LATEST | FEATURES | INTERVIEWS | NEWS | FRIGHTFEST | REVIEWS Exclusive Interview With Director Matthew Hope
By James Whittington, Saturday 22nd November 2008
Matthew Hope is one of the brightest stars in the industry at the moment. His latest movie, The Vanguard has just been released onto DVD to great critical acclaim so we decided that we should talk to this talented chap and see what makes him tick.
Zone Horror: Did you know from an early age that you wanted to be in the movie making business?
Matthew Hope: Yes, from about the age of 8, after seeing the first Rocky film. Originally I wanted to work in Special Make-up Effects, but when my parents bought a video camera and I started making films with it I decided to become a director instead.
ZH: Have you always been a big fan of horror movies?
MH: I’m probably a bigger fan of post-apocalyptic movies along the lines of Mad Max and The Omega Man because I always felt they presented a more frightening scenario. That said I love The Exorcist and The Shining, and have a soft spot for Friday 13th: The Final Chapter.
ZH: Can you tell us a bit about your first production, the short piece called In The Field?
MH: It was a short film about a group of army deserters attempting to flee an unknown war who are drawn back into the conflict through their own actions. I made it the year before The Vanguard. I thought I could write my way into directing and when this didn’t happen I decided to make a short film to teach myself how direct. Most of the cast and crew who worked on it came with me to make The Vanguard.
ZH: How much did you learn during that shoot?
MH: I learnt a lot making the film – everything from working with actors to camera angles and lenses; how to cover a scene in order for it to work. I learnt the whole process of filmmaking from beginning to end.
ZH: Where did the idea for The Vanguard come from?
MH: Originally it was just going to be a film about a young man from an industrialized society surviving as hunter/gatherer in a post-apocalyptic world. But some friends of mine were making a zombie movie and I thought this might work better with my original idea, but only if we could do something different with the genre.
ZH: The Vanguard is a pretty brutal movie, did you ever think you’d gone too for with the violence and blood letting?
MH: If I had more time and money then I would have made it more brutal and bloody. I also think this is a double-edged sword; yes I believe filmmakers have a responsibility in their portrayal of violence, but I also believe that if the story warrants it then you shouldn’t hold back. I wanted to show that Max had become a savage and behaved like one in order to survive.
ZH: Did a lot of the budget go on the effects?
MH: A fair amount went on the effects, both practical effects and visual effects like muzzle flashes and whiting out the eyes of the Biosyns.
ZH: Was it a hard movie to cast?
MH: Not really. Some of the actors from my short are in The Vanguard – Ray Bullock Jnr and Shiv Grewal. The other actors I know socially. We cast Emma Choy who plays Rachael and Bahi Ghubril who plays Hareem Jabbar.
ZH: Was there a point during production that you thought that you doubted your ability as a director?
MH: I never doubted I could do it, but there was an incident on the first day of shooting: After the first take I looked around at all these crew members and had a panic attack where the whole film – which had yet to be shot – flashed through my mind. One of the strangest experiences of my life. I remember telling myself, “This is it. Your whole life has been building to this one moment and now it’s time to step up to the plate.” After that moment I just got on with making the film and dealt with situations as and when they occurred.
ZH: How happy are you with the end result?
MH: To a certain extent I am. But there are always things you wish you had done differently. You have to make instant decisions some of which are not always right. Also, I was doing all manner of jobs on the film and wish I had a proper crew so I could just focus on directing. But saying that, one of things I’m most happy about is not only is the film going to be released but also, a company like Lionsgate is releasing it!
ZH: So what’s next for you?
MH: I hope to do a revenge film next.
ZH: Matthew Hope, thank you very much.
MORE ARTICLES Interview with Andy Nyman about his role in the classic TV version of The Woman in Black
Posted in Interviews, Sunday 9th August 2020
Andy Nyman is one of the most popular and hardworking actors working today. From thrillers to chillers, from comedy to drama, Andy can turn his hand to any genre. Thanks to Network Releasing we are able to appreciate his first ever TV appearance as they release a remastered version of the acclaimed television adaptation of The Woman in Black. We chatted to Andy about his role in this legendary piece.
HC: Let's chat about this TV version of The Woman in Black, was it one of your first ever roles very first TV role?
AN: That was my very first TV role, I was 23, the same age my son is now. It is a shock, isn't it? I was like, when I saw it ...SHARE: READ MORE Dracula's Child by J.S. Barnes - The Unofficial Sequel to Bram Stoker's 'Dracula'
Posted in News, Saturday 8th August 2020
J.S. Barnes dives straight to the dark heart of Bram Stoker's legendary creation, capturing the voice, tone, style and characters of the original, whilst exploring pressing themes of modern life in this age of false facts and fake news in Dracula's Child. The book offers a wonderful and wholly original expansion to the story of the world's most famous vampire. After all, evil never truly dies.
It has been some years since Jonathan and Mina Harker survived their ordeal in Transylvania and, vanquishing Count Dracula, returned to England to try and live ordinary lives.
But shadows linger long in this world of blood feud and superstition - and, the older their s...SHARE: READ MORE I Spit on Your Grave franchise to get box-set treatment
Posted in News, Saturday 8th August 2020 Kaleidoscope Home Entertainment has announced I Spit on Your Grave: The Complete Collection - the shocking, controversial and ground-breaking film series, presented on Blu-ray and DVD for the very first time, arriving 5th October.
When the original 1978 film was banned in the UK upon release, this notorious revenge movie helped launch the "video nasty" craze of the 1980's and inspired a generation of genre directors through its provocative, no-holds-barred filmmaking. 32 years later, a bold and shocking remake reignited the franchise and spawned a series of sequels which pushed the envelope even further.
Available in the UK as a complete set for the first time, t...SHARE: READ MORE Arrow Video FrightFest announces August 2020 Short Film Programme
Posted in Frightfest, Saturday 8th August 2020
The films may be short, but there is no shortage of scares as Arrow Video FrightFest 2020 showcases the best new short films from the UK and around the world, with six countries representing three continents. From under-the-bed monsters to monsters in front of your eyes, from the sinister and the creepy to the wickedly human and the not-so-human, this year's selection shines a spotlight on upcoming filmmakers.
The UK is represented with a record eleven entries. There are world premiere screenings for Werewolf, where game night just got dangerous, A Bit Of Fun, where a girls' night in brings out the dead and The Beholder, in which you'd be wise to ...SHARE: READ MORE Interview with Airell Hayles writer and co-director of They're Outside
Posted in Frightfest, Interviews, Saturday 1st August 2020
FrightFest is once again on the horizon but this time, due to global events the event has become a virtual experience with all films being accessed online. Horror is once again sponsoring the First Blood strand of the event. Here we chat to Airell Hayles whose movie They're Outside mixes found footage and pagan horror genres to great effect.
HC: Where did the idea for They're Outside come from?
AH: This idea for They're Outside came from a couple of things. I remember as a kid hearing that my uncle suffered mild agoraphobia, and when I learned what it was, I was fascinated by this idea of some people being kind of scared to leave their homes. Of course, the recent Covid-19 events h...SHARE: READ MORE Interview with Fionn and Toby Watts, directors of Playhouse
Posted in Frightfest, Interviews, Saturday 1st August 2020
FrightFest is once again on the horizon but this time, due to global events the event has become a virtual experience with all films being accessed online. Horror is once again sponsoring the First Blood strand of the event. Here we chat to talented brothers Fionn and Toby Watts who have delivered a gothic, creepy piece named Playhouse.
HC: Was there one film or person who influenced or inspired you to become film makers?
FW: As a young boy I remember being absolutely blown away by the image of The Terminator's exo-skeleton rising from the flames. Around the same time I saw Candyman at a sleepover (rented by my friend's 'older' brother...) and it was such an i...SHARE: READ MORE Shatner Vs The Devil! Who wouldn't want to see that?
Posted in News, Thursday 30th July 2020
All hell is about to break loose as Shatner takes on Satan, when 4Digital unleashes The Tomb: Devil's Revenge, on digital platforms from 14th September.
The Descent meets The Exorcist, with a dash of Raiders of the Lost Ark thrown in for good measure, in what promises to be a suspenseful thrill-ride starring iconic Star Trek legend William Shatner, Jeri Ryan (Star Trek: Voyager), Jason Brooks (Star Trek, 2009), Jackie Dallas (Stranger Things) and Michael Yahn (Daredevil).
John Brock is a down-on-his-luck archaeologist who returns from an expedition to the caves of rural Kentucky, after unsuccessfully trying to locate a mysterious relic that hi...SHARE: READ MORE Arrow Video FrightFest announces August Digital Edition line-up and Horror Channel sponsors talent-seeking First Blood strand
Posted in Features, Frightfest, Tuesday 28th July 2020
The UK's most popular horror and fantasy film festival celebrates its 21st bloody year with a special Digital edition, showcasing twenty-five films, from Thursday 27th August to Monday 31st August, including seven world premieres and sixteen UK premieres. Ten countries are represented from four continents in a deadly, daring and diverse programme exclusively presented to UK audiences.
Passes and tickets will go on sale Saturday 1 August and details on how to access the event and choose which films to watch are on the FrightFest website. All film screenings will be geo-locked to UK audiences and only accessible from within the United Kingdom.
The men...SHARE: READ MORE Revisit James Cameron's first movie on Blu-ray in August
Posted in News, Friday 24th July 2020
It may seem like paradise, but just off shore, a new brand of terror has been unleashed in Piranha 2: The Spawning.
While investigating the mysterious death of a diver, scuba instructor Anne Kimbrough (Tricia O'Neil) makes a horrific discovery: mutated piranhas, with wings that enable them to fly, are responsible for the death.
As the body count rises, Anne desperately tries to convince the manager of the resort to call off the annual fish fry on the beach, but he's determined to give his guests the ultimate feeding frenzy.
This exciting sequel to Joe Dante's original Piranha also stars Lance Henriksen and is the...SHARE: READ MORE An all-star cast for an all-time sleazy shocker!
Posted in News, Friday 24th July 2020
In the lurid shocker, Schizoid a newspaper advice columnist (Mariana Hill) starts receiving threats from a mysterious person. At the same time, the female members of her psychiatrist's (Klaus Kinski, Crawlspace) therapy group are being murdered one by one by a maniac wielding a large pair of scissors.
Could these incidents be linked?
Donna Wilkes, Craig Wasson, Flo Gerrish and Christopher Lloyd also star in this long forgotten sleazy slasher which is getting the usual top-notch release from 88Films.... SHARE: READ MORE Dracula on red wax!
Posted in News, Friday 24th July 2020
From the team behind BBC's critically acclaimed Sherlock came Dracula, the reimagining of the iconic titular vampire for a 21st Century audience. Composers David Arnold and Michael Price reunited with writers and creators Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss, to breathe musical life into another famous literary character from Victorian times.
For Dracula, Arnold and Price conceived an innovative and petrifying score, in which traditional instruments and musique concrete merge with contemporary use of samples and sound design.
Scoring Dracula presented its own challenges and the composers have augmented the sound of the orchestra players by creating a library...SHARE: READ MORE Will you hear the Echoes of Fear?
Posted in News, Tuesday 21st July 2020
Creating waves on the US festival circuit and garnering best feature awards galore Echoes of Fear is set to scare the living daylights out of UK audiences as it arrives on digital and DVD this summer from Second Sight Films.
Turning the haunted house genre on its head, this chilling scare-fest, will have you clamouring for a cushion as the horror creeps up to a truly disturbing climax. The supernatural chiller from Brian and Laurence Avenet-Bradley, has garnered huge critical acclaim and arrives on digital formats on 20 July, followed by its DVD release on 3 August.
When her grandfather dies suddenly, Alisa (Trista Robinson) inherits his house and m...SHARE: READ MORE Articles Archive: 2020 | 2019 | 2018 | 2017 | 2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2007 | 2006 PICK OF THE WEEK
Friday 14th August
Sunday 16th August
Tuesday 11th August