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 Brain Dead is coming to Blu-ray
Posted in News, Thursday 13th August 2020
101 Films will release Adam Simon's Brain Dead on 28th September, a mind-bending nightmare based on a story from The Twilight Zone writer Charles Beaumont, released on Blu-ray for the first time in the UK on the 101 Films Black Label. Extras include a new documentary on the film, a new interview with director Adam Simon in which he discusses Brain Dead and working with Roger Corman, and a booklet with new writing on the film. The initial run with booklet and slipcase is limited to 3000 units.
The Eunice Corporation is on the ground floor of an exciting growth industry, utilizing a memory re-sculpting technique pioneered by eccentric neurosurgeon Rex Martin (Bill Pu...SHARE: READ MORE Poster art revealed for Howard J Ford's latest feature, The Lockdown Hauntings
Posted in News, Thursday 13th August 2020
Howard J Ford's latest feature film is The Lockdown Hauntings, a supernatural serial killer movie. The award-winning director behind The Dead, The Dead 2: India, and Never Let Go, revealed that plans are underway to release the film, which was shot entirely in lockdown without a crew, exactly one year after the UK lockdown was called (March 16) which is the very same day the film's story starts.
With the streets now empty, it isn't just nature that is taking advantage of this unprecedented global disaster. Spirits are freer than ever before and the spirit of a notorious serial killer, AKA 'The Locksmith', is back from the dead and he has even more p...SHARE: READ MORE David Lynch's Eraserhead to get the Criterion treatment
Posted in News, Thursday 13th August 2020
Sony Pictures are releasing Criterion Collection's Eraserhead on 19th October, in new 4K digital resolution on Blu-ray complete with a host of David Lynch approved features.
David Lynch's 1977 debut feature, Eraserhead, is both a lasting cult sensation and a work of extraordinary craft and beauty. With its mesmerizing black-and-white photography by Frederick Elmes, evocative sound design, and unforgettably enigmatic performance by Jack Nance, this visionary nocturnal odyssey remains one of American cinema's darkest dreams.
Apart from a new 4K digital restoration, with uncompressed stereo soundtrack the disc also contains "Eraserhead" Stories which is a 2001 documentary by Da...SHARE: READ MORE 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 Articles Archive: 2020 | 2019 | 2018 | 2017 | 2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2007 | 2006 PICK OF THE WEEK
Thursday 20th August
Sunday 23rd August
Saturday 22nd August