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An Interview with James Cullen Bressack, Director of 13/13/13

by Mike Haberfelner

November 2013

Films directed by James Cullen Bressack on (re)Search my Trash


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Your movie 13/13/13 - in a few words, what is it about?


13/13/13 is about the end of the world. Picture this, everyone in the world goes completely insane, and when I say everyone I mean everyone. Your neighbors, family, friends, relatives, politicians, even your youngest child. They all get violent and suicidal. There are riots in the streets. Pandemonium! Then we jump in to the film at ground zero and follow our slightly less crazy hero Jack trying to save himself and his daughter who he believes might not be crazy. Lots of blood.


In more ways than one, 13/13/13 is about the loss of loved ones - is that at all something you can relate to, personally, and to what extent can you identify with your reluctant hero Jack?


I have lost loved ones in the past. When I was filming my movie Hate Crime, my grandmother passed away. Her and I were very close. There is a feeling of lack of control, you can't control what happens to others, no matter how much you want to. Some things are just out of our hands. That is Jack's crazy, he is unable to control his emotions, he is unable to accept defeat and that it's too late to save his daughter. I can relate to that easily.


The Mayan prophecy that's supposed to have triggered the events in your movie - is that at all something real, I mean did you put any amount of research into it, or was it just made up out of thin air? And (other) sources of inspiration when writing 13/13/13?


I made all of that up and based it in some reality. I was born on feb 29, leap year, so I am very familiar with how that day works and is able to exist. I just parlayed it into the film.


How would you describe your directorial approach to your story at hand?


I wanted every single actor to feel justified and be living through a different kind of crazy. I talked with them extensively about symptoms and collaborated with them. Visually I wanted the film to have a floating dreamlike feel at times, which is why there is a lot of steadicam, but I also wanted everything to feel tense and always moving. Thats why there is so much handheld shots in the film.


13/13/13 is your first movie produced by a relatively high profile film studio, The Asylum - now how did that collaboration come about, and how does working for a studio compare to work totally independently?


It is a very different experience working with a studio rather than being my own boss. This being said, I loved collaborating with the guys at The Asylum. It was a great experience. These guys really know their stuff and truly care about the product for their fans. They know what they want and really deliver. They were also always there when I needed them which was refreshing. Overall a great experience.


There is some very wicked humour in 13/13/13 - was this already in the script, or rather improvised during the shoot?


I always intended the film to be a little silly/campy and really had some fun with it. One of my favorite bits when I was writing it was all of the Vietnam War-type flashback scenes. "We're all a little bit Asian!"


For all the gorehounds among our readers, do also talk about your gore scenes for a bit, and was there ever a line you refused to cross?


You know me, there is never a line I won't cross with violence, but there is a line that can't always be shown ;) The gorehounds will have a real treat in this one. Lots of fun stuff. Eye gouging, axes to the head, skin being ripped off. You name it.


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


My cast was a pleasure to work with. Loved all of them. There were some old faces from other movies I had done and some new faces, but I really had a great time getting to know the new people and developing the characters together. Everything that was off the page.


What can you tell us about the actual shoot, and the on-set atmosphere?


The atmosphere was awesome! I had an amazing cast and crew and we really came together as a family! I even bought sushi for everyone cause they were so awesome!  Loved them all. Can't say enough good things.


Supid question maybe, but will there ever be a sequel to 13/13/13? And any (other) future projects you'd like to share?


All I can say is maybe about the sequel. It would be a fun world to re-enter.

As for the other future projects, I just got back a week ago from Thailand where I was shooting my new movie Pernicious for the past 3 months. It was awesome and I really think you guys are going to LOVE this one. It's something really special.


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


If you find the leprechaun make him give me my pot of gold already!


Thanks for the interview!


Thank you so much for taking the time to chat with me! As always, it was a pleasure.


© 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




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


A Killer Conversation

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

out now on DVD