ARTICLES

LATEST | FEATURES | INTERVIEWS | NEWS | FRIGHTFEST | REVIEWS

Interview With Simon Rumley Director Of Johnny Frank Garrett's Last Word
By James Whittington, Sunday 28th August 2016

Simon-Rumley-300x189Today sees the European premier of Simon Rumley's latest movie Johnny Frank Garrett's Last Word. Simon is a regular at FrightFest and his work is always very creative and guaranteed to have the audiences debating their content. This makes him one of the most exciting directors working at the moment. Here he chats about this latest project.

HC: Is this the first movie you've directed that's not been written by yourself and if so did you find it restrictive in any way?

SR: I actually directed a short called The Handyman with Greta Scaachi. The script had won a screenwriting competition so was really great. Subsequently I also directed Crowhurst which wasn't initially written by me but I worked with the producer to come up with a script that everyone was happy with and on that I got an 'additional material' writing credit. With Johnny Frank Garrett, given that this was a 'Hollywood' film, things work differently over there and as a director I was brought on board to visualise the film the producers wanted to make. This was restrictive in as much as I would have, given carte blanche, treated the subject matter differently but that wasn't what I was hired to do and I knew that from the offset. Ultimately I was allowed final cut which in these situations is relatively unusual.

HC: You can tell it's a Simon Rumley movie by your use of colours and sound, were you tempted to add any more of your traditional style to it?

SR: Thanks! Well, as above, I was allowed final cut so, given the script, this is the best that I think I could have done with it. A lot of what is considered my 'traditional style' comes from how I write scenes and how I write a whole script so without having the luxury of writing this particular script, some of what would be considered my style is inevitably missing. I very much write to shoot and shoot to cut and although we do drop scenes in the edit, my scripts are usually very lean and there’s also a structural consideration which has an element of non-linearity.

HC: One of the stand-out performances is from young Dodge Prince; did he read for the role?

SR: Yeah, Dodge was amazing! Our casting director Karen Hallford held auditions in Shreveport and Austin for kids and I think Karen had seen him first and then brought him back and he did a reading which blew both of us away. He’s the loveliest kid, very bright, mature for his age and asked a lot of pertinent questions and really humbled some of the other actors; he's a complete natural and actually, can be seen next in the remake of The Magnificent Seven which I'm excited to watch. He comes from a very tight and loving family and I think he's an actor who could go all the way if he wanted to. Hopefully I'll get to work with him again some time.

HC: How do you look after a young actor when working on a movie with a dark theme like this?

SR: One of Dodge's parents was on set all the time and, as above, they're very grounded and nice people. I'm pretty sure they read the script first and went through the themes with him in an intelligent way. One has to be sensitive that these little people don't necessarily have the same stamina as adults or the same ability to concentrate so I always make sure they're OK and happy to continue whatever scene they're doing but Dodge was a real trooper and was always happy to do more, always wanted to get it to the point that I was happy. There's a lot of misconception about director's getting good performances from their actors but more than anything, this comes from the casting process and, with the producer and casting director, being able to spot that spark or that ability that will make that actor work for that role better than any other actor is the most important thing.

HC: What are the major differences of shooting a movie in the USA as compared to the UK?

SR: Well I've shot three features in the US now. What I like about shooting there is that lunch is usually shorter and you shoot for another hour or hour and a half a day which means you can get a lot more done in a shorter period than you can in the UK. I've often heard it said that the crews in the UK are the best in the world but I've found the crews in the US to be just as good.

HC: Though it states it's based on a true story how much is actual fact?

SR: The whole story about the juror and his family is fictionalised but everything around that is completely true; all the facts, the deaths etc, etc. There's only one death which is slightly fabricated and that's the teacher's although she did commit suicide.

HC: Do you believe people can be cursed?

SR: Not really, but that said, I'd preferred not to be cursed myself!

HC: You're a FrightFest regular; do you get nervous when your movies play at this festival?

SR: Yep, this is the 5th film I've shown in 10 years, staring with The Living And The Dead in 2006 so this will be a 10th year anniversary! FrightFest is always a slightly weird experience for me because I always find myself apologising that the film I'm presenting isn't an 'obvious' horror film, and actually, isn't really a horror film at all! I'd describe most of my films more as extreme dramas than horror films and although Johnny Frank Garrett isn't extreme in any really way, I'd describe is more as a thriller with supernatural overtones than an out and out horror film; I think it's creepy rather than scary.

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

SR: I've got a couple of features that I'm completing at the moment; one is Crowhurst - based on the real life story of Donald Crowhurst who entered a race to sail around the world non stop in 1968 and ended up cheating. It's a very sad story about the flip side of the British Empire and for all the success stories that we're fed this is one of failure and misguidedness. It features a tour de force performance from Justin Salinger. The other is a thriller called Fashionista which stars Amanda Fuller who was the lead in Red White & Blue. It has a great cast which also includes Ethan Embry (Cheap Thrills), Eric Balfour (Texas Chainsaw Massacre), Alex Essoe (Starry Eyes) and Devin Bonnee (Johnny Frank Garret's Last Word). It's set in Austin, Texas and is a non-linear story about a woman's fashion fetishism and how that adversely affects her life. I'd like to think it's quite an unusual/unique film and am looking forward to getting it out there...

HC: Simon Rumley, thank you very much

SR: Thanks and my pleasure!


MORE ARTICLES
Interview with Airell Hayles writer and co-director of They're Outside
Posted in Frightfest, Interviews, Saturday 1st August 2020
Airell Hayles

FrightFest is once again on the horizon but this time, due to global events the event has become a virtual experience with all films being accessed online. Horror is once again sponsoring the First Blood strand of the event. Here we chat to Airell Hayles whose movie They're Outside mixes found footage and pagan horror genres to great effect.

HC: Where did the idea for They're Outside come from?

AH: This idea for They're Outside came from a couple of things. I remember as a kid hearing that my uncle suffered mild agoraphobia, and when I learned what it was, I was fascinated by this idea of some people being kind of scared to leave their homes. Of course, the recent Covid-19 events h...

SHARE: READ MORE
Interview with Fionn and Toby Watts, directors of Playhouse
Posted in Frightfest, Interviews, Saturday 1st August 2020
Toby and Fionn Clapper 1

FrightFest is once again on the horizon but this time, due to global events the event has become a virtual experience with all films being accessed online. Horror is once again sponsoring the First Blood strand of the event. Here we chat to talented brothers Fionn and Toby Watts who have delivered a gothic, creepy piece named Playhouse.

HC: Was there one film or person who influenced or inspired you to become film makers?

FW: As a young boy I remember being absolutely blown away by the image of The Terminator's exo-skeleton rising from the flames. Around the same time I saw Candyman at a sleepover (rented by my friend's 'older' brother...) and it was such an i...

SHARE: READ MORE
Shatner Vs The Devil! Who wouldn't want to see that?
Posted in News, Thursday 30th July 2020
45507_1_DEVILS_REVENGE_KEY_ART_V0g

All hell is about to break loose as Shatner takes on Satan, when 4Digital unleashes The Tomb: Devil's Revenge, on digital platforms from 14th September.

The Descent meets The Exorcist, with a dash of Raiders of the Lost Ark thrown in for good measure, in what promises to be a suspenseful thrill-ride starring iconic Star Trek legend William Shatner, Jeri Ryan (Star Trek: Voyager), Jason Brooks (Star Trek, 2009), Jackie Dallas (Stranger Things) and Michael Yahn (Daredevil).

John Brock is a down-on-his-luck archaeologist who returns from an expedition to the caves of rural Kentucky, after unsuccessfully trying to locate a mysterious relic that hi...

SHARE: READ MORE
Arrow Video FrightFest announces August Digital Edition line-up and Horror Channel sponsors talent-seeking First Blood strand
Posted in Features, Frightfest, Tuesday 28th July 2020
FrightFest Online-Logo-3_NEW

The UK's most popular horror and fantasy film festival celebrates its 21st bloody year with a special Digital edition, showcasing twenty-five films, from Thursday 27th August to Monday 31st August, including seven world premieres and sixteen UK premieres. Ten countries are represented from four continents in a deadly, daring and diverse programme exclusively presented to UK audiences.

Passes and tickets will go on sale Saturday 1 August and details on how to access the event and choose which films to watch are on the FrightFest website. All film screenings will be geo-locked to UK audiences and only accessible from within the United Kingdom.

The men...

SHARE: READ MORE
Revisit James Cameron's first movie on Blu-ray in August
Posted in News, Friday 24th July 2020
Piranna II The Spawning exploded pack shot

It may seem like paradise, but just off shore, a new brand of terror has been unleashed in Piranha 2: The Spawning.

While investigating the mysterious death of a diver, scuba instructor Anne Kimbrough (Tricia O'Neil) makes a horrific discovery: mutated piranhas, with wings that enable them to fly, are responsible for the death.

As the body count rises, Anne desperately tries to convince the manager of the resort to call off the annual fish fry on the beach, but he's determined to give his guests the ultimate feeding frenzy.

This exciting sequel to Joe Dante's original Piranha also stars Lance Henriksen and is the...

SHARE: READ MORE
An all-star cast for an all-time sleazy shocker!
Posted in News, Friday 24th July 2020
Schizoid Cover

In the lurid shocker, Schizoid a newspaper advice columnist (Mariana Hill) starts receiving threats from a mysterious person. At the same time, the female members of her psychiatrist's (Klaus Kinski, Crawlspace) therapy group are being murdered one by one by a maniac wielding a large pair of scissors.

Could these incidents be linked?

Donna Wilkes, Craig Wasson, Flo Gerrish and Christopher Lloyd also star in this long forgotten sleazy slasher which is getting the usual top-notch release from 88Films.

...
SHARE: READ MORE
Dracula on red wax!
Posted in News, Friday 24th July 2020
Dracula OST Red Vinyl

From the team behind BBC's critically acclaimed Sherlock came Dracula, the reimagining of the iconic titular vampire for a 21st Century audience. Composers David Arnold and Michael Price reunited with writers and creators Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss, to breathe musical life into another famous literary character from Victorian times.

For Dracula, Arnold and Price conceived an innovative and petrifying score, in which traditional instruments and musique concrete merge with contemporary use of samples and sound design.

Scoring Dracula presented its own challenges and the composers have augmented the sound of the orchestra players by creating a library...

SHARE: READ MORE
Will you hear the Echoes of Fear?
Posted in News, Tuesday 21st July 2020
ECHOS_OF_FEAR_DVD_3D_PACKSHOT

Creating waves on the US festival circuit and garnering best feature awards galore Echoes of Fear is set to scare the living daylights out of UK audiences as it arrives on digital and DVD this summer from Second Sight Films.

Turning the haunted house genre on its head, this chilling scare-fest, will have you clamouring for a cushion as the horror creeps up to a truly disturbing climax. The supernatural chiller from Brian and Laurence Avenet-Bradley, has garnered huge critical acclaim and arrives on digital formats on 20 July, followed by its DVD release on 3 August.

When her grandfather dies suddenly, Alisa (Trista Robinson) inherits his house and m...

SHARE: READ MORE
Texas Chain Saw Massacre meets Shaun of the Dead in Two Heads Creek!
Posted in News, Tuesday 21st July 2020

Frightfest Presents and Signature Entertainment present Two Head Creek, a cannibalistic tale of Brits abroad, and a very witty slice of shocks and horror, starring Kathryn Wilder (All is True) and Stephen Hunter (The Hobbit Trilogy).

After the death of their adoptive mother, a shy butcher and his drama queen sister leave the UK and adventure to Australia in search of their biological mother, but the local townsfolk of Two Heads Creek are hiding a dark secret: the pair must reconcile their differences to fight for their lives in this playfully dark comedy-horror. The BBQ is lit and it's kill-or-be-killed in this hilarious, once-in-a-lifetime trip, also starring Gary Sweet (W...

SHARE: READ MORE
Grimmfest unveils first tranche of titles for its 2020 event
Posted in News, Tuesday 21st July 2020
TRIGGERED POSTER CU

Grimmfest 2020 will offer a roster of feature film premieres and shorts programmes across a new online platform.

This year has seen every film festival struggling to find ways to present new films to their audience safely, without risk of infection, in the midst of a global pandemic. And after long and serious discussion, Grimmfest will be going ahead in a new format for 2020.

Grimmfest's live event at the Odeon Great Northern, Manchester, will be postponed until spring 2021. But fear not, a new online alternative "virtual festival" will run from 7 - 11 October 2020 and will feature an exciting array of feature film premieres, shorts programmes, Q&As, talks and much mo...

SHARE: READ MORE
More "lost" Doctor Who coming to vinyl
Posted in News, Tuesday 21st July 2020
DrWho_MarcoPolo_3D_Exploded

Demon Records presents the narrated TV soundtrack of Doctor Who - Marco Polo, a 'lost' seven-part adventure set in the 13th Century, starring William Hartnell as the original Doctor pressed on 4 x 140g Desert Sandstorm Vinyl.

When the TARDIS breaks down in Central Asia, its occupants are met by the explorer Marco Polo. The year is 1289, and Marco is crossing the Gobi desert to Peking, for an audience with the emperor Kublai Khan. Marco sets his mind on offering the TARDIS as a gift to the Khan, despite the Doctor's protests. The time travellers must endure a long journey, fraught with danger, as they join Marco's caravan in the company of the treacherous warlord, ...

SHARE: READ MORE
The Walking Dead series to be re-issued in colour!
Posted in News, Tuesday 21st July 2020
The Walking Dead Deluxe Issue 1

Read it again!

Image Comics/Skybound Entertainment will revisit the historic independent series that took the entertainment world by storm 17 years ago The Walking Dead by Robert Kirkman and Charlie Adlard with newly, fully coloured issues. Featuring the stunning work of the masterful Dave McCaig, these new issues will launch in October with The Walking Dead Deluxe #1. Kirkman first announced the fully coloured issues during Skybound Xpo, Skybound's virtual pop-culture convention.

This deluxe revival of the series will also feature a memorable array of variant covers by such artists as David Finch, Tony Moore, Julian Totino Tedesco, and Arthur ...

SHARE: READ MORE
Articles Archive: 2020 | 2019 | 2018 | 2017 | 2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2007 | 2006
PICK OF THE WEEK
Christine
CHRISTINE
Wednesday 12th August
9.00 PM
Land Of The Dead
LAND OF THE DEAD
Monday 10th August
9.00 PM
Kill Command
KILL COMMAND
Saturday 15th August
10.45 PM