Your film Bane: An
Experiment in Human Suffering - in a few words, what is it about?
is about four women who wake up in an underground prison with no memories
of who they are or where they come from – as they piece together the
clues the horror begins!
were your inspirations when writing Bane?
is part prison movie, part slasher and part sci-fi – I wanted to make a
character based horror – something that has some twists and turns. I
also wanted something set in its own world.
a way, Bane is a sort-of
reinterpretation of classic alien invasion cinema. Would you all agree to
that, and your alien invasion favourites?
I love the
paranoia of those movies – the best has to be Invaders from
Mars - http://youtu.be/Ury5b-qtI1Y
- the movie
scared me when I was growing up… oh and of course both the original
and the 70’s version of Invasion of the Body Snatchers –
Sutherland rules – FACT. http://youtu.be/mTSR6bu0Nq0
I'm sure many
people have also likened Bane
to torture shockers like Saw
or Hostel. Are you at
all happy about this?
and no - I think the first Saw film is SUCH a good movie –
a real yarn – I am not a huge fan of torture movies and don’t think
that would be my ideal way to describe Bane
. I like to think that the
torture the women endure has a purpose in the story.
doesn't exactly hold back when it comes to violence and gore. Could you
talk about the gore scenes in your film for a bit, and was there actually
a line you refused to cross?
nothing quite like splashing the gore around when you're filming, we had a
lot of fun coming up with the death sequences in the movie and covering my
actresses in the red stuff! I think the line with me is sexual violence
or violence towards children. Anything else goes.
One of the aspects I loved
about Bane was its simple
(and probably cost-conscious) yet highly effective set design. How did
that come into being?
really wanted to try shooting a ‘studio’ movie on a micro budget and
was walking past a building site one day and came across the panels they
use… they made filming so much easier – we could build any shape room
we wanted from them and since D.O.P. John Raggett had built most of the
lighting into the set I also had a lot of freedom with the camera. They
gave a real minimalistic look that lets you focus on the actors. Also the
white is a great contrast with the RED blood.
I also loved the masks of your
male (torture-)nurses. A conscious reference to the slasher movies of old?
of course – who doesn’t love the Michael Myers mask – that
expressionless face = muchos creepy.
can you tell us about your lead cast, and why were exactly they chosen for
Dawnay as Katherine – the complete opposite of her character in real
life and great for the part – she’s tough and resourceful and a
pleasure to direct – it never felt like work directing Sophia.
Barnes who played Natasha was always my first choice – she’s a
great actress and has been in all but one of my movies. She really
throws herself at every part and has no issues being covered in the
A few words about your directorial approach
to the subject at hand?
you often end up doing 101 jobs on micro budget movie preparation is key
– we were fortunate on Bane to have a little time for rehearsals and
because of the freedom the set gave me I could let the actors have a bit
of spatial freedom. My approach was to make a complete world within the
I'm sure that Bane
is a movie that triggers some strong reactions, both on the positive and
the negative side of the scale. What can you tell us about critical and
audience reception so far?
get good and bad… it’s always tough on a micro budget competing with
much higher budget horrors and worrying about the way your movie is
packaged and if that best represents what’s on the DVD. We won the Best
Horror Feature award at LA Shriekfest which was great for the film and
gave us a real confidence boost when dealing with distributors.
Let's go back to the
beginnings of your career. What made you want to go into moviemaking in
the first place, and did you receive any formal education on the subject?
– I always loved movies and knew I wanted to make them. I studied
filmmaking in Southampton.
few words about your debut feature Diagnosis, and the lessons
learned from it?
tons of lessons learned on that one. Feed your cast well (we gave them
crisps [potato chips] and coffee) and get your script ready before you
shoot. Also, take lots of stills as you’ll need them to promote the
With your Diagnosis co-director
Johannes Roberts you also made Hellbreeder. A few words about that
movie, and what was your collaboration with Mr Roberts like?
were fresh out of uni and really wanted to make movies rather than work on
other people’s movies. We were a little arrogant, very naïve and really
making it all up as we went along. The internet was in its infancy, as was
the ability to shoot cheaply on quality digital, so it had to be film.
I’m glad we had each other and think it was a massive learning process
for us both. Also shooting on film teaches you discipline and the
importance of preparation.
can you tell us about The Witches Hammer?
Witches Hammer was my first solo project as director. It’s my attempt at
a micro budget epic, it has vampires, witches and ninjas – nuff said.
then there's this film with the ingenious title Bordello Death Tales
- you just have to talk about that one for a bit!
Death Tales is three short horror stories by three different up and coming
horror directors; Pat Higgins (The Devil's Music, Hellbride,
Killer Killer) [Pat Higgins
interview - click here], Alan Ronald (Jesus vs the Messiah) an myself. All the stories are
set in and around a brothel.
other films of yours you'd like to talk about, any future projects?
currently working on a World War 2 horror movie - a kind of
follow up to Bordello
Death Tales with the same directors. Its really exciting
putting horror in a period piece – although I’d be lying if I said we
were 100% historically accurate. Check out our Facebook site for more
info on the film - www.deathtales.co.uk.
can't help but notice that the majority of your films are of the horror
variety. A favourite genre of yours, and why?
is a great way to connect with your audience and its fun to shoot. You can
frighten, horrify and amuse your audience at the same time.
who inspire you?
following directors pop into my head for the following reasons:
= style and comedy.
Sorcesse = generally awesome movies.
Trier = shocking films with powerful human emotion.
masterful storytelling with every aspect of the film.
Your favourite movies?
here’s a few:
and of course, films you really deplore?
can sit and watch a bad horror movie and still enjoy it BUT cannot watch
bad romantic comedies… ergh…
movie's website, Facebook, whatever else?
on Twitter: @James_Eaves
you are dying to mention and I have merely forgotten to ask?
that I hope people check out my movies and connect with them and me on
for the interview!