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An Interview with Matthew A. Peters, Director of Brackish

by Mike Haberfelner

October 2015

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Your new movie Brackish - in a few words, what is it about?


Brackish (2015) is the story of a man, Jake, who is going through major emotional trauma due to the brutal death of his fiance. His sister, Tila, convinces him to go out with her friends on a camping trip to a ghost town. There, he discovers the town's dark secret, which is the key to bringing back to life his lost love. However, with that knowledge also comes the price that must be paid by doing so. Hence the dilemma within Jake throughout the movie as he takes steps in moving closer to his final decision.


For what I know, Brackish is a remake of your first movie with the same title - so what gave you the idea to remake that movie, and what do you think are the main differences/improvements?


Brackish (2007) was the first movie Mad Angel Films ever made. Given that, we were obviously very inexperienced. We made a lot of painful mistakes, but it was a film that we loved like our own little bastard child. We always talked about doing it the right way so, eight years later, we finally decided to actually start remaking it. In Brackish (2007), the visuals overpowered the story so this time, we brought the two on par. In addition, we worked on several other things like pacing. For example, in Brackish (2007), the first person didn't die until after an hour into the film, so we amped up the slaughter and mayhem right off the bat with Brackish (2015).


What were your inspirations when writing Brackish, both the old and the new movie?


The inspirations for Brackish (2007) came from movies like Evil Dead, along with a number of slasher films from the 70's and 80's. This basically stayed the same for Brackish (2015), but with several improvements on the 2007 story.


Do talk about your movie's approach to horror for a bit (as in suspense vs sudden shocks, atmosphere vs all-out gore)!


Brackish takes a suspenseful approach that builds up to the gore. You'll see it coming so just sit back and enjoy. There aren't any sudden shocks, but the ending is quite brutal.


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


I wanted to approach this film with a clean slate. It's a story I've already told once before, but wanted to breath new life into. I wanted the story to stand out and not be overshadowed by the graphic content this time around.


From what I've read, the right location is one of the key element of your film - so what can you tell us about yours, and what were the advantages and maybe also challenges filming there?


The right locations can make a film and finding that right spot and exploring its possibilities is one of my favorite parts of filmmaking. For Brackish (2015), we were actually able to find an abandoned ghost town in the Adirondacks and use that as the setting for our film. The main advantage to having a place like this is you don't have to set anything up. It was a perfect place - old rotten homes being taking over by nature - giving you that Hollywood production look at zero cost. The only challenge was that it's about 3 hours away from civilization and the cast wasn't too fond of camping (HA).


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


With Brackish (2015), our approach was based off the foundations of the original film. We knew what worked in 2007 and what didn't. We wanted to build on what worked and found people who not only did that, but were able to take the characters and make them their own. They're all talented, hard working actors looking to make a name for themselves and I had the pleasure of working with them.


What can you tell us about the shoot as such, and the on-set atmosphere?


It was a very fun shoot. We made them all watch the 2007 version before setting out to film the remake, so there was a lot of joking and bonding over that right off the bat. Everyone had the goal in mind to not only make this one better, but to make an overall great film that could stand on its own. The biggest challenge was a camping trip overnight - it wouldn't stop raining, but it didn't break their spirits and we pushed through it.


The $64-question of course: When and where will the film be released onto the general audience?


We're having a premiere on Friday, Nov 13th. After that, we plan to send it out to a few film festivals and then, hopefully, release it early next year on DVD, Blu-ray and Streaming Online services.


Any future projects you'd like to share?


We have two more films in post production that we were able to fund through Kickstarter:

The first one is Slade Collins: In and Out of Time, the second in a series of adventure films about a relic hunter. In this one, Slade travels through time to World War II to stop a Nazi plot to take over the world. In the process, he meets his father and discovers many things about his past and the conflicts within him.

The second one is Romeo 3000, a post-apocalyptic take of Romeo and Juilet with touches of steampunk, set in the year 3000. In this take, Rome is a Cyborg and the Last Montague, is still trying to find Mrs. Right (or, at least Mrs. Right Now (HA)), but is also equally seeking revenge for the death of his family by those of House Capulet.

Next year we have plans to start production on two projects, possibly more. One of them is a superhero comedy called Failman, and the other's a western/martial arts film called The Man With No Pants.


What got you into filmmaking in the first place, and did you receive any formal training on the subject?


I have always wanted to tell unique, interesting stories and to me, filmmaking has always stood out as the best way to do that. I have a fancy four year degree in Cinema Theory, but that's about it. Everything else was self taught and it's been a fun learning process.


What can you tell us about your filmwork prior to Brackish?


Brackish is my 13th film to be released in the last 8 years. Past films have been a healthy mix of horror, action, sci-fi, and drama. A few of my favorites being Three Days in The Woods, Half Dead and Slade Collins and Tree of Life. All low budget films, but we strive for great production values and growing our budgets for each film.


How would you describe yourself as a director?


I would like to say I'm a ruthless dictator who directs with an iron fist but sadly, I'm far from it. I'm very open to work with people and give the actors room to play with their characters. My goal as a director is to make the movie entertaining and that's what I strive for. Even if you hated the movie, my goal is still to see that you had fun watching it and you where entertained by it.


Filmmakers who inspire you?


There is one filmmaker who has always inspired me and that would be John Carpenter. His style of filmmaking and storytelling has always called out to me and one that I like to reflex on the most. He's a filmmaker who has often stepped outside of the box and created movies that were before their time.


Your favourite movies?


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Favorite movies are always a hard thing to pick for me. I would say some of my favorite films are Big Trouble in Little China, The Street Fighter (1974 film with Sonny Chiba), Escape from LA, Young Guns 2, Lost Boys and The Last Dragon.


... and of course, films you really deplore?


Any modern day ghost film currently plaguing the market. I just can't get into films where nothing happens.


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


Website: (re-launching soon, working on some updates)





Thanks for the interview!


© by Mike Haberfelner

Legal note: (re)Search my Trash cannot
and shall not be held responsible for
content of sites from a third party.

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