Your new movie Abduction
- in a few words, what is it about?
Melissa rescues a young woman, Bozena, from a mental hospital
where no-one believes she is a victim of abduction by aliens. She and mysterious
Doctor Asil try to prevent the aliens from taking her but a government
agent seems to be hot on her trail, and the Alien Greys and their powerful
leader, the Hive Queen, have no intention of being stopped. An outrageous
mix of graphic horror and dark twisted humour.
Why make a movie
about alien abductions to begin with?
Mol: Too many zombie films, too many sc-fi
movies focused on technology or (in the past) space monsters. Too many films around these days on sci-fi
which focus on superior technology in the hands of aliens trying to
conquer earth. Let's make something different: How about
Alien Greys trying to abduct earth females to create a hybrid race, but
instead of horror, it's funny horror? And the aliens are as
failable as us humans.
Did there go any research into
Mol: Yes. Lots. Both in reading various
books of people claiming they were abducted, and reading about the
scientific or professional opinion by materialists saying abductee
experiences are caused by purely underlying psychological influences or
(Other) sources of inspiration when
dreaming up Abduction?
X-Files TV series. Benny Hill (saucy, sexist British
comedian) of the 70s and 80s (deemed, now, politically incorrect in
the UK and in 1989 was scrapped). My personal fascination with biology
and organic forms and reproduction in different species. The actors themselves... imagining them
bringing each character to life. A belief that we are not real anyway
(refer to Donald Hoffman lectures, YouTube). A belief we (humans) are relinquishing
our freedoms and becoming a very controlled people by the elite and
their puppet fake democratic systems. Mad Comics (back in the 70s and 80s...
gone now). The Carry On films made at Pinewood
Studios, UK, 1960s to 90s.
An important personal aspect:
I grew up in the 50s – a time where human
weaknesses, like prejudices, and total acceptance of male and female
normality to be stereo-typical male, and females without mixing their traits.
A lot of humour was derived from revealing our collective prejudices...
yes, often at the expense of offending minorities. Most humour was sexist,
racist, or simply vulgar and rude. It wasn't seen as this way at the time,
but certainly is so by today's cultural standards. Such humour has all but
disappeared. A shame, I think, because with it has gone our liberty to say
what you think even if it is was not very endearing to this sex, that sex, or
culture. No more Irish jokes! Now I live in a world where any attempt to
illuminate how utterly stupid we all are in the eyes of nature and/or the
universe are seen to be offensive
and not politically correct. We are
slowly removing the very qualities which make us human and enable humour
to flourish, as it did, without concerns
about offending this group or that person.
I wished also to include my confessed underlying resentment about humans
slowly becoming machine-like
in their thoughts and perceptions. The film
at a subliminal level is my protest at seeing my world, my era which I
became familiar with, slowly die to be
replaced by one less comfortable to me. All
modern humour is just not funny. Humour is making fun of the human
predicament and seeing tragedy as
the universe having a little joke and
a laugh, at our expense... I think. We believe we consider ourselves too
important, where--in truth, we aren't.
These personal beliefs underpin every
aspect of the film.
how did you get involved with the project, and could you at all relate to
the film's subject matter?
Kemal: I have known Mol Smith for a few years now and we have grown close
both creatively and as friends, I first saw some of Mol's digital artwork
which fused the female form with otherworldly interference which showed a
unique mind at work so I knew I wanted to work with him, to explore these
themes on film. Mol & myself spend many a night theorising on the
meaning of existence, the state of our world, well at least our perception
of it anyway and all things dark and wonderful so when Mol presented with
his new script I just sat back and enjoyed it. I can definitely
relate to elements and themes within the film as the film works on many
layers, it just depends on what you wish to take from the experience, for
me as an actor in the film I tried to look into the core of what I believe
we all as living beings look for and that's a sense of connection whether
that is love, sex or spiritual connection, for me the most important part
of any film is the human condition.
Do talk about the
movie's brand of humour, and was all of it scripted or some improvised on
Mol: I'm afraid it's mostly my dark sense of humour. My idea of
'funny' is the utter understanding of a universe which gives us life and
snatches it away again just as you get used to living it more
profoundly. A monumental suburb joke! No one jokes better the cosmos.
I try to think of what a conscious universe would find funny to amuse
itself. Nothing is sacred. We are the inadvertent, unknowing clowns,
entertaining an unseen intelligence with a warped sense of humour. I
know the intelligence and the warped humour exists, because some
of it connects with me.
Most of my thoughts are about 'Why are we here', 'Do we serve a
purpose', 'Do we ever really die', 'Is all of life, all awarenesses, all
just one single consciousness meshed in some fragmented way
with a reality/dimension and us, the bits of it, having to deal with
ignorant of what happened to cause this'. And we quickly lose sight of
the nagging question in late childhood.
And then there are the human problems of dealing with an inner
biology which manifests itself though subconscious thoughts
and influences our behaviour to satisfy its greedy and often
unsocial urges and demands: sex, gain, lust, desire, reward, excitement,
Asil, played by Kemal, is such a character. In fact, any character
coming from his dimension to ours has to adopt our biological form.
It messes them up. The reproductive urge, camouflaged as sexual
desire, competes for their attention and creates a conflict in the
I feel this represents the core paradox in human-beings
The actors' humour:
Yes, every actor brought into play all
kinds of spontaneous jokes and events as we filmed. Sometimes I forgot
to shout cut because I was wetting myself with
laughter. The Hive Queen, Amelie, having sex with the alien... well she
had the whole
crew and cast falling off their feet with
laughter. She hammed up the character using her own powerful creative
Thorson, played by Mel Mills, and his
entire sub scene where he takes the baby out into the garden and then
well it was a complete surprise to
all of us and unscripted. But wow! That's what I mean about the universe
having a joke on us,
hence I selected a suitable
complimentary track (song) to amplify that.
What can you tell us about Abduction's
overall look and feel?
Mol: Quirky. A rapid mish-mash of horror, humour, and weirdness which
somehow should not fit together, and yet it does. We have a very low
budget. I don't get investment or crowd funding but self finance the
entire project so we can take our stories beyond what commercially
aimed projects would limit. The one problem is putting the film
on Amazon Prime, which means being very careful with some of the more
graphic scenes. Sometimes I make it more graphic in the shoot but edit
it down to fit Amazon's restrictions on their Prime VOD platform.
Each film, including Abduction, will ultimately be put out as
uncensored and a director's cut.
I have probably watched tens of thousands of films in my life, and it
becomes increasingly hard to discover originality in any being produced today. Recently, I saw
Under the Skin (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Under_the_Skin_(2013_film)),
which is an example of a highly original film. If you never read the
novel (I hadn't), you are
constantly fascinated with the film and where it's taking you. I can guess both the development of most films and their culmination,
resolution, normally in the first 15 minutes. Boring!!
Abduction starts like a chase, a girl being hunted film (like so many
girl-victim movies), with only a few glimpses of humour to tip
you off the film is not serious. It transforms to absurd comedy
and then again to a mix of comedy playing against semi-graphic horror.
I can't stand loads of people being shot, stabbed, tortured etc.
(Game of Thrones, most popular recent films and TV series), so I try to
produce horror elements in completely different ways. I don't like the film school storyline plot development idea either:
an antagonist, protagonist, with challenges to overcome, main leading
characters, main leading villains. All too simple and out of step
with real life and an instruction set which leads to all films sharing common and overdone storyline styles. In
Abduction, more or less
every character is a lead character. Each have their objectives and are
slight caricatures of stereo-typical figures you see in most high
budget movies, but in Abduction, I take out the false seriousness and
the idea this story is something you must believe in. I have created
a pantomime. The audience viewer can feel part of the joke being
played out. The viewer / audience is being invited to the party and
invited to bathe in he synergy and spirit of good intent of the people
who made the film and acted in it. You are invited to laugh with us
and at us. We, the cast and crew are all now close friends in real life, and we
share common ideas about the world and each of us wishes to distract
people away from the harsh reality they (us) all live in and
hopefully, give them a release from that through fascination and humour.
I deliberately mixed in B movie elements
and gave it a kind of B movie feel. Often, in the past, when cinemas in
the UK showed both an A film and a B film at the cinema, the B
film was more entertaining then the A film. Our budget does not provide us with the
tools and locations to make a high-end film, but we endeavour to get
good sound and interesting
visuals and use only what is needed to
keep the story tightly on track. The story is the main focus, not
stunning visuals or ballet-style
slow motion of terribly violent
acts; although I do a pastiche (make fun of, maybe?) of that in Bozena's
torture scene with Asil.
The film is aimed at trying to surprise
people over and over. It's trying to jump the audience out of genre
expectation and instead give them food for thought about other ways
films can focus on a story when not limited or restricted by commercial
thinking of audience types, and distribution channels. We will not be
bringing out a range of toys and computer games even if we could. Many
films today are just adverts for physical spin-offs and the money is
made in the toys, games, and branded franchise. But the stories are
tired and weak rehashes of original and powerful tales. We create a film to tell a story
visually. We do not create it trying to consider how best to maximise
profit. That's it. I am not worried whether the film makes money or not, providing it
reaches an appreciative audience and we recover some of the costs. And
if I can sit down and watch it and enjoy it as though I never made
it. Most of all, I'll be pleased if it brings a bit of joy to folks, be
it 1 or 10,000.
Kemal, you play one of the leads
- so do talk about your character, and what did you draw upon to bring him
Kemal: I had the pleasure of playing Doctor Asil who is a bit of an
enigma, he is doing experimental treatments on abductees to find the
answer as to why they're being abducted, his treatment is brutal yet he
cares for his patients. I found this to be quite apt to our own
medical predicaments our doctors who are there as our saviours
but sometimes mistreat us for other gains so this was an interesting
aspect about the character, this duality - I have always been a fan of the
Hyde quality within us all, and for me Asil is a representation of
this. When I take on a character I usually find one quality within myself
that helps to build a connection with the character, Once I have that the
rest builds around that. I really enjoyed the struggle of the character
as he wrestles with dealing with the duality of his real identity and
trying to help those around him as well his sexual urges. I was
very fortunate that all my fellow actors are amazing and we all had so
much fun working on the film and are continuing the fun with the
2nd part of a planned trilogy of Abduction films.
Do talk about the rest of Abduction's
cast, and why exactly these people?
Mol: The actors playing the main characters were in my previous
film – The Lorelei. I came to love them both as people and as colleagues and friends. I
wanted to share with them again an opportunity for us all to create something to celebrate our mutual friendships. Knowing the people,
their strengths and weaknesses, made it easy for me to define
characters for them to play.
Mel Mills who plays Thorson is often typecast as a rogue or a cop.
I wanted a character who appeared to be the solid one trying to steady a situation which seemed mad and unlikely.
Tessa McGinn, playing Melissa, is a first class performer and can
manifest all types of characters. She understands serious drama and
comedy and has the right sensitivity to weave the two together
well. We needed her to set the tone and balance of the comic/drama
Kemal, who plays Asil, is my mainstay in making films. As an actor
he has played very serious and profound characters. He knows more
about filmmaking than me and anyone else I know. He acts in our
films and helps me shoot them too. He in invaluable and brings so much
more to the party than his acting. My films always involve females in
lead roles, and often there is some form of male/female interaction at
an intimate level. Often, I exploit the lure of seductiveness,
and often borderline on taboo subject matters. I need male actors I
can trust and who the females can trust to act with in often 'semi-uncomfortable'
scenes. Kemal, like all the male actors I bring to my films, are 100% trustworthy people who each want nothing but to encourage good
practices and offer help and optimism to their colleagues in the film.
Karolina Antosik, playing Bozena, is Polish. She had a very
difficult job to do. In the first week of filming, we shot the last 20
minute action scene. We all worked in a darkened room for the whole week,
and Karo spent almost all of it sitting uncomfortably on a hard stone floor for 6 to 8 hours a day. She never moaned about it. Her
slight slowness in translating what is being said in English into
Polish so she can respond to it is a trait I used to show Bozena as a
slightly dumb but loveable character. A victim of circumstances who is
in love with the complex Doctor (Asil).
Amelie Leroy, who plays the Hive Queen, well... Amelie likes guns,
chases, and action roles. It was a true test of her acting skills and creative juices to cast her as
the Hive Queen. I was
amazed by her performance as she gave the character the right mix of arrogance and ruthlessness with a hint of being stupid at
heart despite her (the character's) thinking she was supremely
intelligent. As aspect I drew upon from such arrogant people in English society
who are wealthy through inheritance and class, but not very useful in a practical world because they are often stupid. It's a
poke at the upper classes in this country and the arrogance of
Amelie is also a great puppeteer which came in handy with bringing the
Alien Greys to life.
What can you tell us
about the shoot as such, and the on-set atmosphere?
Mol: We shot the whole film in under two weeks. One week was
entirely dedicated in the the daytime to the 20 minute action scene.
We did other scenes in the evenings and the second week. It was hectic
beyond belief. Little sleep, intense, many people crowded together in
a small space. But we are friends and that love for each other
transformed what could easily be described as hell on the set to joy
and fun on the set mixed with a little frustration.
Our make-up designer, Jo Crowder was a star, ducking in and out of
shots and keeping effects and make-up consistent. She never blinked
once when I got irritated by constant delays and errors as we
filmed. She carried on regardless. I think everyone pushed themselves
to their limits to complete the film in a very short space of time, but
no-one fell out with anyone else. In fact, the trial of friends
achieving that strengthened the friendships and bond between all involved.
Kemal: From an actor's perspective the atmosphere was tense and a
massive amount of fun playing these absurd characters in a dark world over
un by alien beings while trying to keep a straight face to all the absurdity
around us. Our director did an amazing job of whipping us into shape and
bringing the best out of us all while maintaining his vision.
you can tell us about audience and critical reception of Abduction
Kemal: It's a bit early to tell, and the film will
divide its audience due to its absurd humour, we just hope it finds an
audience in this ever-increasing platforms of distribution. As
with all films some people will get its humour and what it was intended to
do while some people will not and that's what makes the world of film
so much fun with all the diversity we have as film lovers.
As far as I know, you two are currently filming a
sequel to Abduction
- so what's that one all about?
Mol: We have nearly completed it, last scenes to be shot in a few weeks
time. I'm part way through writing Abduction 3 which we will shoot next
year. In Abduction 2, all the core characters return, including the Hive Queen, with
new characters added and of course, the Greys and the Queen are up to their old tricks. The style is slightly different but the core
traits remain. The film kicks off with fallout from the end of Abduction
then introduces the audience back into the abduction world 1 year later.
Abduction 3, I'm getting more time to think about and I intent to
greatly increase the farcical elements to a complete state of mad
absurdity. Only one's imagination can hold back the developing story, and yes,
once again... all the core characters will be there.
What prompted you to
make a sequel in the first place? And in which way do you plan to top Abduction
or take it further?
Mol: I just think I have found a film style that works for me with
key elements which grab my own fascinations. I also love the people
involved and I get great joy from being with them struggling with the
impossible task of making a good film on a zero budget. I personally
think Abduction is a great device for a
sitcom serial, but that will not
happen. It's a bit like Star
Trek on drugs.
Do talk about the new shoot so far
for a bit?
Mol: Most of it is shot already but we have another gruelling week to
complete it starting August weekend of the 6th. Everyone is
coming here and the timetable is tight.
More babies, more inseminations, more absurd moments, more laser
fights, more tentacles, much more! J
And a few very surreal comic moments too. Bozene refuses sex to Asil until he can find a way to fix the damage done to
her by the Alien Greys. And once you deprive Asil of that... anything can happen... and does
So any idea when the sequel might be out yet?
Early next year... spring, maybe - www.abduction2.net
other future projects beyond Abduction 2 you'd like to share?
Mol: Abduction 3 and maybe 4. If I can write enough interesting
story content, I might make the two films in the one project.
In Abduction 3, we go to Asil's dimension for a while J
Feeling lucky ?
any of my partnershops yourself
for more, better results ?
The links below
will take you
movie's website, Facebook, whatever else?
you're dying to mention and I have merely forgotten to ask?
If folks like the actors in Abduction, they might like to see
them in The Lorelei, also on Amazon Prime - www.thelorelei.net
We would also like to thank you and other film reviewers that help indie
films worldwide by giving them this platform.
for the interview!