LATEST | FEATURES | INTERVIEWS | NEWS | FRIGHTFEST | REVIEWS Interview With Anthony DiBlasi Director Of Cassadaga
By James Whittington, Friday 24th July 2015
Anthony DiBlasi is one of the most exciting directors around. His first feature, Dread was critically acclaimed around the globe and he’s never looked back delivering some of the most effective movies of the last decade.
His superb chiller Cassadaga will get its Network Premiere on August 1st so we decided to chat to this talented fellow about his career so far and what he has planned for the near future.
HC: Did you know from a young age that you wanted to work in the film industry?
AD: Definitely, my father is a huge film lover so I watched all kinds of movies at a really young age. I never had restrictions on what kind of films I could watch, so digging into R rated stuff really young was the norm for me. And I was particularly drawn to special makeup effects and model work. That was my first calling. At like 7 and 8 years old that’s what I wanted to do. Loving films like Star Wars of course but also Fright Night, The Lost Boys, American Werewolf In London, Robocop. All films I poured over growing up.
HC: Is there any one in particular who has influenced your work the most?
AD: One of my favourite films growing up was Once Upon A Time In America. So I’d definitely have to say Sergio Leone. And also Kubrick’s films like Full Metal Jacket and The Shining.
HC: Your first movie, Dread, ended up in the Top 10 of many people's lists for 2009, that must have been satisfying but must have put some pressure on for your next project?
AD: It was fantastically satisfying. Dread was really close to my heart and I’m glad it was received so well. I think what was important to me as a director was to keep directing and improving my craft. And to also not do the same kind of film I had just finished.
HC: Let’s chat about, Cassadaga, how did you get involved with this project?
AD: A producing team from Florida had watched Dread and really enjoyed it and they felt I would be a good match for their project, so they flew over to Los Angeles to take a meeting with me and we hit it off. I’ve done other films with them since.
HC: What interested you about the script?
AD: When Cassadaga came a long it was a great mix of Southern Gothic and Giallo and also it was the first project that I worked on that I had not developed or wrote myself so that was a new challenge for me.
HC: Was it a tough movie to cast?
AD: Casting is always a mixed bag, sometimes it’s quick and painless and sometimes you look for the right person for a long time. Kelen Coleman who stars in the film came in for an audition and I knew she was the right choice for it. But you play the game with the agencies and try to get a “big name” to satisfy the financiers. Eventually I was able to come back to my top choice and our casting director, Andy Henry, did a great job of keeping Kelen’s agents in the loop over the casting process and letting them know I thought she was perfect for the part.
HC: Did you use a lot of practical effects?
AD: Tons, which was amazing, and also important to me as a film maker. Lee Grimes did our special makeup effects and he is such a pro, and does fantastic work. Lee’s worked on The Walking Dead, Zombieland, Pirates Of The Caribbean and tons of other great effects heavy films. We were extremely lucky to get him because we were looking to hire local and to have such a well-respected effects guy living in Florida, where we shot the film, was a God send.
HC: What was the shoot like?
AD: It was extremely hot and long days. Shooting films on tight schedules is always a challenge and we had a lot of locations to cover in only an 18 day period. But the production team worked very well together so we were able to pull it off without too many hiccups.
HC: Is it true there is an actual place called Cassadaga?
AD: It is, and we did shoot there. Cassadaga, Florida is the psychic capital of the world. It was established in 1894 and it’s home to a very large number of Mediums and Psychics who have a spiritualist community there. It played a great backdrop for the film.
HC: What state do you consider the horror genre to be in at the moment?
AD: I think it’s healthy and that’s a good thing. As long as people are seeing horror films I’m happy. I do think there’s a downside though to the lower budget found footage model that is trending right now. Not to say there’s anything wrong with the films; it just makes it harder to get a horror film made with a larger budget, such as films like The Exorcist, The Shining and What Lies Beneath. Studios can turn a much greater profit on a film made for 50,000 dollars than they can on a film made for 20 to 90 million. And audiences still comes in droves to see it so it sets a precedent for horror that other genres don’t necessarily deal with.
HC: What do you think the next “big thing” will be in horror movies?
AD: I think we’re just going to ride Zombies out till the actual apocalypse hits. People are well prepared for Armageddon now, so why distract that with another trend.
HC: So, what are you working on at the moment?
AD: I have a horror film being released October 6th called Last Shift and also my latest film Most Likely To Die, starring Heather Morris from Glee and the infamous Perez Hilton, is making its world premiere at this year’s Film4 FrightFest in August.
HC: Anthony DiBlasi, thank you very much.
Related show tags: CASSADAGA MORE ARTICLES A stalker finds himself the prey in Eye Without a Face
Posted in News, Friday 23rd July 2021
Do you know who's watching this very moment? Brand new horror feature Eye Without a Face from director Ramin Niami (Paris, Shirin In Love) combines chills, thrills and bloody murder to bring the voyeur genre bang up to date.
This edgy movie creeps on to digital 23 August for its UK Premiere from Miracle M.
Holed up in his LA apartment agoraphobic Henry (Dakota Shapiro) spends his days hacking into the webcams of unsuspecting local young women, seeing himself as their protector and guardian angel, rather than what he really is... a stalker. But his creepy peeks take a sinister turn as he starts to suspect one of his 'friends', Laura (Vladka Verevko), is a kil...SHARE: READ MORE See how music can kill in Sound of Violence
Posted in Frightfest, News, Friday 23rd July 2021
In thrilling new horror Sound of Violence, a young girl recovers her hearing and gains synthetic abilities during the brutal murder of her family. Finding solace in the sounds of bodily harm, as an adult she pursues a career in music composing her masterpieces through gruesome murders.
From the mind of talented new writer-director Alex Noyer and featuring a stunning lead performance from Jasmin Savoy Brown (2022's Scream, The Leftovers), Sound of Violence is being billed as one of the most original and shocking horrors of the year.
After its UK premiere at Arrow Frightfest, Sound of Violence on Blu-ray, DVD and Digital from 30th August than...SHARE: READ MORE Exploitation movie that will bring out the Devil in you!
Posted in News, Friday 23rd July 2021
Directed by Domenico Paolella (The Prey/The Story of a Cloistered Nun), The Nun and the Devil AKA Le Monache di Sant'Arcangelo is a headily erotic tale of seduction and persecution detailing the sinful practices which spill out of a 16th century convent.
When the psychotically ambitious Sister Julia (Anna Heywood) vies to take the place of a dying Mother Superior by any means possible, other inmates start to lose their way. But things take a nasty turn when the nuns are subjected to a violent inquisition and their existence becomes one of torture and degradation.
Made just two years after Ken Russell's notorious Th...SHARE: READ MORE Arrow Video FrightFest 2021 announces second wave of films for August Cineworld event
Posted in Features, Frightfest, Thursday 22nd July 2021
It's full scream ahead as Arrow Video FrightFest 2021 announces its second wave of hugely anticipated Discovery Screen and First Blood titles - a summer collection of provocative, edgy and transgressive entertainment to die for. There are fourteen World and ten European/International premieres amongst the thirty-four films on offer.
Eleven countries are represented, with titles ranging from Canadian entries Bloodthirsty, Amelia Moses' simmering LGBQT+ werewolf movie and sinister isolation thriller Motherly to Francesco Erba's As In Heaven, So On Earth, a stunning Italian blend of live action and Gothic puppet animation. Then there's Peter Bergendy's sumptuous Post Mortem, an epic Hu...SHARE: READ MORE V for Vendetta: Behind the Mask now at The Cartoon Museum
Posted in News, Thursday 22nd July 2021
The Cartoon Museum has re-opened (no advance booking required) with an exciting new exhibition which celebrates the cultural impact of V for Vendetta from the classic graphic novel to the cult film classic. Tickets are available now and the exhibition is open and will be running until 31st October 2021.
V for Vendetta: Behind the Mask will chart the rise from graphic novel, to hit film and now global phenomenon as a symbol of protest. Securing rare loans from the art department of Warner Bros, The Cartoon Museum will present a history of this modern classic with original artwork and covers, as well as costumes and designs that have never been seen in the UK before.
T...SHARE: READ MORE Horror Channel raises hell in August!
Posted in Features, Tuesday 20th July 2021
August is a wicked month on Horror Channel, as the UK's number 1 destination for genre films revives some horror, sci-fi and fantasy classics - including Clive Barker's Hellraiser trilogy, which has one of the most stylish and ferociously original horror fantasy franchises ever and Night Of The Living Dead (1990), Tom Savini's colour remake of George Romero's original Night Of The Living Dead, which transcended the world of horror movies to become a film classic .
Other highlights include Re-Animator, the late Stuart Gordon's darkly comic classic, that has been acknowledged as one of the most celebrated, outrageous and original horror films of all ti...SHARE: READ MORE Fulci's The Psychic getting a Shameless release
Posted in News, Saturday 17th July 2021
Shameless is prud to present Lucio 'The Godfather of Gore' Fulci's The Psychic (aka Murder To the Tune of the Seven Black Notes) like never seen before, extensively restored from new 2K-scanned materials on August 9th.
Jennifer O'Neill, fresh from Luchino Visconti's The Innocent, plays Virginia, a woman who has had psychic powers since childhood when she sensed her mother's suicide... Now newly married, Virginia becomes plagued by waking visions of bloody deaths and meaningless torment. With the aid of her parapsychologist friend (Marc Porel), she tries to uncover the meaning of the unwanted visions only to discover they are premonitions of future deaths...
...SHARE: READ MORE Original Vs Remake: Which one do you prefer?
Posted in Features, Thursday 15th July 2021
Horror Channel has always celebrated the classics as well as the more recent chillers around. Inevitably we come across some remakes which have either caused celebration or contention among viewers.
But are all remakes bad? Here's five of the finest which are showing at the moment on Horror.
Night of the Living Dead (1990) SFX maestro Tom Savini was given the job of bringing George A Romero's all-time classic back to the big screen, and in doing so gave the classic a colourful retelling. Set during an unexplained event, namely the dead rising from their graves, strangers stranded in a house battle the undead as well as themselves. Tony Todd, Patricia Tallman, and Tom Towles ta...SHARE: READ MORE FrightFest resurrects its New Blood quest for new writers
Posted in Frightfest, Tuesday 13th July 2021
As Arrow Video FrightFest stalks the dark recesses of the big screen again, the search resumes for new writers in the horror genre through its New Blood initiative. New Blood reunites FrightFest with Giles Edwards of Queensbury Pictures with its mission to find emerging UK-based writers dedicated to the genre and nurture their projects from script to screen. Queensbury is ultimately interested in buying the finished script rather than the idea, and so, this year all successful final candidates if selected should be able to send even a rough draft of the first ten pages of their script through with their acceptance.
Already the scheme has delivered two new projects: Broadcast ...SHARE: READ MORE Arrow Video FrightFest unveils first wave of twenty-five films for August 2021 Cineworld event
Posted in Frightfest, Thursday 8th July 2021
Arrow Video FrightFest, the UK's biggest horror and fantasy film festival, is back at the Cineworld Leicester Square from Thursday August 26 - Monday 30 August for five days of the very best of global genre cinema.
The internationally renowned event leads the way in attesting to the versatility of the genre and, despite the interruptions caused by the pandemic, this year is no exception as the twenty-five films to be presented in the main screens are revealed. They include four world premieres and eight International/European premieres.
Global events over the past eighteen months have not only altered most people's lives but have had a profoundly i...SHARE: READ MORE Halloween Kills - New poster and trailer
Posted in News, Sunday 4th July 2021
Universal Pictures has unleashed the official trailer for Halloween Kills, coming to UK cinemas October 15.
In 2018, David Gordon Green's Halloween, starring icon Jamie Lee Curtis, killed at the box office, earning more than $250 million worldwide, becoming the highest-grossing chapter in the four-decade franchise and setting a new record for the biggest opening weekend in history for a horror film starring a woman.
And the Halloween night when Michael Myers returned isn't over yet.
Minutes after Laurie Strode (Curtis), her daughter Karen (Judy Greer) and granddaughter Allyson (Andi Matichak) left masked monster Michael Myers caged and burning in La...SHARE: READ MORE Space: 1999 - Soundtracks to get the vinyl treatment
Posted in News, Sunday 4th July 2021
The latest Silva Screen release in their series exploring the musical worlds of Gerry Anderson is the most extensive yet and incorporates two separate Double LP releases.
Space: 1999 (showing weekdays at 6pm on Horror) ran for two series from 1976 to 1977 and depicted the occupants of Moonbase Alpha and their struggle for survival when, after the explosion of a nuclear waste dump, the Moon is hurtled into space.
The series was the most expensive produced for British television at that time and the most musically diverse of all the shows made by Anderson for ITC. Gerry Anderson's long-time musical partner in all the previous adventures was Barry Gray and Space: 1999 proved t...SHARE: READ MORE Articles Archive: 2021 | 2020 | 2019 | 2018 | 2017 | 2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2007 | 2006 PICK OF THE WEEK
Friday 30th July
Monday 2nd August
Thursday 29th July