ARTICLES

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
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
Tom Paton on the set of G-Loc-3-1

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
SILLP1493-EFNY-visual-blue-transparent

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
RedSnow-poster

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
Interview with Alex Kahuam writer and director of Forgiveness
Posted in Frightfest, Sunday 5th September 2021
Alex Kahuam 1 Forgiveness

Director Alex Kahuam has brought to Arrow Films FrightFest Online Edition a brutal and intelligent film, Forgiveness. Almost devoid of dialogue, it's an excursion into the raw side of reality. Here he chats about this movie and his plans for the future.

HC: Was there one movie you saw when growing up which made you want to go into filmmaking?

AK: When we were kids my brother and I my parents took us a lot to the theaters and this is where everything began for me. I just loved the experience so much and till this day I thank them because they triggered this on me and for many years filmmaking has been my life. While growing up Hollywood films have always be...

SHARE: READ MORE
Interview with Sarah Appleton co-writer and co-director of The Found Footage Phenomenon
Posted in Frightfest, Sunday 5th September 2021
Sarah Appleton

The final documentary of FrightFest Online Edition looks to one of the most misunderstood genres out there. The Found Footage Phenomenon dissects this often over-looked type of movie with interviews from many key players. We chatted to co-writer and co-director Sarah Appleton about this very informative piece.

HC: Have you always been a fan of horror movies?

SA: Yes, I grew up watching Hammer horror movies and Japanese horror because my dad was a film critic, so I used to look through all his VHS tapes he'd taped off the late night tv and pick something to watch. Evil Dead II was one of the first horror movies I ever saw, aged about 8.

HC: Can you recall the first fo...

SHARE: READ MORE
Taxi rides and crumbling hotels - Day 5 of Arrow Video FrightFest Online Edition: Part 2
Posted in Frightfest, Sunday 5th September 2021
NightDrive-poster

As we enter the final evening of Arrow Films FrightFest Online Edition 2021 there's still plenty to look forward to starting with a belter from directors Brad Baruh and Meghan Leon, Night Drive. Ride-share app driver Russell picks up his Hollywood fare Charlotte... and his whole life turns upside down. Slipping him a wad of cash, she hires him for the rest of the evening. Their first stop at her ex's place sees Charlotte running out the door clutching a tiny suitcase being chased. They make their escape, but accidentally run over a pedestrian, setting in motion a chain of gruesome events that will go to places Russell could never have imagined in his wildest dreams. What starts off as a simpl...

SHARE: READ MORE
Interview with Josh Stifter director of Greywood's Plot
Posted in Frightfest, Sunday 5th September 2021
GreywoodsPlot-1

There are a number of monochrome movies at FrightFest this year and one of the stand out ones is Josh Stifter's Greywood's Plot so we had a quick chat with him about it.

HC: Was there one movie you saw when you were younger that made you want to be in the filmmaking business?

JS: Beetlejuice. I saw it when I was 5 years old. My family all got the flu and my mom went and rented it. This was back in the day when you didn't have access as easily to movies so if you rented a movie, it often would get watched a couple times before it was returned. Since we had nothing else to do, we all just laid around sick watching Beetlejuice over and over. I became obsessed. It was the first tim...

SHARE: READ MORE
Interview with Conor Stechschulte writer of Ultrasound
Posted in Frightfest, Sunday 5th September 2021
Ultrasound-1

Based on his own graphic novel 'Generous Bosom', Conor Stechschulte has written a tight and tense script for Ultrasound which is showing today at Arrow Films Fright Online Edition. We chatted to him about the process of bringing his original idea to the big screen.

HC: Did you know from a young age that you wanted to become a writer?

CS: I did! At about 7 or 8 I went from wanting to be a fighter pilot to wanting to be a writer. My formal education is in visual art, but I've always had narratives at the heart of all the creative work that I make and have never really stopped writing in one form or another.

HC: Was there any one person who inspired you?

CS: I can't...

SHARE: READ MORE
Interview with Rob Schroeder director of Ultrasound
Posted in Frightfest, Sunday 5th September 2021
Ultrasound-1

The feature debut of Rob Schroeder, producer of Sun Choke and Beyond The Gates, Ultrasound is a startling puzzle box Sci-Fi mystery and playing today at Arrow Films FrightFest Online Event. We chatted to Rob about this chilling movie.

HC: Did you know from a young age that you wanted to be in filmmaking?

RS: Not really. When I was young, I loved going to the movie theatre every week, but I didn't see filmmaking as a career because in my town I didn't know any filmmakers. The movies were always so special for me and even sacred, so at a young age I did sense the magic.

HC: How did become attached to this project?

RS: I developed the project, by reaching out to Cono...

SHARE: READ MORE
Interview with Peter Daskaloff director and co-writer of Antidote
Posted in Frightfest, Sunday 5th September 2021
Peter Daskaloff Anitdote

Peter Daskaloff has brought his nerve-jangling movie Antidote to FrightFest Online Eidtion 2021 so we chatted to him about this complex and intriguing movie.

HC: What is your writing method when working alongside someone else?

PD: I usually write alone. But for Antidote, I had to hire a co-writer because the subject was complex. I needed another set of eyes to look at it from outside my box. Matt Toronto was recommended to me by my executive producer, Ian Michaels, who has worked with Matt before. The collaboration was a bit bumpy, but the resulting script turned out pretty good.

HC: How did you go about casting the movie?

PD: I had a casti...

SHARE: READ MORE
Interview with Francesco Erba writer and director of As in Heaven, So on Earth
Posted in Frightfest, Sunday 5th September 2021
Francesco Erba As In Heaven director

As In Heaven, So On Earth mixes the found footage genre with incredible animation to deliver a truly unique take on the format. The movie effortlessly moves from its gothic animation to cutting edge technology footage and brings together a tale which is emotional and utterly heart breaking in equal measure. We chatted to its writer and director Francesco Erba as it plays at FrightFest Online Edition 2021.

HC: Where did the idea for As in Heaven, So on Earth come from?

FE: As in Heaven, So on Earth was born not only from one specific idea but, as very often occurs, from many different ones, different influences and life experien...

SHARE: READ MORE
Interview with Casey Dillard actor and writer of Killer Concept
Posted in Frightfest, Sunday 5th September 2021
KillerConcept-2

If you managed to catch Driven the other year at FrightFest then you'll need to catch Killer Concept today. Writer Casey Dillard is back alongside director Glenn Payne but this time serial killers are the target. We chatted to Casey about this movie.

HC: It's been a couple of years since we last chatted, apart from Killer Concept, what have you been up to?

CD: Mostly avoiding Covid and trying to find work-arounds so that I can still perform safely.

HC: Where did the idea for Killer Concept come from?

CD: Glenn wanted to make a simple movie with minimal people while our core filmmaking team was unable to go to work so we kicked around a lot of ideas and KC wa...

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
Final Girl
FINAL GIRL
Tuesday 28th September
9.00 PM
The Remaining
THE REMAINING
Saturday 25th September
9.00 PM
Star Trek - The Original Series
STAR TREK - THE ORIGINAL SERIES
Wednesday 29th September
8.00 PM