Interview with Patricio Valladares, director of Embryo
By James Whittington, Saturday 24th October 2020
Embryo image 1

Chilean director Patricio Valladares is back at FrightFest and this time he's taking us into the science fiction zone with Embryo. Here he chats about working with Robert Englund on Nightworld and this sci-fi shocker.

HC: Have you always been a fan of horror and sci-fi movies?

PV: Yes, from my childhood, my old brother watched Jason Voorhees and A Nightmare on Elm Street film series at home with a couple friends in the 80s. So, I always went from the bathroom to the living room at night to watch from behind the sofa with them. I Loved it! I liked the ultraviolence and gore from Robocop. When I was 14 or 15 I was a metalhead, so I had lots of tapes of death metal and a lot of low budget and underground horror movies at VHS. I'm from a small town in the south of Chile called Chillan. Is a village that at this time has not too many video clubs, but with a lot of horror movies from many countries, no idea for why. Like German horror, UK...USA of course and a lot gore and cinema verite.

HC: We show another of your movies, Nightworld here on Horror, what's your happiest memory of that movie?

PV: This movie and the experience for me was a great moment of my career it was a big deal for me and my friend, Barry Keating. Loris Curci, the producer of Nightworld, sent me the script and told me that he really wanted me as director to shoot this film. And after two seconds I said "Yes, please". The producers told me that they would be casting Robert Englund. This blew my mind! With Loris Curci we shot a remake from my Chilean movie Hidden in the Wood at Texas a couple years ago with Michael Biehn (I'm a fan of Terminator) and now I had the chance to work with another legendary actor. Robert is an adorable and charismatic human being. The flick was shot in Sofia, Bulgaria. It was selected to be shown at FrightFest and was released on theatrical and Netflix in North America. And of course, it is on Horror Channel too. I'm a very big fan of the channel.

HC: How did Embryo come about?

PV: Fun story! It was after Downhill was shown at FrightFest. We went for beers with Barry and after a couple, I told him that we maybe need to do another movie but more sci-fi or aliens and stuff, but still the visceral style set in Chile. Emails with ideas were sent. I really love Xtro and movies like this, but we needed to do something new or more hybrid. We completed a full treatment, and the rest is history. It took 5 years to write, save the money and finished a 70-minute movie, not long then, ha ha.

HC: It seems to have been shot entirely on location, was it a tough shoot?

PV: Not at all, we shot entirely in the woods behind a cabin, at a village on a mountain called "Los Lleuques", about an hour from my hometown. It's a beautiful forest, in fact, it is the same forest from my movie Downhill (2016). This part was a little fun. We shot all the main scenes in just 3 or 4 days with a Red Camera, with very little artificial light.

HC: What did the cast say about the really bloody special effects?

PV: The truth is that all the cast and crew were friends with me for many years, maybe 15 years. When I invited them to shoot a movie, we had such a fun time. They eagerly said "hell yeah", I told them, "Hey but there will be some gore, and make up and more bloodbath" and the response was, "Sure Patricio, no problem! let's go!" I was so happy that they helped me to do this movie. I'm very appreciative of my friends.

HC: Were you restricted by budget at all?

PV: Of course, we shot and made this movie thinking always of a low budget. We shot and made Embryo with just less Than 6000 Euros in cash and with a lot of favours from friends and family. This film took a lot of time to finish but is now 2020 and it is done. We started the principal shoot in 2018 but no expensive scenes or anything like that. Many people, filmmakers and horror fans say "It's impossible to make cheap movies now!" but isn't true. Embryo is an example. Was very Robert Rodriguez style.

HC: There's some nice, HR Giger style artwork on show at the end, was this a deliberate nod to his genius?

PV: Oh yes! That was so sweet and was done at the last minute during post-production. I said "We need to put some power at the end" I have a friend, a very famous Chilean illustrator of comic books called Juan Vasquez. We worked on a comic book years ago and he always showed me his sketchbook with amazing and creepy stuff, So, after finishing the edition I called him and said I can use some stuff from his sketchbook for the show at the end. It's a very Chilean version from HR Giger. Juan Vasquez, thank you for this!

HC: Do you believe that aliens exist?

PV: I don't know, but we are so minuscule in space, so it is possible that other life exists in space, maybe more microorganisms!! It's a big question and we have many undeniable reasons that will make our belief in aliens! For example, Egyptian hieroglyphs, Aztecs or Mayas. Embryo picked up ideas about the mysterious Friendship Island. The south of Chile is surrounded by mysteries and myths. One of them is about an island that is supposedly inhabited by extra-terrestrials or people that, unlike ordinary human beings, possess a vast amount of knowledge in the fields of science, aeronautics, physics, mathematics, and medicine. The name of the island is "Friendship" and it is located in an island complex called Kent at Aysen Region.

HC: What is the film industry like in Chile?

PV: Today, the film industry in Chile produces over 50 films each year. Cinema has been highlighted in several international festivals, especially Arthouse films. There aren't many horror movie productions, but this is everywhere.

HC: Will you be nervous when the movie is shown at FrightFest?

PV: Yes, we are so excited for this, I mean, this is my fourth movie at FrightFest, my first with my pal Barry Keating. I really love this festival and the FrightFest team. They always tell me I am FrightFest's favourite Chilean director! Alan, Paul, Ian and Greg, thanks for the support guys! Really, it's great and I hope the audience, and horror fan community enjoy our movie!

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

PV: From now until the end of the year, Embryo is hitting festivals and has a major release next year with Uncork'd Entertainment. And Barry and I are developing another horror feature set in the UK. It is a serial neo-slasher movie; my idea is to shoot as soon as is possible; however, due to Covid19 we are on hold. We are really excited about it!

HC: Patricio Valladares, thank you very much.

PV: Absolute pleasure, thank you for your time.

Related show tags: NIGHTWORLD
A stalker finds himself the prey in Eye Without a Face
Posted in News, Friday 23rd July 2021
Eye without a face cover

Do you know who's watching this very moment? Brand new horror feature Eye Without a Face from director Ramin Niami (Paris, Shirin In Love) combines chills, thrills and bloody murder to bring the voyeur genre bang up to date.

This edgy movie creeps on to digital 23 August for its UK Premiere from Miracle M.

Holed up in his LA apartment agoraphobic Henry (Dakota Shapiro) spends his days hacking into the webcams of unsuspecting local young women, seeing himself as their protector and guardian angel, rather than what he really is... a stalker. But his creepy peeks take a sinister turn as he starts to suspect one of his 'friends', Laura (Vladka Verevko), is a kil...

See how music can kill in Sound of Violence
Posted in Frightfest, News, Friday 23rd July 2021
Sound of Violence Cover

In thrilling new horror Sound of Violence, a young girl recovers her hearing and gains synthetic abilities during the brutal murder of her family. Finding solace in the sounds of bodily harm, as an adult she pursues a career in music composing her masterpieces through gruesome murders.

From the mind of talented new writer-director Alex Noyer and featuring a stunning lead performance from Jasmin Savoy Brown (2022's Scream, The Leftovers), Sound of Violence is being billed as one of the most original and shocking horrors of the year.

After its UK premiere at Arrow Frightfest, Sound of Violence on Blu-ray, DVD and Digital from 30th August than...

Exploitation movie that will bring out the Devil in you!
Posted in News, Friday 23rd July 2021

Directed by Domenico Paolella (The Prey/The Story of a Cloistered Nun), The Nun and the Devil AKA Le Monache di Sant'Arcangelo is a headily erotic tale of seduction and persecution detailing the sinful practices which spill out of a 16th century convent.

When the psychotically ambitious Sister Julia (Anna Heywood) vies to take the place of a dying Mother Superior by any means possible, other inmates start to lose their way. But things take a nasty turn when the nuns are subjected to a violent inquisition and their existence becomes one of torture and degradation.

Made just two years after Ken Russell's notorious Th...

Arrow Video FrightFest 2021 announces second wave of films for August Cineworld event
Posted in Features, Frightfest, Thursday 22nd July 2021

It's full scream ahead as Arrow Video FrightFest 2021 announces its second wave of hugely anticipated Discovery Screen and First Blood titles - a summer collection of provocative, edgy and transgressive entertainment to die for. There are fourteen World and ten European/International premieres amongst the thirty-four films on offer.

Eleven countries are represented, with titles ranging from Canadian entries Bloodthirsty, Amelia Moses' simmering LGBQT+ werewolf movie and sinister isolation thriller Motherly to Francesco Erba's As In Heaven, So On Earth, a stunning Italian blend of live action and Gothic puppet animation. Then there's Peter Bergendy's sumptuous Post Mortem, an epic Hu...

V for Vendetta: Behind the Mask now at The Cartoon Museum
Posted in News, Thursday 22nd July 2021
V for Vendetta poster

The Cartoon Museum has re-opened (no advance booking required) with an exciting new exhibition which celebrates the cultural impact of V for Vendetta from the classic graphic novel to the cult film classic. Tickets are available now and the exhibition is open and will be running until 31st October 2021.

V for Vendetta: Behind the Mask will chart the rise from graphic novel, to hit film and now global phenomenon as a symbol of protest. Securing rare loans from the art department of Warner Bros, The Cartoon Museum will present a history of this modern classic with original artwork and covers, as well as costumes and designs that have never been seen in the UK before.


Horror Channel raises hell in August!
Posted in Features, Tuesday 20th July 2021
Horror Channel - Aug tweet banner

August is a wicked month on Horror Channel, as the UK's number 1 destination for genre films revives some horror, sci-fi and fantasy classics - including Clive Barker's Hellraiser trilogy, which has one of the most stylish and ferociously original horror fantasy franchises ever and Night Of The Living Dead (1990), Tom Savini's colour remake of George Romero's original Night Of The Living Dead, which transcended the world of horror movies to become a film classic .

Other highlights include Re-Animator, the late Stuart Gordon's darkly comic classic, that has been acknowledged as one of the most celebrated, outrageous and original horror films of all ti...

Fulci's The Psychic getting a Shameless release
Posted in News, Saturday 17th July 2021
The Psychic Bluray cover

Shameless is prud to present Lucio 'The Godfather of Gore' Fulci's The Psychic (aka Murder To the Tune of the Seven Black Notes) like never seen before, extensively restored from new 2K-scanned materials on August 9th.

Jennifer O'Neill, fresh from Luchino Visconti's The Innocent, plays Virginia, a woman who has had psychic powers since childhood when she sensed her mother's suicide... Now newly married, Virginia becomes plagued by waking visions of bloody deaths and meaningless torment. With the aid of her parapsychologist friend (Marc Porel), she tries to uncover the meaning of the unwanted visions only to discover they are premonitions of future deaths...


Original Vs Remake: Which one do you prefer?
Posted in Features, Thursday 15th July 2021

Horror Channel has always celebrated the classics as well as the more recent chillers around. Inevitably we come across some remakes which have either caused celebration or contention among viewers.

But are all remakes bad? Here's five of the finest which are showing at the moment on Horror.

Night of the Living Dead (1990)
SFX maestro Tom Savini was given the job of bringing George A Romero's all-time classic back to the big screen, and in doing so gave the classic a colourful retelling. Set during an unexplained event, namely the dead rising from their graves, strangers stranded in a house battle the undead as well as themselves. Tony Todd, Patricia Tallman, and Tom Towles ta...

FrightFest resurrects its New Blood quest for new writers
Posted in Frightfest, Tuesday 13th July 2021
New Blood 2021 - logo

As Arrow Video FrightFest stalks the dark recesses of the big screen again, the search resumes for new writers in the horror genre through its New Blood initiative. New Blood reunites FrightFest with Giles Edwards of Queensbury Pictures with its mission to find emerging UK-based writers dedicated to the genre and nurture their projects from script to screen. Queensbury is ultimately interested in buying the finished script rather than the idea, and so, this year all successful final candidates if selected should be able to send even a rough draft of the first ten pages of their script through with their acceptance.

Already the scheme has delivered two new projects: Broadcast ...

Arrow Video FrightFest unveils first wave of twenty-five films for August 2021 Cineworld event
Posted in Frightfest, Thursday 8th July 2021
FrightFest 2021 - Poster art-1

Arrow Video FrightFest, the UK's biggest horror and fantasy film festival, is back at the Cineworld Leicester Square from Thursday August 26 - Monday 30 August for five days of the very best of global genre cinema.

The internationally renowned event leads the way in attesting to the versatility of the genre and, despite the interruptions caused by the pandemic, this year is no exception as the twenty-five films to be presented in the main screens are revealed. They include four world premieres and eight International/European premieres.

Global events over the past eighteen months have not only altered most people's lives but have had a profoundly i...

Halloween Kills - New poster and trailer
Posted in News, Sunday 4th July 2021
Halloween Kills Poster

Universal Pictures has unleashed the official trailer for Halloween Kills, coming to UK cinemas October 15.

In 2018, David Gordon Green's Halloween, starring icon Jamie Lee Curtis, killed at the box office, earning more than $250 million worldwide, becoming the highest-grossing chapter in the four-decade franchise and setting a new record for the biggest opening weekend in history for a horror film starring a woman.

And the Halloween night when Michael Myers returned isn't over yet.

Minutes after Laurie Strode (Curtis), her daughter Karen (Judy Greer) and granddaughter Allyson (Andi Matichak) left masked monster Michael Myers caged and burning in La...

Space: 1999 - Soundtracks to get the vinyl treatment
Posted in News, Sunday 4th July 2021
Space 1999 Year 1

The latest Silva Screen release in their series exploring the musical worlds of Gerry Anderson is the most extensive yet and incorporates two separate Double LP releases.

Space: 1999 (showing weekdays at 6pm on Horror) ran for two series from 1976 to 1977 and depicted the occupants of Moonbase Alpha and their struggle for survival when, after the explosion of a nuclear waste dump, the Moon is hurtled into space.

The series was the most expensive produced for British television at that time and the most musically diverse of all the shows made by Anderson for ITC. Gerry Anderson's long-time musical partner in all the previous adventures was Barry Gray and Space: 1999 proved t...

Articles Archive: 2021 | 2020 | 2019 | 2018 | 2017 | 2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2007 | 2006
Independents' Day
Sunday 1st August
6.40 PM
The Hallow
Wednesday 4th August
10.50 PM
100 Bloody Acres
Sunday 1st August
10.55 PM