Gigi Saul Guerrero and her Luchagore-team may be the hottest and fastest rising newcomers in horror today. Last year they collected award after award for their stomach-churning beat-them-and-eat-them short „El Gigante“. Famous horror icons like Eli Roth and the Soska sisters are among their fans and supporters. 2016 could be remembered as the year that brought the Vancouver-based filmmakers right where they belong – to the top of their game. Director Gigi, cinematographer Luke Bramley and producer Raynor Shima spoke with us about their specific approach, dealing with low budgets and the fun of grossing people out.
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Luchagore goes Gigante | Interview with Canada’s hot new generation of horror: Gigi Saul Guerrero, Luke Bramley and Raynor ShimaMontag, 14. März 2016
Dieter Laser on Centipedes, Sky Sharks and Jesus’ Blood | Interview with the man behind Bill Boss and Dr. HeiterSamstag, 24. Oktober 2015
When portraying a villain, Dieter Laser may be able to scare you to death but in real life he is the nicest person you can imagine. Having played more characters on stage and in front of the camera than you can count, he knows how to turn a simple interview into a show of its own kind – or did you ever hear of a „pussy schnitzel“ before? In our little conversation he talked about new and recent projects, the pros and cons of taboo breaking, how to get rid of annoying characters and what might have been the future of Dr Heiter and Bill Boss from „The Human Centipede“ films.
It took Rainer Sarnet more than a decade to put his dream project into motion. Before the end of the year though, „Rehepapp“ will finally begin shooting. What a relief it must be for the 42 year old filmmaker and Fassbinder-admirer, who is best known for his Dostoyevsky adaption of „The Idiot“ (2011). Based on the bestselling novel of the same name by fantasy and children book author Andrus Kivirähk, this Estonian / Dutch / Polish co-production was first heard of in 2005, but only to vanish in oblivion – or pre-production hell, if you will. Now the film is back on track with Dieter Laser starring as „The Baron“, a German manor lord.
Extraterrestrial Conversation: The Vicious Brothers | Interview with Colin Minihan and Stuart Ortiz (english version)Sonntag, 12. April 2015
In 2011 a never-heard-of-before filmmaker duo from Canada managed to draw the attention of the horror film crowd with a little found footage shocker called “Grave Encounters” which the influential Forbes magazine ranked among that year’s top ten films of its genre. Apart from writing the sequel it took “The Vicious Brothers” (who are not related at all) three years to finish their next original film but the fun result was worth the wait. “Extraterrestrial” is a mean little homage to classic alien movies with a little bit of torture porn thrown in. We spoke with Colin Minihan and Stuart Ortiz about archetypes, UFO tropes, working as a team and Jennifer Aniston.
Seven months ago I turned thirty. For normal people that means very little else than another year older, another milestone in the books. For an overly ambitious person though that means What-The-Fuck-Am-I-Doing-With-My-Life?! And that’s how it hit. I knew at this point I had a strong body of film work. I’d gone to countless meetings and nothing had come of it. I couldn’t wait another minute to get my first feature film moving. I just couldn’t. I couldn’t waste another year of my life accomplishing nothing substantial.
With their uncompromising debut „Inside“, Alexandre Bustillo and Julien Maury classified themselves as cofounders of a new and very gory wave of French horror cinema. Their follow-up „Livid“ turned out to be rather dreamful and left hardcore-fans puzzled. With their current feature „Among the Living“, the duo surprises again by delivering a very specific mashup of „The Goonies“ and classic slasher flicks. When premiering the movie in Germany last year we spoke with Julien Maury about Young Adult Horror of the 80’s, Stephen King, risky plots and why he still has to get used to crowdfunding.
Revolution, Science Fiction and the loss of technology | Why a show by J.J. Abrams creates a catch-22Dienstag, 04. November 2014
Science fiction has a history of pivoting to cast its forward-looking gaze at a future—often, an apocalyptic one—that where technology is notably absent. A recent case is the J.J. Abrams produced (and by now cancelled) show „Revolution“ starring Billy Burke and Elizabeth Mitchell. But why would a genre founded on exploring and often celebrating technology cast it aside?
There are lots of books out there on no-budget film making. They all say pretty much the same thing. Write for what you’ve got. If you have access to a cool location, use it. If you have an awesome actor friend, base your story around them. Keep it simple, stupid. – As I take this advice to heart I also have a few ways that I am facing the up-hill-battle with my own strategy. First of all, instead of keeping it to one location, I’ve decided it’s better to break it up into five locations. Why? Simply because you should never put all your eggs in one basket. Especially when you have a film crew and a ton of gear trampling through said basket for several weeks.
I guess I should start this from the top. Where it all began. I could start with my first grade Monster Squad fan fiction. Or maybe my brilliant filmmaking debut when I was 14 and made a movie titled „The Bucksport Sasquatch Project“ which starred my family and friends looking for big foot. Or maybe my freshman thesis paper on wanting to grow up to be just like John Carpenter and Clive Barker? For time purposes let’s zoom ahead to 2012. This was me:
I came across Ama about two years ago. She was doing these amazing photos of horror celebrities for a book pretty confidently entitled „The Bloody Best Project“. Famous faces disconnected from reality, dwelling in strange locations, full of razor-sharp details, irony and an unsettling atmosphere. So you know what? I was hooked immediately. These photos were more than just staged. They seemed to be excerpts from bigger stories, faux stills, giving a hint at what happened before and what was probably about to happen soon. The right term for this would be: Cinematic. These pictures were actually taken by a filmmaker at heart. The name of the photographer: Ama Lea.
Jonas Alexander Arnby likes to leave the comfort zone | Interview with the director of WHEN ANIMALS DREAM [english version]Samstag, 12. Juli 2014
In case you just finished watching the latest episode of „Hemlock Grove“ and hunger for more werewolf madness you may be on the wrong track. The last thing you should expect from the remarkable feature film debut of Danish helmer Jonas Alexander Arnby are elaborated transformation sequences or a high blood rate. Quite the opposite is what the film has to offer. Selected for Critics’ Week at this years’ Cannes Film Festival, „When animals dream“ adds a good deal of Scandinavian realism to the genre and reminded quite a few critics of „Let the right one in“. We spoke to the director when presenting his film in Munich and learned that a US remake might already be in sight.
It has been quite a while now since Joe Pesci officially retired from acting and yet we can see him on the big screen these days. But is it really him? Not quite. The much younger version of the legendary Italian-American actor appearing in Clint Eastwood’s take on the successful broadway play „Jersey Boys“ is portrayed by newcomer Joseph Russo. We talked to the charming actor only hours before the Los Angeles premiere where he was expecting to meet – you guessed it – Joe Pesci.
With the sequel to last year’s successful horror anthology comes another competition to join the group of 25 more or less well-known genre gurus (amond them the Soska Sisters, Vincenzo Natali and Alex de la Iglesia). Again filmmakers from all around the world were asked to create a short of under 3 minutes runtime centered around any chosen word, this time starting with the letter “M”. Over 280 films have been submitted so far and there is still time until October 31. The contest once again shows though that being able to handle a digital camera is far from being enough. Most entries suffer from a serious lack of talent, inspiration and experience. Exceptions prove the rule and one of the best comes from L. A. based photographer and filmmaker Ama Lea.
There is a whole canon of books being categorized as „unfilmable“ – for whatsoever reason. Every now and then though, fearless filmmakers prove the advocates of this theory wrong by delivering great examples of falsification. The list includes masterpieces like “Catch 22”, “Naked Lunch”, “Requiem for a Dream” or “Trainspotting”, based on Irvine Welsh’s acclaimed novel of the same name. With “Filth”, writer-director Jon S. Baird took to another book by Scotland’s only true post-modernist and reduced the canon of allegedly unfilmable literature by yet another title. With us he talked about the specific challenges of his adaption, lead actor James McAvoy, 99 red balloons and the high quality of German football.
Exclusive: Dieter Laser talks THE HUMAN CENTIPEDE 3 and future projects | Interview (english version)Samstag, 13. Juli 2013
The fictional character which instantly turned him into a horror icon in 2009 could not differ more from the real person: With the fascistic surgeon Dr. Heiter of „The Human Centipede“, Dieter Laser has nothing in common but those distinctive facial features. Apart from that, the veteran German actor is the nicest person you can think of. Only recently he finished shooting the last part of the controversial horror-trilogy by Tom Six and was kind enough to talk to us exclusively about the film itself, working with Eric Roberts, shooting in Hollywood and his surprising plans for the future.
MARIANNE: Swedish filmmaker Filip Tegstedt decides to self-distribute his debut feature via VOD without region blocking | A future model for the independent market?Donnerstag, 04. Juli 2013
Making an independent movie is one thing, tough enough but once you call it a wrap there are still obstacles left to face. You entered the festivals, you received the awards, you had fans and critics sing your praise but your film is still not out there. What now? Get a regular job? After two years of struggling and only sealing a deal for a Swedish DVD release, filmmaker Filip Tegstedt finally decided to self-distribute his much beloved debut feature „Marianne” via VOD. For a humble amount of $6.99 everyone can legally watch it online for 24 hours. Worldwide. No region-blocking, no rating restrictions. Streaming services are provided by Youtube competitor Vimeo. Is this the future of independent film distribution?
If you still think that twitter is only good for posting what you had for breakfast, better stop reading here. Recent disussions on celebrities like Kristen Bell, Melissa Joan Hart or Zach Braff (not to mention the many others before them that went more or less unnoticed) trying to get their projects off the ground via crowdfunding stirred up quite some controversy. Are the rich and famous about to hijack the domain of independent filmmakers and steal their potential donators? Certainly not. But now that the gates are officially open for everyone (which they obviously have always been), why not turn the spotlight on filmmakers we love but haven’t seen much of lately? Wouldn’t crowdfunding be an excellent chance to bring them back where they belong – the big screen?
Steven C. Miller won’t waste a shot | Interview with the director of THE AGGRESSION SCALE (english version)Dienstag, 12. Februar 2013
While not really being on anyone’s radar before 2012, Steven C. Miller entered the Maya-year with a bang – or rather with three of them. Shot almost back-to-back, „The Aggression Scale“, „Under the Bed“ and „Silent Night“ got released only months apart from each other and quickly turned the spotlights on the only 31yo director from Georgia. Working with quite some pace and talking fast enough to make Scorsese and the Gilmore Girls look pale, Miller surely never wastes any time or shot. With us he discussed his approach on filmmaking, working with legends, the restrictions of tv, remakes and why his daughter is sometimes creepy.
You know you must have done something right when Christopher Nolan’s production office calls you up and asks for your permission to use fight scenes from your short film as reference material for „The Dark Knight rises“. It happened to David Roddham and his directorial debut „Fifth Street“. What he and his cinematographer Stephen Murphy („Mrs Peppercorn’s Magical Reading Room“) have in common with Nolan is their imperturbable passion for traditional cinema. Right now their almost 30 minutes short „Coward“, shot on 35mm, proves with almost 120.000 plays in less than a month that this passion finds a lot of love online. But also industry professionals can’t take their eyes off the stunning visuals and the touching story based on execution habits in World War I. With us the two filmmakers talked about their film, the influence of paintings, avoiding digital, negotiating with HBO and shooting on lenses used by David Lean.
For those of you who think all werewolves look like Taylor Lautner, please stop reading here. Good news for the rest of us: There is hope that the hairy classic horror icon may still be alive in the minds of filmmakers who haven’t forgotten about how scary it is to watch a regular man turn into a bloodthirsty beast whenever there is a full moon. Juan Martinez Moreno is one of those filmmakers and his witty horror-comedy „Lobos de Arga (Game of Werewolves)“ just wowed fans and festivals all around the globe. With us he talked about his love for the genre, American remakes, the status of independent cinema in Spain and why prosthetics are the real thing.