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An Interview with James Eaves, Director of Bane: An Experiment in Human Suffering

by Mike Haberfelner

April 2012

Films directed by James Eaves on (re)Search my Trash


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Your film Bane: An Experiment in Human Suffering - in a few words, what is it about?


The film 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!


What were your inspirations when writing Bane?


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.


In 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 - - 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 – Donald Sutherland rules – FACT.


I'm sure many people have also likened Bane to torture shockers like Saw or Hostel. Are you at all happy about this?


Yes 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.


Bane 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?


There’s 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?


I 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?


Yes of course – who doesn’t love the Michael Myers mask – that expressionless face = muchos creepy.


What can you tell us about your lead cast, and why were exactly they chosen for their roles?


Sophie Dawnay

Sophia 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.

Tina 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 gore!


A few words about your directorial approach to the subject at hand?


Since 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 movie.


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?


I 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?


Yes – I always loved movies and knew I wanted to make them. I studied filmmaking in Southampton.


A few words about your debut feature Diagnosis, and the lessons learned from it?


Oh 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 movie.


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?


We 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.


What can you tell us about The Witches Hammer?


The 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.


And then there's this film with the ingenious title Bordello Death Tales - you just have to talk about that one for a bit!


Bordello 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.


Any other films of yours you'd like to talk about, any future projects?


I am 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 -


One can't help but notice that the majority of your films are of the horror variety. A favourite genre of yours, and why?


Horror 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.


Directors who inspire you?


The following directors pop into my head for the following reasons:

Sam Raimi = style and comedy.

Martin Sorcesse = generally awesome movies.

Lars Von Trier = shocking films with powerful human emotion.

Spielberg = masterful storytelling with every aspect of the film.


Your favourite movies?


OK here’s a few:

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... and of course, films you really deplore?


I can sit and watch a bad horror movie and still enjoy it BUT cannot watch bad romantic comedies… ergh…


Your/your movie's website, Facebook, whatever else?


Follow me on Twitter: @James_Eaves


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


Just that I hope people check out my movies and connect with them and me on facebook!


Thanks for the interview!


© 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