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
12 Hour Shift score coming to vinyl in November
Posted in News, Friday 25th September 2020
12 Hour Shift

Festival fave 12 Hour Shift is a stunning 2020 American black comedy, horror, thriller film written and directed by Brea Grant and stars Angela Bettis, Kit Williamson, and David Arquette.

Already a massive hit across the globe the film concentrates on Bettis who plays Mandy, a drug-addicted nurse involved in a black market organ-trading scheme. But things turn ugly across her night shift and she has more to deal with than moaning hospital patients!

Burning Witches Records will release the superb score from Matt Glass on limited edition Scrubs green vinyl with download card and insert print with liner notes by Glass and Brea Grant plus artwork from Ben Turner. The movie is out on V...

SHARE: READ MORE
Arrow Video FrightFest cancels October Cineworld event midst growing COVID restrictions
Posted in Frightfest, Wednesday 23rd September 2020
FrightFest Digital Banner

Arrow Video FrightFest will go virtual for the second time in 2020, having taken the difficult decision to cancel its planned physical event at the Cineworld, Leicester Square. due to continuing COVID restrictions making the event socially, practically and commercially untenable. The digital edition will run over the same days, from October 22-25 October, and will combine the in-cinema and proposed Halloween digital event into one online festival experience.

Ian Rattray, co-director, said today: "It's with a heavy heart that we announce the cancellation of the Cineworld event. Although cinemas are not affected by the new hospitality rules, it was the tipping point in...

SHARE: READ MORE
Horror Channel to present a Halloween double-bill of Corin Hardy's The Hallow and Ante Novakovic's Fright Fest.
Posted in Features, Tuesday 15th September 2020
Horror Channel Halloween social

October boasts eleven premieres on Horror Channel, including a hellish Halloween night double-bill of Corin Hardy's impressive Irish monster movie debut The Hallow and Ante Novakovic's rampant Halloween slasher Fright Fest. Both channel premieres will be broadcast on Saturday 31 October, at 9pm and 10.55pm respectively.

There are also four prime-time UK premieres: Demon chiller Firstborn, with Misfits star Antonia Laura Thomas, hashtag horror Selfie From Hell, the haunting, award-winning Echoes Of Fear and the pint-sized gold-digger is back in the sequel, Leprechaun Returns.

There are five further channel premieres: Pet, a twisted tale of obsession and ...

SHARE: READ MORE
Train to Busan Presents: Peninsula to open Arrow Video FrightFest October 2020
Posted in Frightfest, Thursday 10th September 2020
FrightFest - October 2020 event - banner

Four years after Train to Busan was voted the most popular FrightFest Closing Night film ever, comes the hotly anticipated stand-alone sequel, Train to Busan Presents: Peninsula, which will open this year's Arrow Video FrightFest October event, courtesy of Studiocanal. The film will play on Thursday October 22, 6pm, across three screens at the Cineworld, Leicester Square.

FrightFest co-director Alan Jones commented: "Ask any die-hard FrightFester what their favourite ever Closing Night film was and they will say the fabulous Train to Busan. The continuous standing ovations, cheers and applause engendered by our sell-out screenings of that ins...

SHARE: READ MORE
Interview with the legendary actress Lin Shaye about being part of The Horror Crowd
Posted in Frightfest, Interviews, Wednesday 9th September 2020
Lin Shaye and Ruben PlaLin Shaye is an actress that need no introduction. Her screen work over the last few decades has seen her appear in countless movies such as Nightmare on Elm Street, Critters or more recently the Insidious series of movies. Here she chats about her career and her why she appeared in Ruben Pla's superb doc, The Horror Crowd.

HC: Did you know from a young age that you wanted to be an actress?

LS: No, I never had the dream. Ever. I had the need to tell stories and from a very young age and my dad, when he tucked me in a night we would tell what we would call "Candyland Stories" and they were stories about a little girl named Linda, and they would start when she was just falling to sleep...

SHARE: READ MORE
The Walking Dead Delux gets six Charlie Adlard connecting covers
Posted in News, Wednesday 9th September 2020
The Walking Dead connected covers

Image/Skybound Entertainment is pleased to reveal a series of six highly collectible, connecting variant covers by Charlie Adlard, which will be unleashed over the course of the first story arc of The Walking Dead Deluxe full color editions. The iconic independent series that took the entertainment world by storm 17 years ago, The Walking Dead by Robert Kirkman (Fire Power, Oblivion Song) and Charlie Adlard (Vampire State Building) will be reissued starting in October as The Walking Dead Deluxe and fully colored by Dave McCaig.

Deluxe editions of the series will also feature a variety of other variants including covers by David Finch, Tony Moore, Jul...

SHARE: READ MORE
Dawn of the Dead "the zombie movie to end 'em all" rises again in Limited Edition 4K UHD and Limited Edition Blu-ray
Posted in News, Wednesday 9th September 2020
DAWN_OF_THE_DEAD_3D_BD_SLIPCASE_PACK_ (1)

This Autumn, Second Sight Films presents the horror release to end all horror releases. Fans, aficionados and collectors are in for a treat as horror maestro George A. Romero's long-awaited, highly anticipated Dawn of the Dead, finally gets the home entertainment release it deserves.

Widely acknowledged to be one of the greatest horror films of all time, this seminal work has been painstakingly restored and arrives in two separate format releases: Dawn Of The Dead Limited Edition 4K UHD and Dawn Of The Dead Limited Edition Blu-ray on 16 November.

Both Box Sets arrive in stunning packaging featuring the original iconic poster art...

SHARE: READ MORE
Look to the skies... in November for Mothra on Blu-ray
Posted in News, Monday 7th September 2020
Mothra cover

Eureka Entertainment to release Mothra, Ishiro Honda's stunningly inventive monster adventure-fantasy, on home video for the first time in the UK. Available on Blu-ray from 16 November as part of The Masters of Cinema Series in a Limited Edition set of only 3000 copies, featuring a Hardbound Case, 60-page Perfect Bound Collector's Book & Reversible Poster.

One of the most iconic Japanese kaiju, Mothra has appeared in over a dozen feature films. Presented here is her debut, a gloriously vibrant piece of filmmaking that forever changed how kaiju eiga would be produced in Japan.

Following reports of human life on Infant Island, the supposedly deserted site of at...

SHARE: READ MORE
New label, Danse Macabre is coming soon
Posted in News, Saturday 5th September 2020
Danse Macabre

Jinga Films have announced the launch of their new distribution arm, Danse Macabre. Under the Jinga umbrella, Danse Macabre will be focused on the distribution of horror films in the English speaking territories, UK, Ireland, US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.

Danse Macabre will also act as a horror sales sub-label within Jinga Films whilst Jinga itself expands to include a wider range of genres, including arthouse.

Much like Jinga Films, Danse Macabre is co-owned by Julian Richards and Rosana Coutinho. Julian was thrilled to confirm the news. "Danse Macabre will be the home for horror, run by horror fans for horror fans. We travel the world, select the best films and will br...

SHARE: READ MORE
The Circus of Horrors is coming to town
Posted in News, Saturday 5th September 2020
Circus of Horrors

A gem of classic 60s horror and an early example of British exploitation cinema, Circus of Horrors will be released on Blu-ray for the first time, fully restored with new bonus content, courtesy of Studiocanal's Vintage Classics Collection on 12th October.

Starring Anton Diffring (Beast Must Die, The Man Who Could Cheat Death), Erika Remberg (Mord in Rio), Yvonne Monlaur (The Brides of Dracula), Donald Pleasence (Halloween) and directed by Sidney Hayers (Night of the Eagle) from a screenplay by George Baxt, Circus of Horrors, with its depiction of voluptuous scantily-clad women meeting violent and sadistic ends amidst the lurid backdrop of the circus, is considered to be the third f...

SHARE: READ MORE
The Moorcock Library: Elric The Eternal Champion Collection
Posted in News, Saturday 5th September 2020
Elric book cover

Seminal sword and sorcery author Michael Moorcock weaves stunning blend of magic, heroism, and wonder as his legendary Eternal Champion Elric features in two rarely seen adventures, featuring artwork from legendary French artist Phillippe Druillet.

Based on Michael Moorcock's beloved original stories, through the brilliant artistry of James Cawthorne this book revisits and reimagines his iconic hero, Elric of Melnibone, nearly fifty years after his inception. Elric has been continuously in print since the 1970's, and has been a staple character in pop culture, having appeared in comics, album covers, song lyrics, and even role-playing games.

Essential reading for all fans o...

SHARE: READ MORE
Interview with Steve Villeneuve, director of Hail to the Deadites
Posted in Frightfest, Interviews, Thursday 3rd September 2020
HailToTheDeadites-1FrightFest 2020 delivered some incredibly entertaining and informative documentaries. Hail to the Deadites from Steve Villeneuve is a celebration of the the Evil Dead series of movies and truly gets under the skin of what the franchise means to those who created it and those who are mega fans! Here Steve talks about this amazing doc.

HC: Can you recall the first time you saw an Evil Dead movie and what it was that grabbed your attention?

SV: I guess I was 13. I actually saw Army of Darkness first on television. Years later, spot the cover of Evil Dead 2 in a video store. Then, rent Evil Dead one without knowing it was the first film because here in Quebec, The Evil Dead is ca...
SHARE: READ MORE
Articles Archive: 2020 | 2019 | 2018 | 2017 | 2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2007 | 2006
PICK OF THE WEEK
Stephen King's The Stand
STEPHEN KING'S THE STAND
Saturday 10th October
6.40 PM
Flatliners
FLATLINERS
Thursday 1st October
9.00 PM
Night of the Living Dead
NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD
Tuesday 6th October
10.55 PM