Exclusive Interview With Neil Jones Director Of The Reverend
By James Whittington, Sunday 12th August 2012

The Reverend DirectorNeil Jones is the director behind the new Brit fright-flick The Reverend which boasts a cast that includes Doug Bradley, Emily Booth and the legendary actor Rutger Hauer. Here he chats about the movie and what his future plans are.

HC: Have you always been a big fan of horror movies and if so what's your favourite horror movie?

NJ: I hated them when I was a kid, I watched A Nightmare On Elm Street far too young and it scared the hell out of me! Now though yes, I like the older films, like Psycho, The Birds and The Shining. Recently for pure entertainment From Dusk Till Dawn and The Devil's Rejects I thought were great.

HC: How did the project for The Reverend come about?

NJ: I wanted to make a Vigilante like film and I thought mixing it with Vampires would make it really commercial. I've always been fascinated with the Biblical book of Job so I thought it would be cool to bring in that story to a modern day setting.

HC: Did the script change at all during pre-production?

NJ: Not really, we tweaked dialogue of course to suit cast and we did perhaps change one or two locations last minute if an issue arose. The biggest tweak was probably Rutger's dialogue as he had a ton of ideas and we went with it.

HC: How did you decide on the levels of violence the piece was to contain, are you a fan of gruesome horror?

NJ: I just wanted it to be as real as we could make it so we brought in Paul Hyett and Stuart Conrad to handle the effects, both the best in the business. I told them I wanted it to be gruesome but also grounded. Gore done well is very effective; I'm not a massive fan if it's there just for the sake of it though.

HC: It's got quite a cast, how did you approach such stars as the aforementioned Rutger Hauer, Doug Bradley and our very own Emily Booth?

NJ: With Rutger we approached the agent not really expecting to get him, when we agreed we were thrilled and it's a great lesson in if you don't ask you won't get. I wrote the parts for Doug and Emily, so it was great when they accepted.

HC: The supporting cast have meaty roles, how did you decide on who you wanted for those roles?

NJ: Like every writer/director I was visualising who I wanted as I was writing it. I can say I got 90% of the cast I wanted which is so rare at this level of film-making. I was very lucky that so many got the script when they read it.

HC: Did you have much of a budget to play with?

NJ: Yes, it was small but we had enough to get the film made with the cast we wanted, I'd have loved to have had more of course but am pleased with what we achieved on the budget we had.

HC: Was it a long shoot?

NJ: For a low budget film it was quite long I suppose. We shot for 5 weeks then came back for another week of pickups. I know a lot of films in the UK at this level of budget are shot in three weeks so I was lucky to have more time.

HC: Do you have a hand in the new graphic novel?

NJ: Yes I wrote it, I've been really impressed so far by what the Artists have come up with, it's almost finished now so I'm excited to get it out there.

HC: What advice would you give to someone wanting to direct their own horror movie?

NJ: To plan as much as possible, get the film shot and edited in your head before you get to shooting it. Once the film is finished you can never change it. Prepare to the max.

HC: What do you think will be the next big thing in horror?

NJ: That's a massive question. Paul Hyett has just directed The Seasoning House which I'm an Executive Producer on, the script was brilliant, I think it's going to really impress everyone. It's the opening film at FrightFest so I think that has the potential to be huge.

HC: So what you going to be on working on next then?

NJ: I directed a horror film in Spain called Deranged which is in post-production, also have the Zombie King which I executive produced which is in post, so those should be out early next year. Currently developing some more action/thriller based films. I enjoyed working on horror but as a director I want to try something a bit different for the next few.

HC: Neil Jones, thank you very much.

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...

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...

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...

Interview with Scott Reiniger star of the original Dawn of the Dead
Posted on Sunday 15th November 2020

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...

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 ...

Interview with Shayne Ward, star of The Ascent
Posted on Thursday 22nd October 2020

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...

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...

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...

Interview with Faith Monique, star of Death Ranch
Posted on Sunday 11th October 2020

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...

Interview with Charlie Steeds, writer and director of Death Ranch
Posted on Saturday 10th October 2020

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...

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...

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...

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