INTERVIEWS

LATEST | FEATURES | INTERVIEWS | NEWS | FRIGHTFEST | REVIEWS

Exclusive Interview With Director Alex Chandon
By James Whittington, Tuesday 23rd October 2012

alex_chandonAlex Chandon is one of the UKs most inventive creatives. His latest movie, Inbred has been hailed by many as one of the best Brit horror movies in ages.

Alex will be introducing three of his favourite horror movies this Thursday from 9pm during his very own Director's Night on the Horror Channel.

Here he chats about his career, the movie Inbred and the plans he has for the future.

HC: You've been around in the movie industry for a while now, how has it changed since you began your career?

AC: Hi. I think its remained very similar for mainstream films, the same people control the monies and funding. The same prejudices against low budget and genre films exist and the same struggles face any film maker/actor trying to get regular work in the industry. It's still a hard, two-faced, back-stabbing industry that is geared up against the creatives (writers/directors) as all the power lies with producers and distributors. But it's changed radically for independent film makers mostly because the technology to make Hollywood-like films is now available relatively cheap to anybody. One can hire RED cameras and edit on the same software that Hollywood uses and that is a huge game changer. I think in 5 years time the power will be with the creatives as we won't need distributors to market our films and we can sell direct to the public via VOD and downloads. Now that will be a time to rejoice! One negative is that a whole lot more sh**t independent films are being made and the market is saturated with low budget horror especially so making a splash has become harder as the competition steps up.

HC: Inbred, your latest feature is released this month. Its already got a cult following, are you tempted to make a sequel?

AC: I've been asked a few times and I say I would like to make a prequel set in the 1970's to show people what the Inbred's were up to back then. I see VW camper vans, hippies and gore all to a cool Hendrix soundtrack!

HC: How did you get Dominic Brunt in the movie?

AC: He asked me! He's a massive horror fan and he heard I was casting up in Manchester and he came along with a copy of Cradle Of Fear he wanted me to sign and asked if there might be a small cameo role for him. That small cameo got a big bigger during discussions and Podge was born! Dom came up with his look, the costume and the dentures and glasses etc. And his strange twitch was his idea!! He was brilliant and I'd love to cast him in another film in a beefier role.

HC: Podge is a superb character, surely a Yorkshire-style salute to Leatherface?

AC: Abso-f*****g-lutely! We added the 'Chain Saw-twirl' as an obvious original TCM reference!

HC: What was it like doing a live commentary for the movie at FrightFest?

AC: Very scary! When it was pitched to me I said, "Yeah, okay" and didn't think it through. Closer to the event I began to realise what a difficult proposition it was to talk non-stop through the film hitting marks and being relevant to the screen and entertaining to a live audience at the same time. So the week before I was s***ting it! I did a run through with a mate that was awful so on the day before I did another run through alone and took advice from others to relax and not get too anal about it and that was the key, my run through was okay and I made notes which I reread a few times on Friday then on Saturday I went down and did it. And it was amazing, once it started I couldn't stop and it was quite an adrenalin buzz and an interesting experience. I revealed things I hadn't planned on a lot of subconscious streamed out. I would say this is not something that everyone should try as it reveals a lot about you. I froze a couple of times but luckily had friends and a few of the film's actors in the audience who would shout out a question or a random thought if they saw me freeze and that got my train of thought going again.

And the audience really enjoyed it! Especially nice was about 10 people in the audience hadn't seen the film prior to this and they really found it interesting and said they loved the film and would be buying a copy. I didn't think it would work at all for people alien to the film but I was wrong. A highlight was something I'd planned with Neil Keenan, he plays Inbred Vern in the film and he also composed and performed the 'Ee By Gum' Inbred folk song (now available on iTunes for 79p!). He brought his banjo and when the folk song plays out the end of the film we performed the 'Ee By Gum' song live and got the whole audience to join in the chorus and then we all marched into the auditorium of the cinema singing the song! We filmed the event and a video is on you tube. It was really funny watching the stunned reactions of people at the bar as a whole audience walks out singing.

Neil has been in every single one of my films since 1991 and is one of my best friends and a very talented musician, very into bluegrass style and plays the banjo and string instruments and so I asked him if he'd come up with an Inbred song. We wanted it to sound English and folky but we wanted it to have a good beat. I'm a massive fan of Southern Comfort and I love the end scene at the Cajun community and they play an awesome Cajun folk song. We loved the beat and Neil homaged that to come up with the 'Ee By Gum' rhythm. Neil wrote the lyrics and organised a recording session with other musicians and basically pulled the whole thing together amazingly.

HC: You've chosen three very different movies for your Director's Night; Tenebrae, The Exterminator and Street Trash. Can you tell us why you choose these particular movies?

AC: I was looking for films that had a big impact on me in my early film making days. The 1980's must rank as the best decade for horror ever and I class myself as very lucky to be growing up in this period. I must have been 14 when I saw The Exterminator and it freaked me out. The opening scene alone was enough for me to put it on the list. Still one of the best and most brutal Vietnam flashback scenes. And still, incredibly, one of the greatest semi-decapitations of all time. I watched it again recently and its not as action packed as I remembered, in fact its a bit plodding, but it has a great sleazy feel to it (reminds me of The Warriors original cut, an all time fave) and is a solid vigilante movie.
Street Trash is great exploitation fun. It's not Bad Taste but it’s a close contender. I always remember being so excited by the Fangoria coverage and slightly let down by the amount of grue in the film when I finally got to see it, but never the less this does have some great FX scenes including one of my favourite severed head reaction gags when he peeks up her skirt. It is a body-melt classic. Check out the amazing Steadi-cam shots as well. I believe the director went off to become the worlds leading Steadi-cam operator after this. Of the three films Tenebrae has stood the test of time the best and is still a startling piece of film making and I think showcases Dario Argento and his minions at the height of their respective powers. This film is totally mind-blowing in many departments. The direction and camera-work and editing and soundtrack are exemplary, this is the kind of film that I've always wanted to make but I'm nowhere near this level of genius yet. I loved this when I was 15 and I love it more now.

HC: Would you like to remake any of them, given the chance?

AC: Interesting question. I don't like horror remakes. I really think Hollywood has f****d up too many 'not-that-old' classics. I really cannot see why someone would want to f**k with the memory of classics such as Day Of The Dead, The Texas Chain Saw Massacre, Halloween, The Evil Dead, Last House On The Left, Robocop, and please, please let the rumour about Videodrome be wrong! So I would only go near a horror remake if we had a really nice budget and some level of control of the end result, a rarity with bigger budgets. Of the three The Exterminator, I feel could have been better so I'd like to give that one a go.

HC: You're a man of many talents, in which job are you at your happiest?

AC: I like to think that my many talents all come together to form my main talent and the thing I enjoy the most. Film-making. I'm lucky to be artistic and use all that to make a film. So I love writing script - the first stage - coming up with crazy ideas is always fun. Then I love preparation which involves storyboarding and discussing set design and camera work. And I just adore directing on set. I forgot how much I thrive on that. Inbred brought it all back. This is what I was made to do I think. But then I love editing, the calm after the storm of filming sitting on my own and chillaxing and cutting scenes together and making the magic work is always a glorious time (as long as I'm not trying to meet a deadline!!) And then I totally adore doing After Effects, composite digital FX work. I still find it amazing these post-production tools are available to me and I can now do all the crazy FX that I dreamed of doing as a 21 year old budding film maker. So I really do genuinely love so much about the whole process.

HC: So what other projects are you working on?

AC: Inbred has been a real labour of love and due to its small-ish budget I've had to do a lot of work on it even down to over-seeing all the deliverables and final archiving and so my work on it has only just finished. That's almost 3 years. I can't wait to start a new project. I have some scripts I wrote just before Inbred, which I still like and I've been inspired in the last year from watching new horror films at film festivals so I have a couple of nice ideas I can't wait to start writing. I'm still very into the horror genre and want to explore a 'scary-as-f**k' movie idea as I'd love to scare people silly one day. I would one day like to do action or sci-fi film. I love Starship Troopers and Robocop and Mad Max 2 and would love to make a crazy violent futuristic piece of mayhem one day!

HC: Alex Chandon, thank you very much.

AC: Cheers Horror Channel! Now please check out our website www.inbredmovie.com and support Inbred!

Alex Chandon's Director's Night is on Thursday October 25th from 9pm.


Related show tags: STREET TRASH, TENEBRAE, THE EXTERMINATOR
MORE INTERVIEWS
Interview with Mickey Fisher, creator of sci-fi series Extant
Posted on Thursday 6th May 2021
Mickey Fisher 1

Horror Channel will be continuing its commitment to bringing cult and classic sci-fi to its audience with Seasons 1 and 2 of the CBS Studios/Amblin Television production of Extant, starring Halle Berry as astronaut Molly Woods, who returns home to her family, inexplicably pregnant after 13 months in outer space on a solo mission.

The series begins on Horror May 11th so, we decided to chat to its creator, Mickey Fisher about how the series came to be produced and what it was like working with Hollywood royalty.

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

MF: From the time I was maybe five or six years old I wanted to be an actor. Going to see Star...

SHARE: READ MORE
Interview with Gary J. Tunnicliffe, writer and director of Hellraiser: Judgement
Posted on Saturday 20th February 2021
Gary J. Tunnicliffe doing SFX make-up on the set of Hellraiser Judgement

Director and long-time Hellraiser franchise SFX artist Gary John Tunnicliffe has a new entry into the Hellraiser series for us all to enjoy, Hellraiser: Judgement. Here he chats about this gritty horror.

HC: Was there one person or film which inspired you to want to be in the effects industry?

GJT: I can't remember one film that directly inspired me to be in the effects industry, it would definitely have been around 1982 (when I was 14) when The Thing AND American Werewolf in London came out (as well as a mass of FX laden movies) but more than anything it was when s...

SHARE: READ MORE
Interview with Chee Keong Cheung, director of Redcon-1
Posted on Wednesday 17th February 2021
Director Chee Keong Cheung

Fast-paced British zombie thriller, Redcon-1 will be having its UK TV premiere on Horror on Saturday 20th February so we decided to chat with its writer and director Chee Keong Cheung about this acclaimed movie.

HC: Where did the idea for Redcon-1 come from and are you a fan of zombie movies?

CKC: I'm a huge fan of the zombie genre and in particular, Danny Boyle's '28 Days Later', Zak Snyder's 'Dawn of the Dead' and of course George Romero's original works which helped to pave the way for the genre and was a real inspiration for me growing up. I remember watching 'Saving Private Ryan' and 'Black Hawk Down' on TV and had always been drawn to the men on a m...

SHARE: READ MORE
Interview with Scott Reiniger star of the original Dawn of the Dead
Posted on Sunday 15th November 2020
DAWN_OF_THE_DEAD_3D_BD_SLIPCASE_PACK_ (1)

On the eve of a stunning new 4K box set of George A Romero's Dawn of the Dead from Second Sight Films, we chat to one of its stars, Scott Reiniger about this incredible film.

HC: How did you first become involved with Dawn of the Dead?

SR: Well, I was in New York, I was a stage actor in New York and I went to college with Christine Forrest, who later became George's wife and she asked me if I wanted to audition for this film called Dawn of the Dead, she wanted to know if I knew who George Romero was and I said, "Yeah, he was the guy who directed Night of the Living Dead". So, they sent the script over and I read it and it was pr...

SHARE: READ MORE
Interview with Steve Speirs, star of Concrete Plans
Posted on Sunday 1st November 2020
Concrete Plans poster

Welsh, Scottish and Ukranian dialects clash in Concrete Plans, a stand-out movie from Will Jewell which has just been released by FrightFest Presents via Signature. Its a super and very dark thriller with an outstanding cast headed up by Steve Speirs. Here he chats about this amazing piece.

Be warned this interview contains some spoilers about the movie. If in doubt watch the movie before reading. You have been warned!

HC: Was there one actor of one film you saw when you were younger that made you want to be an actor?

SS: Oh, I've never been asked that actually. When I started to get into watching films, I'd always wanted to be an actor for as long as I can ...

SHARE: READ MORE
Interview with Shayne Ward, star of The Ascent
Posted on Thursday 22nd October 2020
SHAYNE WARD NEW PROMO HEADSHOT 2020-6

A special ops team on a mission in a war-torn country find themselves trapped on a never-ending staircase that they must climb - or they die! This is the premise for Tom Paton's superb, action-packed horror The Ascent which is having its UK TV premiere at 9pm on October 23rd. Here its star, Shayne Ward tells all about his career to date and how he became involved in this sci-fi shocker.

HC: How much did the X-Factor change your life?

SW: Oh, like anyone can say who has been on it, who has done well on the show, it does change your life because it catapults you into the limelight, into the public eye. One day you are relatively unknown...

SHARE: READ MORE
Interview with Ryan Kruger, writer and director of Fried Barry
Posted on Sunday 11th October 2020
Fried Barry

Anyone who as been to Grimmfest will know that the team behind the event try their very best to bring to their audience films that challenge and push as many envelopes as possible. Fried Barry from director Ryan Kruger is such a movie. Packed with mind-bending imagery and and emotional punch, this polarizing movie has to be seen just for its creativity and strong storytelling. Here, Ryan chats about this incredible movie.

HC: Where did Fried Barry come from?

RK: Fried Barry was born out of total frustration where I was in my career. I am known in South Africa as a music video director for doing narrative story telling within music vids and sharp visuals. Although I al...

SHARE: READ MORE
Interview with Deiondre Teagle, star of Death Ranch
Posted on Sunday 11th October 2020
thumbnail_Brandon Blood

Grimmfest 2020 is packed with new talent and one actor that stands out is Deiondre Teagle who styars in Charlie Steeds' grindhouse homage, Death Ranch. Here Deiondre explains his role and what it was like being part of such a bold movie.

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

DT: I've definitely known my whole life I've wanted to be an actor. One of my favourite movies of all time is the original Men In Black. When I was little (about 3 or 4 years old), I would re-watch my VHS copy of that movie over and over and over again. I would re-enact every scene. Since then, my love for acting and film has just grown. I have such a love for the...

SHARE: READ MORE
Interview with Faith Monique, star of Death Ranch
Posted on Sunday 11th October 2020
FAITH MONIQUE INTERVIEW PHOTO

Grimmfest 2020 is packed with world premieres and none so bold as Charlie Steed's Death Ranch. We chatted to one of its main stars, Faith Monique about her role in this brutal and brilliant movie.

HC: Was there one person you saw at a young age who inspired you to want to become an actress?

FM: Funny fact, I grew up without a TV! So, at a young age, I never had an actor that inspired me and to this day I still don't. Acting did not become a dream of mine until 2016 and for inspiration, I like to dig deep into my own soul to find truth to bring into each character.

HC: Are you a big fan of horror movies and were you aware of grindhouse and e...

SHARE: READ MORE
Interview with Charlie Steeds, writer and director of Death Ranch
Posted on Saturday 10th October 2020
CHARLIE STEEDS EDITED-23

Horror movies and controversy always go hand in hand but when they tackle serious issues by using extreme violence to hammer home a point they can be very worthy. Death Ranch from Charlie Steeds is having its world premiere at Grimmfest so we chatted to him about this very strong movie.

HC: What inspired you to write Death Ranch?

CS: I'd always wanted to try making a movie with a 70s Grindhouse/Exploitation style and was watching old Grindhouse trailers for inspiration. I came across the movie Brotherhood of Death, where black characters fight back against the KKK for some of the film (the tagline is 'Watch these brothers stick it to the Klan!') and that conce...

SHARE: READ MORE
Interview with Nicholas Santos, writer and director of It Cuts Deep
Posted on Saturday 10th October 2020
It Cuts Deep Image 2

At Grimmfest we're used to comedy horror but none as well written as It Cuts Deep from writer/director Nicholas Santos. Here he chats about this true dissection of a romance going terribly wrong.

HC: Have you always been a big horror fan?

NS: I've been a big horror fan since I was a little kid. Some of my favourite childhood memories are seeing Event Horizon with my dad when I was in second grade, being absolutely terrified by Chucky from Child's Play at every waking moment and watching Psycho for the first time on VHS when I was 7 years old.

HC: Where did the idea for It Cuts Deep come from and did it take long to write?

NS: It Cuts Deep is a hor...

SHARE: READ MORE
Interview with Robert Woods, director of An Ideal Host
Posted on Saturday 10th October 2020
Robert Woods

Ever had the dinner party from Hell with people you don't really relate to and seem alien? Well this is the premise of the the hilarious horror comedy An Ideal Host from director Robert Woods. Here he tells Horror about this cracking movie.

HC: What did you think of the script when you first read it and what made you decide that this would be your first project as a director?

RW: Tyler and I had been writing theatre together for a decade, but movies are our first love and we wanted to give it a crack as well. Tyler came up with the initial idea but we worked on the story together and it evolved a great deal from the initial pitch. As it was my first time directing, I think we were j...

SHARE: READ MORE
Interviews Archive: 2021 | 2020 | 2019 | 2018 | 2017 | 2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2007 | 2006
PICK OF THE WEEK
Star Trek: Voyager
STAR TREK: VOYAGER
Friday 28th May
7.00 PM
The Burning
THE BURNING
Wednesday 26th May
10.50 PM
Lost City Raiders
LOST CITY RAIDERS
Sunday 23rd May
6.30 PM