Killer Chords

The all new horror section of Cinema Chords

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Anarchy Reins in The Purge 2


On 2nd of July, Universal and Blumhouse Productions‘ upcoming sequel to last years The Purge will be released in cinemas across the UK. Director James DeMonaco is returning to direct the film and set to star in the movie are Zach Gilford (The Last Stand), Frank Grillo (End of Watch), Michael K. Williams (Robocop), Carmen Ejogo (Alex Cross) and Kiele Sanchez (Lost).

For those who haven’t seen the first movie, The Purge is set in a future America that has been wrecked by the economic crisis. As  a means of control and catharsis the American Government sanctioned an annual twelve-hour period of time called The Purge in which any and all criminal activity is legal. During the commencement of The Purge the police can’t be called, hospitals suspend help and murder is legal.

The first movie had the star power of Ethan Hawke (Sinister) and Lena Headey (Game of Thrones) and offered a fascinating concept. However, it was criticised for not showing the wider brutal nature of the annual purge in favour of following the story of one family.

In the sequel which has been titled The Purge: Anarchy it appears that the team behind the upcoming film have listened to fans and have decided to set the story in a city rather than in surburbia and is rumoured to follow not just one family but a whole host of characters pitting struggling families, homeless people and gangsters against each other and those who actively hunt during The Purge.

The Purge: Anarchy will be in UK cinemas on 2nd July and a new teaser trailer will be arriving very soon.


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Home is Where the Horror is for DiCaprio and Blumhouse


Leading actor and star Leonardo DiCaprio has decided to put his production company’s name, Appian Way Productions to Jason Blum’s new horror titled Home.

Appian Way has already lent itself to some outstanding projects including Scorese’s latest, The World of Wall Street, Out of the Furnace and Red Riding Hood only adding success to Blumhouse productions. Even though most of their projects have been low-budget and independent, Blum and his production company have certainly made a name for themselves over the last couple of years.

You may recognise their logo from such films as the recent Insidious, the influential Paranormal Activity and the home invasion that was The Purge. Now with a name such as Leo’s (not to mention the cash), plus Universal distributing this new project, Blumhouse productions must be feeling pretty happy with themselves right now.

No official news as of yet, but what has been revealed is that it’s keeping close to the companies horror roots about a man who suspects the mansion he inherited from his parents is haunted. Certainly sounds Conjuring/Insidious style creepy so there are sure to be some jumps in there!

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Frightfest Glasgow Preview: Almost Human


Between Thursday 27th February and Sunday 2nd March, Film4 FrightFest takes over the Glasgow Film Festival for its ninth year, offering a world of “gritty serial killers, stark staring horror, comic book thrills and spills, favourite maniacs, sci-fi delirium, doc shock and mind-bending mystery.” As we move closer to the festival we have selected our favourite films from this year’s line-up that we can’t wait to watch. This week we’re want to tell you all about Almost Human.

In 2011, Joe Begos and his collaborative partner Josh Ethier made a short film about a werewolf attack called Bad Moon Rising. They took the short to Frightfest in the same year and received so much praise that it inspired them to make a feature. So, after two years of writing, planning and shooting Almost Human was born and was given its world premiere as part of the Midnight Madness section of the Toronto International Film Festival.

Pitched as a mix between Fire in the Sky and the Terminator, Almost Human tells the story of Mark Fisher (played by Josh Ethier) who is taken in a flash of blue light leaving his best friend Seth (Graham Skipper) and his girlfriend Jen (Vanessa Leigh) behind to pick up the pieces. So two years later, when Mark mysteriously returns, he leaves a string of murders in his wake and it’s up to Seth to stop him.

We were lucky enough to watch the film as it was the secret film for Celluloid Screams horror festival in Sheffield last October and we can tell you for certain that, as his feature debut, Begos does a fantastic job with Almost Human. Directing and handling the cinematography, he has crafted a horror sci-fi hybrid that operates as one part invasion thriller and one part slasher movie. Echoing such films as The Thing and Invasion of the Body Snatchers, the film is a love letter to ’80s horror and is rich with low-budget effects that are fun to watch and add to the overall enjoyment of the film.

The film will be given its Scottish Premiere on Saturday 1st March at 21:00 at the GFT in Glasgow.

Be sure to check out the first five minutes of the films over at Fear the Crypt.
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InterviewsKiller Chords

Chords in Conversation: Dan Palmer talks STALLED

dan photo stalled
Stuck in a toilet cubicle whilst tying to stay alive during a zombie invasion? Yep – you got it. This is the latest horror comedy from team Dan Palmer and Christian James entitled STALLED.

After being flushed with praise from the critics and wiping the floor clean at last year’s FrightFest, STALLED is another indie Brit success story. Following a maintenance technician called out to fix something in the ladies bathroom, people suddenly take to eating each other with the best way to keep safe being locked behind the toilet door.

The Chords had the pleasure of talking to the writer and star of STALLED, Dan Palmer and here is what he shouted to us from behind the cubicle door.

So firstly tell us a bit about yourself Dan and how you got into acting/scriptwriting?

I went to a,sort of, film school in Bournemouth in southern England. It was one of the most respected in the country so I felt pretty lucky to get in. That honour slowly dissipated over the months as the course revealed itself to be a bit all over the place. One guy turned up for the first month and came in for the last and recieved the same qualifications as the hardest working student there! Due to my frustations with the curriculum I started making my own stuff. I was one of the few people there that didn’t want to direct so, as a writer/performer, I was like a kid in a candy store when it came to finding folks to shoot my terrible scripts. I soon migrated towards Christian James, who ultimately directed STALLED. We were the two youngest students there by quite a margin ..we also had similar tastes in film and a similiar disinterest in hard work.

So you not only star in STALLED but wrote the script as well. How did you initially come up with the whole idea?

There are a number of different things that led me to the idea but one of them, and I recently told this story for the first time at The Prince Charles Cinema Q&A, was back when I was a kid doing work experience for the local newspaper. I simply couldn’t find the toilets and left it so long it seemed silly to ask anyone. So, I opted to run down to the local Wimpy (ask your grandad, kids). One afternoon I was sat on the loo, doing what comes naturally ..or doesn’t if you had been eating at Wimpy, when the door started rattling. Someone wanted in! Being English I politely coughed, but the rattling persisted. Eventually it stopped so I thought I was safe, then after a moment the door was wrenched open and the lock flew from it’s fixing!

A fifteen year old me was standing there with my pants down with an old man just staring at me! I made a hasty exit. Needless to say that has always stayed with me and an element of that is in the script. My thinking was, aside from the zombie threat, if we tap into the universal awkwardness and fear of using a public restroom it might just work.

Well it certainly worked for FrightFest didn’t it? That must have been quite a boost for your team considering the response the film got.

Ryan-Reynolds-confusedYeah, that was pretty crazy. Just being accepted and having our UK Premiere at Leicester Square would have been good enough, but the fact that we were given a third screening due to high demand and that we were hailed as one of the best films of the festival was nuts. Our film had one of the lowest budgets too. I mean, RIPD screened the same day and absolutely tanked – STALLED‘s entire budget wouldn’t have paid for Ryan Reynolds’ hairspray expenses.

Off the bat – what would be the first thing you would do in a Zombie Apocalypse?

Look for Emma Stone.

The world seemed to go vampire mad over the last year and now it’s flesh-eating zombies that are taking over. Was it your intention to play on the viewer’s new found fascination with these creatures?

Never. Trying to get a low-budget movie off the ground takes so long it makes no sense to chase trends as by the time the public see it that fad is normally long gone. I have always wanted to make a zombie film since seeing Day of the Dead as a twelve year old so the current popularity was neither a driving factor nor a deterrent.

PS: I have a vampire script.

Even though this is about zombies it is at the end of the day a horror comedy. Care to share with us what the funniest scene was that you filmed?

It was a fifteen day shoot with no budget in a toilet cubicle built inside a freezing cold barn in the middle of November …in which I am in every scene. Nothing funny to report!

How would you say your film stands above the countless other horror comedy films out there? Say Sean of the Dead or Severance for example?

I think STALLED is its own beast. People understandably think that the film will be all poo jokes when they hear the concept or watch the trailer, but once they see it they seem to be quite surprised by what the team have come up with. This may sound insane but the film probably has more in common with Her than Shaun of the Dead.

Anything already on the cards for your next project?

Well, I have a number of projects ready to go but frustratingly nothing is moving at the moment. With the great response we have had with STALLED I would have hoped we would already be in the midst of a juicy new adventure. Alas, not. But fingers crossed and all that.

1615097_10153749311555398_1614317957_nAnd finally, can you let everyone know where they can grab a copy of STALLED?

Gladly! STALLED will be available in the UK on both BluRay and DVD from February 17th. You’ll be able to grab a copy from ASDA or you can pre-order at Amazon etcetera.

In the States it is already available on iTunes and VOD and the DVD hits there March 4th. There are lots of special features so it’s well worth checking out if you are into the movie-making process, zombies ..or toilets.

Firstly we would like to thank Dan for taking the time to talking to us and what great answers he gave too. I’ll be sure to warn Emma Stone he may be coming for her should a zombie outbreak unfold! Grab your copy of this zombie infested flick from here and sit back and enjoy. For now though we’ll leave you with a trailer you can watch on your phone when you go for a quick toilet break. Just don’t drop it down the pan…

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American Mary’s Tristan Risk is Love Sick


Not too long ago we covered Todd E Freeman’s M is for Marriage, an entry to the 26th director competition to win a place in the ABCS of Death 2 which also served as a concept piece for his upcoming film Love Sick. Today there has been further developments as Freeman has announced that the American Mary scene-stealer Tristan Risk has been cast as the female lead in the upcoming feature for Polluted Pictures.

“I saw her mind blowing performance in American Mary and thought immediately that I wanted to work with her on Love Sick,” says Writer / Director Todd Freeman.  “While talking with her about the script and the character of Rebecca, it became even more obvious that it was a perfect marriage of actor to material.  I saw the character of Rebecca on the (Skype) screen for the first time and, quite honestly, it was electric.  I can’t wait for people to see her dissolve into this role.  It’s a goopy mess of a movie and Tristan is front and center for the entire run time.  Genre fans have a lot to look forward to.”

The film tells the story of a couple whom, after much thought, have decided to part ways. However, after their separation they realise how hard it is to disconnect from one another as the pain of their lies and betryal begin to manifest physically within both of them and to the others they have become involved with.

Risk says, “After watching the proof of concept piece [M is for Marriage] and reading the feature script, I became really excited.  I love a good slasher horror but Love Sick is different:  It has the ability to haunt you well after you’ve seen it.  It leaves you questioning your own relationships, makes you wonder how well you know those closest to you, and what horrors lay just beneath the surface.”

We here at Cinema Chords are not only excited about this news but we strongly recommend that you check out Freeman’s short M is for Marriage and see what the world of Love Sick has to offer you.

The film is currently still in development and will move toward production in late spring.

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Killer ChordsShort Film

Exquisite Fear in Kreuger: A Walk Through Elm Street


The excellent Blinky Productions are back with the third installment of their Nightmare on Elms Street fan films.

I urge you not to be put off by fact that these are fan films as this entry throws some well yearned for light on the background of the Springwood Slasher before he became the Dream Demon.

Filmmaker Chris R. Notarile‘s third entry in the saga, entitled Kreuger: A Walk Through Elm Street has been edited in a particular fashion to reflect his fragmented way of thinking, exploring his “hunger” as he eyes his prey – the children of Springwood. Whilst the acting is a touch on the mahogany side the short more than makes up for this by brilliantly capturing the feeling of being back in the original nightmare, something that the eerie, almost pitch perfect soundtrack more than ameliorates.

If you missed me harping on about how good the previous two entries were well you are in for a treat as we have included all three for you below. Is it just me or are we in need of an all new Nightmare feature film which does away entirely with the supernatural in favour of portraying how much of a monster Kreuger was before the parents condemned him to their children’s nightmares?

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2014 Glasgow FrightFest Line-up Announced


FrightFestGlasgow2014-posterHorror heads north between Thursday 27th February to Sunday 2nd March when Film4 FrightFest takes over the Glasgow Film Festival for its ninth year offering a world of “gritty serial killers, stark staring horror, comic book thrills and spills, favourite maniacs, sci-fi delirium, doc shock and mind-bending mystery.”

The festival line up last year included such titles like The Lords of Salem, The Bay, ABCs of Death and the excellent vampire flick Byzantium. So what will this year bring? Well the organisers have finally released the full line-up for this year’s festival and we’re here to tell you a little bit about what is going to be on offer.

2014 Film4 FrightFest Glasgow will launch on Thursday 27th February with a special presentation hosted by FrightFest’s Alan Jones who will be talking to Director Ti West about his film The Sacrament which will take in GFT Screen 2.

Further festival highlights will include the world premier of Video Nasties: Draconian Days and The Scribbler, the UK premier of Proxy and Wolf Creek 2, and the festival will also see the Scottish Premiere of Savaged, Almost Human and The Sacrament.

Guests this year will include Ti West (The Sacrament), Director Jake West and Producer Marc Morris (Video Nasties: Draconian Days), Director John Suits (The Scribbler), Director Jordan Barker (Torment) and Director Zack Parker (Proxy) so you can be guaranteed that there will be plenty of Q&As and exclusives on offer.


Here is the full schedule:

Thursday 27th Feb – GFT, Screen 2

21:00 In Conversation with Ti West (special event)

Friday 28th Feb – GFT, Screen 1

13:00 Savaged (Scottish Premiere)
15:40 Proxy (UK Premiere)
18:45 Wolf Creek 2 (UK Premiere)
21:15 The Sacrament (Scottish Premiere)
23:30 Afflicted (UK Premiere)

Sat 1st March – GFT, Screen 1

11:00 Video Nasties: Draconian Days (World Premier)
13:30 The Scribbler (World Premiere)
16:00 Torment (European Premiere)
18:30 Mindscape (UK Premier)
21:00 Almost Human (Scottish Premier)
23:15 Killers (UK Premier)

Sun 2nd March – Cineworld, Renfrew St, Screen 7 (repeat screenings)

12:00 Video Nasties: Draconian Days
14:00 Almost Human
16:00 Wolf Creek 2
18:30 The Sacrament
21:00 Killers


So with eleven films playing over three days across two venues its certain that this years festival will be lots of fun for genre enthusiasts. We’ll be there to capture every blood soaked minute but if you want to get your ticket you can do so by calling +44 (0)141 332 6535 or you can buy online when tickets go on sale Friday 24th January.

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Chords in Conversation: Marvin Kren Talks Blood Glacier


His career might have started by making short films but Austrian filmmaker Marvin Kren successfully managed to impress horror fans across the globe with his 2010 zombie movie Rammbock. Staying with the genre, Kren’s follow up Blood Glacier received its debut as part of the Midnight Madness programme at the 2013 Toronto International Film Festival and was then brought to our shores when it was shown as part of the 2013 Frightfest Halloween allnighter which took place at Vue Cinemas Leicester Square London.

Ahead of the UK release of Blood Glacier (aka The Station), we caught up with Marvin to discuss his film and his thoughts about the release being compared to the ultimate creature film, John Carpenter’s The Thing.

Hi Marvin, thank you for taking the time to speak with us.

So Blood Glacier will soon be unleashed on the UK. Where did the journey start?

My first feature was Rambock. It was a zombie film set in Berlin and I felt comfortable in the genre as I like it so much. I grew up with creature feature films and I loved films like Tremors. I also like films where you can laugh and be fearful at the same time through the actions of the protagonist, it’s like a roller coaster. There was a producer who asked us what we were planning next so we pitched him this old school creature feature idea that tried to update on the creature feature classics like The Thing and he loved it so we went for it.

Great stuff. Marvin, in your own words how would you describe Blood Glacier?

Blood Glacier is an old school creature feature monster film where a group of scientists working on a station in the mountains discovers something wrong with a glacier which starts to bleed. At the same time, a minister for the environment is planning to tour the area and it appears that the liquid from the glacier makes mutants of the animals living in the mountain, putting everyone in danger.

So what was the inspiration behind the story?

The inspiration comes from old school creature features. It’s about a group of people in a cabin who have to fight against creatures but I wanted to tell a story where the group of people were actually worse than the creatures that were trying to attack them from outside.

I understand that the film was shot entirely on location. That must have been tough for everyone involved. What was it like?

The film was shot in the Italian Alps in south Creole which used to be Austrian but is now Italian. It was a tough shoot as I didn’t want to shoot it in a studio. I wanted to shoot it in an original place where you can feel the exhaustion in the actors’ faces. We shot it at 3,000 metres which is very high and really assaulting as the air is really thin there. My mother (Bridget Kren) plays the minister in the film and she is much older so she found it especially hard. But it was also a picture which involved a number of animatronics to create the creatures in the mountain so at the end of the day it was lots of fun. The shooting took 30 days and I loved it.

GletscherblutSo tell us more about your creature designs…

For the creatures I was speaking to a very famous artist in Austria called Tomak. You should Google him out. He’s a great drawer and he is always focusing his drawings on the perversion of the human body or animals. I told him about my mutants in the hope that I would find a good partner to realise my vision. We tried to find some creature feature art for puppet artists who would be good, most of which were based in London but proved too expensive. There was someone in Hungary but then there was someone in Germany who fit nicely.

Why are you so focused on using animatronics?

What is very important for me is that when I see a creature it’s so much better. If I can’t see it, touch it, or smell them, the realism is lost. Therefore it was important that our mutants were creatures which were a cross-breed between insects and mammals and had a certain smell and appearance so we could get a reaction using the same tricks that old school films used such as extensions to make them more realistic.

Tell me your thoughts about the comparisons between Blood Glacier and The Thing?

The film was premiered in Toronto as part of Midnight Madness and Variety or The Hollywood Reporter wrote “Austria’s answer to The Thing“. A lot of people see similarities between the two films and I have to admit that it is obvious that there are some references but it was never my intention to do a remake of The Thing. I simply got ideas and elements of it along with my love for creature feature films like Tremors to bow and pay respect to the classics which inspired me to become a filmmaker.

So what’s next?

I’m doing two thrillers for German TV and I am planning a new horror film which is more of a technology horror film a bit like Catcher in the Rye meets The Devil. There is also ABCS of Death 2. I have the letter “R for Roulette” and I think you can pretty much imagine what I am referencing with that.

Cinema Chords would like to thank Marvin Kren for taking time out to speak with us. Blood Glacier is available on DVD from 27th January and we’re sure the trailer below will more than tempt you into grabbing this one while you can.

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Found Footage: Cheap filmmaking or immersive entertainment?


When people mention found footage people immediately think of films like The Blair Witch Project complete with its extreme close-ups and vomit inducing camera techniques. But used right, found footage can become just as effective as 3D in providing an immersive environment, creating an opportunity for audiences to grow closer to a film. So with the recent release of Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones and Devil’s Due it would seem that found footage films are still popular with modern audiences. As such, we have taken this opportunity to delve into the history of the genre to investigate if it’s any good as a style of filmmaking.

The genre began years before with the 1980 film Cannibal Holocaust, but the genre did not come into its own until The Blair Witch Project’s effective viral marketing had the world fooled making audiences around the globe believe it was real. Fast forward to recent times and with the advancement of technology and the Internet, this kind of storytelling has become part of our culture with the introduction of Social Media and YouTube.

Considering the profitability of found footage it was only a matter of time before writers began to experiment with different ways to use it. Since the release of The Blair Witch Project (1999), studios were quick to jump on the bandwagon and released their own found footage films which also performed well at the box office with such films like Paranormal Activity (2007) and Cloverfield (2008). But despite their success, audiences have continued to struggle in embracing this style of filmmaking and aren’t quite on the shaky-cam bandwagon.

But why do the studios continue to release found footage films knowing very well that it divides audiences? This answer to this is simple. Not only do these kind of films require a much smaller budget to make but they also come with a stronger potential for high return on their investments. So what about indie filmmakers? What does the found footage genre offer to them? We already know that employing this style can be a cheap but found footage provides a cheap way of making a film as practically any story can be turned into a found footage movie.

So in today’s sea of found footage titles it is worth remembering that for every Paranormal Activity there are several lesser impressive imitations that are just plain awful. In an effort to save you time we have put together a list of five films which we believe are solid examples of found footage movies that use this style of filmmaking to its advantage.


Behind the Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon
Dir. Scott Glosserman

Set in a world where Freddy Kreuger, Jason Vorhees and Michael Myers are real,  BTM: The Rise of Leslie Vernon is told through the lens of a camera man and a journalism intern as they shadow an up and coming serial killer. Through the film we see interviews with Leslie and he shows us into the world of being a serial killer. Doing for found footage films what Scream did for the slasher genre, I strongly urge you to check this out.


Dir. Jaume Balagueró, Paco Plaza

Rec is a terrifying film shot from the perspective of a camera man working with a reporter who are spending the night with a group of firemen to observe what they get up to when night falls. The night starts off slow until a routine call comes in and she is invited along. At the location, an old women is found badly hurt, soon things begin to spiral out of control. The film has a very claustrophobic feel to it and the horrors found inside the apartment building are superbly done and actually scary.


Dir. Matt Reeves

Some may say that Cloverfield is a film which divides audiences but I think it provides a breath of fresh air for monster movies. The film follows a group of party-goers trying desperately to survive the chaos in New York when a huge alien monster is laying waste to the city.

Despite a relatively short running time the film is packed with plenty of action, jump scares and some outstanding special effects.


Dir. Josh Trank

Chronicle is a clear example of found footage that does not belong to the horror genre. The story follows three high school students who gain superpowers after making an incredible discovery underground. As they learn to master their new found powers their bond is tested when one of them embraces their dark side. Featuring impressive visuals and a solid soundtrack the movie effortlessly begins as a found footage film but quickly grows into a fast-paced action movie.


Dir. Radio Silence, David Bruckner, Glenn McQuaid, Joe Swanberg, Ti West, Adam Wingard

The Creepshow of found footage, the film’s wrap-around follows a team of unlikable criminals breaking into what appears to be an uninhabited residence hoping to recover a specific tape. Upon searching the house, the guys are confronted with a dead body, a hub of old televisions and an endless supply of cryptic footage, each video stranger than the last. Featuring hauntings, serial killers, paranormal activity and other unexplained phenomenon V/H/S will keep you on the edge of your seat.

Is found footage cheap filmmaking or immersive entertainment? The answer is both but filmmakers and studio bosses need to remember that using creative camera techniques as a substitute for lousy characters, a bad idea, or bad story telling. However, there are films like the ones above which prove that when done right, found footage can become immersive entertainment.

What is your verdict on found footage? Share your opinions in the comments below.

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The Quiet Ones Trailer – Proof you shouldn’t play with ghosts!


Hammer Films is a UK based production company and is most famous for dominating the horror film market enjoying considerable financial success. Over the years it has churned out some of the best horror films ever to grace our screens and its most recent titles include Let Me In (2010), The Resident (2011) and the massively successful The Woman In Black (2012).

The latest offering from Hammer Films is The Quiet Ones. Directed by John Pogue (Quarantine 2) and co-written by Craig Rosenberg, Oren Moverman and Tom de Ville. The film is set in 1974 and the story of an british university professor who leads a team of his best students in a dangerous experiment to perform a series of tests on a young patient with ghastly results.

From the look of the trailer it appears that the films is not only based on real events but it would seem that there are plenty of chills and scares ahead. So why not take the time to check out the trailer below and let us know what you think in the comments section below.

The Quiet Ones stars Jared Harris, Olivia Cooke, Erin Richards and Sam Clafflin in his first post catching fire role. Will you brave the chance to see the movie when it is released in cinemas across the UK on 11th April 2014.

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Drew Cullingham Talks The Devils Bargain


It’s 1974, Earth as we know it is about to be obliterated by an asteroid. What would be a better way to spend your last remaining moments than in the sweet embrace of your lover? Until things start to get a bit creepy that is. Director Drew Cullingham follows up Black Smoke Rising with The Devils Bargain and Cinema Chords was lucky enough to catch up with the man behind this savage, psychological love story.

The first question that springs to mind, and I must ask – Are you a religious man? And do you like apples? From what your film poses, it could go either way…

It could indeed go either way, but no – I’m not at all, though I am spiritual. I also find the mythology of religious writings fascinating, and that’s really all they are to me. Whatever deity you end up praying to or not, every culture has (in this case) a creation myth, and usually a word or two predicting the ‘end’ as well. To me the bigger questions are not in the written laws and edicts of a religion, but in how we approach ‘spirit’ and what lies beyond our corporeal life – whether the world is ending or not! As for apples, sure – ‘who doesn’t like apples?’.

Can you tell us what prompted the idea for the film for you?

DrewCullingham-11-520x779The ‘genesis’ for the story came from lengthy conversations between myself and the co-producer, Ian Manson. He had ideas floating about his head based on a story he’d read about two women facing the end of the world, and what they would do in such a situation. Throw into that the notion of the big bang reversing and the universe being like a massive diaphragm and then translate that into the already mentioned creation mythology and the cycle of death and rebirth and you end up with Adam and Eve effectively returning to Eden and life being gradually snuffed out. I mean there is quite a profound message in The Devil’s Bargain. What were you trying to get across (without spoiling too much!):

On one level, the narrative of the film is almost banal; it’s about a couple being driven apart by another party. But there’s a bigger story; an archetypal vision of the death of a relationship, seen through the eyes of a decaying mind and set against the backdrop of a world about to be destroyed forever. I suppose that’s it in essence – setting the collapse of internal, personal (in terms of a relationship), and external (Armageddon!) against each other to hopefully create something quite unsettling, to explore the notion of an end being a new beginning, and therein to offer hope in destruction and rebirth in death.

You said that whilst shooting Black Smoke Rising you placed a pinhole adapter on the camera to achieve a ‘ghost’s view’ of the world. The Devil’s Bargain follows suit. Is this going to be a signature technique we should expect from you in the future?

Much as I love the way it looks, and am very happy with the ‘retro’ feel the film has, I think it may be a while before I employ this technique again! It is arguably insane, in terms of needing so much light and being limited in terms of field of vision etc – and really, like any ‘technique’ it should only be used when it means something. That said, I do love the fact that it is so organic, and not an effect added in post. I’m a big fan of getting what you want going into the camera, not coming out. So who knows, if a story calls for that certain look…

I can see from Black Smoke Rising that you have already worked with Chloe (Farnworth) and Jonnie (Hurn). What was their reaction when you told them they would be spending a lot of time on screen naked?

There’s kind of a running joke with Jonnie that he almost expects to be naked at some point when he appears in films. I’m not sure why, since it’s a first for me, and he’s appeared in all of my films so far and not been naked (though he did offer!). In any event, it was no great feat to persuade him to strip off!

Chloe was equally game! She’s a remarkable actress, with no real ego and an absolutely ‘can do’ attitude if she believes in a project. It helped of course that we already had a working relationship and therefore trust was already in place. Dan Burman, who I hadn’t worked with, had just come from being stitched naked somewhere in the middle of The Human Centipede 2, so in some ways this was probably far more ordinary!

So this is your fourth film directing. Any tips for independent film makers out there?

First and foremost, just go and do it. Find a way. There’s always good people ready to embrace the necessary collaborative nature of true independent films, and it’s about having a great team around you. I am very fortunate to have a great team of absolute heroes who, I am extremely humbled to say, go way beyond the call of duty in terms of what they bring to my projects. Aside from that – start with as good a script as you can. Try and tell a narrative that doesn’t require big bucks – ask yourself how much better your film would really be if you had millions to play with. And give vent to your own creative voice – don’t try to be anyone else. Most of all, don’t give up! I can’t really say that last one has paid off yet, but part of getting things done is a downright stubborn refusal and inability to give up.

And finally, what does the future hold for Monk3ys Ink Films?

We’re aiming to start shooting a raunchy comedy in the very near future, called Skinny Buddha – it’s gathering a wonderful cast already, and I’m really excited to get on with that. There’s a fair slate of other projects awaiting some form of finance or green light, including a WW2 psychological thriller and a geekfest zomb-edy – both of which (for very different reasons!) I would love to get my teeth into as soon as possible!

We’d like to thank Drew for taking his time and answering our questions, and what great answers they were too! The Devil’s Bargain is to be released early this year. If you need an apocalyptic dose you know where to get it, that’s for sure.

The Devil’s Business releases on Jan 17, 2014, via both and the offcial Facebook page for a mere £3.99. In the short meantime we’ll leave you with a trailer to twist your arm just that bit more.

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ABCs of Death 1.5 Line-up Revealed


abcs_1.5Last month we announced that Robert Boocheck won the Magnet Releasing‘s 26th Director competition. Not only did he win $5,000 but his short, M for Masticate, will feature as part of the upcoming ABCs of Death 2 alongside other established horror directors including Larry Fessenden, E.L. Katz, Aharon Keshales and the Soska sisters.

So, whilst we wait for the movie to be released, the production team behind the movie have announced the line up for another feature-length anthology called ABCs of Death 1.5. which will feature 26 of the best entries for last years 26th Director competition.

“The production team had a real blast selecting the 26 shorts that make up ABCs OF DEATH 1.5,” said producer and series creator Ant Timpson. “The hard part was only selecting 26, as the competition provided so many outstanding entries. We couldn’t be happier with the final lineup. There’s enough horror, humor, weirdness, and frankly – truly fucked up material to give even the most jaded fan a wakeup call from Hell.”

The films selected by producers for ABCs OF DEATH 1.5 are Maria Ivanova’s “M is for Mactation”, Tim Rutherford and Cody Kennedy’s “M is for Magnetic Tape”, Christopher Younes’ “M is for Maieusiophobia”, Dante Vescio and Rodrigo Gasparini’s “M is for Mailbox”, Summer Johnson’s “M is for Make Believe”, Peter Czikrai’s “M is for Malnutrition”, Michael Schwartz’s “M is for Manure”, Steve Daniels’ “M is for Marauder”, Zac Blair’s “M is for Marble”, Eric Pennycoff’s “M is for Mariachi”, Jeff Stewart’s “M is for Martyr”, Gigi Saul Guerrero’s “M is for Matador”, Wolfgang Matzl’s “M is for Meat”, Ama Lea’s “M is for Mermaid”, Joe and Lloyd Staszkiewicz’s “M is for Merry Christmas”, Carlos Faria’s “M is for Mess”, Nicholas Humphries’ “M is for Messiah”, Brett Glassberg’s “M is for Mind Meld”, Álvaro Núñez’s “M is for Miracle”, Barış Erdoğan’s “M is for Mobile”, Carles Torrens’ “M is for Mom”, Travis Betz’s “M is for Moonstruck”, Peter Podgursky’s “M is for Mormon Missionaries”, Mia’Kate Russell’s “M is for Muff”, and Jason Koch and Clint Kelly’s “M is for Munging.”

What is most exciting is that our favourite entry, Todd E Freeman’s “M is for Marriage” which we covered previously, has also been chosen to feature as part of the line-up. We would like to congratulate Todd as well as the other 25 directors whose fan-made films were chosen to feature in the upcoming spin-off.

ABCs of Death 1.5 will be released digitally in the next few months.

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