeist”. Needless to say, the “Evil Dead”-movies also had a special place in my heart. As I got older I started valuing the more serious horror movies, like The Omen and The Exorcist. In addition I also loved the Hammer-productions from UK. ZH: Do you have a favourite director? TW: If I were to pick ONE, I guess I have to say Spielberg, especially from his early days, where he had one goal and one goal only; to entertain the crap out of you. ZH: Where did the idea for Dead Snow come from? Were you inspired by other nazi zombie movies such as Shockwaves, Zombie Lake and Oasis Of The Zombies? TW: Not very much, no. I knew of Shockwaves and Zombie Lake, but had only seen bits of them. So the idea for Dead Snow came, very shortly told, like this; 1. We wanted to make the first zombie-movie in Scandinavia. 2. What else can we do with the zombies? What can we do to make them more evil? Well, considering the strong WW2 history we have in the north, why not make them Nazi-zombies!? 3. We wanted bring something completely fresh to the genre, so we decided to shoot it in the mountains in the north of Norway...in snow.. ZH: Did it take long to write? TW: The first draft only took about a month and a half. We had the story pretty well organized in our heads before we sat down and got in on paper. ZH: Was it difficult to pitch to studios? TW: Well...first...there are no studios in Norway. The closest you come to that, is Norsk Filminnstitutt, who is a governmental funding “studio”. They provide you with 50% of the budget, and you have to come up with the rest. However, our application was rejected (apparently a Nazi-zombie movie does not come on top of their pile), so we funded the whole movie privately. Luckily, all the investors made their money back. ZH: The cast give very credible performances, even when the movie is at its most outlandish. How did you stop them from going over-the-top with their acting? TW: Well..we talked a lot about the fact that we did not want to go too far in to comedy..that it did not tip over into spoof-area. So it was a matter of playing it “straight”, no matter how ludicrous the sequence was. The idea was that the action and the situation was comical and extreme, but never the acting. Besides, I had all cast members to watch the Evil Dead-movies first, to see how it’s done. ZH: There’s a wonderful homage to The Evil Dead when a couple of characters find a shed with tools. Was that fun to do? TW: Yes...very fun. It’s funny...when I read the reviews, some call that scene a rip-off, others a tribute. I have never hidden the fact that this movie is inspired mainly by Evil Dead 2 and Braindead, so...it was natural to do something like that. ZH: Am I right in thinking you shot the whole movie on location? If so, was it a tough shoot? TW: We did the first 10 days INT in something that resembled a studio, the rest was shot on location. We lived in the middle of nowhere in an abandoned school, and had to drive a car for 10 minutes, then a snowmobile for 10 minutes to get on set. It was crazy. The weather kept screwing us over, and we had to start several days of digging out props and equipment that had been snowed down during the night. ZH: There is so much blood on show here did you ever consider toning the gore down? TW: No. Never. If anything, I would have wanted more. This is a movie where the violence is so cartoony, that it never would have offended somebody...hopefully. ZH: Would you consider making a sequel at all? TW: Yes. We have talked about a sequel. Bigger, funnier and bloodier! ZH: What project are you working on at the moment? TW: I am now working on a project called Hansel And Gretel: Witch-Hunters. This is for Paramount, with Gary Sanchez Productions producing. I am currently working on the 2nd draft. Basically it picks up the fairy-tale 15 years later, and Hansel and Gretel have grown up to be bounty-hunters for witches. Would say it’s an action/adventure/horror, with a Sam Raimi edge to it. ZH: Tommy Wirkola, thank you very much TW: Thank you.
MORE ARTICLES Interview with Marcel Sarmiento co-writer and director of Faceless
Posted in Features, Interviews, Friday 15th October 2021
Showing at Grimmfest Online Edition is the incredibly inventive horror/sci-fi hybrid Faceless. Here, co-writer and director Marcel Sarmiento speaks about this superb movie.
HC: Have you always been a big horror movie fan?
MS: Definitely as a kid. My first movies made with my Betamax were all about scaring one other and how gross we could push makeup effects. We mostly strangled, stabbed, and threw each other off buildings. I think as I got older, I appreciated what you could do with horror more than horror for horror's sake. I love that you can make characters do things that in any other genre you couldn't make them do and still come out the other end liking them and routing for them.
HC: Where did the idea for the movie come from and what was your writing process between the three of you like?
MS: It originated with my friend Ed and I wanting t...SHARE: READ MORE Universal Monsters are back on Horror Channel and Kim Newman is here to tell you all about them
Posted in Features, Thursday 14th October 2021
Respected journalist, film critic, and fiction writer Kim Newman takes us through the Universal monsters joining Horror for our Classic Horror Halloween event running from 30th-31st of October.
With Dracula (1931), Frankenstein (1931), The Mummy (1932), The Wolf Man (1941) and The Creature From the Black Lagoon (1954), Universal Pictures introduced the lasting icons of horror... combining the presence of stars Bela Lugosi, Boris Karloff and Lon Chaney Jr with the make-up artistry of Jack P. Pierce (except for the Creature who came later in the day and was designed by the extraordinary Millicent Patrick ). These are the genre's cornerstone fiends, and - despite the way they have been domesticated an...SHARE: READ MORE Horror Channel goes out of this world to bring Channel premiere of Brit sci-fi thriller series UFO from October 20
Posted in Features, Wednesday 13th October 2021
Horror Channel will be continuing its commitment to bringing great cult and classic sci-fi to its audience with Season 1 of the 1970 British science fiction TV series UFO, created by Gerry and Sylvia Anderson and produced by the Andersons and TV mogul Lew Grade.
One of the best of its genre, the 26-part series combines the remarkable talents of the Andersons with those of special effects director Derek Meddings. And with a stellar cast including Ed Bishop, Michael Billington and George Sewell, it proved a popular hit at the time.
Following syndication in the US and favourable ratings, a possible second series was plann...SHARE: READ MORE Horror Channel - Now on Instagram!
Posted in Features, Saturday 9th October 2021
You can never have too much Horror Channel in your life, so follow us on Instagram too!
Find us at instagram.com/horrorchannel_uk/SHARE: READ MORE Classic monsters will rise this Halloween on Horror
Posted in Features, Thursday 7th October 2021
Famous monsters rise again!
To celebrate the Halloween weekend on Saturday 30th October and Sunday 31st October, Horror Channel presents Classic Horror Halloween, two diabolical daytime marathons highlighted by five channel premieres, including Bride Of Frankenstein, the celebrated sequel to the 1931 classic with Boris Karloff reprising his role as the Creature, Frankenstein Meets The Wolfman, featuring the original Wolfman, Lon Chaney, Jr. and Bela Lugosi as Frankenstein's monster, The Invisible Man, in which Claude Rains delivers a remarkable performance in his screen debut, Christy Cabanne's frightening chiller masterpiece The Mummy's Hand and Revenge ...SHARE: READ MORE Horror Channel sponsoring Grimmfest Online 2021
Posted in News, Thursday 30th September 2021
Horror Channel is proudly sponsoring Grimmfest Online 2021 which runs 14th-17th October and will offer audiences the chance to experience the live festival programme in the comfort of their own homes, as well as enabling them to catch up on anything they might have missed at the live event.
The virtual festival will complement and sit alongside the live festival, with much of the content crossing both events. Many of the feature films and shorts that play the live festival will also be featured within the online event but there will also be some online exclusives.
Grimmfest are excited to announce two exclusive feature film presentations only available on our virtual event an...SHARE: READ MORE Would you dare enter? Escape Room 2: Tournament of Champions coming home soon
Posted in News, Sunday 26th September 2021
Sequel to the box-office hit psychological thriller that terrified audiences around the world Escape Room 2: Tournament of Champions is available to Download and Keep on October 4 and to Rent on Digital, Blu-ray and DVD on October 18 from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment.Directed by Adam Robitel (Escape Room, Insidious: The Last Key) the movie stars Taylor Russell (Escape Room, Waves), Logan Miller (Escape Room, Love Simon), Indya Moore (Queen & Slim), Holland Roden (Follow Me), Thomas Cocquerel (In Like Flynn) and Carlito Olivero (Bad Samaritan).
In this installment, six people unwittingly find themselves locked in another series of escape rooms, slowly un...SHARE: READ MORE Creature-Feature mockumentary Bigfoot Hunters to be unleashed soon
Posted in News, Sunday 26th September 2021
Join the hunt for the legendary sasquatch in hilarious creature feature-comedy mockumentary Bigfoot Hunter.
Meet Brian Emond, a millennial clickbait reporter longing to work on serious news stories. Unfortunately for him and his producer Zach, their network has zero faith in them and sends them into the Appalachian Mountains in search of Bigfoot. Along for the ride is their guide, Jefferey, the only cryptozoologist to have encountered the legendary sasquatch in recent times. The three set-out into the wilderness with one goal: find Bigfoot. What could possibly go wrong?
Directed by and starring Zach Lampugh, a former Adult Swim editor, and Brian Emond, a comedi...SHARE: READ MORE Horror Channel unleashes primetime premieres for October
Posted in Features, Tuesday 21st September 2021
Horror Channel has seven weekend primetime premieres line up for October, including, at 9pm on Sunday nights, the UK TV premiere of Brad Paxton's supernatural thriller Incarnate, starring Aaron Eckhart, and the channel premieres of David Cronenberg's erotic psychological chiller Dead Ringers and Juan Carlo Fresnadillo's atmospheric fantasy Intruders (2011), starring Clive Owen.
Plus, there are four premieres at 9pm on Saturday nights: Darren Lynn Bousman's nightmarish mystery Abattoir, Iain Softley's Southern Gothic-style frightener The Skeleton Key, starring Kate Hudson, dark horror comedy Mom And Dad, starring Nicholas Cage and Selma Blair and Mama, the Guillermo Del Toro exec...SHARE: READ MORE Tom Paton, director of G-LOC chats about his passion for survival stories and being compared to Roger Corman
Posted in Features, Interviews, Tuesday 14th September 2021
Ahead of the Horror Channel premiere of his sci-fi action thriller G-LOC, director Tom Paton reflects on why making movies is like solving a puzzle, his passion for survival stories and being compared to Roger Corman.
Horror Channel will be broadcasting the UK TV premiere of your Sci-fi adventure G-LOC. Excited or what?
It's honesty so strange to me every time Horror Channel debuts one of my movies. The channel has been such a big part of my life growing up and informing my taste in films, that it's always a "pinch myself moment" when I see something that I've made appear on their TV listing. G-LOC is much more of a SCI-FI adventure than any ...SHARE: READ MORE Escape From New York score to be released on blue vinyl
Posted in News, Wednesday 8th September 2021
Originally released on the 31st of July 2015, the vinyl edition of John Carpenter's classic 1981 thriller, Escape From New York mirrored the expanded CD release from 2000, with over 20 minutes of previously unreleased music plus music from scenes deleted from the final print and original dialogue highlights.
The masters for that CD were re-mixed from the original multi-track session tapes by long-time Carpenter associate Alan Howarth.
This is the first time on coloured vinyl for this LP, all previous pressings having been on black vinyl and will be released January 21st, 2022 thanks to Silva Screen Records.... SHARE: READ MORE Interview with Sean Nichols Lynch writer and director of Red Snow
Posted in Frightfest, Sunday 5th September 2021
Final film of Arrow Films FrightFest Online Edition 2021 is a fangtastic (sorry) twist on the vampire movie, Sean Nichols Lynch's Red Snow. We had a quick chat about this blood-splattered shocker which has a deep vein of humour running through it.
HC: Where did the idea for Red Snow come from?
SL: I was trying to get a different horror feature financed and was struggling to get it off the ground. It was a frustrating period for me, and I honestly felt like I'd never get to make another film. I happened to run into Dennice, who I knew from my film school days at San Francisco State. We got to talking and I started to think about how great it would be to just drop everything and ...SHARE: READ MORE Articles Archive: 2021 | 2020 | 2019 | 2018 | 2017 | 2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2007 | 2006 PICK OF THE WEEK
Saturday 16th October
Saturday 23rd October
Monday 18th October