Your upcoming film Wrath of the Crows - in a few words, what
is it about?
The film is set in a dirty and narrow jail, Larry, Deborah, Hugo,
Hernest and Liza, the prisoners, are obliged to suffer injustices from the
guards and from their chief, the officer. Yet above all of them there is the Judge. Nobody ever saw him,
but he is the one who sets the rules and he's feared from inmates and
Suddenly, a new prisoner appears out of nowhere: Princess. She is a beautiful lady, dressed only in a crow feathers coat,
shining, sweet-smelling, sensual.
Her appearance causes curiosity in the others inmates, but also
envy, suspects and a deep sexual agitation.
In a very short time Princess reveals her dark and supernatural
nature: she can move objects with the power of her mind and she is
You wrote the original story for Wrath of the Crows, right? What were your initial inspirations, and how did
it grow into Gerardo Di Filippo's screenplay? And what was your
wrote this short story a couple of years ago, right after the writing
Iíve put it in a drawer and forgot about it. The story was divided by
chapters and was about 12 pages, the title was The Prison of the Lost
Souls. After almost a year I was reading all my old stuff and found
this story - it was a true discovery. It was very interesting and I decided
to send it to one of my scriptwriters, Gerardo Di Filippo. A few days later
we were already on writing the script of Wrath of the Crows! Our
is this: Gerardo writes a scene and then he sends it to me, I correct and
resend to him... Then we discuss the changes a lot. Gerardo wrote some
amazing scenes that we were forced to cut out for budgetary reasons, it was
hard at times to explain this to him, but at the end we found a great
compromise and the final script was really great!
Tiffany Shepis [Tiffany Shepis
interview - click here], Debbie Rochon [Debbie
Rochon interview - click here], Tara Cardinal [Tara
Cardinal interview - click here] and Suzi Lorraine [Suzi
Lorraine interview - click here], Wrath of the Crows
less than four popular North American scream queens. Why, how did you get
them, and what was your collaboration like?
only reason Iíve called them is because I always want to work with
talent actors and certainly they are. Tiffany Shepis is the perfect
actress, every time you need her sheís ready with all the emotions you
need for the scene. Itís incredible how fast she enters into the
character, in every take she shows an outstanding performance.
is a true artist. I really love working with her because it is like digging
inside of your soul. She deeply works with the character and we often
discuss the role and the movie, not only on set but also
during the breaks or in the car when we were moving from one set to
another. Sheís a complex person and I have a great feeling for her. At
the end, when she gives you the perfect take, itís really a touching
did an amazing job on set, especially with the dramatic scenes. She has a
special talent when itís time to cry or work with emotional stuff.
Sheís great with the stunts too, but the aspect I really love about her is
the emotional one.
was another fabulous discovery, another ďmachineĒ that gives what you
need exactly when you need it. She was fantastic on set.
somewhere that Suzi Lorraine plays no less than four different roles in
Wrath of the Crows. Would you like to elaborate on that?
was supposed to be a secret but... hey, itís impossible to keep secrets
in this world wide era. Iím kidding... Yes she plays four different
roles and the reason is very simple: She entered on the cast after the
main casting was closed and I was forced to assign her just one little
(but very nice) role. I thought that was a shame and I decided to assign
her some other small things relying on her great talent. It was the right
decision. She transformed herself so well and sheís so different in any
role that she'll be very hard to discover.
few words about the rest of your cast and crew?
glad you asked this question because Iím really proud of the whole cast and
crew of this movie. The other actors are the super talented Domiziano
Arcangelo interview - click here], Brian Fortune (another actor that works very well
on an emotional level),
Gerry Shanahan (that was great especially because he was blind in every
scene due the FX-eye-lenses) and John Game (very young but a bright future
ahead). At last, but not least, thereís the Italian ones. Iím proud of
my Italian roster, and the names are Michael Segal (who plays the head of
the guards and he is really nasty), Emanuele Cerman (who will surprise
you all with his ďSpoonĒ), Giuseppe Gobbato (another super talented man
who plays a nasty role) and the ever great Matteo Tosi.
I also want to say some good words about the FX guys: The staff I called was
CreaFX from Florence (Italy) and they did an excellent job. I worked with
them in the past on the film NyMpha but on Wrath of the Crows
they improved a lot and showed talent and innovative techniques.
you tell us about the actual shoot and the on-set atmosphere?
set was an amazing experience. The atmosphere was relaxed and very focused
on the project. We respected the schedule without any delay. We shot the
movie during the last summer, in August, for 5 weeks. I still miss all
actors and all the crew members, canít wait to see them all to show the
what I've seen, Wrath of the Crows
tends to get quite brutal at
times. So what are fans to expect in terms of violence and gore?
very gory and brutal, but everything is tied by a strong concept and
the whole story is focused on the characters' development, so thereís not only
splatter sequences but there are also atmospheric moments, few dream-like
sequences and a final twist that will shock you all.
$64-question of course, when and where will the film be released?
film is in post-production right now. We have some very complex visual
effects to make and this will take some time to be realized. I can say for
sure that the world premiere will be in Los Angeles in February/March
2013. After that the movie will be released worldwide.
last released film is the H.P. Lovecraft adaptation Colour from the
What can you tell us about that one?
very proud of this movie. When you adapt the work of a writer you admire, you donít want to betray him. I can say that I have never felt I've
betrayed Lovecraft. Never. I have the maximum respect for him and his work
and I think I have always respected him with my adaptations. Of course in
adapting The Colour Out of Space I have changed some points of the story -
I was forced to do this in order to fit it for the screen, but the
atmosphere I've created is very close to what he wrote. When adapting
Colour I didnít just focus on the facts, or only on the characters, but
also on the mood of the tale. From this point of view I would say my
adaptation could be considered very close to Lovecraftís idea.
worked a lot on the look of this movie - from this point of view I must
admit my first inspiration was the work that Mario Bava [Mario
Bava bio - click here] did with color
in the í60. If you look at those movies you can see how color was
important as a storytelling tool. I tried to do the same with my film,
Iíve used the color to tell the story in the right way. The film start
with vivid cinematography, full of the colors of the nature. Then, after
the evil originated by the well starts eating everything and sucks energy
from any living creature, the colors become flat. I consider the whole
movie just like a fade to black. The last shot in fact is black and white
and very very dark.
filmmaking career, you have returned to H.P. Lovecraft time and again.
What is it that fascinates you about the man and his work, and would you
like to talk about your other Lovecraft-adaptations for a bit?
I love Lovecraft. But rather than his stories I'm much more interested in the man. I'd like to make a
film telling his biography as the real story it was. His literature comes
across feeling like a "stranger", an "alien" to this
world. Something I share with him. My interest in HPL comes from this
feeling, not much by the terrible creeping creatures but by what they
really meant to him. Often I get more exited by how one story was
conceived than by the story itself. And I appreciate his terrible effort
trying to describe what cannot be described.
other films of yours you'd like to talk about?
movie Iím proud of is NyMpha. Iíve always been obsessed by Catholic symbolism,
and here in Italy we are surrounded by it. Some icons or statues of
saints are so weird they often inspire me with ideas for a new movie, and
this is what happened with NyMpha. Looking to some paintings with
religious themes you can see how violent was the Catholic Church was in the
past and how many obscure and horrific a film can be with the same
Going back to my Lovecraft adaptations I think
that also The Shunned House deserves a mention. It was
in the year 2002 and my screenwriter and I were looking for three stories sharing the same
location but taking place in different times, so we came up with The Music
of Eric Zann and Dreams In The Witch House, which shared the inn's
location. Then we used The Shunned House to glue the previous two
together. At first we were undecided between The Music Of Eric Zann and
Cool Air, but in the end we selected Music because we think it's a better
and visually more interesting story.
future projects you'd like to share with us?
Actually Iím developing a
couple of projects, Sudarium and Sick Sisters. I think that
one of the two will be my next film to shoot in 2013.
of your films are of the horror variety. A genre you are especially fond
of and why (not)?
horror genre is very important to me. I donít think that itís a
marginal one. Horror films can dig on a several psychological aspect of
the human being and can help us to face our fears. From this point of view
we can say that horror movies have a cathartic function.
Letís say I try and juxtapose the two main
elements which stir a human being's actions: instinct and mind. Actually
Iím not attracted by the beasty behaviours of men, quite the contrary
they scare me. But of course when you want to tell fearful stories it is
natural to tell what really scares you, and thatís why you can find such
primary elements in my movies. In Colour From the Dark for example, the
ďmindĒ is well represented by Pietro, with his moral stiffness, his
stubborness in trying to find a logical reason to all the evil suddenly
threatening his family. At the same time Lucia embodies the wildest
reason getting overwhelmed by the most violent and grimmest drives. At the
very end the reason will be squeezed by the evil driving everybody,
degrading and corrupting everything.
Let's go back to the beginnings of
your career: What got you into filmmaking in the first place, and did you
receive any formal education on the subject?
It's something that grew up
along with me. Since I was a kid I was fascinated by cinema. I really
loved Sergio Leone's westerns. I remember planning to shoot a si-fi
western, and starting to put down a plot. The real passion came years
after, getting acquainted with the horror genre. I had always been scared
to death of horror movies, but one day I decided to face my fears and
watch the movies of the horror masters. I rented ten movies and closed
myself in a room, alone with my VCR. I was impressed by Mario Bava [Mario
Bava bio - click here], Dario
Argento, Sam Raimi and John Carpenter. I was mostly interested in the
technical side of Raimi's films and the visionary approach of Bava's. I
decided I would make horror movies, because they would allow me to use a
more creative way in shooting techniques. I fished out my father's old
super8 camera and shot some very short movies, which I edited myself. It
was fun, and very gratifying. Since then I've never stopped thinking and
Your favourite movies?
Feeling lucky ?
any of my partnershops yourself
for more, better results ?
The links below
will take you
I really enjoyed Dan
O'Bannon's The Resurrected, based on The Case of Charles Dexter
saw this movie many years ago during a festival. I don't remember it
perfectly, but it had a great impact on me. The title is impossible to
find in Italy, since distributors don't take the genre very seriously. In
spite of its not being inspired to any particular Lovecraft's tale, I
loved Carpenter's In the Mouth of Madness. It's evidently
Lovecraft-inspired and a very peculiar movie. It tells a lot about the
workings of fear and has a powerful and original structure. But if you
want to know which is the best horror film of all the time, to me it's Shining.
and of course, films you really deplore?
donít like the only-splatters movies and the so called ďtorture
by Ďmoderní horror we mean those hyper-violent action movies with just
a few true horror elements, like the Saw saga for example, then I really
don't like them.
Your website, Facebook, whatever else?
website is www.ivanzuccon.com
blog is http://ivanzuccon.blogspot.it/
Facebook page is http://www.facebook.com/izuccon
Anything else you are dying to
mention and I have merely forgotten to ask?
asked me everything! LOL
are very welcome!