Your upcoming movie The Tombs: Rise of the Damned - in a few
words, what's it going to be about?
It's about a press night at the world famous London Tombs scare
attraction that goes horribly wrong when spirits of the plague victims
buried beneath the attraction rise up and take over some of the
How did the project
fall together in the first place, and what can you tell us about your
writer Michael William Smith, and your collaboration with him?
project came about when I was at a press night at the London Tombs (for
Haunted Magazine I think), and as we were being led around the tombs my
brain started to think, "what if something happened to make this
place real. People started dying but being a scare attraction no one would
think the screams were anything to be scared of. Then when the manager
(James) said that it was built on an actual plague burial site - well, that
was the final piece and the story came together.
Michael was a friend of a friend who I heard wrote screenplays and such.
I'm always one for giving people a chance as you never know what talent
you are going find. And talent there was. Not only is he the fastest
writer I've met but he's also very open and adaptive to tweaking the
script to my vision. I will definitely use him again and strongly advise
anyone looking for a script writer to track him down on Facebook.
of course have to also talk about The Tombs: Rise of the Damned's
very special killers for a bit? And what drew you to the film's slasher
theme to begin with?
Slashers just seemed the natural way
to go. The animatronics are lurking in the tombs stalking and killing
people so slashers just seemed the natural choice.
The killers are all my own creations designed specifically for this
feature. Each one has a multitude of influences - Charles Band's films
Demonic Toys and Dolls is very much there. Killer Klowns from Outer
Space, The Texas Chainsaw
Massacre, Friday the
Psycho and even my own short film Bear Scary. My favourite by far is our
poster boy 'TeddyScare'. I absolutely love killer teddy bears and have
them in some form or another in every feature film I have done so far. I
put a lot of different influences into TeddyScare and he really seems to
be the one everyone's rooting for. The London Tombs have even asked if he
can be the star attraction in their Halloween event Phobophobia, so you
know he's gotta be scary as hell.
Your actual location, The London
Tombs - what do you find so appealing about filming there, and do you
see any challenges in that respect?
I don't see challenges
in the location, I see opportunities to create a more interesting shooting
style. Shooting there will be amazing, the place is tailor-made to terrify
people, even walking round there in the light freaks me out.
What can you tell us
about your movie's approach to horror (as in suspense vs sudden shocks,
atmosphere vs all-out gore and the like)?
There are no
"vs", I really want to marry the two. Build a nice tense
atmosphere, draw it out to get people on the edge of their seats and then
BOOM sudden shock of gore and brutality. Knock the audience sideways.
Do talk about
your directorial approach to your story at hand?
I am very
influenced by Tobe Hooper and Rob Zombie. I love extreme close ups,
uncomfortable angles and erratic cuts. I want a tense frantic nightmare of
a film. I want people to be blown away. We're utilising its
claustrophobic atmosphere, circus lighting and long creepy corridors. The
location films a lot of it itself.
you can tell us about your projected cast yet?
keeping a lot of the roles open as we are casting in open auditions even
for some of those already attached but we can say that Jessica Ann Bonner
is green-lit to lead and Debbie Rochon [Debbie
Rochon interview - click here] has also been confirmed.
As far as
I know, you are currently running a fundraiser for The Tombs: Rise of
the Damned - so what can you tell us about your campaign?
as announced on our press night (on Monday the 13th of October),
Templeheart have officially green lit the project so we are now going into
pre production. We still have the IndieGoGo campaign up though as the
merch on there is limited to this campaign so people can still buy
the T-shirts, pre-order DVDs etc.
your funds are raised, what's the schedule, and even if it might be waaay
too early to ask, any idea when the film might be released onto the
general public yet?
We are hoping to shoot early next year
so we can enter it into Film 4's Frightfest.
Any future projects beyond The
Tombs: Rise of the Damned you'd like to share?
Beyond The Tombs we have the second film in my anthology series
Nightmares Part 2. A few of the sections have been filmed already so just
waiting on the rest and I'll wrap it up with the narrative story.
I have a Tombs sequel in mind that would be awesome to do (mainly as it
would mean the first one was a success). Serial Kaller has been accepted
into Horror-on-Sea film festival and will also be released by Wild Eye
Releasing along with my first anthology film Three's a Shroud next year.
Feeling lucky ?
any of my partnershops yourself
for more, better results ?
The links below
will take you
movie's website, Facebook, IndieGoGo, whatever else?
else you are dying to mention and I have merely forgotten to ask?
a massive thank you to Templeheart Films and the London Tombs for
believing in me and this project. To all those who have helped design T-shirts, posters, sponsored us, written articles, helped us and supported
us. There are so many people to thank it's unreal but they all know who
they are and that they have my gratitude.
for the interview!