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An Interview with Richard Chandler, Director of Witch Hunt

by Mike Haberfelner

January 2016

Films directed by Richard Chandler on (re)Search my Trash

 

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Your upcoming movie Witch Hunt - in a few words, what's it going to be about?

 

Darkness. Mental turmoil. Physical pain. The rejection of others or one's self, resulting in chaos. If you close your eyes and think of the greatest psychological nightmare; that's Witch Hunt.

 

Witch Hunt tackles religious extremism, satanic cults and the like. Your personal thoughts about these subjects, and to what extent are they mirrored in your movie?

 

I don't consider myself a religious man, although I have nothing against religion. I think being spiritual is a good thing; however, in some extreme forms it can lead and has led to some of humanity's darkest actions: genocide, holy wars, and events such as the Inquisition. Within the film, you will see a Satanic cult, perhaps the most blatant form of evil. But you will also see desires of the flesh between several prominent characters. The town's Sheriff, played by Tony Wright, is a homosexual character that hates himself, blames God for his own lack of acceptance, and dishes out some serious punishment on others as a result. The fear of God's judgement plays a big part in the film.

 

(Other) sources of inspiration when dreaming up Witch Hunt?

 

I just simply wanted to create a film you couldn't walk away from feeling good. Offended or digging the dark subject matter, you just can't walk away taking nothing from the film. People will walk out on it. I think there's a 15 minute stretch in it where I even said "holy shit". But that's the world I wanted to create.

 

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

 

I'm not always into traditional slashers and I hate horror-comedies. Humor in exploitation flicks can be done right, but too many indie director's copy Troma and fail. Witch Hunt is a much more serious, attempt at a "non-B-movie". The horror is very psychological. But there's also a couple of insane gory deaths, so have no fear! Fans of traditional traditional horror, I hope, will love it.

 

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

 

Well, a couple of things. I wanted the film to seem kind of real but also surreal. Like it's in its own little world. Kind of like a comic book. The concept worked well in Gilgamesh, my previous film, so I attempted this again. We had most of the wardrobe created for the film as part of the Jenny French Collection - yes, Witch Hunt has its own fashion brand. I don't even know if that's been done for a low budget film, and it makes a huge difference. The witches have their own look, as well as the 'holy rollers'. This really helped to create a weird and almost beautiful feel, amongst the death and destruction. All throughout history, all the top psychos had their own fashion - the kings and queens - the church during the middle ages - military dictatorships - it all added to their ridiculous power. The film's DP, Nick Norrman, also put a great spin on creating an interesting and compelling feel for the film.

 

You appear in front of the camera in Witch Hunt as well - so what can you tell us about your character, and what did you draw upon to bring him to life?

 

I may retire from acting in my own films after this one. I think this character is so brutal there's nowhere to go. He's a Bosnian witch hunter, that has an eye for his own mentally and physically scarred sister. Playing such a barbarian was great - it's hard to want to play anything else though, when your only objections are primal. I guess we all have hidden primal desires. Just glad I had an outlet for them in the form of this film.

 

What can you tell us about the rest of your cast, and why exactly these people?

 

Yes. As mentioned, Tony Wright plays the town's lawman, Sheriff Tormada. He does a great job with the character's casual evil, deep psychological issues, and basically being a crazed killer with a badge. A truly scary performance. Graham King, plays a priest questioning his own faith, Father Costello. Costello had to come off as 'perfect' but was also breaking down and loosing it, so he also needed to be a solid actor- and Graham is that. Lilith Astaroth plays Morrigan, the leader of the witches - a very angry cult leader that manages all these mindless witches in the middle of the woods somewhere. Lilith does a great job being commanding and believable in leading around these poor clueless souls, using them as pawns. And Carver Riot was cast as my half-retarded sister, which no one else could have played on the planet. Our dynamic is really weird and creepy with a lot of subtle acting here and there, so I needed someone I knew well in that role who can come off as sociopathic Bosnian, drug addicted, witch hunter; only Carver could have played that.

 

Do talk about the shoot as such, and the on-set atmosphere?

 

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Long days. People worked hard. It was either 90 outside or 30 degrees. Some times in the same day, thanks to New England weather. Definitely a Witch Hunt curse. The movie has a weird way of getting itself done, but there was a lot of strange sightings and events on set.

 

The $64-question of course, when and where will the film be released onto the general public?

 

Hopefully a trailer in March and a release in June, early summer. I'd like to see it streamed somewhere.

 

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

 

https://www.facebook.com/Boston-Film-Family-LLC-195491153798914/

https://www.facebook.com/witchhunthorror/

 

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

 

Thank you very much, you rock!

 

Thanks for the interview!

 

© 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
Amazon!!!

 

 

 

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
WHICH IS WORSE!!!

 

A Killer Conversation

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

out now on DVD