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An Interview with James Cullen Bressack, Director of Survive the Game

by Mike Haberfelner

October 2021

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


Quick Links

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Your new movie Survive the Game - in a few words, what is it about?


Survive the Game is a nonstop cat-and-mouse action movie with crazy fights, chases and explosions and a lot of laughs. It's a 90s throwback film with colorful characters.


How did the project come into being in the first place, and how did you get attached as director? And what drew you to the movie?


I was shown the script by the guys at Emmett/Furla/Oasis Films, and I got really excited as the script had soul, solid action and humor in it, and it really reminded me of the action films I grew up on.


What can you tell us about Survive the Game's writer Ross Peacock, and what was your collaboration like?


I think Ross is a very talented writer, and he developed a fun contained action movie. He is a really kind and cool human.


Survive the Game is a film with almost wall-to-wall action - so do talk about the stuntwork in your movie for a bit!


I was blessed with an unbelievably amazing stunt team in Puerto Rico. My stunt coordinator Raul Alcocer was my secret weapon, that guy did magic in such little time. He actually plays Rob in the film as well. The guy who “forgot” his gun. Haha


Leo, Jonathan, Michelle and Monica were our stunt performers, the film would not exist without their amazing hard work. We need a stunt category at the Oscars already!


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


I really wanted to make a fun, surreal almost clichéed action film with a lot of laughs, a great soundtrack and nonstop action. I wanted colorful characters that reminded you of some of my favorite movies. I wanted the movie to feel like Chad's character fell asleep and he woke up inside his own action movie. Like he was sucked into a TV or video game and had to survive these larger than life characters. The film is supposed to feel wacky and surreal, so I hope people feel that.


Working with Bruce Willis - what was that like, and how did you get him even?


Bruce is a legend and really brought some fun to his role. I loved working with him. Little kid me gave adult me a high five every day. I was blessed the producers had a longstanding relationship with him.


Do talk about the rest of your cast, and why exactly these people?


Well as you know Zack Ward [Zack Ward interview - click here] is like my secret weapon. I have used him in so many different movies and he always plays a different character for me. I change his look. Make him look unique per film. He's a chameleon. He's who I can always count on when the chips are down and I need an actor I can trust.


As for the rest of the cast I was blessed to have a few people I have worked with before and a few new faces as well. Everyone was great and really down for the cause. Shout out to literally EVERY castmember.


You of course also have to talk about Survive the Game's main location, and what was it like filming there?


The location was super unique. It took an hour and a half every day to get there from the hotel. It was in the mountains. Winding roads. Isolated. It was awesome to film there. On the scout I almost fell off a cliff getting there. Wild! But it was all worth it.


A few words about the shoot as such, and the on-set atmosphere?


We were a big family. We all got along. It was nonstop laughs, jokes, and hard work. Everyone was down for the cause and cared. A lot of love went into this film from all aspects of production and my cast were champions.


Any future projects you'd like to share?


The Fortress is coming out next! This is a more mainstream action mystery starring Bruce Willis, Jesse Metcalfe, Chad Michael Murray, and Shannen Doherty. I personally feel that it's the best movie I have made thus far as a director.


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


Thanks to everyone who has watched my films and supported my movies! Your kindness and passion for film means the world to me.


Thanks for the interview!


© by Mike Haberfelner

Legal note: (re)Search my Trash cannot
and shall not be held responsible for
content of sites from a third party.

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