Your upcoming movie
Cleaver: Rise of the Killer Clown - in a few words, what's
it going to be about?
film is a look back at the origins of Carlton Layton, the man who becomes the
infamous Clown Killer: After slaughtering his wife and her lover he escapes
into the night. 5 years later, a small town in Oklahoma is haunted by a string
of missing children. In the midst of it, Carley, a college girl needing a quick
buck, takes a baby sitting job for the Palmer family, but as the night goes
on, it appears she may be the only person that stands between the Palmer's
little girl and The Cleaver.
What were your inspirations when dreaming up
Cleaver: Rise of the Killer Clown
- and what can you tell us about your co-writer Jason Harlow,
and what was your collaboration like?
Cleaver: Rise of the Killer Clown
bouncing around in my brain for a few years, I'd always had an idea for
his origin story but didn't even figure that the world needed another
killer clown film and if I was going to do it, I wanted to give it
something different, and that was quite tricky when you consider how many
horror flicks feature clowns. I knew I wanted to take it in a different
direction to most films in the sub genre, and that was the main intention.
I had been working with Jason Harlow on some articles for a horror
magazine and around the same time had been trying keep up with writing on
about 3 other scripts, I knew that I just didn't have time to write it and
then Jason asked if I'd like to work on something with him. I pitched the
Cleaver story and he loved it. Pretty soon we were away figuring out the
plot with the intention of just shooting it at some point in the future.
It's the first time I've worked with another writer like this, on a
property that is already kind of established, but it's been fun and it's
great to see what Jason brings to the table as a horror fan and as a
writer. It's been a blast so far.
As far as I know,
Cleaver: Rise of the Killer Clown
does not mark the first appearance of your killer clown
the Cleaver -
so what can you tell us about his previous incarnations?
has always been present in our little universe, he appeared in a couple of
shorts we did over the years, but unusually silent and wearing some form
of mask. It wasn't until I decided to put him in my feature Slasher House
that I thought he needed to be defined and rounded out a little more. We
cast Andrew M Greenwood to play him and he really took it to whole new
level and brought real character to him.
We didn't really know if people would like him, but after the film got
released we started getting messages (some of them outright angry)
demanding that he should have had more screen time and that we should make
a film just about him. I guess you can't really ignore a response
can you tell us about your movie's approach to the horror genre, and how
far do you intend to go in terms of violence and gore?
think in terms of the movie's approach, as with a lot of films like this,
as soon as they introduce a clown, they seem to feel the need to make it
all a bit goofy, which I enjoy of course and makes sense, but I wanted to
do something in the other direction. What would becoming this thing do a
person's psyche? What does a person who lives his life in a clown suit act
like? I wanted him to be disturbing, the best example I can put give is I
wanted him less Nightmare On Elm Street-sequels and more like the tone
of the original, outright terrifying Krueger. I hope that makes sense.
With regard to the violence
and gore, it's not something I consider at first, I tend to look at the story
and how that needs to play out to be as effective as it can be. After
that I look and see where and if the violence and gore fit. I mean
working in horror they go hand in hand a lot of the time, but our
focus here is telling the story first and doing the violent side of it
just right. However there will be some nice kills because... y'know... slasher movie. ;)
can you tell us about the movie's intended look and feel as such?
film is set in the 1990's, so getting that visual aesthetic right is
paramount when it comes to the look and feel of the film's setting, and we
plan to make it as authentic as possible. In terms of the feel of the
film, one of the main reasons we chose Halloween night as a setting, is
simply because a fan of Slasher House
asked us to and from there we kind
of thought, "actually decorating that set would be pretty cool",
so we ran with it. Plus who doesn't love the feeling of Halloween? I was
excited to try to portray that on screen.
The overall feel of the film is planned to be pretty disturbing, I mean
you have this guy who is running around killing families and kidnapping
little girls and doing god knows what to them, so there's very little to
laugh about there and, although there are comedic moments in the film, the
disturbing aspect is the one that's gonna float to the top. The idea is to
give people who might not be scared of clowns a reason to fear them.
you can tell us about your key cast yet, and why exactly these people?
the first thing we did in terms of casting was contact Andrew M.
Greenwood from Slasher House
and made sure that he wanted to do it and more importantly that he
had time to do it. Luckily he agreed, because as far as we were
concerned without him, there was no movie in the first place.
for the other cast, the process is ongoing at the minute. The film is
set in the Southern USA, so we're trying to remain authentic to that,
which is important as the film is being shot here in the UK, in Milton
Keynes and although the city emulates America in a whole bunch of ways,
we know that finding the right cast is important in selling that
illusion and we're currently looking at several UK based American actors
to take on the other roles in the film.
far as I know, Cleaver: Rise of the Killer Clown is as we speak still in its
fundraising stages - so what can you tell us about your fundraising
is. The campaign came about because we realised that another movie we
had in preproduction wasn't going to ready to shoot in November and so
we found ourselves with the time open, a script and after talking to
Andy, we knew that this was the project to fill the space. Unfortunately
its takes a lot of time to find the money we would have needed from
investors, and we had had success with crowdfunding on our last film
Legacy Of Thorn, so we figured this was the way to go.
The campaign opened on September 18th and runs to the end of October, in
return for donations we're offering HD Downloads, DVD's, VHS tapes,
Producer credits and even meat cleavers from the set of the film. It's a
great way of engaging our fan base and getting people involved and
invested in the project.
campaign can be found here:
Once your funds are raised, what's the
schedule, and any idea when the film might be released yet (however
aim is to hit festivals in Autumn next year and have the film ready for
DVD and VOD release on October 26th next year along side a limited
theatrical run in the UK throughout October. At least that's the plan. We
thought that it was important to bring it out during the Halloween season
due to the tone of the film.
Any future projects beyond
Cleaver: Rise of the Killer Clown?
got plenty lined up, Blood On Santa's Claws has been pushed back to late
next year, which is what opened up this opportunity in the first place.
Outside of that we're shooting Slasher House 2 in the new year and we're
talking about a follow up to
Legacy Of Thorn that may or may not happen in the
summer. There's also a super secret feature that we've been working on
the background but I can't say anything about it at the minute.
working on an anthology movie with 3 other filmmakers, all of which were
big inspirations to me when I became a filmmaker all those years ago, so
that's kind of a dream project to be working on and I was kind of, and
still am, in shock when they asked me to come on board, but I'm not
allowed to talk about it just yet.
You have recently also directed an
episode of the anthology Blaze
of Gory - care to talk about that
one for a bit? And how did you get hooked up with the project in the first
project came about after a filmmaking friend of mine got involved, we
were chatting about it and he suggested that I contact David V G Davies [David
V G Davies interview - click here],
the project director, about directing a segment. Dave was really happy
to have us on board and sent us the script for If You Were Here.
it was a strange experience for a couple of reasons, most of all, I
hadn't directed something I hadn't written for a few years and getting
back into the swing of that was hard, because you don't have the script
hardcoded into your head as much, and secondly the subject material was
pretty dark, so finding the right people to be involved became pretty
difficult. We were really lucky in terms of our cast, Jade Wallis, Evie
Constanti, Robert Chapman and Debra Mawdsley because they made what
could have been a really tough shoot into a breeze.
Feeling lucky ?
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Anything else you are dying to mention
and I have merely forgotten to ask?
I should probably mention that our film
Legacy Of Thorn is now available
for pre-order at http://legacyofthorn.com
film is released Oct 27th.
Thanks for the