Interview with Deiondre Teagle, star of Death Ranch
By James Whittington, 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 craft.

HC: Are you a big fan of horror movies and were you aware of grindhouse and exploitation cinema?

DT: I am a big fan of horror movies. I love the feeling of a good jump scare. It just makes you feel alive when your heart skips a beat, and you lose your breath. Woooo! Some horror films definitely stick with me more than others. Anything supernatural or dealing with possession I can't watch by myself. I was definitely aware of the grindhouse genre. I'm a HUGE fan of Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez. The action mixed with blood and over the top dialogue makes for the best movie night. And of course I was very aware of the exploitation genre. As a young black actor, I feel that those movies need to be a part of my knowledge and homework. In the 70s those movies were really the only representation black people saw in blockbuster cinema. Plus Pam Grier!!!

HC: How did you become involved with Death Ranch?

DT: I sent in a self-tape audition for the role of Brandon. After that, I had a Skype call with Charlie Steeds our director. And basically, after that call, he told me I was just what he was looking for and he offered me the job.

HC: What did you think of the script when you first read it and what did you bring to the role of Brandon?

DT: When I first got the script and read it for the first time, I immediately thought to myself 'Oh man... this is for real!'. Because of the subject matter, it made me think of the 1915 film The Birth Of A Nation. In that film, the Klan is depicted as this heroic entity and Black people (black men specifically) are seen as these animalistic savages. Our film completely flips that disgusting narrative. We are the heroes in this story! Racism is something that I've had to experience throughout my life, so I'm always for fighting against it. I get to do that literally in the script. I feel I brought a bit of charm to Brandon's character which I feel is necessary for what he's been through. I feel I brought a sense vulnerability and made him relatable. And I feel I brought him relentlessness.

HC: This is only your second feature, were you nervous on the first day on set?

DT: No, I wasn't really nervous. I was more excited than anything. Just ready to get to work. Meeting everyone before we started filming definitely helped. We all clicked right away, so it made that first day on set easy.

HC: You have a great on-screen relationship with co-star Faith Monique who plays Angela, did you have much time to rehearse?

DT: Oh Faith! That's my sister right there! As soon as we met, our chemistry as little brother and big sister developed right away. We would constantly make fun of each other on set every day, shoot some hoops, talk about music, laugh, etc. She is so sweet and has such a bubbly, intuitive spirit. We didn't really have any time at all to rehearse, maybe for a bit in between takes but that's it. Our time off screen is what I think made our relationship successful on screen. Plus, as you can tell, Faith is a very talented actress. The fact that we both took a lot of time to develop our separate characters made our scenes together smooth without rehearsing a ton.

HC: It has some very controversial language in the film, how did you all deal with it on set?

DT: Well everyone involved was very professional. We all knew what the story was about and the content it presented. Charlie made it a point to keep the energy light on set so we wouldn't have a completely dark cloud over our heads the entire process. Everyone made sure Faith, Travis, and I were comfortable at all times. I was never afraid to be vocal. When you approach these kinds of projects with respect, sensitivity, and professionalism, there really shouldn't be any problems.

HC: The movie is very violent and bloody splattered to say the least, was it fun to shoot?

DT: Oh man it was SO much fun! Of course I had never worked with blood in that excess before, so it was fun to experience that. Especially in that southern, Tennessee heat!

HC: Will you be nervous when the movie has its world premiere at Grimmfest?

DT: A little bit to be completely honest. Only because a story like this hasn't really been shared on screen. Also because of our current climate. But I do think it will be cathartic. Not only to see the ass kicking of racism, but to see the nod to Blaxploitation and grindhouse. I'm just excited for the Grimmfest fans to see the work and to see how they digest it either way.

HC: So, what are you working on at the moment?

DT: There are a couple of projects in development that will hopefully begin filming at the beginning of 2021. I'm currently writing a screenplay, a Psychological Crime Thriller. I'm also a choreographer and teach dance full time, so I'm trying to keep busy which is a blessing.

HC: Deiondre Teagle, thank you very much.

DT: Thank you so much James for having me! I can't wait for everyone at Grimmfest to check out Death Ranch. It's an honour!

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 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...

Interview with Chad Ferrin, writer and director of The Deep Ones
Posted on Friday 9th October 2020
Jeff Billings and Chad The Deep Ones

H.P. Lovecraft's influence on horror cinema is immeasurable and continues to this very day. In fact, today at Grimmfest a movie called The Deep Ones is showing so we asked its writer and director Chad Ferrin and how the great man himself has influenced his work.

HC: When was the first time you heard or read anything by or about HP Lovecraft?

CF: My parents worked nights, so the television was my babysitter. I must have been around six years old when I saw an episode of Rod Serling's Night Gallery called "Pickman's Model". Seeing that monster carrying off Louise Sorel terrified me beyond belief and seared the name H.P. Lovecraft into my...

Interview with Cody Calahan, director of The Oak Room
Posted on Friday 9th October 2020
The Oak Room - Director Headshot (Calahan, Cody) (Photo Credit - Miz Monday)

If you like your horror to have a "Twilight Zone" style twist then The Oak Room is for you. Showing today at Grimmfest we chatted to its director, Cody Calahan.

HC: We show your movie, Let Her Out on the Horror Channel here in the UK, what was the best thing you remember from making that movie?

CC: Experimenting. I definitely played more on that film than any other film I've done. Whether it was with the camera movement or editing, everything seemed very experimental. That was very refreshing.

HC: What did you think of the script for The Oak Room when you f...

Interview with actress Mary Madaline Roe, star of They Reach
Posted on Thursday 8th October 2020
Mary Madaline Roe

Grimmfest continues to champion new talent in front and and behind the camera. Mary Madaline Roe is the star on the superb retro chiller, They Reach and here she chats to Horror about this festival favourite.

HC: For someone so young you've built up an impressive resume, can you recall how you felt when you first walked out onto a movie set?

MMR: When I first walked onto the film set, I was very excited and ready for this day! I had been anticipating the first day of filming for about a year. All the cast and crew were delightful to work with and felt like we were a family. I've learned so much from They Reach as it was my first major role.

HC: Are you a fan of ...

Interview with Brea Grant, the writer and director of 12 Hour Shift
Posted on Wednesday 7th October 2020
Brea Grant BW35-020

12 Hour Shift is one of the best from Grimmfest 2020. The movie stars Angela Bettis, David Arquette, Chloe Farnworth and Mick Fole and is a grim, funny, dark and hugely entreating piece which has been written and directed by Brea Grant. Here she chats about this superb movie.

HC: Did you know from an early age that you wanted to be in show business?

G: Not really. I grew up in a small town and I didn't know anyone who made their living in the film industry. I acted in plays at the local theater but Hollywood felt like something for other people. It wasn't until I was in college that I started realizing that you could make a living making movies and I moved to Los Ange...

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