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 Michael Mayer and Guy Ayal from the acclaimed movie Happy Times
Posted on Saturday 16th October 2021
thumbnail_HT_set_Marie Alyse Rodriguez

Happy Times, which is showing at Grimmfest Online, is a movie that takes the home invasion genre and turns it inside out! Directed by Michael Mayer and co-written with composer Guy Ayal, the movie is a bombastic, bloody and hilarious piece of cinema. I chatted to them both about this dinner party from hell.

HC: Where did the idea for Happy Times come from?

MM: The idea for the movie started forming when I was invited to a Rosh Hashana (Jewish New Year's) dinner in Los Angeles. It was the first year of Trump's presidency and wherever you went all people wanted to talk about was politics. One thing to know about the Israeli expat com...

Interview with D.M. Cunningham, writer and director of The Spore
Posted on Saturday 16th October 2021
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If you like your horror with a huge lashing of gruesome effects and a strong story then The Spore is for. Showing at Grimmfest Online, the movie from D.M. Cunningham is a smart take on the body horror genre. Here he chats about this movie which is guaranteed to get under your skin.

HC: Did you know from a young age that you wanted to be a director?

DM: I started out wanting to be a makeup effects artist. After seeing Night of the Living Dead and discovering Fangoria magazine I was hooked. Tom Savini was a huge influence on my trajectory toward becoming a filmmaker. It wasn't until later that I discovered that you could boss the monsters around on set being the director. That's...

Interview with Ben Charles Edwards, co-writer and director of Father of Flies
Posted on Saturday 16th October 2021
Father of Flies director

A vulnerable young boy finds his mother pushed out of the family home by a strange new woman in Father of Flies, and he must confront the terrifying supernatural forces that seem to move in with her. This intense and chilling movie is showing at Grimmfest Online Edition so we chatted to director and co-writer Ben Charles Edwards about this movie.

HC: Where did the idea for Father of Flies come from?

BE: It came from my childhood experiences. When my good friend and journalist Dominic Wells was talking to me about my next project, he told me to draw on real life experiences. So, I did. My own experiences were neither as heightened nor as traumatic as they may...

Interview with Marcel Sarmiento co-writer and director of Faceless
Posted on Friday 15th October 2021
Faceless Director

Showing at Grimmfest Online Edition is the incredibly inventive horror/sci-fi hybrid Faceless. Here, co-writer and director Marcel Sarmiento speaks about this superb movie.

HC: Have you always been a big horror movie fan?

MS: Definitely as a kid. My first movies made with my Betamax were all about scaring one other and how gross we could push makeup effects. We mostly strangled, stabbed, and threw each other off buildings. I think as I got older, I appreciated what you could do with horror more than horror for horror's sake. I love that you can make characters do things that in any other genre you couldn't make them do and still come out the other end liking them and routi...

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 ...

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? <...

Interview with Jen and Sylvia Soska, directors of Rabid
Posted on Tuesday 1st June 2021
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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...

Interview with Mickey Fisher, creator of sci-fi series Extant
Posted on Thursday 6th May 2021
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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...

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...

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...

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 ...

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