LATEST | FEATURES | INTERVIEWS | NEWS | FRIGHTFEST | REVIEWS Interview with Chad Archibald director of I'll Take Your Dead
By James Whittington, Wednesday 28th August 2019
Chad Archibald has been behind a number of FrightFest favourites in the past including Bite which is showing on Horror in September. With is latest movie, I'll Take Your Dead wowing audiences at FrightFest we chatted to Chad.
HC: We last spoke a few years back about your fabulous movie, Bite, I loved it, and would you consider a Bite 2?
CA: I would love to do a Bite 2 if there was enough demand for it. Bite was the most fun I've had making a movie and I think if we made a second, we would just amp it all up. More goo, more gore, more laughs. I've got tons of ideas already so it's never off the table.
HC: Where did the story of I'll Take Your Dead come from?
CA: Years ago, I was hired to do a film that was meant to keep kids out of gangs. It was government funded and, for research for the writer, I was flown to most of the major cities in Canada to interview kids in shelters that have been affected by gang violence and manipulation. It was an eye opening experience. I didn't realize how common serious gang activity was in Canada and how so many good people get sucked in. I'd speak to parents who worked normal 9-5 office jobs and one day they ran into the wrong person and it changed their lives. A lot of gangs use fear to manipulate people into doing what they want and that's how these good people would end up going down a horrible path. When I finally got home, I started writing I'll Take Your Dead.
HC: It's very different from your other movies, do you deliberately move from genre to genre to keep your work fresh?
CA: Absolutely, we've created 10 films in the last 5 years and we never want to make the same film twice. We want to always stay fresh for audiences but also for ourselves. Always challenge ourselves and with I'll Take Your Dead, we wanted to create a blended genre film that had a lot of heart, some solid scares, and mix it with a bit of a Canadian western.
HC: How did you get such an amazing cast together?
CA: They did great eh! We made an offer to Aidan as we've seen him in many films over the years. We knew he could play the strong silent type that could explode if backed in a corner. We did extensive auditions for both Gloria and Jackie's roles. When Ava Preson auditioned for Gloria, we knew right away that she was perfect. The second she left the room we all erupted in how great she was and we were lucky enough to get her in the film. She's become a fan favourite and deserves every bit of praise that's been sent to her. Jess was actually in Spain and sent in a video audition. It was great and after asking around, we heard the most amazing things about her talent on and off camera. She was a dream to work with and brought the edge that Jackie's character needed. Lastly, Ari Millen who play's Reggie, is a good friend of ours and such a talented human being. We knew right away that he was perfect for Reggie and he nailed that cocky, arrogant character to a T.
HC: Was it all shot on location and if so, how hard was it as it seemed to have been in the middle of winter?
CA: It was 85% shot on location in the dead of the Canadian winter. The house was basically abandoned so we went in and thawed it out. It was like a frozen tomb and we had to bring in industrial furnaces to heat the house while filming. We really wanted to capture that desolate feeling that you get when you live in the middle of nowhere in the winter. I grew up in a farmhouse in the country and man when you are snowed in, you feel alone in the world and that's how we wanted William and Gloria to feel. The basement of the house was actually a set that we built. It was just too hard to find a farmhouse that had a big enough basement for us to create the burnt man's home.
HC: The way you crank up the tension is perfectly paced, how hard is it to achieve this as a director?
CA: I think a lot of it is created at script stage. If you're not feeling it when you read the script, it's going to be hard to create it on set. I think it's a flaw of a lot of indie filmmakers (and I've learned from making the mistake) but assuming that when you get on set with the cameras and lighting and cast, you'll be able to create tension and suspense that's not coming across in the script. Get it on paper! If you feel it during the read, it's much more achievable to capture it on camera. A great cast helps too.
HC: The special effects are very subtle, was this deliberate, as not to distract from the complex relationships between the main characters?
CA: We never meant this film to be horribly gruesome even though the concept sounds like something that could be really gory. Anytime I hear the word "Butcher" in a horror movie, I think of a cheesy hick in a blood covered room with a huge cleaver and a bloody apron. I really wanted to stay away from making the gore too sensationalized. I want it more about seeing how this man deals with what he's been forced to do. For him, it's like cutting up a cow to package and sell... But it's obviously not a cow. I wanted it to more about the people that the blood and guts.
HC: Do you believe that there is some sort of "afterlife?"
CA: I think I do but I don't think it's anything like anyone on this planet imagines it. I think it's something we really can't comprehend yet. I guess I would say I think there's some sort of afterlife that has more of a scientific explanation than a godly one. Maybe in a thousand years, if we're all still here, we'll know the science of the human spirit and that's will be where some of the answers to afterlife will come from.
HC: We are currently showing The Drownsman on Horror, what are your recollections on the making of this movie?
CA: Oh man, The Drownsman was the hardest shoot of my life! We built The Drownsman's basement set in the middle of a field on an apple orchard. We had no money to make this movie so it was just a bunch of friends working to achieve something so ambitious. The insane challenges we had with water, and heating water, and moving water and containing water were endless! It was a journey and to this day when I see someone who worked on The Drownsman, we share an unspoken moment of respect for what we went through and what we managed to pull off.
HC: After all these years do you get nervous when your movies are shown at festivals?
CA: I hate watching films I directed with an audience. I usually watch it once at the world premiere then never again. I feel like all I can see is what's wrong with the film or what we never had the budget to achieve or what I would go back and change. That being said, it's such a great feeling seeing an audience laugh at a joke, jump at a scare, or cry at a performance... Or puke at a disgusting scene ha ha.
HC: So, what are you working on at the moment?
CA: We just wrapped Black Fawn Films and Breakthrough Entertainment's latest feature called "The Oak Room" which is directed by Cody Calahan and is starring RJ Mitte and Peter Outerbridge. It's a thriller mystery that once again captures Canada's cold northern winters. It's very different than anything we've done in the past and we think it's going to be something pretty special. Can't wait for it to get out to the world!
HC: Chad Archibald, thank you very much.
Related show tags: BITE, FRIGHTFEST, THE DROWNSMAN MORE ARTICLES Interview with Alexis Kendra, the writer and producer of The Cleaning Lady
Posted in Interviews, Tuesday 15th June 2021
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 James Herbert's The Shrine is now a movie and known as The Unholy
Posted in News, Monday 14th June 2021
Thrilling and unsettling, horror movie The Unholy is available to Download & Keep, Rent on Digital, on Blu-Ray and DVD on August 2 from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment.
Written and directed by Evan Spiliotopoulos, from the producer of Evil Dead and Don't Breathe, Sam Raimi, The Unholy stars Jeffrey Dean Morgan ("The Walking Dead"), Katie Aselton (The Gift), William Sadler (Bill & Ted Face the Music) and newcomer Cricket Brown, with Diogo Morgado (Son of God) and Cary Elwes (Saw) and is based on the book Shrine by James Herbert.
The movie follows a young hearing-impaired girl who is visited by the Virgin Mary and can suddenly hear, speak and heal the sick. As people from near...SHARE: READ MORE Acclaimed Spanish psychological thriller The Offering gets UK release date
Posted in News, Saturday 12th June 2021
Sovereign has announced the UK release of acclaimed Spanish psychological thriller The Offering on 30th July, in cinemas and on Virtual Cinemas and VOD.
Jan, mysterious and marked by a profound sense of guilt, tries to win back the love of his ex Violeta, who is now a psychiatrist, with a family of her own. Jan's complex and perverse plan to reunite him with Violeta, 20 years after the events that led to their separation, will have severe consequences.
An erotic, intense and revealing adult thriller, with powerful central performances from Alex Brendemühl (Transit), Anna Alarcón (A Thief’s Daughter) and Verónica Echegui (Fortitude), winner of Best Support...SHARE: READ MORE From the creators of What We Do In The Shadows comes Wellington Paranormal!
Posted in News, Saturday 12th June 2021
Wellington Paranormal follows hilariously hapless officers Mark Minogue and Karen O'Leary as they are assigned to the new Paranormal Unit of Wellington's police force, tasked with tackling the increasing number of local crimes and misdemeanours of a supernatural nature.
From Jemaine Clement and Taika Waititi, the visionary creators behind What We Do In The Shadows, comes the smash hit New Zealand comedy series which has taken the UK by storm.
Dazzler Media presents Wellington Paranormal: Season One on Blu-ray, DVD and Download-to-Own from 5th July.... SHARE: READ MORE The Quanderhorn Collexion almost ready for download!
Posted in News, Friday 11th June 2021
The Quanderhorn Collexion, the acclaimed cult BBC Radio 4 sci-fi comedy by Rob Grant & Andrew Marshall is to be available for download on 16th June from BBC Digital Audio.
It is London, England, 1952 and we meet the mercurial genius Professor Quanderhorn (James Fleet) - a maverick scientist with absolutely no moral compass. Join him and his rag-tag crew on their frontal-lobe-knotting escapades as they: Battle insane hybrid creatures: the Gorrirrel and the Squirrilla, to the death! Become Gods to a Stone Age tribe Are engulfed in a Martian invasion of Earth Escape shipwreck on the Moon in a spacecraft powered by anger Evade multiple fien...SHARE: READ MORE Horror Channel adds First Wave to its weekday evening Sci-Fi Zone
Posted in Features, Thursday 10th June 2021
Horror Channel will be continuing its commitment to bringing cult and classic sci-fi to its audience with suspenseful, action-driven drama First Wave, which stars Sebastian Spence as Cade Foster, a former security specialist, accused of murdering his wife and now on the run, determined to expose a vast alien infiltration on Earth.
Helping him in his quest is "Crazy" Eddie, a computer hacker who works on a web tabloid, Paranoid Times. Out to stop them is Joshua (Roger R Cross), an alien hit-man, whose mission is to eliminate them before they can expose 'The Gua' (who live among humans in the form of hybridised genetic clones), a...SHARE: READ MORE Super 8 - 4K review
Posted in Reviews, Monday 7th June 2021 Super 8 Paramount Home Entertainment Certificate 12
The popularity of Stranger Things sparked an interest in all things retro sci-fi/horror 80s style but for many the true resurrection in interest came from a corker from J.J. Abrams, Super 8.
It tells the story of six friends who witness a train wreck while making a Super 8 movie, only to discover that something unimaginable escaped during the crash. They soon discover that the only thing more mysterious than what it is, is what it wants.
Bathed in retro chills and period detail, Super 8 manages to capture the innocence of youth with a punchy script and a very talented teenage cast. The smart part though i...SHARE: READ MORE They killed his wife. Framed him for murder. Now he hunts them! First Wave coming to Horror
Posted in Features, Monday 7th June 2021
If its action packed, sci-fi infused drama you are after then First Wave is the series for you. With Hollywood legend Francis Ford Coppola on board as one of the Executive Producers the series ran for 66 action-packed episodes which managed to combine high-quality drama with a cool conspiracy theory strand.
The series concentrates on former thief now Security Specialist Cade Foster (Sebastian Spence), as he struggles to uncover an alien conspiracy by deciphering prophecies from Nostradamus as well as being on the run for a murder he did not commit. Along the way he meets The Gua, an alien race of hybridised genetic clones who are focused on enslaving the human race.
Now, the problem with informi...SHARE: READ MORE Coming soon from Arrow Video, The Sergio Martino Collection
Posted in News, Saturday 5th June 2021
One of Italian cinema's most celebrated and prolific filmmakers, Sergio Martino worked across a range of genres, but is arguably best known for his giallo thrillers. This collection from Arrow Video (due 2nd August) brings together three of his finest with a solid collection of extras for each movie.
In The Case of the Scorpion's Tail, recently widowed Lisa Baumer is summoned to Athens to collect her husband's generous life insurance policy, but soon discovers others are willing to kill to get their hands on it. In the Edgar Allan Poe-inspired Your Vice is a Locked Room and Only I Have the Key, abrasive drunk Oliviero amuses himself by holding d...SHARE: READ MORE Dario Argento classic to get a 4K release
Posted in News, Saturday 5th June 2021
In 1970, young first-time director Dario Argento made his indelible mark on Italian cinema with The Bird with the Crystal Plumage - a film which redefined the 'giallo' genre of murder-mystery thrillers and catapulted him to international stardom. Thanks to Arrow Video the film will get a special 4K release on 26th July.
Sam Dalmas (Tony Musante, We Own the Night), an American writer living in Rome, inadvertently witnesses a brutal attack on a woman (Eva Renzi, Funeral in Berlin) in a modern art gallery. Powerless to help, he grows increasingly obsessed with the incident. Convinced that something he saw that night holds the key to identifyi...SHARE: READ MORE Interview with Jen and Sylvia Soska, directors of Rabid
Posted in Interviews, Tuesday 1st June 2021
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 The Soska Sisters and Alexis Kendra bring female fear factor to Horror Channel in June.
Posted in Features, Tuesday 25th May 2021
This month, Horror Channel highlights the work of female genre talent with the Channel premieres of Rabid, the Soska Sisters visceral remake of David Cronenberg's body horror classic and The Cleaning Lady, written by and starring Alexis Kendra (Goddess of Love), who also produced the much-acclaimed twisted psychological chiller.
Rabid (on the 12th) is the hugely welcomed remake of David Cronenberg's body horror classic from directors, The Soska Sisters. It received its World Premiere at FrightFest 2019 before being released worldwide. They are the first filmmakers to re-imagine one of Cronenberg's films and the fellow Canadian was very impressed with the ...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 25th June
Saturday 26th June
Monday 21st June