ARTICLES

LATEST | FEATURES | INTERVIEWS | NEWS | FRIGHTFEST | REVIEWS


Interview With Guy Pigden Director Of I Survived A Zombie Holocaust
By James Whittington, Saturday 23rd August 2014

Guy Pigden director of ISAZHZombies are in short supply this FrightFest, luckily one movie, I Survived A Zombie Holocaust has enough of the shambling dead to fill a number of movies.

We've been lucky enough to chat to the director of this blood-splattered shocker, Guy Pigden.

HC: Is it true that I Survived A Zombie Holocaust is your first full length feature?

GP: That is true, in the past I've done a few low budget shorts and a lot of Web content. I've written for other producers and tried to get few TV shows off the ground, but this is my first feature.

HC: Where did the idea for the movie come from?

GP: The idea came from two things. Obviously I'm a huge fan of zombie films since I started playing the Resident Evil games. And at 19 I was writing my first Zombie script, which had a much different concept (Demons possessing dead bodies to work for the government). But within this other film the characters stumbled across a director and his assistant filming a Zombie film as real Zombies attacked them. And it was just one scene, but that idea stayed with me. A few years later I was watching television late at night and came across a straight to DVD film I think starring Casper Van Dien, which had New Zealand subbing for America. There where all these New Zealand actors pretending to be American, and all these locations that to me where obviously not America. They were probably shooting in NZ to save money, but that whole concept was really interesting and funny to me. So I kind of expanded out those two ideas and combined them to become the first treatment for ISAZH.

HC: Did you find it difficult to balance the horror and comedy elements?

GP: Yes absolutely. Tone is always very difficult, because if things are too funny there's no sense of jeopardy and you stop caring about the characters, but if they're too serious, you lose that sense of fun. I also have kind of a weird sense of humour where I enjoy slapstick as much as I do satire. So in the edit it was a real juggling act trying to walk the finest of fine lines between the two. I'm still not sure we got it quite right.

HC: Did you base any of the outrageous characters on people you’ve met during your time on film sets?

GP: The characters are more based on film making folklore than anyone specific. But certainly behind the scenes is often just as fascinating as anything going on in front of the camera. In a way you have to be somewhat larger than life as an actor, that's why people want to watch you onscreen.

HC: How did you go about casting the film and did you already have people in mind?

GP: Well I wrote the two leads Wes and Susan with Harley and Jocelyn in mind, as I'd worked with them a lot over the years and knew what they were capable of. But the other cast were just people that auditioned and blew me away. Some are from Dunedin where we shot the film, and I also travelled to Auckland (New Zealand's largest city) for auditions. We didn't have a casting agent so I was auditioning everyone personally which was a great experience because you could see what people were capable of first hand. I was very lucky to assemble the cast I did. I'm very proud of them all.

HC: Did you have much of a budget to work with?

GP: Well the short answer to that is is no. We had the most modest of budgets and people say that you should work to your budget, which is true. But we definitely broke this rule. Every day was a real battle just fighting against our own limitations. And this battle continued in post production and subsequently it took us a long time to complete the film. And a lot of those constraints would have been alleviated if we'd had a little more money to solve problems.

HC: Did you use much CGI in this movie?

GP: Yes, there was quite a lot of VFX work in the film although I hope it's not too obvious, I initially wanted to have everything done through practical effects in the film. Unfortunately a lot of those practical effects didn't work exactly as we wanted, which meant they had to be added to in post.

HC: If you were to do it all again what would you change second time around?

GP: Hmmm, that's a good question. I'm assuming this would be under the exact same circumstances. I think I would trust my instincts more, if I felt something going pear shaped I wouldn't be so quick to trust other people's assurances that it would be alright. But I think mainly I'd have a more well thought out post production workflow.

HC: So are you a big fan of the zombie genre and if so do you have a favourite?

GP: Yes I'm a huge fan of the Zombie genre. It's very difficult to pick just one. Of course Shaun Of The Dead has really set the bar high. I of course have a soft spot for Braindead which is fantastic. But I think if I had to pick a film that is not quite so obvious it would be Return Of The Living Dead. Way ahead of it's time and I was really trying to capture some of that same feel in ISAZH.

HC: Are you nervous the film is showing at FrightFest?

GP: No I don't think so. I mean I really hope people enjoy the film and respond positively to it of course. But I started my career in London working as a runner at 19. And I used to go to Leicester Square to catch films with my friends and so to have my first film screening there is just a wonderful honour. I'm just sad I can't be there in person. But it's really fantastic.

HC: Zombies, which are best: walkers or runners?

GP: Well that's a tough question. The problem with runners is they are so dangerous there's likely no hope for the living in the long run. And hope is important. Walkers on the other hand are sometimes so slow it's comical and often begs the question, why not just casually walk around them? And that does deflate the tension. So I think The Walking Dead have got it just right, their Zombies are not so slow as to be easy to always avoid, but not so quick that us humans have no hope at all.

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

GP: Well I have a couple of things in the works. But I've just completed filming on my second feature called 'Older' which is actually a drama comedy, similar to early Woody Allen stuff like Annie Hall and Manhattan, you can see a trailer and find more details at www.oldermovie.com

HC: Guy Pigden, thank you very much.

GP: Thank you.


MORE FRIGHTFEST
Arrow Video FrightFest cancels October Cineworld event midst growing COVID restrictions
Posted on Wednesday 23rd September 2020
FrightFest Digital Banner

Arrow Video FrightFest will go virtual for the second time in 2020, having taken the difficult decision to cancel its planned physical event at the Cineworld, Leicester Square. due to continuing COVID restrictions making the event socially, practically and commercially untenable. The digital edition will run over the same days, from October 22-25 October, and will combine the in-cinema and proposed Halloween digital event into one online festival experience.

Ian Rattray, co-director, said today: "It's with a heavy heart that we announce the cancellation of the Cineworld event. Although cinemas are not affected by the new hospitality rules, it was the tipping point in...

SHARE: READ MORE
Train to Busan Presents: Peninsula to open Arrow Video FrightFest October 2020
Posted on Thursday 10th September 2020
FrightFest - October 2020 event - banner

Four years after Train to Busan was voted the most popular FrightFest Closing Night film ever, comes the hotly anticipated stand-alone sequel, Train to Busan Presents: Peninsula, which will open this year's Arrow Video FrightFest October event, courtesy of Studiocanal. The film will play on Thursday October 22, 6pm, across three screens at the Cineworld, Leicester Square.

FrightFest co-director Alan Jones commented: "Ask any die-hard FrightFester what their favourite ever Closing Night film was and they will say the fabulous Train to Busan. The continuous standing ovations, cheers and applause engendered by our sell-out screenings of that ins...

SHARE: READ MORE
Interview with the legendary actress Lin Shaye about being part of The Horror Crowd
Posted on Wednesday 9th September 2020
Lin Shaye and Ruben PlaLin Shaye is an actress that need no introduction. Her screen work over the last few decades has seen her appear in countless movies such as Nightmare on Elm Street, Critters or more recently the Insidious series of movies. Here she chats about her career and her why she appeared in Ruben Pla's superb doc, The Horror Crowd.

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

LS: No, I never had the dream. Ever. I had the need to tell stories and from a very young age and my dad, when he tucked me in a night we would tell what we would call "Candyland Stories" and they were stories about a little girl named Linda, and they would start when she was just falling to sleep...

SHARE: READ MORE
Interview with Steve Villeneuve, director of Hail to the Deadites
Posted on Thursday 3rd September 2020
HailToTheDeadites-1FrightFest 2020 delivered some incredibly entertaining and informative documentaries. Hail to the Deadites from Steve Villeneuve is a celebration of the the Evil Dead series of movies and truly gets under the skin of what the franchise means to those who created it and those who are mega fans! Here Steve talks about this amazing doc.

HC: Can you recall the first time you saw an Evil Dead movie and what it was that grabbed your attention?

SV: I guess I was 13. I actually saw Army of Darkness first on television. Years later, spot the cover of Evil Dead 2 in a video store. Then, rent Evil Dead one without knowing it was the first film because here in Quebec, The Evil Dead is ca...
SHARE: READ MORE
Then, in the blink of an eye, it was all over
Posted on Monday 31st August 2020
FF 2020online-1_NEW

Arrow Video FrightFest 2020 Digital Edition has closed its doors. Over the last few days, the team have delivered on their promise, to make the event just as good apart as it would have been together.

The event contained the usual mix of horror genres that we've come to expect and exposed us to some seriously talented creatives. Features such as Blinders, Dark Stories and 12 Hour Shift delivered some of the most memorable moments which would have been amazing on a big screen.

If it was blood and gore you wanted, then Skull: The Mask and was the movie for you. Brutal and bloody this shows that there's some major talent movie making in Brazil. If you wanted laughs with...

SHARE: READ MORE
Interview with Guillaume Lubrano, director of Dark Stories
Posted on Monday 31st August 2020
Guillaume Lubrano image 1

There's been a number of anthology movies at FrightFest 2020 but one of the strongest is Dark Stories from director Guillaume Lubrano. Here he chats about this fun piece.

HC: Have you always been a fan of horror movies?

GL: I'd say I've always been a fan of genre titles, being it horror, science fiction, fantasy, every subgenre that plays with the ability to push our imagination forward always fascinated me. And this was born mostly with the 80s I think and the birth of modern era special effects... those comforted writers and directors in the fact that they could try to tell stuff about anything... and well that's what they did: anything... and among all this...
SHARE: READ MORE
Interview with Michael Lee Joplin, star of Blinders
Posted on Monday 31st August 2020
Blinders3

We've already heard from the director of Blinders, Tyler Savage and one of its stars, Vincent Van Horn so we thought it would be cool to chat with its other star, Michael Lee Joplin.

HC: Was there one person who inspired you to become an actor?

MJ: I started acting in middle school really, but I had a wonderful theatre teacher in high school in Austin Texas, a Brit from Manchester, named Beryl Knifton. She instilled a love of acting and Shakespeare for me at an early age. I'm lucky to have had a lot of great teachers and mentors along the way. My acting teacher in college, the late Mr. Stephen Gerald pushed me along and more recently the Meisner teachings of Laurel Vouvray-Smith. My dad al...

SHARE: READ MORE
Interview with Vincent Van Horn, star of Blinders
Posted on Monday 31st August 2020
Blinders4

The tense psychological movie Blinders is showing on the Horror Channel Screen at FrightFest today so we chatted to one of its stars, Vincent Van Horn about the movie and his character, Andy.

HC: Was there one person who inspired you to become an actor?

VH: I can't say there was one person in particular but more of a love for movies in general as a kid. Charlie Chaplin and Peter Sellers were definitely early influences with their physical comedy.

HC: When did you get your acting break?

VH: Hmm have I gotten it already? Ha ha. This is by far the biggest role I've had to date so maybe this is it? But as far as my first time acting in anything at all was when I was asked t...

SHARE: READ MORE
Interview with Tyler Savage, director and co-writer of Blinders
Posted on Monday 31st August 2020

Psychological horror is always well represented at FrightFest and this year is no exception and one of the stand out pieces is Blinders from director Tyler Savage. Here he chats about this emotional and atmospheric movie.

HC: Where did the idea for the movie come from?

TS: The original idea for the movie came from an unsettling rideshare ride I took. Something about the driver made me uncomfortable, and I hated the fact that he now knew where I lived. From here, Dash and I started talking about the many ways in which technology makes us all incredibly vulnerable. There's a dark flipside to the convenience technology brings into our lives, and we wanted to highlight that idea in a way that was ...

SHARE: READ MORE
Messed minds, Moroccan monsters, and missing mutants. Day 5 of FrightFest
Posted on Monday 31st August 2020
AVTheHunt-poster

Day 5 of FrightFest is here (where did that time go?) but fear not as the FrightFest team have more movie mayhem for all to enjoy.

The Arrow Video Screen has the now annual Arrow Video Podcast with filmmaker and journalist Sam Ashurst and SFX guru Dan Martin recording their episode live from noon. Then its onto AV The Hunt which is a raw take on the "hunted becomes hunter" movie which is followed by the superb anthology movie Dark Stories where demons, the Living Dead, Evil Dolls, Djinn and other extra-terrestrial creatures will haunt your dreams.

Over on the Horror Screen you can catch Enhanced which has mutants on the run from those pesky people at the Government, Blinders...

SHARE: READ MORE
You're going to need more than armbands to survive this!
Posted on Sunday 30th August 2020
Aquaslash-poster

This afternoon had a really mixed bag of things going on at FrightFest 2020. One of the most anticipated pieces is the debut feature of Francesco Giannini. Hall contains many elements relevant to today such as a pandemic, toxicity in relationships and loss. This film deals with the isolation and helplessness some people can go through in life and takes its time to make its mark on your opinion.

In contrast, A Ghost Waits is a delicate and fun movie that uses a paranormal relationship as its focus and contains stand out performances from the cast. Jack's (MacLeod Andrews) job is to fix up the house. Spectral agent Muriel's (Natalie Walker) eternal task is to haunt it. They should be en...

SHARE: READ MORE
Interview with Adam Stovall, director of A Ghost Waits
Posted on Sunday 30th August 2020
AGhostWaits-poster

One of the big hits of Glasgow FrightFest was Adam Stovall's A Ghost Waits. This acclaimed movie is back and has been through an edit so we chatted to Adam about this paranormal piece of work.

HC: Where did the idea for A Ghost Waits come from?

AS: The two main inspirations were a video game and a web comic. "P.T." was a first-person haunted house puzzle game designed by Guillermo Del Toro and Hideo Kojima. My friends Brian and Jenn wanted me to play it because it had scared the bejesus out of them, and when I did I had them cracking up laughing. When Jenn started filming me with her phone, I thought there might be a movie in someone like me having to deal with a haunted ...

SHARE: READ MORE
Frightfest Archive: 2020 | 2019 | 2018 | 2017 | 2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2007
PICK OF THE WEEK
Hannibal Rising
HANNIBAL RISING
Sunday 27th September
9.00 PM
Star Trek: The Next Generation
STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION
Monday 5th October
7.00 PM
The Mummy
THE MUMMY
Sunday 4th October
7.00 PM