ARTICLES

LATEST | FEATURES | INTERVIEWS | NEWS | FRIGHTFEST | REVIEWS

Interview with legendary actress Barbara Crampton
By James Whittington, Tuesday 15th August 2017

Ahead of her eagerly awaited presence at Horror Channel FrightFest 2017, genre icon, actress and producer Barbara Crampton talks exclusively about her latest film Replace, battling chronic fatigue syndrome and her passion for supporting new talent.

Q: Replace raises questions about beauty, body image and growing older, issues that many feel plague the Hollywood movie industry. What is your view on this subject?

BC: The best movies reflect our inner world, our hopes, our good intentions, trials and our demons. Growing old and the fear of death is endemic to all, not just the movie industry. Just when you begin to figure it out your back aches, your skin starts to wrinkle and you gain weight just by LOOKING at your food. Let's be frank: Aging sucks! But it also gives you a calendar to get things done. If we had an abundance of time we might be sloths putting off everything and accomplishing nothing. To me the best thing you can do is to live in each moment as successfully as possible. That translates to all areas of your life, personal, career and lifestyle choices. I am not immune however to feeling the anxiety of it all and I do believe most of us lack a grace about allowing nature and gravity to happen. We are collectively obsessed with youth and beauty that's a problem.

Q: Co-writer/director Norbert Keil says he got the idea for Replace after going to hospital for a back operation. Was that something you could empathise with - the feelings of mortality raised when in such a medical environment?

BC: It wasn't a medical environment that did it for me but rather a chronic illness. I developed chronic fatigue syndrome 12 years ago after a parasite I had went undiagnosed for 9 months. I was literally in bed for 2 years. The worst time of my life. I was confronted with the fear of the termination of my long term health. Some people live with CFS and never recover. The medical community is still baffled by the syndrome. For me it was quite possibly that my immune system was acting in overdrive, first to rid itself of the parasite and then not being able to turn itself off when the parasite was eradicated. One doctor saved me. Per his instructions I had to become a model patient and test every part of my being: physical, mental, emotional and spiritual. I worked on every system to lubricate every aspect. I actually healed things I didn't realize needed work. Finally my body calmed down and recovered. At one point though, when I was at my lowest, I thought, "Is this it? I haven't done enough yet!" After I was better, that's when I started working harder on everything, including my appreciation for being here.

Q: Doctor Rafaela Crober was a part originally written for a man, so what if anything changed in the script to accommodate your feminine side?

BC: Not too much. A few pieces of dialogue here and there. Science is not male or female and the quest for longevity, which is really what Dr. Crober is interested in, transcends gender.

Q: You've said you wanted to play Doctor Crober as someone in full control, can you elaborate?

BC: Crober is playing with science too, albeit for different reasons than Kira, her patient. She has to be so sure of herself and where she thinks the journey will take mankind to pursue such lofty goals. Saying more would give too much away if you haven't seen the film.

Q: Richard Stanley was a co-writer on Replace. Were you familiar with his work and reputation and did he attend the shooting?

BC: Of course, his reputation is legendary. Richard is a fascinating visionary, an artist. He got a very raw deal on The Island of Dr. Moreau. Fortunately people in the industry realize this and he has some great opportunities coming up. Long overdue.

Q: Replace is such a visually stunning movie with a very precise look. How does seeing that magic happening around you colour your performance?

BC: To be honest I did not visualize the movie as it was (in the finished film) while on set. I had a picture in my mind when I read the script that was very subjective to my character. The visuals blew me away when I saw the final finished film. It makes sense though I think, that the visuals are so beautiful and striking, as the movie is from the mind of protagonist Kira. She's looking for beauty to support the needs of her soul.

Q: The film has an early David Cronenberg feel, did director Norbert Keil discuss any body horror influences or inspirations with you?

BC: Cronenberg was a very direct influence. And I think the themes of Richard's work on The Island of Dr. Moreau.

Q: You have now been a guest at many of the world's fantasy festivals. And this is your second time at FrightFest. Why are these events so important and what makes FrightFest stand out?

BC: I am so grateful to back in the film community and to be fortunate enough to travel to Fests where audiences support and love genre cinema. We are in a transitional period though I believe and festivals for film are one of the only things keeping us alive, supporting new film makers. Film fests are sometimes your only theatrical release so it is of great importance to have your film shown at one that audiences will hopefully love and a distribution company will hopefully buy. FrightFest has a very saavy audience and a very vocal one. You want people to cheer for you and have journalists write a nice review to get distribution companies to make you an offer!

Q: You're more prolific in the genre than ever. You had four movies showing at FrightFest in 2015 and you have another four in post-production. You are clearly enjoying it more this time around?

BC: I'm having a ball really while enjoying the work in a way I never did before. I'm much more relaxed about my place in the business and I enjoy helping others realize the same dreams I had at a young age. I am invested in each project I work on even if I'm not involved in a producer capacity. I want to help others create the best film they possibly can.

Q: You've chosen to be a mentor for FrightFest and MPI Media's New Blood Initiative. Is supporting new genre writers an important mission for you?

BC: I am passionate about having the best script possible to begin the journey to creating a film. I do think that too many times the script isn't as good as it could be and "people" forgive themselves too soon about that and forge ahead with submitting a script or filming without being completely ready. The script is your foundation, spend lots of time on it. I love writers. They have the capacity for insight and understanding of human nature, of people's vulnerabilities, strengths and desires. When I read a great script with characters I care about, I fall in love with the writer a little bit. I feel I can help a lot with the development process of a screenplay. Character is story and story is character. The journey that an actor will take in the story is something I am very familiar with and have worked on a lot. The script is the very first thing you begin with, so let's get that right first. Then we can discuss the importance of making a great first impression with your freshman effort if you want to direct it as well. It used to be that you made a film and people in charge would see "promise" in you and you'd be able to move on to your next movie. That's becoming harder and harder for a lot of reasons. Make the best damn first film you can. My friend, esteemed journalist and film critic, Steve Prokopy said to me recently, "20% of all movies are truly great or really awful. The rest exist in a grey zone of average, above average or below average." What kind of movie do you want people to say you've made? Impressions are important on a first date and a first movie.

Q: You're increasingly becoming involved in films as a producer. Do you feel this is a natural progression in your career?

BC: At this point in my life and career it depends on the project. If I really love something I'll want to work on it. For me a story needs a strong narrative with an emotional core. That's what my sensibilities are attracted to. I really love acting and I do enjoy helping others realize their dream.

Q: Finally, what's next?

BC: I have two projects that I'm actively working on to produce. One, I may have an acting part in as well. There are also a few movies which I shot in the last two years or so as an actor only and they are still in various stages of post-production. Hopefully I'll be seeing you next year on the fest circuit with one of those!

Replace receives its UK Premiere on Sunday 27 August, 3.30pm at The Prince Charles Cinema, Leicester Square, as part of Horror Channel FrightFest 2017. Barbara is also a mentor for the FrightFest / MPI Media UK script writing talent search New Blood.


MORE ARTICLES
Horror Channel launches assault of premieres for June plus further seasons of Farscape
Posted in Features, Thursday 12th May 2022

Ryan Simon's British supernatural chiller Demon Eye, starring Darren Day, and Liam Fox, and Brad Baruh's Coen-sequel mystery thriller Night Drive, starring AJ Bowen and Sophie Dalah, both receive Friday night UK TV premieres on Horror Channel.

There are also channel premieres for John Carpenter's cult classic Assault On Precinct 13 and Finnish-German sci-fi Nazi horror spoof Iron Sky: The Coming Race, directed by Timo Vuorensola (Iron Sky) and starring Udo Kier, reprising his role as Adolf Hitler.

Plus, cult classic Farscape returns with the channel premieres of Season 3 and 4. This Australian-American Sci-Fi TV series, created by Rockne S. O'Bannon, has proved a big hit with Horror...

SHARE: READ MORE
Wyrmwood: Apocalypse - Blu-ray review
Posted in Reviews, Saturday 30th April 2022
Wyrmwood ApocalypseWyrmwood: Apocalypse
101 Films
Certificate 18
***

Zombie cinema is a genre that's literally dying on its feet. Restrained by its own concept strong or original movies of the undead are few and very far between. The TV series The Walking Dead and all its spin-offs has ensured that every possible avenue of interest or uniqueness has been followed. Wyrmwood: Apocalypse is a brutal and bloody entry and attempts to deliver a more violent and relevant to today's de-sensitised audience.

In a zombie infested Australian wasteland, hard-edged soldier Rhys (Luke McKenzie) - who uses zombies as fuel for his barbie - dedicates his days to tracking down and capturing s...

SHARE: READ MORE
From Rob Savage comes Dashcam
Posted in News, Saturday 30th April 2022
DASHCAM POSTER

Rob Savage's provocative new horror Dashcam will be released in selected UK cinemas on Friday June 3, by eOne and will be available for digital download from Monday June 6. Savage, who was the genius behind Host in 2020 seems to have tapped into what makes found-footage such a chilling genre and this time has turned the tension up to 11!

Dashcam follows Annie Hardy on a crazy horror road trip. Viewed through her livestream, this abrasive musician's night takes a dangerous turn after she agrees to help transport a frail elderly woman out of town. As you can guess, things don't go to plan and a surreal road-trip begins to unfold...

Written by Gemma Hurley, Rob Savage and Jed Shepherd ...
SHARE: READ MORE
The Boy Behind the Door - Blu-ray review
Posted in Reviews, Friday 29th April 2022
The Boy Behind the Door CoverThe Boy Behind the Door
Acorn Media
Certificate 15
****

This title crept up on me, I knew little about it so went in blind, came out the other end disturbed, challenged and I have to admit, a bit emotional. The Boy Behind the Door takes a very sensitive subject, that of child abduction and the evils which go along with it, and ramps it to an extreme and intense level.

Twelve-year-old Bobby (Lonnie Chavis) and best friend, Kevin (Ezra Dewey) are abducted on their way home from school and taken to a house surrounded by miles of bleak, dark country in every direction. Bobby manages to escape his confines and quietly navigates the dark h...

SHARE: READ MORE
Interview with Stewart Sparke, director of Book of Monsters
Posted in Interviews, Friday 29th April 2022
Director Stewart Sparke watches a scene

A birthday bash becomes a bloodbath when monsters escape from a supernatural storybook, leaving a group of teenagers to fight for their lives and shut the party down in the UK TV premiere of Book of Monsters on May 16th on Horror. We chatted to its director, Stewart Sparke about this fun, retro-filled fright-fest.

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

SS: I remember first realising that I wanted to make films during one of many viewings of The Mummy (1999) on VHS in my bedroom on an old 15" TV. I became quite obsessed with the film and tried to make all my friends come over to watch it ...

SHARE: READ MORE
Dare you see The Boy Behind The Door?
Posted in News, Tuesday 26th April 2022

The Boy Behind The Door is the dramatic and evocative feature film debut from writing-directing duo David Charbonier and Justin Powell. This Shudder Original from the talented team - who went on to create the critically acclaimed horror The Djinn - has been described by the NME as 'practically flawless' and is now set for its UK Blu-ray, DVD and digital release, from Acorn Media International.

The film, set for its UK physical premiere on 2 May, is unrelentingly fast-paced and conjures up the nerve-jangling sense of dread of a childhood nightmare. A night of unimaginable terror awaits twelve-year-old Bobby (Lonnie Chavis) and best friend, Kevin (Ezra Dewey) when they are abducte...

SHARE: READ MORE
Dominic Brunt's new horror movie, Wolf Manor, enters post-production.
Posted in News, Tuesday 26th April 2022
Wolf Manor - WEB2

The werewolf horror thriller Wolf Manor has entered post-production.

Directed by Dominic Brunt, this full-throttle, gore-filled tale of a film crew caught in the claws of a manor house's resident werewolf, was shot in three weeks in locations in Shropshire.

Brunt's UK-produced film, which was written by Pete Wild and Joel Ferrari, stars James Fleet, (Bridgerton, Operation Mincemeat) Jay Taylor (Donkey Punch, Misfits), Thaila Zucchi (Evie, Attack of the Adult Babies), Rupert Procter (Luther, Ripper Street) and John Henshaw (The Keeper, Looking For Eric).

Wolf Manor's creature design was created by renowned special make-up effects artist Shaune Harrison (Star Wars, ...

SHARE: READ MORE
John Carpenter, Daniel Davies and Cody Carpenter announce original soundtrack for Firestarter
Posted in News, Thursday 21st April 2022
Firestarter LP Cover

The horror master John Carpenter is back with his Halloween series collaborators Daniel Davies and Cody Carpenter for their infectious new soundtrack to the 2022 adaptation of Stephen King's Firestarter. The soundtrack is set for release digitally alongside the film's theatrical release on May 13th via Black Lot, with vinyl, CD and cassette tape due on October 14th on Sacred Bones.

The score marks the first official soundtrack that the team has composed together outside of the Halloween series and their inspiration and evolution as a creative team is on full display.

The film is a new take on the thriller examining a girl with extraordinary ...

SHARE: READ MORE
Horror Channel celebrates history of genre cinema with The Vintage Vault
Posted in Features, Thursday 21st April 2022

Starting in May, Horror Channel journeys into the history of genre cinema with The Vintage Vault, which will present double-bills of classic sci-fi and horror films every Sunday night.

The season premieres on Sunday May 1st with The Invisible Man, in which Claude Rains delivers a remarkable performance in his screen debut. This is paired with Bride Of Frankenstein, the celebrated sequel to the 1931 classic with Boris Karloff reprising his role as the monster. Then on Sunday May 8th, we have Christy Cabanne's frightening chiller masterpiece The Mummy's Hand, followed by Frankenstein Meets The Wolfman, featuring the original Wolf...

SHARE: READ MORE
Kim Newman dares to check out this weekend's Classic Sci-Fi event
Posted in Features, Thursday 14th April 2022
Kim Newman

Respected journalist, film critic, and fiction writer Kim Newman takes us through the celebrated B-movies joining Horror for our Classic Sci-Fi Weekend event running from 16th-17th of April.

The Horror Channel returns to a decade riven with fears of devastating climate change, imminent global war, mutating diseases and general paranoia... albeit in black and white, with miniature effects and make-up masks rather than CGI and the kind of urgency that means world-menacing phenomena can be invoked, allowed to run rampage and then dispelled in well under ninety minutes of crisp, sometimes poetic, sometimes bombastic melodrama.

The times weren't really simpler, and neither were the movies i...

SHARE: READ MORE
Scream - Blu-ray review
Posted in Reviews, Sunday 10th April 2022
SCREAM 4K COVERScream
Paramount
Certificate 18
****

The last few years has seen a resurrection of genre favourites such as Halloween, Child's Play (and the Chucky TV series), Jurassic Park, Ghostbusters to name a few, and although Scream has already had a successful TV series the studio bosses decided that it was time for Ghostface to come back to the big screen.

Twenty-five years after a streak of brutal murders shocked the quiet town of Woodsboro, a terrifying new killer resurrects the Ghostface mask. As the deaths mount, Woodsboro's new targets must seek help from the survivors of the original Ghostface attacks. Now, only Sidney Prescott (Neve Campbell), former sheriff Dewey...

SHARE: READ MORE
Wyrmwood: Apocalypse gets Blu-ray, DVD and digital release
Posted in News, Friday 8th April 2022
Wyrmwood Apocalypse

Having thrilled UK audiences - and sated horror fans' thirst for bloody-bedlam on its UK premiere at FrightFest Glasgow, now Wyrmwood: Apocalypse is set for its Blu-ray, DVD, and digital release on 16 May from 101 Films. Wyrmwood: Road of the Dead and Wyrmwood: Apocalypse will also be available as a Blu-ray double set.

Australian brothers Kiah and Tristan Roache-Turner have penned another gut-splattering sensation with this fantastically frenzied feature, so get set for a hellish, high-octane return to the Aussie outback for some outlandish, blood-oozing rampaging zombie action.

In a zombie infested Australian wasteland, hard-edged soldier Rhys (Luke McKenzie) - who us...

SHARE: READ MORE
Articles Archive: 2022 | 2021 | 2020 | 2019 | 2018 | 2017 | 2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2007 | 2006
PICK OF THE WEEK
The Void
THE VOID
Thursday 26th May
10.50 PM
Doomsday
DOOMSDAY
Monday 30th May
10.50 PM
Earth vs The Flying Saucers
EARTH VS THE FLYING SAUCERS
Sunday 29th May
9.00 PM