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An Interview with Kyle Martellacci, Director of Scarlet Vultures

by Mike Haberfelner

October 2018

Films directed by Kyle Martellacci on (re)Search my Trash


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Your new movie The Scarlet Vultures - in a few words, what is it about?


The Scarlet Vultures is about a depressed young woman who realizes that her blood might be more special than anyone elseís. This leads her to fall into the clutches of a group of people who take advantage of her unstable state.


What were your sources of inspiration when writing The Scarlet Vultures?


When it comes to the story there wasnít a specific source of inspiration. I had always wanted to make a spin off to my first short film and as I was developing it I was just thinking about films in general that use the blood/body parts in food plot element, and thought what if I made it more personal, put a spin on it. Because itís not really about baking with blood, itís about a young woman unhinging after the death of her sister, and finding dark coping mechanisms that lead her to self-destruction.

Visually I was inspired by Italian horror films like Blood and Black Lace, obviously Suspiria, and other films like The Neon Demon, with stylized images and lighting.


To what extent could you actually identify with The Scarlet Vultures' lead Evelyn, and with the situation she's in?


I canít say that I really relate to Evelyn. Thatís the boring answer. In some respects, like her seeking approval from others, I think everyone can relate. Not in everything we do, but we all want to be liked, we want people to see some value in us in one regard or another. Evelyn wants to be valued by people, but goes to disturbing extremes to attain that recognition.


Do talk about your movie's approach to horror for a bit!


My intention was never to make a scary film, Iím not expecting anyone to lose sleep over this, but I wanted to build an unsettling atmosphere. Itís not a fast-paced film, even for a short, but I think the build-up of dramatics helps to increase the horror of the situation Evelyn ends up getting herself into. The horror is more psychological than I have done in the past. I didnít necessarily try to create a film that was ďslow-burnĒ, I just wanted to tell the story as it made sense and basically that meant most of the horrific stuff is saved for the end.


What can you tell us about your overall directorial approach to your story at hand?


Every film I approach with a different mind-set and end game. For this one my intention was to create a film that was a bit surreal, and I felt dramatic visuals really suited the type of story that was being told. Thereís almost a bit of fantasy to the horror elements, so I just wanted to have fun with the look and the pace, creating lurid lighting, a lot of lingering shots and slow zooms. I tried to get a bit more experimental with this one than I have in the past.


Do talk about your key cast, and why exactly these people?


There are a lot of talented actors in the Ottawa film community, but Anne-Carolyne Binette (AC as we call her) brought an innocence to the role that was needed. Evelyn could have been an unlikeable, loathsome character, but I think with AC playing the part she was a bit more sympathetic. I donít know how many people will hate the character or feel bad for the character, but I feel she captured a performance that would leave people feeling conflicted about it all, which to me is a good thing.

Astrida Auza just has such a strong presence. She really came across as sinister and almost motherly, and the character of Mater Scarlet had to be more than just one note evil, she needed the charisma that Astrida brought to the role. The audience knows she's not right, but Evelyn had to be seduced by her. Once she auditioned I knew I had to bring her over from Montreal for the part.

Fabio Ricci I had met and worked with before, and I knew he just had a natural screen presence. There isnít a whole lot of the Toby character, but that didnít mean I could skimp on the actor playing him. Fabio brought an innocent naivety to the part.


A few words about the shoot as such, and the on-set atmosphere?


I like to think the on-set atmosphere is laid back, but efficient. I just always hope that cast and crew have fun during a shoot, because whatís the point if there is no enjoyment. Everyone was really committed to making this turn out as good as possible on the limited time and budget, there was great comradery between everyone. There were some hiccups, but in the end we made it work and have a finished product, and Iím lucky that I was surrounded by talented people who always wanted to do more.


The $64-question of course, where can your movie be seen?


Right now it is on the festival circuit, but eventually, at some point next year, it should be online for free! 


Anything you can tell us about audience and critical reception of The Scarlet Vultures yet?


Itís only received a handful of critic reviews, but so far they have all been very positive. Itís hard to tell how engaged an audience has been with it as itís not really a film that elicits a visible reaction, but Iíve been given some nice feedback from people whoíve seen it either through festivals or private links. I know this isnít going to be the type of film thatís accessible to everyone, but Iím glad to say so far itís been well received. A number of comments have been about the music, which I also love, Mathew Rees did a stellar job, so thatís always great to hear. I always hope that the people I bring onto a project feel itís worth their time and effort so when accolades are sent their way Iím proud to pass them along.


Any future projects you'd like to share?


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I just finished filming a large portion of my next short this week. There are still a couple of scenes left to shoot, but it will be finished for the autumn festival season next year. Itís less stylized than The Scarlet Vultures, but kind of in the same vein, with a witchy/cult theme.


Your/your movie's website, Facebook, whatever else?


Anything else you're dying to mention and I have merely forgotten to ask?


I have a rabbit named Socks and she doesnít really watch my films.


Thanks for the interview!


Thanks again man!


© by Mike Haberfelner

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Thanks for watching !!!



Robots and rats,
demons and potholes,
cuddly toys and
shopping mall Santas,
love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
to the weirdly romantic,
tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
the twisted mind of
screenwriter and film reviewer
Michael Haberfelner.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner


Out now from




On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide


A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD