INTERVIEWS

LATEST | FEATURES | INTERVIEWS | NEWS | FRIGHTFEST | REVIEWS

Exclusive Interview With The Horseman Director Steven Kastrissios
By James Whittington, Tuesday 24th November 2009

The Australian movie The Horseman was a huge hit with the audience at FrightFest 2009. This dramatic and powerful movie concerns a parent out for revenge. Containing many violent and graphic scenes it’s an excursion into the darkest side of human existence. We’ve been lucky enough to chat to the director of this gritty film, Steven Kastrissios.

ZH: How did you get into the movie making business?

SK: I've been making films since I was fourteen beginning with stop-motion animation with GI:Joes and later moving into to wedding and sports videos to finance my short films. I went to a small film school where I met Rebecca Dakin, who produced the film with me.

ZH: Where did the inspiration for The Horseman come from?

SK: After seeing Dead Man's Shoes, it became clear to me that I should make a revenge movie, because that theme kept creeping into my other scripts. So I worked backwards knowing that the hero would be a middle-aged average father. It all vomited out of me very quickly. I based the leads on my father and girlfriend at the time so I knew the characters very well.

ZH: It’s a strong subject for your first movie isn’t it?

SK: It is, but that's what I want to do, is take a concept and treat it realistically and this particular concept of revenge is quite dark so that's the path I was led down. But I don't want to work exclusively in dark subjects.

ZH: Was it hard raising the finance for it?

SK: No, because it was an investment my family and I made with some very generous tax breaks the Australian government was offering, so it was win-win.

ZH: How did you go about casting the movie?

SK: Rebecca Dakin and I cast the film all out of Brisbane and we managed to find a truly amazing cast out of our own backyard, which we weren't expecting.

ZH: Most of the film is carried on the shoulders of stunning lead actor Peter Marshall, did he stay in character during the shoot?

SK: No, absolutely not. Method isn't that big in Australia. Actors take their work seriously, but without torturing everyone else on set.

ZH: Talking of which what was the shoot like?

SK: It was mostly fun actually as it was a small crew of young and hungry people making their long-awaiting feature debut in various roles. There was a lot of enthusiasm which helped through the long nights. But shooting action the way we did kept things fun.

ZH: Did you trim any of the violence for the cinema cut?

SK: Nope.

ZH: The film contains some very brutal moments of violence and at times is incredibly bleak, how careful were you to keep it “real” without it becoming too much for the audience to take?

SK: We just put together what the story needed and left it up to the audience to either give it a thumbs up or down, but it seems to be mostly thumbs up.

ZH: It will be wrongly tagged as a “torture porn” kind of a movie by some critics due to the amount of violence, but to me, at its heart, this is a revenge movie. Do you agree it may be wrongly tagged?

SK: I was originally concerned with that, but the only people who have tagged it that way are people who didn't like the film or at least objected to the violence, but no-one who likes the film has called it torture-porn, because it simply isn't. Yes there's torture, but it's not the reason you're watching the film and it's not the driving force.

ZH: I saw the movie with the audience at FrightFest 2009 and I found myself really rallying behind the character of Christian, urging him (rightfully or wrongly) on his trip. Is this the effect you were hoping to achieve?

SK: People have varied reactions to him and his actions which is the greatest thing you could hope for. Mostly we just wanted to present a father on a revenge mission but to add some complicated morals along the way so it wasn't entirely a flag-waving experience for violence. But violence can be fun in movies and anyone who denies that is denying a huge range of films including films like Lord Of The Rings. We love watching Aragorn chopping off limbs because it's done with a degree of taste and that's what we aimed for too.

ZH: You’re a writer, director, producer and editor, is there one role you prefer?

SK: Director. The rest come from necessity. I love writing too, but it's extremely frustrating and can really bog your life down. At least as a director, when you're working, you're moving about and meeting people. It's very social. But to balance that with late nights of writing with coffee and wine is healthy too.

ZH: So what do you have lined up next, something slightly lighter in tone or do you like prefer movies that dare to look at the darker side of life?

SK: Yes something lighter, sort of. It's an Aussie creature-feature called Remnants. I'm co-writing with Nathan Vanderbyl and it's gonna kick ass if we can get the production going in this climate.

ZH: Steven Kastrissios thank you very much.

MORE INTERVIEWS
Tom Paton, director of G-LOC chats about his passion for survival stories and being compared to Roger Corman
Posted on 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
Interview with Alexis Kendra, the writer and producer of The Cleaning Lady
Posted on Tuesday 15th June 2021
Alexis Kendra-4

Ahead of Horror Channel's premiere of The Cleaning Lady on June 26, the film's star, writer and producer Alexis Kendra talks about playing a 'Goddess', coping with lockdown and why she can't watch horror films on her own.

HC: The Cleaning Lady is having its channel premiere on Horror Channel. Excited?

AK: I love you guys. Always have, always will. I'm honoured.

HC: It's a very disturbing film, dealing with abuse, addiction and hidden rage, yet the characters are sympathetic and have real depth. It's horror with a twisted heart. As a co-writer, alongside your director Jon Knautz, what were the main challenges in getting the balance right between acting and writing? <...

SHARE: READ MORE
Interview with Jen and Sylvia Soska, directors of Rabid
Posted on Tuesday 1st June 2021
Soska sisiters-WEB-1

Ahead of Horror Channel's premiere of Rabid on June 12, Jen and Sylvia Soska reflect on the challenges of re-imagining Cronenberg's body horror classic, meeting the great man and their new monster movie, Bob.

HC: Rabid is having its channel premiere on Horror Channel. Excited?

SS: The Horror Channel has supported us and our work since the beginning, so it's a special treat to have the newest film premiere there!

Js: We are so excited. Having Rabid on Horror Channel feels like coming home. They've been very kind to us. We are happy to have so many of our films on there.

HC: We all, of course, remember that Rabid was one of David Cronenberg's earli...

SHARE: READ MORE
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
Interviews 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 Taking
THE TAKING
Friday 24th September
10.50 PM
Leprechaun Returns
LEPRECHAUN RETURNS
Friday 24th September
9.00 PM