Volition is a mind-boggling science thriller that will please many. This had to be such a daunting task to get this whole movie together and the payoff for the cast and crew must have been marvelous.
Halloween sequels and Candyman are being pushed back by Universal. Candyman is only being pushed back three weeks, however, the Halloween sequels are being delayed an entire year. Candyman is now set to come out October 16th Halloween Kills is now set for October 15th, 2021 and Halloween Ends is now set for October 14th, 2022.
We recently sat down with Jeffrey A. Brown to discuss his newest horror film getting ready to stream on Shudder. It’s a throwback to the old 50’s style horror films. We rather dug The Beach House. I’ll post my review for it tomorrow. Enjoy the interview.
AJ: All right, Jeff, so how did The Beach House first come about?
Jeff: There’s kind of many different strains of it kind of came together. It started around, maybe even as early as 2011, where myself and one of the producers, Sophia Lin, just had a discussion about trying to make our own kind of small movie. I had the basic idea of four characters in one house, which is kind of an indie film trope.
Jeff: The whole going away
AJ: Cabin in the Woods kind of thing?
Jeff: Exactly, exactly. I actually had another friend and we had been … I don’t know, I think we were on the Jersey Shore or somewhere with beach houses and we both had just said how awesome old beach houses were and they’re really big, and they would make a really good location for a movie. Then I wrote a couple drafts of the script in between, I want to say 2011 and 2013, and we tried to pitch to some independent financiers. Advice for young filmmakers, trying to get a movie made based on script alone is super, super hard.
Jeff: So then I made a short that I shot in my apartment in one day and that short, which is called Sulfuric, which has some things kind of in common with Beach House. It was more of to just capture a mood in less than 10 minutes. Yeah, and then
AJ: [inaudible 00:02:20] kind of have a sales pitch for the idea kind of?
Jeff: Yeah, it was more just to show that I could make something from nothing. We did it and it got into 20, 25 film festivals and it played at Fantastic Fest, which is really kind of the start of The Beach House eventually coming together. Then Sophia and I went to the Independent Features Project, ISP, with Beach House. I think we did that in 2014 or 2015. 2016, another producer got involved named Andrew Corkin, who’d made a couple other horror films and a lot of low budget films. He connected us with another set of producers, Low Spark with Tyler Davidson and Drew Sykes.
Jeff: Then they got involved in 2016, and then by the fall of 2016, they were like, “We want to do this and let’s shoot for shooting it off season in May of 2017.” Now I’m realizing it’s 2020 now. So we shot it, and then what’s the old saying? It’s like, you can have things either good, fast or cheap, and you get two of the three.
Jeff: So we chose good and cheap, or low budget as we would say. The post process, it’s a pretty complicated movie in some respects in the post. My experience is not with post, so it just took a very long time. But we finally finished it around the fall of 2019 and that’s when we started getting it into film festivals, and then Shudder bought it in October of 2019. Then that’s where we are today.
AJ: So how was your reaction when Shudder picked up the film rights to stream The Beach House?
Jeff: Dynamite. I was thrilled. I subscribed to Shudder before that, and I loved the movie Mandy, which was my favorite film for that year. I loved it. That was when Shudder kind of came on my radar, because I was like, “Well, this is the only way to see Mandy.” I think I actually saw Alamo Drafthouse or I’d seen it in the theater, but then when it came to streaming, so then I kind of took note of Shudder. I like the movies they put on there, it was just a great fit for me, and I was thrilled.
Jeff: Some of our producers, I think they’re not horror … there’s the indie horror world, and then there’s the indie indie world, they’re not really the same. I consider a movie like Hereditary to be a pretty big horror movie. I know it’s not
Jeff: It’s not a major studio but it’s still a lot bigger than ours.
AJ: It’s still produced by A24 who is a micro budget distributor, but it’s still on a bigger scale than indie indie horror films are.
Jeff: Yeah, I’m like, “Wow, that movie cost 20 times our movie.” Hereditary’s a great horror movie and a great movie, and nothing against bigger budgets movies, but my expectations for Beach House, I never thought it was going to be released in 2,000 theaters or anything like that.
Jeff: So Shudder to me, it was just very fortuitous, that that’s kind of where our roads led. The distribution of films has changed drastically in my lifetime, so even this to me, the more people that can see the movie, the better, and Shudder is a great way for that to happen.
AJ: Yeah, I was thinking, you said you didn’t expect it to get to 2,000+ theaters, but on a streaming service like Shudder, it kinda trumps that idea of 2,000 theaters, because a lot more people can see it now.
Jeff: Yeah, 100%. I haven’t quite grasped that or think, “Wow, lots of people could see it.” But, I mean, that’s ultimately the goal, even though if you make something small, you don’t want to … filmmaking is so expensive, and when I say small, it’s a lot of money to make even a movie that costs $20,000. That’s still $20,000, and that would be a no budget movie. So the fact that we’re getting it out there, it’s just amazing.
Jeff: I hope people like it. If everyone doesn’t like it, then that’s probably good too, in a weird way. If you try to make a movie that pleases everybody, I kind of feel like you please nobody.
Jeff: So if you don’t like it, that’s fine. I’d much rather you like it, but I’ll deal with that. AJ: So, what were some of your inspirations on some of your favorite horror movies growing up?
Jeff: I mean, I was a horror fan from when I was a child, which I kind of blame my father, ultimately. Although, I blame both of my parents. But my father’s view of war was very … he always tells us the scariest movie he ever saw was Psycho.
Jeff: He said he couldn’t take a shower for weeks. Then probably for me, the original Nightmare on Elm Street was one that my mother … I think I watched at a New Year’s party and I couldn’t sleep for a month, and so my mother called up the person who had the New Year’s party and was like, “My son can’t take a bath.” She got really mad at him. But also that night, now I’m thinking about it, we also watched Fright Night. It was Fright Night, Nightmare on Elm Street and I think Children of the Corn.
AJ: Oh, that’s an excellent triple feature to have.
Jeff: Yeah, especially when you’re 10 years old, my little brain was warped. But as much as Nightmare on Elm Street scared me, I loved Fright Night, that didn’t scare me at all. I’ve never been afraid of a vampire personally￼.
Jeff: But what Fright Night was, for some reason, I just thought that was the most entertaining movie. I just loved that. Even that carries over to what I consider the trilogy of great 80s vampire movies, like Fright Night, Lost Boys and Near Dark.
AJ: Absolutely, yeah.
Jeff: They weren’t scary. Nightmare on the Street truly scared me, but I just love the style of them, I love the imagination of Near Dark, the gore effects and just the creativity of horror in general. It’s to a point where I always thought everybody loved horror films. So my wife’s not a big horror fan, I’m like, “Well, what’s wrong with you?” It’s more like, “Well, what’s wrong with you?” I’m like, Ah …” Jeff: Then now with streaming, I’ve gone through phases. I think in terms of Beach House, I came of age in the VHS era.
Jeff: I grew up in Indiana, in the Northwest corner of Indiana, kind of near Chicago, about an hour outside of Chicago. When I was growing up, there were a lot of movies that I could read about, but I couldn’t see them, even the classic 50s horror films. Not the biggies like The Blob and Invasion of the Body Snatchers and War of the Worlds, you could see those movies. But Invaders from Mars or something like the Monolith Monsters, or The Quatermass Xperiment. I couldn’t see those when I was coming of age, I could just read about them and kind of imagine what they could be. Jeff: Then I moved to New York when I was 18, and that was basically giving a junkie crack. Because every movie I’d read about, I could see, because there were the video stores in New York. I think the first movie that I ever rented from King’s Video, which is long gone, which was the big video store in The Village, was Cronenberg’s Shivers. Because that was the one that I’d read about, but they didn’t have it in any of the video stores in my hometown. Then as soon as I get to in New York, first week I’m like, “Shivers it is.” Jeff: Then actually, that movie and Eraserhead, which I saw when I was 18 or 19, both of which, I wasn’t crazy about them, I was like, “Oh, it’s almost disappointing in a way.” Because I built them up in my head.
AJ: Right. You had the hype built up inside. I had the hype built up inside for Eraserhead myself, and I finally just watched it on HBO Max, and I was just like, “Huh.”
Jeff: What was the context of you watching it? How did you watch it? Did you watch it with other people or what was your
AJ: No, I watched it by myself just on HBO Max and I was just kind of not impressed by Eraserhead at all.
Jeff: Yeah. I would suggest … and I agree with that, and the first time I saw it was on the big screen, it was a repertory screening somewhere. I saw the room full of other people and I was like, “Eh, it’s not quite for me.” Then, excuse me, years later, maybe even a decade or two later, I watched it again at about 1:00 in the morning, just by myself in my living room, and that was just a completely different effect. I was like, “Oh, now I see.” I mean, I love David Lynch in general.
AJ: Yeah, I was going to say, that’s the best time to watch a David Lynch film, 1:00 AM just by yourself.
Jeff: They work better. I mean, hopefully even with The Beach House, trying to go for some sort of nocturnal sensibility. That it might not make total sense consciously, but when your defenses are down kind of later in the day, there’s something that works a bit better about it. The things that don’t totally add up, then they completely add up when it’s late at night and you’re a little tired and a little not thinking straight, then it’s a perfect time for The Beach House.
AJ: Well, Jeff, thank you so much for joining us today on Infamous Horrors. Hope you have a great 4th of July weekend.
Jeff: Thank you so much, great to be here. Same to you, be safe.
Woah, this might be the psychological thriller of the year that’s perfect for today’s time. How can one really leave their grief behind? Is a person fully allowed to begin a new chapter in life or are they forever attached to their past?
These questions are answered here and more questions you will find yourself asking when the credits roll. One person once said it’s better to have more questions than answers when you leave a movie so you can continue the conversation. With that in mind, this is what Relic succeeds in spades.
The synopsis isn’t exactly a cheerful one as illustrated before with my sentiments but it’s one of the more important films of the year.
”When elderly mother Edna (Robyn Nevin) inexplicably vanishes, her daughter Kay (Emily Mortimer) and granddaughter Sam (Bella Heathcote) rush to their family’s decaying country home, finding clues of her increasing dementia scattered around the house in her absence. After Edna returns just as mysteriously as she disappeared, Kay’s concern that her mother seems unwilling or unable to say where she’s been clashes with Sam’s unabashed enthusiasm to have her grandma back. As Edna’s behavior turns increasingly volatile, both begin to sense that an insidious presence in the house might be taking control of her. All three generations of women are brought together through trauma and a powerful sense of strength and loyalty to face the ultimate fear together.”
The performances should be talked about in the genre community for years to come. Robyn Nevin gives what is arguably the performance of her career. Grappling with her grief in this creepy atmospheric flick that will crawl underneath your skin and will never leave. Like a tick, it will have you itching for more. With a tight runtime under 90 minutes, it could have been much longer and just as satisfying.
Many times this year I’ve reviewed movies that seemed to have suffered by its runtime overstaying its welcome or messing with it’s pacing. Relic avoiding all of those issues here and really succeeded in what could be one of the best horror films of the year.
We recently reviewed Billy Pon’s epic new clown movie called Circus Of The Dead, and now we finally sit down with the ever cool star of the film Bill Oberst Jr. He is such a fantastic guy and we hope you enjoy reading this interview.
Here are some links you can find out more about Bill Oberst Jr.
Q: Hey Bill, thank you so much for joining us at infamous horrors today!! I just loved how brutal and sadistic your new movie Circus Of The Dead was!
A: Thank YOU for the opportunity to chat with you and the InfamousHorrors.com community, AJ. I appreciated you reviewing the movie, too.
Q: The first question I have for you is how did you become involved in the project?
A: Billy Pon called me. I’ll never forget the first time we spoke on the phone. I was on a movie shoot out in the middle of this field watching a car drag a bloody prosthetic corpse behind it. Billy said “I’m about to make an iconic horror movie.” I liked him immediately. A few months later I was chasing a naked woman down a parking garage ramp at midnight in Odessa, Texas, with a functional cattle prod in my hand. And Billy was smiling.
Q: Billy Pon seems like a wonderful down to earth guy. How was the chemistry on set with him directing?
A: I consider Billy Pon to be one of the next great directors of our genre. His genius lies in the weird mix of brutality in his head and tenderness in his heart. The best directors of truly great horror always have this balance. Billy is gentle in nature but brutal in storytelling. I was totally dependent on him for the character of Papa Corn. Billy and his writing partner Lee Ankrum had been working on this character in their Texas haunt attraction for years before Circus Of The Dead. They knew Papa Corn to the bone; he was their creation. Billy breathed life into Papa. There’s one behind-the-scenes shot which sums up my relationship to Billy; he has me up against the wall of the rural convenience store where we filmed Tiffani Fest’s incredibly rough death scene, and Billy is patiently talking me into character. That’s Billy Pon. You’d best listen when he speaks.
Q: You have been the second lead in a lot of B-Horror movies, how did it feel to totally own the lead role in Circus Of The Dead?
A: I thought of the movie as an ensemble cast. Filmmaking is such a team effort that if you know how many people are really involved in making any one shot happen, you don’t think much about hierarchy. Except for the director, we’re all on the same level. My job is always to support my fellow team members.
Q: Out of all the movies you’ve been involved in your career which is the one you would say is the most brutal?
A: This one. And that’s saying a lot, given my history. Billy created a nightmare world for Circus Of The Dead and it actually scared the hell out of me.
Q: Growing up as a kid, what kind of movies were you into? Also which inspired you to become an actor?
A: I was the very picture of the Weird Horror Kid! My adolescent bedroom was a shrine to horror, man…I loved it. Didn’t care whether it was quality stuff or not, either, as long as it was dark and had monsters. I felt like a monster myself growing up, total misfit, so I identified with those monsters. I loved them. They were my friends. As far as being an actor goes, it was all I ever wanted to do, from as early as I can remember. The desire was always there. I personally believe in a loving God, and I believe that He gives us all a vocation; something we’re meant to nurture and develop and give back to the world. This was mine.
Q: You were also recently in 3 From Hell, how was it working with Rob Zombie and can you share any experiences on the set?
A: I love Rob Zombie because he is the total professional package; he understands every facet of this business so well that he makes it all look easy. It isn’t. Rob’s command of a set is very impressive – he owns it all while still giving his crew and cast the opportunity to make suggestions, which makes everyone want to please him. I’ve seen this same commanding-but-inclusive set style in Jamie Lee Curtis, too, when she directed a Scream Queens episode I guested on. It’s a genius way to work. When I was in the transpo van with Rob going to set I asked him “What do you want in this character?” He said, “I want what you do best; the quiet delivery and that weird hurt stare.” Well, that’s the way to make an actor want to please you, right there! Brilliant.
Q: Thank you so much for joining us today, Bill! Hope you are staying home and safe.
A: AJ, it was really my pleasure. Thank you for what you do to help keep the blood of indie horror pumping. I appreciate you.
We were given a short film to review called “Satanico” and it was an absolute blast to watch. Most short films drag or don’t give enough story to really chew on. However, Satanico, gave us plenty to enjoy. Including an ominous atmosphere that I just love with my horror films. Not a whole lot of jump scares just tension building and well developed characters.
The scenery at points made it feel like a horror western, which we need more of in this genre because the God-awful The Walking Dead adaptation.
If this team wanted to expand their thoughts on Satanico and make it a full fledged feature length film I would be very excited to see it come together.
As fanboys are already screaming their lungs out in frustration about Marvel now owning The Predator and Alien. Let’s all take a breath and say that this is just comics as of now and not movies.
As were expecting future theater goings to be postponed yet again, there are still movies holding on to the hope of coming out this year and Candyman is one of them.
With major blockbusters taking a hit this year with the coronavirus shutting down theaters we still have a surplus of great independent genre films gearing to come out. Sunset on The River Styx is no exception.
This visually stunning film starring 2019’s breakout indie star Phillip Andre(Pledge, The Art of Self Defense) does an admirable job carrying the load as the main lead here. This movie is definitely one of the more unique vampire films shot on a shoestring budget you’ll find with glorious jump sequences that will remind you of video game jump scenes.
Aaron Pagniano does such an incredible writing fantastic dialogue that gives his actors Phillip Andre and Jackie Jandrell have amazing chemistry throughout the film. The way he chose to direct this film must have been a bold choice and it really paid off. It’s very stylish and slick.
This may require some patience from most of our readers on this site because it is not a fast paced film by any means but it is worth while if you stick with it. There is some romance in here too if you want some romance with your horror every once in a while.
Circus of The Dead may be the most deranged clown movie of the past five years, yes… That includes you Art the Clown. Billy Pon and company give us something special in the independent horror community. I told him that this screams to be seen on the biggest screen possible.
The acting by Bill Oberst Jr. is just awe-inspiring and something magnificent to behold. He carries the movie with such menacing and gravitas its no wonder why he is a cult icon and has the caliber he has gained over the years of his career.
Some of the supporting acting may not be as compelling as Bill Oberst Jr. but they are worth noting especially, Parrish Randall steals nearly every scene he is in. Even if it does call for him to chew up the scenery, he excels at it.
If you love your clowns to be depraved, this is the movie for you and one you will be telling all of your friends to check out! Billy Pon also keeps the intensity grounded and realistic here giving us the ultimate horror movie to revisit every Halloween.