Your contribution to the horror anthology Theatre of the Deranged, Bad
Dennis - in a few words, what is it about?
It's a good old fashioned slasher film about a
teenage killer, Bad Dennis, who wreaks havoc on a group of weekend pagan
What were your inspirations when writing Bad Dennis, and how
did the project come into being in the first place?
During the process of developing our feature
length script for Pigboy, we decided to make a low-budget short to
showcase our style and ideas. My collaborator Liz Gilbert and I were inspired by people we knew in the
mystical town of Glastonbury where we both live. Liz was obsessed with a
TV movie she saw on American television in the 70's called Bad Ronald
and we were also influenced by more mainstream slasher flicks like Friday
the 13th and Halloween.
How would you describe Bad Dennis's brand of humour?
Horror comedy is the genre we are most excited by
and trying to develope. The humour comes from the bizarre and the obscene
colliding with the twisted and the mundane.
Humour aside, I happen to know that many of my readers are
gorehounds - so how far does Bad Dennis go concerning violence,
blood and guts, and how important would you rate explicite gore and the
like in modern horror as such?
We are moderate in our use of blood and guts and
don't really cater for the more extreme tastes in modern horror. We like
to leave something to the imagination as it is usually a lot darker in there!
It wouldn't be horror without a healthy helping of entrails and
Bad Dennis was co-written and directed by Liz Gilbert. A few
words about her, and what was your collaboration like?
Liz and I have been working together on different
projects for over 10 years. I moved back to Somerset after working at the
BBC, and she and I started developing various ideas into scripts and found
comedy horror was what we kept coming back to. Liz has a great director's
eye and her dialogue is great... bloody funny, if you pardon the pun!
How did the film eventually end up in Theatre of the Deranged, and
how did you hook up with that film's showrunner James Cullen Bressack
Cullen Bressack interview - click here]?
I met James online after he got in touch about
some work. We decided that we would like to collaborate on some projects
and when he was putting this anthology together approached me about
including Bad Dennis. We are currently in talks with him about directing
our feature-length sequel, Bad Dennis - Cider Party.
With Liz Gilbert, you are currently also working on a project called
Pigboy. What can you tell us about that one yet, and how far
advanced is it regarding production?
Pigboy is a feature length comdey horror about
a boy abandoned by humans and raised by pigs who escapes the confinment of
the only world he has ever known to wreak mayhem on the summer camp next
door. We are currently in the raising money stage and have some big names
in horror interested in getting involved.
To me, Pigboy sounds like a sort of anti-Babe. Was
that movie at all on your mind when writing Pigboy, and (other)
sources of inspiration?
The tag line is 'Pigboy - he ain't no Babe'... and
that is as far as the inspiration from that film goes. We were mostly
inspired by our fascination with stories of feral children raised by dogs
and wolves with that one.
Any other movies of yours you'd like to talk about, any future
We are focusing on our current slate of Pigboy, Bad Dennis - Cider
Party'and Prankster the Zombie Clown, but have other script ideas in the
early stages of developement.
A few words about your production company Mendip Films, and
how and why did it come into being?
Mendip Films came about due to my and Liz's
passion for our local area of outstanding beauty steeped in bizarre
mythology and legend. Glastonbury and the darker side of magic and what
really lies at its heart.
What got you into the filmbusiness in the first place, and did you
receive any formal education on the subject? And what can you tell us
about your career prior to Mendip Films?
Liz studied film production at University in New
York and for the last 15 years I have worked in film and TV production at
the BBC and with independant film production companies like
CF1. For more
info check the Team section of our website www.mendipfilms.com!
Spending years in movie production, were you ever tempted to try
your hands on directing?
I can't be arsed to direct... I leave that to the
Feeling lucky ?
any of my partnershops yourself
for more, better results ?
The links below
will take you
Pretty much all your films are of the horror variety. A genre
especially dear to you, and why (not)?
Liz and I are both huge fans of the Hammer House
of Horror films and also old Black and White movies, Edgar Allen Poe
stories, and 50's B-movies. We grew up on them.
Writers and filmmakers who inspire you?
Roger Corman [Roger Corman
bio - click here], Laurel and
Hardy, Sergio Leone,
Ingmar Bergman and Hitchcock amongst many, many others.
Your favourite movies?
Too many to mention but Mickey - Fistful of Dynamite & Where Eagles
Dare; Liz - Night of the
The Harold and Kumar trilogy.
... and of course, films you really deplore?
There are loads we loath as well, but mostly shit
like High School Musical and the like.
Your website, Facebook, whatever else?
Thanks for the interview!