ARTICLES

LATEST | FEATURES | INTERVIEWS | NEWS | FRIGHTFEST | REVIEWS

Interview with Jen and Sylvia Soska, directors of Rabid
By James Whittington, Tuesday 1st June 2021
Soska sisiters-WEB-1

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 earliest films. Going back to when you were first approached to do the remake, what was your initial reaction?

JS: We are not traditionally fans of remakes but when we learned Rabid was being remade with or without us we took it upon ourselves to pay tribute and respect to Mr Cronenberg. It had been the first attempt at a remake or re-imagining of his work and he has a huge impact on us and our work. We only had our country, our peers, and one of heroes to let down. No pressure, right? It was important to us his legacy was respected and that out-weighed any doubts for us.

SS: We were hired because the producers, who had the property, were very unfamiliar with Mr Cronenberg's work. They had assumed his films was 'straight forward horror' whereas all this material, even his earlier films, has a lot more to say than just surface level body horror. We hired cast and crew who had worked on Cronenberg films to make sure we were honoring his work.

HC: The original became one of the cornerstones of "body horror", a subgenre which your work has gleefully embraced. Was it important that your version honoured this?

SS: I don't know what kind of filmmakers we would have been in a world devoid of Cronenberg's brilliant brand of body horror - it's so transformative. Since we were the first to remake one of his films, we wanted to fully embrace what makes a Cronenberg classic body horror. Luckily we teamed with the prosthetic geniuses at Masters FX to make that happen.

JS: Absolutely. Without the success and fan base of the original, there wouldn't have been a demand for our re-imagining. I think where many remakes fail is they don't respect the original material and creator. Honouring both were our prime objectives. There are not only nods to the original Rabid in ours, but to numerous Cronenberg films from actor choices to character names to the type of practical FX we used.

HC: Cronenberg ended up casting an adult star, Marylyn Chambers, in the lead role. Did you ever consider doing the same?

SS: Very much so. We didn't get the support on Rabid, although we did try to get a cameo appearance but we got limited on how many Americans we could use in the film. We had another project that fell through that we wanted to cast Xander Corvus as the lead for. Currently, we have a role for Tommy Pistol in an upcoming film. We have a lot of friends who work in the business and a lot of respect for what they do.

JS: Apparently it's much more difficult to cast an adult film star these days. There are some really silly stigmas that we hope to help tear down by casting some of our very talented friends who work in adult film.

HC: Is it true that the first time you met Cronenberg was after the film was made?

SS: Yes, and it was such a wonderful experience. He is truly exactly the person you would expect, witty and intelligent with such a brilliant outlook on the world and life. He said that the film ended up where it should have. It was very kind of him to say. I know he's busy on his own projects, it's such a great time to be a fan of his with what's coming.

JS: We met at a coffee shop and showed up so early but all the booths were taken. We paid a girl $100 to give us hers. Best money I ever spent. David is such a gentleman and so brilliant. Chatting Dead Ringers with him was a highlight of my life. Don't meet your heroes unless they're David Cronenberg.

HC: The film had its World Premiere at FrightFest, to great acclaim. How did the reception in the UK compare to back home in Canada?

SS: It reminds me of Cronenberg comparing the two receptions, he mentioned that the UK tended to get his work before anyone at home did. The FrightFest fans and all the people involved in that event absolutely spoil filmmakers. When we made American Mary, no one thought anyone would like it, but we premiered at FrightFest with huge success. The people there truly love the genre, so they'll let you know what they think.

JS: Ha ha, I might as well have not released a film. Canada had never been terribly supportive of us, but they weren't supportive of David early on either. Now they seem to celebrate him. The UK has always felt like home, especially FrightFest. I'm so grateful to the gents there, Paul, Alan, Greg, and Ian, for how kindly they've treated us and our work. There's no film fest in the world like FrightFest.

HC: Would you consider remaking another Cronenberg film? Dead Ringers for example, which you have gone on record as saying you'd like to do.

SS: Very much so! I know Rachel Weisz is currently adapting it and we would love to be a part of bringing that to life. That said, we are twins and have been deeply thinking about this concept for years. I wouldn't be surprised if we did a remake down the line still - my dream casting is getting the Olsen twins. You rarely see twins creatively in charge of twin content and narrative - I think it would be fascinating.

JS: We'd love to re-imagine Dead Ringers. We have such a deep personal connection to that film and so rarely are twins the ones who get to control their own narrative. Regardless of if we'll be invited to the limited series being made now, we will definitely make our version down the line.

HC: Being known as great huggers, how have you been coping with lockdown?

SS: Maybe we knew something, stockpiling on all those hugs back in the day when you could be so brazen to hug anyone and everyone? I'm looking forward to being able to hug again. Been saving hugs for everyone!

JS: Thank God for my Rottweiler, Princess Diana. She's very cuddly. She’s a lifesaver. I cannot wait to be able to hug again. That's gonna be really special.

HC: Have you managed to catch any good horror movies this year?

SS: LOVED Jill Sixx's The Stylist. It's not just a phenomenal film with killer performances, but it started as a short, Jill tried to get funding and launched a kickstarter to make it happen, and now it's a feature film that everyone is talking about. She's a director to keep your eye on. Black Bear and Wander Darkly are also haunting and wonderful.

JS: Saint Maud was f*cking incredible. Sylvie calls it Catholic Joker, ha ha. Brandon Cronenberg's Possessor was outstanding. I highly recommend the director's cut. Brandon is a genius in his own right. Steve Kostanski's Psycho Goreman was probably my biggest and best surprise of the year.

HC: Finally, what's next?

SS: Very proud to say we are working for DC as writers for their comics. They haven't announced our first story which is finished and still coming out, but they have announced that we are working on a Zatanna title with Vanesa Del Rey depending on their #DCRoundRobin voting via twitter and Instagram. They have some incredibly exciting characters to get to work with!

JS: We have two films in production (that I can mention), Unseen and Bob. Unseen is our first video game adaption and it's a fully immersive horror experience as it's a game that simulates being blind. And Bob is our original monster movie that we've been wanting to make since American Mary. We are working now with RADAR and Prospero Pictures and you can expect a lot to be coming from these wonderful new partnerships.

Rabid airs on Horror Channel Saturday 12 June, 9pm.


Related show tags: RABID, VENDETTA
MORE ARTICLES
Interview with Alexis Kendra, the writer and producer of The Cleaning Lady
Posted in Interviews, 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? <...

SHARE: READ MORE
James Herbert's The Shrine is now a movie and known as The Unholy
Posted in News, Monday 14th June 2021
The Unholy Cover

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
The Offering Image 1

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 S1 Pack Shot

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 Collextion

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 4K coverSuper 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
SERGIO MARTINA Collection

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
The Bird with the Crystal Plumage Cover

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
The Soska Sisters and Alexis Kendra bring female fear factor to Horror Channel in June.
Posted in Features, Tuesday 25th May 2021
Horror Channel - June PR banner

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
Super 8 to get a super 4K release
Posted in News, Friday 14th May 2021
Super 8 4K cover

Writer/director J.J. Abrams and producer Steven Spielberg join forces for the extraordinary tale of youth, mystery, and adventure Super 8, debuting on 4K Ultra HD 24th May from Paramount Home Entertainment.

Originally released on June 10, 2011, Super 8 celebrates its 10th anniversary this year. Newly remastered for this 4K Ultra HD release, the critically acclaimed film stars Joel Courtney (The Kissing Booth), Kyle Chandler (Friday Night Lights), and Elle Fanning (The Great).

The movie 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 ...

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
Straw Dogs
STRAW DOGS
Saturday 19th June
9.00 PM
Haunt
HAUNT
Friday 18th June
9.00 PM
Retreat
RETREAT
Thursday 24th June
9.00 PM