Your new movie Root of
Darkness - in a few words, what is it about?
It's about a medieval historian finding an unpleasent treasure.
What were your sources or inspiration when writing Root
It started as a joke (most of the movies we make start like a joke) so
we thought what would a horor movie sound like if everybody talked like
they do in Ingmar Bergman
movies. Old thwatrical Swedish, so we watched Bergman, and find a horror
movie he made so we noticed either we are as good as him or we have noticed his formula.
Slso we did the movie out of what we hade avaailable, like locations and costumes and stuff
to spend as little money as possible (in the end the movie cost 1500 Euro
to make), so I had lots of boxes of my dead grandparents' stuff so we set
the movie in 1977 so the inspiration was more out of limitations.
What can you tell us about your
co-writer (and star) Jesper Danielsson, and what was your collaboration
like when writing Root
Jesper and I have been friends for many years and we have similar interests but also wery different
interests, so I usually come up with the basic story and he writes due to
me being heavely dyslectic
so he is a much needed help. He and I write the dialogue but Jesper is
fine tuning it to a better form, so we sit with lots of coffee and cake
and pour my notes into a script. Due to the low budget and suff like it
we are forced to relie on the
few people we can find for free or each other, so it's usually Jesper in
front of the camera, I behind ore vice versa. When it comes to distributing
work between me and him some might see it unfair due to me doing so much but I
am ok with it, it won't work otherwise, the movies would not be made
otherwise without his input and good
A few words about your movie's
approach to horror?
Well I think much horror made this day is a bit too fast when it
comes to the scary parts, it is not enough built up, so I did it like this
that and make it as slow or fast as it needs to be but due to living in the
middle of nowhere and it is lonely and dark and you can hear noises of animals
apples in the garden and hope it is not a pack of boars or an elk that will
scare the shit out, or if you get too close to it there is more going on in
your head than if you see it, but we started the movie as a comedy and see
what directon it would take
in case we did not succeed in makeing a horror movie we will try making
it like that so the first concept trailer turned out good, so we keept the
Do talk about Root
of Darkness' monster for a bit, and how was it conceived?
The monster's design is pretty much in the title - Root
of Darkness or "rooten till
alt ont" in Swedish tree monster, and that was ultra low budget, it is a
bit of a The Thing type, it infects you and you turn into
some thing, so I made it out of stuff I had at home, I took a styrofome head, took a
plastic bag glued on cut up butels and then took a black plastic bag
over that and heated it with a heat gun so it shrinked and wrinkled and
after that I dry brushed with brown paint.
I have several videos on my YouTube channel of the process. so a lot of
plastic bags and and tape, not much latex was used at all, theer is no CGI
in the movie at all because I have no idea how to make it.
covered horror and monsters, you of course also have to talk about Root
of Darkness' brand of comedy, and how much of it was in the
script, how much made up on the spot?
Not much at all really exept Erland's gestures and reaction to stuff and
the line that is translated to "groovy" from Evil
Dead it is the
Swedish word "gedigert", which it a really old fashioned way to say
that is "rough quality" or "werry well made" - my
granpa used to say that when he was alive so the comedy is more noticable
if you know Swedish, this movie might not work as good in English I
guess due to how people speak.
So the comedy is quite subtle.
What can you tell
us about your cast, and why exactly these people?
First of all they were free and willing to be in it exept Greta (Katriina
Ruottinen), who was supposed to be a extra, but due to the one we hade
got sick really badly we filmed the scenes without her and then the
extras showed up and she was so dam good we chose to do a bit of rewriting and
put her as Greta due to she was more age apropriate and had more talent,
so we paid here a small amount to finish it and it turned out so good.
ForLeeroy we called a man we had in mind but he never answered so we thought
why not Hugo Hilton Brown as he has done a lot of acting we know him
and he was unemployed at that time,
but otherwise it was a big big struggle to find extras, but then I
lend the sets to a upcoming prodject (Sargad) so when they had actors
waiting I used somr of them to film my stuff so at maximum people
involved in the movie was in total around 10.
course also have to talk about your locations, and what was it like
The locations were built in my barn out of my grandparents old stuff
form the 70's so it was built sets. We also did a short bit in the radio
and TV museum in Tobo. There everything is built to look like 1965, the
owner of it, Lejf Högström, said here is the key and also he let us
use his 1960's Ford Tanus to drive
so every set like the cabin and the basement, I built it out of stuff I
hade at home and that included some actual renovations on the barn, I built them in so every item from
cooking pots to curtains are actual objects from the 70's or before that, but the
basement was supposed to be water
damaged and the set had a leaking roof, that was a good coincidence when
filming so it really looked old and moist.
What can you tell us about the shoot as
such, and the on-set atmosphere?
Well, it was Sweden and cold and dark, we had to plan filming after sunlight
or none of it, the filming stretched out to December and we tried to
find snow free spots but every one was happy - cold sometimes but no
fights, no stress that causes big problems, it was relativly pleasent, we
laughed a lot due to the absurdity of the lines being over serious in tone from
time to time. The last weeks morale was a bite down due to it starting
to snow and we could not film from time to time, the snow came and went and so on. but we
made it. Also Jesper's metal armor was not warm but that was pretty much
The $64-question of
course, when and where will your movie be released onto the general
Later this year I hope, we have some interested
Anything you can tell us about audience and
critical response to Root
of Darkness yet?
Well you are one of the first except people involved that have seen it, so
I have no clue at all. I usually make movies I want to see,
so I hope I don't have the worst taste in movies so I hope the audience will
love it or really hate it and tell me that, like how daer you discrase
Ingmar Bergman's work or that was terrible now I need to kill myself. That
might be an odd thing to want to hear but I also love insult comedy
but I think the worst thing would be to have made a movie that is not
interesting enough to remember.
Any future projects you'd like
Well I have made costumes for Violent Starr
makers of ABCs of Superheroes. I will move to LA to work on a big thing I
don't know how much I can mention of so we will see how that will go, but
things are in the works so that will take a lot of my focus for now, but I
promise it will be realy cool.
What got you into filmmaking in the first
place, and did you receive any formal training on the subject?
Well when I was 8 I got a book by H.R Giger after I saw a picture of the
monster and got fascinated by it thanks to my friend's nerdy mom who knows how
he was, and from that moment I wanted to make monsters. When I grew up
though no monster movies were made in Sweden, after a VHS marathon of Peter
Jackson's splatter movies and the extra on how he made
Bad Taste I thought I will make my own.
So I started and well it never got finished, stopped made a short thing
and then I watched Die
You Zombie Bastards! - I got inspired,
this is what I want to do, absurd comedy.
I had some classes in how to make films but I failed and refused to do
stuff as intended which I still do but some conclusions were made so I
put more of the monsters and SFX in focus, then camera angels
and tecnical stuff. So I have made 4 movies in 8 years, so learning by doing, how else
would you learn ... well I watch a lot of movies.
can you tell us about your filmwork prior to Root
How glad you ask about it, now that I think about it in 2007 I made Rape
Man: The Night Humper (released in 2008), a terrible superhero movie about a man
figthing crime with his super penis - don't track down a copy and watch it,
it is terrible and most of them are in Germany. We had it on sale in Sweden but it got
pulled from shelves, which was the first time in a long
time that have happened. Then we decided to make a slasher and after some
thoughts of what the killer should be dressed we desided a shark so we can make the
dumbest shark movie
ever, Jaws of the Shark (a shark with legs and a chainsaw) - then
Sharknado got made the same year so that benefited
and then mutated into the idea of making a sequel to the shark movie. We
made a Christmas action movie (Kill Team) with mechs and explosion
because why not,
and that led to make some new contacts, so now I can almost live on
making monsters and stuff but to sum it up, in Sweden there are indie moviemakers
spread out and we try to connect with them all, so all my movies have been made as a
proof that yes, we can make fun movies
in Sweden, not only crime movies and stuff you can't market outside Sweden, and it don't have to be more expensive
than the crime movies.
How would you describe yourself as
Well, planning ahead and tryomg to not steal to much time out of people so as
efficient as possible. I also do not like to be stressed out and definitely
don't want to stress other people. In a nutshell it's very Swedish,
"my leg is broken but don't call the ambulance I don't want to bother
them" - so I think being a diva or like "Hitchcock or Kubrick"
not work today due to I want people to come back and be in the next
Filmmakers who inspire you?
Caleb Emerson [Caleb Emerson
interview - click here], I watch his movie Die
You Zombie Bastards! before I started
writing to feel that's how I want it, and Jonas Wolsher's movies to see how
I don't want it to be.
I know him so it is not an insult he is the producer of Root
of Darkness. It is good to learn from others' mistakes. Peter Jackson is
obvious, I am inspierd mostly by his old work. Ross Petterson, love the
craziness, and basicly
directors that have made cool stuff with grate limitations,
and also I love Uwe Boll, I have all his movies and they are so
inspiring on different level. He is a cool guy I feel so good to have
done some work on a movie hi is in ABCs of Superheroes.
Feeling lucky ?
any of my partnershops yourself
for more, better results ?
The links below
will take you
Oh, there are a lot ... Die
You Zombie Bastards!, Frankenstein's Army, Yor:
Hunter of the Future, Evil Aliens, the Alien
movies, Predator, Hellraiser,
Nazis at the Center of
the Earth, Duck! , Guyver, The Thing, American
Badass ... I can go on forever,
there are so meny good movies.
... and of course, films you really
Dyck Hard, fuck that movie, fuck fuck fuck,
Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, Die Zombiejäger - it was so bad I
had to call the director and tell him how terrible it was, he got upset and sad,
and now we are good friends
and hi is the producer of Root
Your/your movie's website, Facebook, whatever
My YouTube channel, theer is my building movie props and SFX and replicas:
My Facebook page:
Anything else you're dying to mention and I have
merely forgotten to ask?
I hope I don't spell impossibly bad
Thanks for the interview!