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An Interview with Mike O'Mahony, Director of A Dark Place Inside

by Mike Haberfelner

October 2014

Films directed by Mike O'Mahony on (re)Search my Trash


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Your new movie A Dark Place Inside - in a few words, what is it about?


A Dark Place Inside is the story of Andy. He's an isolated man battling with deep issues and horrible tendencies caused by his past.


A Dark Place Inside is based on a story by Warren Croyle [Warren Croyle interview - click here] - so what can you tell us about your source material, in what detail did it outline the film, and how close did you stick to it?


Warren gave me a very brief and very loose outline. It was about two paragraphs long. He basically asked for a movie about an isolated serial killer that abused the remains of his victims with a specific request for the ending that I stuck somewhat close to.


What were your inspirations when writing A Dark Place Inside? And to what extent could you sympathize or even identify with your protagonist Andy?


My inspirations were everyday life. I just swapped a few things with rape and murder when telling the story. I can identify greatly with Andy. He is drawn towards something that isn't good for him at all, and he knows it, yet he still does it compulsively. He works a job that he hates to allow himself to do the things that he really wants to do. I think many people can identify with that. They're just maybe not murdering people.


A Dark Place Inside goes pretty far when it comes to gruesomeness - want to talk about this aspect of your movie for a bit, and was there ever a line you refused to cross?


My previous three movies were pretty gruesome but all in a comedic way. I definitely wanted to stick with that but lose all of the comedy. There were no lines that I refused to cross but there was a thing or two that got changed due to other reasons. I explained to Chris very early on about the content and that I would be unwilling to bend. I wanted it done how I had written it and he was on board completely, even adding some good ideas to the story.


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


My approach is usually the same with all of my movies. I have a story that I want to tell and direct my actors towards how I'd like that story told. If they have ideas that I feel add to the story I'll run with them. If not I have my idea fully laid out to work from.


Do talk about your key cast, and why exactly these people?


The only roles that I had cast for were Chris Dalbey and Kieran Boyle's parts. Andy and young Andy. The rest of the cast were people that I had worked with on different projects over the years or friends of other actors that I had worked with previously that had vouched for their abilities.


I had auditioned with close to 100 people for the part of Andy. I met with one guy and really liked him. In my head I had already cast him but I decided to meet with the other actors as a courtesy. Chris Dalbey was the very last actor that I had met with and he threw a wrench into my plans with the other guy. I went back and forth in my head and ultimately picked Chris. I told Warren that and he told me that if I had picked anyone other than Chris that I would have been wrong. I of course agree.


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


The shoot was scattered over weekends in the summer of 2013. We shot it in order basically. Although the sets and tone of the movie were dark and barren the atmosphere was pretty upbeat and light. Chris would need a minute or two to get into character, then the set would take a more serious tone. Besides that the sets were extremely hot. I think that added a level of mystery and discomfort to the actors' performances. More than once we had to stop because someone was dizzy or nauseous due to heat.


A few words about critical and audience reception of your movie so far?


I'm amazed, but so far the reception has been outstanding. It's still early but the reviews have all been very positive.


Any future projects you'd like to share?


I'm finishing putting together my next movie now. Chris was so good in A Dark Place Inside that I used him again in this one. It's entitled Ghostbox. It stars Chris and Carol Florence who most people know from 12 Monkeys.


What got you into making movies in the first place, and did you receive any formal training on the subject?


I did not have any formal training. I just read a lot of books on the subject. Getting into making movies was just the next step in my creative pursuits I guess. I've done music, photography, painting, tattooing and several other creative outlets so I guess filmmaking was just the next outlet that I wanted to try.


What can you tell us about your filmwork prior to A Dark Place Inside?


I've done three features and three short films of my own prior to A Dark Place Inside, the features all dark comedic horror and the shorts dark avant grade type projects. Besides that I've done FX and camera work on many other people's projects. I'll even act here and there when asked.


One can't help but notice that your movies never stray far away from the horror genre - coincidence, or is horror a genre at all dear to you, and why (not)?


Yes the horror genre is very dear to me. I grew up obsessed with it, so making movies in it was the obvious move. I like to think that I'm exploring more aspects of the genre now but at the moment most of my ideas still have a horror theme to them.


How would your describe yourself as a director?


Feeling lucky ?
Want to
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The links below
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Find Mike O'Mahony
at the amazons ...


Great Britain (a.k.a. the United Kingdom)

Germany (East AND West)

Looking for imports ?
Find Mike O'Mahony here ...

Your shop for all things Thai

Something naughty ?
(Must be over 18 to go there !)

x-rated  find Mike O'Mahony at

I think I'm a pretty easy director to work with. I have the idea that I want done and I do what I can to get what I need from the actors. I'm also very open to changes from them as well as long as it suits the overall idea of the movie.


Filmmakers who inspire you?


I've always said that David Lynch, John Waters, Alejandro Jodorowsky, and David Cronenberg were huge inspirations, but I have my favorite directors in other genres as well: Sergio Leone, Chang Cheh, Clint Eastwood, Raoul Walsh, etc.


Your favourite movies?


I like all styles. My favorites are always changing but off the top of my head I'll say that my favorites this week are The Public Enemy, Dead Alive, I Saw the Devil and Unforgiven.


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


I can usually find something I like in most movies that make an attempt to do something, but I'd have to say that comic book movies and the current trend of remakes are a huge turn off for me. So much so that I havent seen any in about 5 years. So who knows, I may actually love them now.


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


Maniac Films is on Facebook. I'm on Facebook and Twitter but I don't do a whole lot with either.


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


No, I think you covered it all. You are a most thorough interviewer.


Thanks for the interview!


My pleasure!


© by Mike Haberfelner

Legal note: (re)Search my Trash cannot
and shall not be held responsible for
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Thanks for watching !!!



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



Stell Dir vor, Deine Lieblingsseifenoper birgt eine tiefere Wahrheit ...
... und stell Dir vor, der Penner von der U-Bahnstation hat doch recht ...
... und dann triffst Du auch noch die Frau Deiner (feuchten) Träume ...


Und an diesem Tag geht natürlich wieder einmal die Welt unter!!!


Bauliche Angelegenheiten
ein Roman von
Michael Haberfelner


Jetzt kaufen bei