Frightfest interview with Barbara Crampton 

Ahead of her eagerly awaited presence at Horror Channel FrightFest 2017, genre icon, actress & producer BARBARA CRAMPTON talks exclusively about her latest film Replace, battling chronic fatigue syndrome and her passion for supporting new talent.

Q: REPLACE raises questions about beauty, body image and growing older, issues that many feel plague the Hollywood movie industry. What is your view on this subject?

The best movies reflect our inner world, our hopes, our good intentions, trials and our demons. Growing old and the fear of death is endemic to all, not just the movie industry. Just when you begin to figure it out your back aches, your skin starts to wrinkle and you gain weight just by LOOKING at your food. Let’s be frank: Aging sucks! But it also gives you a calendar to get things done. If we had an abundance of time we might be sloths putting off everything and accomplishing nothing. To me the best thing you can do is to live in each moment as successfully as possible. That translates to all areas of your life, personal, career and lifestyle choices. 

I am not immune however to feeling the anxiety of it all and I do believe most of us lack a grace about allowing nature and gravity to happen. We are collectively obsessed with youth and beauty that’s a problem.

Q: Co-writer/director Norbert Keil says he got the idea for Replace after going to hospital for a back operation. Was that something you could empathise with – the feelings of mortality raised when in such a medical environment?

It wasn’t a medical environment that did it for me but rather a chronic illness. I developed chronic fatigue syndrome 12 years ago after a parasite I had went undiagnosed for 9 months. I was literally in bed for 2 years. The worst time of my life. I was confronted with the fear of the termination of my long term health. Some people live with CFS and never recover. The medical community is still baffled by the syndrome. For me it was quite possibly that my immune system was acting in overdrive, first to rid itself of the parasite and then not being able to turn itself off when the parasite was eradicated. One doctor saved me. Per his instructions I had to become a model patient and test every part of my being: physical, mental, emotional and spiritual. I worked on every system to lubricate every aspect. I actually healed things I didn’t realize needed work. Finally my body calmed down and recovered. At one point though, when I was at my lowest, I thought, “Is this it? I haven’t done enough yet!” After I was better, that’s when I started working harder on everything, including my appreciation for being here.


Q: Doctor Rafaela Crober was a part originally written for a man, so what if anything changed in the script to accommodate your feminine side?  

Not too much. A few pieces of dialogue here and there. Science is not male or female and the quest for longevity, which is really what Dr. Crober is interested in, transcends gender.

Q: You’ve said you wanted to play Doctor Crober as someone in full control, can you elaborate?

Crober is playing with science too, albeit for different reasons than Kira, her patient. She has to be so sure of herself and where she thinks the journey will take mankind to pursue such lofty goals. Saying more would give too much away if you haven’t seen the film.


Q: Richard Stanley was a co-writer on Replace. Were you familiar with his work and reputation and did he attend the shooting?

Of course, his reputation is legendary. Richard is a fascinating visionary, an artist. He got a very raw deal on The Island of Dr. Moreau. Fortunately people in the industry realize this and he has some great opportunities coming up. Long overdue. 

Q: Replace is such a visually stunning movie with a very precise look. How does seeing that magic happening around you colour your performance? 

To be honest I did not visualize the movie as it was (in the finished film) while on set. I had a picture in my mind when I read the script that was very subjective to my character. The visuals blew me away when I saw the final finished film. It makes sense though I think, that the visuals are so beautiful and striking, as the movie is from the mind of protagonist Kira. She’s looking for beauty to support the needs of her soul.


Q: The film has an early David Cronenberg feel, did director Norbert Keil discuss any body horror influences or inspirations with you? 

Cronenberg was a very direct influence. And I think the themes of Richard’s work on The Island of Dr. Moreau.

Q: You have now been a guest at many of the world’s fantasy festivals. And this is your second time at FrightFest. Why are these events so important and what makes FrightFest stand out?

I am so grateful to back in the film community and to be fortunate enough to travel to Fests where audiences support and love genre cinema. We are in a transitional period though I believe and festivals for film are one of the only things keeping us alive, supporting new film makers. Film fests are sometimes your only theatrical release so it is of great importance to have your film shown at one that audiences will hopefully love and a distribution company will hopefully buy. FrightFest has a very saavy audience and a very vocal one. You want people to cheer for you and have journalists write a nice review to get distribution companies to make you an offer! 


Q: You’re more prolific in the genre than ever. You had four movies showing at FrightFest in 2015 and you have another four in post-production. You are clearly enjoying it more this time around? 

I’m having a ball really while enjoying the work in a way I never did before. I’m much more relaxed about my place in the business and I enjoy helping others realize the same dreams I had at a young age. I am invested in each project I work on even if I’m not involved in a producer capacity. I want to help others create the best film they possibly can.

Q: You’ve chosen to be a mentor for FrightFest & MPI Media’s NEW BLOOD Initiative. Is supporting new genre writers an important mission for you?

I am passionate about having the best script possible to begin the journey to creating a film. I do think that too many times the script isn’t as good as it could be and “people” forgive themselves too soon about that and forge ahead with submitting a script or filming without being completely ready. The script is your foundation, spend lots of time on it. I love writers. They have the capacity for insight and understanding of human nature, of people’s vulnerabilities, strengths and desires. When I read a great script with characters I care about, I fall in love with the writer a little bit.

I feel I can help a lot with the development process of a screenplay. Character is story and story is character. The journey that an actor will take in the story is something I am very familiar with and have worked on a lot. The script is the very first thing you begin with, so let’s get that right first. Then we can discuss the importance of making a great first impression with your freshman effort if you want to direct it as well. It used to be that you made a film and people in charge would see “promise” in you and you’d be able to move on to your next movie. That’s becoming harder and harder for a lot of reasons. Make the best damn first film you can.

My friend, esteemed journalist and film critic, Steve Prokopy said to me recently, “20% of all movies are truly great or really awful. The rest exist in a grey zone of average, above average or below average.”  What kind of movie do you want people to say you’ve made? Impressions are important on a first date and a first movie.


Q: You’re increasingly becoming involved in films as a producer. Do you feel this is a natural progression in your career?

At this point in my life and career it depends on the project. If I really love something I’ll want to work on it. For me a story needs a strong narrative with an emotional core. That’s what my sensibilities are attracted to. I really love acting and I do enjoy helping others realize their dream.

Q: Finally, what’s next?

I have two projects that I’m actively working on to produce. One, I may have an acting part in as well. There are also a few movies which I shot in the last two years or so as an actor only and they are still in various stages of post-production. Hopefully I’ll be seeing you next year on the fest circuit with one of those!

 

REPLACE receives its UK Premiere on Sunday 27 Aug, 3.30pm at The Prince Charles Cinema, Leicester Square, as part of Horror Channel FrightFest 2017. Barbara is also a mentor for the FrightFest / MPI Media UK script writing talent search NEW BLOOD.

 

 

The Audi and the Alien

The Moonrover Audi Lunar Quattro celebrates its film debut in Ridley Scott’s sci-fi blockbuster “Alien: Covenant” this week, ahead of its impending mission to the Moon next year.

The Audi lunar Quattro has been developed in cooperation with Berlin-based start-up Part-Time Scientists. Over the past two years, the automobile manufacturer has worked with a team led by Robert Böhme – founder and CEO of Part-Time Scientists – in developing the rover, by supplying all-wheel drive technology, expertise in lightweight construction, experience in developing vehicles with electric and plug-in hybrid motors (e-tron), and with design optimization.

Director Ridley Scott has integrated the Audi lunar quattro into “Alien: Covenant,“ the latest instalment of his ground-breaking “Alien” franchise. In its film debut, the rover is an integral part of the Covenant mission; deployed to help navigate and assess the challenging, unknown terrain of a new planet.

Incorporating the Audi lunar quattro into the film is part of a collaboration between Twentieth Century Fox and Audi – allowing filmmakers to incorporate authentic, leading-edge technology into their futuristic worlds. As part of the collaboration, a short film was also created by Twentieth Century Fox, 3AM and Audi. Captured on one of the movie’s biggest sets, it depicts the rover patrolling the Terraforming Bay when it detects an unidentified lifeform and goes to investigate what lurks in the dark. 

Watch “Alien: Covenant x Audi lunar quattro” here: http://youtu.be/5fEmCnSt gac

Check out the Audi Rover in some new footage from ‘Alien: Covenant’ via the link below:


 Additional information:

The Audi lunar quattro is 85% aluminium
The majority of its components have been produced using a 3D printing method at Audi’s headquarters in Ingolstadt

High-strength lightweight construction has resulted in developers reducing the weight of the exploration vehicle by 23% to just 30kgs

A 60-degree pivoting 100W solar panel supplies the rover with energy and powers its efficient e-tron motor

For more on the story of the Audi lunar quattro’s origins visit http://www.audi.com/mission

Jonathan McEvoy 

Hot Toys First Order Jakku Stormtrooper – Sideshow Collectibles Exclusive (2017)

Straight away, you can see the reason Hot Toys and Sideshow Collectibles are so sought after. Everything about both companies just shows you that the people who make these wonderful collectibles, are just as a much of a fan as we are. 

Everything is squared away so neatly that it’s almost a shame to disturb it. It’s like I want to savour it and not let it be tainted by outside air. It’s very well protected too, and I’ve yet to hear of anyone who purchases a sixth scale figure, receiving it damaged.

The detail is nothing short of incredible. Honestly I cannot believe it. Under the white armour, there’s a faux leather that covers the hips and thighs. You can remove sections of the armour with ease, and replace it just as easily too. The stitching around the shoulder harness is immaculate and really well put together. 


The backpack is magnetic and clicks on with ease. No awkward shoving into holes like the G.I. Joe toys of old, which is a nice change. The sculpting on the Stormtrooper is spot on, and it looks exactly like it does in the movies. Everything about the armour is immaculate, and the brilliant white just glisten. 

Included with the stormtrooper are a small laser pistol and rifle, plus binoculars. The binoculars can fold away and the rifle has a buttstock that can be altered. There are 3 pairs of hands plus the ones that are on the stormtrooper. They allow you to have clenched fists, hold the guns or binoculars, or just have open palms.


The base has wonderful detail, and two indents where the stormtrooper can place his feet. The plaque is a nice touch too. 

I would like to thank the wonderful folks at http://www.sideshowtoy.com for providing me this item to review. It is available to order now with free shipping inside the U.S. To order click on the link below:

https://www.sideshowtoy.com/collectibles/star-wars-first-order-stormtrooper-jakku-exclusive-hot-toys-902579/

Jonathan McEvoy 

Steelbook Sale!!! 


So the time has come for me to clean house. I’m having a huge steelbook clearance sale, all titles listed below. 
*UPDATED LIST*

List of steelbooks for sale. Please note none of the steelbooks have backing cards, and a couple may have very slight scratches, but mostly they are in great condition.

All prices include free postage inside the UK only, but PayPal fees are *NOT* included. Pictures available on request of individual titles. 

Team America – £10
The Road – £10

Godzilla (1997) – £10

Only God Forgives – £10

The Martian – £15

La Haine – £10

Training Day – £10

I Am Legend – £15 (REGION A LOCKED)

Poltergeist – £10

Money Monster – £12

Tombstone – £12

Seraphim Falls – £10

Paul – £15

Teen Wolf – £10

The Mermaid *Stephen Chow*- £15

’71 – £10

Scanners – £15

The Matrix – £15

Rise of the Footsoldier – £5

The Game – £15

A History of Violence – £10 (REGION A LOCKED)

2 Guns – £12

Manhunter – £12

Anchorman – £10

Predestination – £10

The Raid: Redemption *POP ART* – £15 (REGION A LOCKED)

The Raid 2 – £17

Miller’s Crossing – £10

The Conjuring 2 – £15

Tron: Legacy – £30

Tron – £20

Beverly Hills Cop – £10

Re-Animator – £15

Robocop (2014) – £10

Olympus Has Fallen – £10

London Has Fallen – £15

Gone in 60 Seconds – £20

Goldeneye – £20

Seven Samurai – £15

Ted – £12

Nightcrawler – £15

Moon – £10

E.T – £20

The Omen – £10

Dead Rising: Watchtower – £10

The Mutant Chronicles *Steelpak German release* – £25

Planet of the Apes *ORIGINAL* – £10

Taxi Driver – £15

Unknown – £10

Creed – £15

Lockout – £10

Pan’s Labyrinth – £20

Divergent – £15 (REGION A LOCKED)

Insurgent – £15 (REGION A LOCKED)

Legend *Tom Hardy* – £20

Face/Off – £12

Iron Sky *EXTENDED CUT* – £12

The Equaliser – £12

The Gunman – £10

Alpha Papa – £7

There Will Be Blood £25

The is Spinal Tap – £15

The Wolf of Wall Street – £15

The Guest – £12

The Green Hornet – £15

30 Days of Night – £10

A Streetcar Named Desire – £10

Iron Man Trilogy *FRENCH RELEASE* – £30

Transformers – £25

Transformers: ROTF – £15

Transformers: DOTM – £15

Transformers: AOE – £15

Apocalypto – £10

Seven Psychopaths – £10

Byzantium – £10

White of the Eye – £10

Black Sunday – £10

Theatre of Blood – £10

Star Trek Into Darkness – £15

Star Trek – £10

Vanishing Point – £10

Butch Cassidy and The Sundance Kid – £10

28 Days Later – £15

28 Weeks Later – £15

End of Watch – £10

The Amazing Spiderman 2 – £12

Straight Outta Compton – £20

Dr Strangelove *POP ART* – £12

The Great Gatsby – £10

Batman vs Superman 3D Extended Cut – £25

The Entity – £15

Krampus *GERMAN RELEASE* – £20

Young Guns – £12

A Nightmare Before Christmas – £20

Bronson – £15

Mask of Zorro – £12

The Untouchables – £29

Man With the Iron Fists – £12

The Hurt Locker – £15

Clerks – £10

White House Down – £10

Sunshine – £10

Total Recall *Colin Farrell* – £15

The A-Team – £10

The Last Witch Hunter -£10

Faster – £10

Looper – £15

The Bourne Legacy – £7

The Ultimate Bourne Collection *TRILOGY* – £30

The Town – £12

Oblivion – £10

Gone Baby Gone £10

The Deer Hunter – £10

Independence Day – £10

Brick – £10

Die Hard – £15

Die Hard 2 – £15

Die Hard with a Vengeance – £15

Die Hard 4.0 – £15

A Good Day to Die Hard *extended cut* – £15

Odd Thomas *German release* – £15

Jurassic Park – £15

The Lost World – £15

Jurassic Park 3 – £15

Spider-Man Trilogy – £30

Kill Bill Vol.1 & 2 – £20

Brazil – £12

The Princess Bride – £15

Taken 2 – £12

The Wicker Man – £15

Sin City – £25

Sin City 2 *German release* – £20

Good Will Hunting – £15

Hellboy – £15

Hellboy 2 – £20

Frankenweenie – £15

The Lone Ranger – £15

Wild at Heart – £15

Fargo – £15

Pitch Black – £15

Ninja: Shadow of a Tear *German release * – £20

Nosferatu – £15

Modus (TV Series) (2015)

The Scandinavians do it again. Seriously. Very rarely have I watched  a programme from Sweden or Denmark where I have been bored or found the story uninteresting. Detective Ingvar Nyman is sent to Uppsala to investigate the grisly murder or a bishop. Teaming up with a psychologist, they seek to uncover just why people are turning up dead in some very strange circumstances. 

There are gruesome scenes which may not be for the squeamish, but this series is never gratuitous. It’s superbly acted and the story is gripping. It’s mostly subtitled, but there is quite a bit of English speaking in it too for those that have an allergic reaction to reading subtitles. Seriously folks, you’re missing out on some gems if you refuse to watch movies or programmes with subtitles. 

The cast do a very good job in keeping you engaged, and play their parts to perfection. I really hope that there is more of this to come. MODUS  is released on Blu-ray & DVD on Monday 19th December by Nordic Noir & Beyond.

Modus is definitely a series that you need to give your time to. Very impressed. 

5/5

JM

Beck: Vol. 2 (2016) (TV Series) 

The Scandinavians really do know how to make thrilling drama. With the likes of Trapped, The Killing, Borgen and many others, they have thrilled UK audiences. Beck is another jewel in that crown. 

Peter Haber plays the brilliant Martin Beck, a Swedish detective who hunts down all sorts of criminals. He is called back into action when a journalist is found beaten to death in his home. Various fingerprints are found which may allude to the killer’s identity, but the further Beck and his team dig, the more they realise that things may not be as straightforward as they seem. 

However that is only the first case in this series. This wonderful procedural weaves through different grisly cases, whilst simultaneously delving into each of the characters lives. It does a great job in really investing in the characters and making you care for them. The acting really is first class.

The stories are thoroughly gripping too. The writing is intelligent and there are various twists and turns keeping you on the edge of your seat. The supporting cast are fabulous, and you never get the feeling like any one character feels redundant in their role. 

If the Scandinavians can continue to produce awesome television such as this, then I think we will always have something decent to watch. Even more than once. BECK – THE SERIES VOLUME TWO is released on DVD on Monday 10th October by Nordic Noir & Beyond.

5/5

JM

OThe Out-Laws (2016) (TV Series) 

The Goethals have always been a tight bunch. 5 sisters who have always relied and trusted each other. After the premature death of the their parents, their bond only grows stronger.

However their lives are thrown into disarray when one of the sisters marries a devious and manipulative man by the name of Jean Claude, the other 4 sisters realise they need to take drastic measures to restore order. 

The sisters begin a plot to murder Jean Claude, but things go awry from the get go and only proceed to get worse from there. Everyone is on top form, and the blend of comedy and thrills is really well handled. There were moments where I wasn’t sure if I should be laughing, but it couldn’t be helped. The Out-Laws has been doing very well in its home country of Belgium, and I am certain that success will carry on in the UK. 

The Nordic Noir label has been distributing some absolute belters, and ‘The Out-Laws’ aka ‘Clan’ is no different. It took an episode or so to get going, but by the end you will want more. The wonderfully named Dirk Roofthooft shines as the scheming Jean Claude, and I hope to see him in more things in the future. 

THE OUT-LAWS is released on DVD on Monday 19th September by Nordic Noir & Beyond
 5/5

JM

The Z Box

The Z Box from Zavvi is a great monthly box of goodies, ranging from books, keyrings, clothing and other great bits. Every month is a surprise, and you can cancel your subscription at any time. The Z Box costs £16.99 and the contents either equal or greatly exceed that amount. 

Also sometimes, one lucky subscriber can win contents like the ones in the picture above. You can’t lose. So what are you waiting for? 

Want a £5 for your first Z Box order? Then click my handy discount link below! 

http://www.zavvi.com/referrals.list?applyCode=JONATHAN-R2M&li
Enjoy! 

JM

Jon Polito 1950-2016

Very sad to announce that the wonderful character actor Jon Polito has died age 65. Jon was a favourite of the Coen Brother’s and starred in many of their movies such as ‘Miller’s Crossing’ and ‘The Big Lebowski’, and also recently had a small guest role on ‘Modern Family’. He also showed up as a supporting actor in many other movies through the years, with over 200 credits to his name. Jon is survived by his partner of 16 years, Darryl Armbruster.

JM  

Gomorrah: Season 2 (2016)

Don’t read if you haven’t seen the first season. 

*CAUTION SPOILERS AHEAD*

With Don Pietro sprung from his prison convoy and Gennaro clinging to life after being shot and left for dead by Ciro, a power vacuum has been created and Don Salvatore is manoeuvring to take complete control of the city. Continuing on from the blisteringly good first season, Gomorrah aims to capitalise on its gripping story on the fall and possible rise of the Savastano clan. 

Ciro has decided to make a power grab himself, though not for complete control, rather just to stay alive. Gennaro looks to reconnect with his father but it doesn’t go as he would’ve hoped. What Gomorrah does well is fully flesh out every character, even those that are sometimes relegated to the background. The first season did it too. There were episodes that contained just a handful of characters, and didn’t need to constantly remind you that others existed. Same for season 2. One episode is dedicated almost completely to Gennaro and Don Pietro. It’s a thrillingly told episode, that shows you how deep bonds are between father and son, and how damaging a mistake can be. 

The acting is second to none. Seriously. Everyone owns their respective roles and nobody feels like they’re not pulling their weight. Same goes for the script. The story never feels like it flags, and is constantly keeping you on the edge of your seat. I seriously cannot wait for season 3.

Gomorrah season 2 is available to order now on Blu Ray and DVD from all good stockists. 

5/5

JM