Horror Film Exclusive: Ben Richardson's "A Little Dead"!
Future “A Little Dead” screenings in Oklahoma are at:
Norman Film Fest (Norman) - September 9th on Friday night at 9:00 PM at LazyCircles Brewery
Adafest Film Fest (Ada) - September 17th Saturday afternoon (time TBD)
Great Plains Film Festival (Yukon) - September 18th Sunday afternoon (time TBD)
Red Brick Road Film Festival (Pauls Valley) - October 15th Saturday at 12PM inthe Royal Theater
Written By Will Harrison
Hello Gang! We recently had the chance to do and interview with Horror writer/director, Ben Richardson about his upcoming film "A Little Dead"-
It's a Horror film that deals with the struggles of Mental Health.
When Ben told me about the film, I was stoked about covering it on here - So here goes, Enjoy!
Will: Please tell us about your upcoming film?
Ben: “A Little Dead” is actually birthed from the viewpoint of actual events that transpired. I set out to make a story that explored the uncertainty of what elderly people go through when they advance in age, but as a slow-burn suspense/thriller.
The film follows siblings Hailey and Kevin (Eden McGuire and Ben Richardson) after the death of their grandmother. They visit their grandpa (Jack C. Hays) on his isolated farm and soon discover strange things happening in both the house and their grandpa’s mind. Aside from his caretaker having vanished, they grow concerned after learning that Grandpa shares a drink with his dead wife and another unseen entity each night.
Will: What motivates you as a writer?
Ben: Many things motivate me as a writer! It could be the cloud patterns outside that remind me of something complexly different that then takes off in my imagination and creates something that I need to put down, or it could be from watching a film or TV show that inspires me to want to tell a story about “x”, reading a good book (or bad one!) can help me have good ideas, or even people watching in a park or mall. I really find that you really need to be prepared for motivation to pop up anywhere and at anytime.
What have you been up to during the Covid-19 shutdown?
Ben: During the shutdown I wrote a feature film script, took a year of French (which I need to get back on...I’ve been slacking since things opened back up), and helped produce 5 films.
Will: What got you interested in Horror and film?
Ben: To be honest, I am not the biggest fan of pure horror...As in the gory, hack and slash, blood and limbs flying everywhere type of stuff. What really excites me are the psychological horrors and the suspense/thrillers. Classics from masters like Alfred Hitchcock, and Rod Sterling of the original Twilight Zone. To be honest I find those type of films even scarier than the hack and slash ones (for me), because I feel like it could actually happen, and that creeps me out...a lot. So, that’s what interests me. Having a horror grounded with one foot in reality, and if I can bring that element to my projects, I will have counted it as a win.
Will: Tell us about your creative process?
Ben: I think it differs a bit from project to project, but usually I find a subject that I want to make a film about, or inspiration hits me for something, and I start developing it. For me, I’m an outline person. I develop the story to where I think it might go (at least a pretty good idea of it) then make the outline, and sometimes even a treatment if I feel it needs it. From there I sit down and start the lonely process of writing. It almost always takes a few different turns than the outline had in it, but I
think that’s part of the fun...that it almost takes on a life of it’s own.Besides, the outline is only there to guide me, not to hold me captive. After I finish a draft I usually send it out to a few trusted friends and have them give me feedback. I always have to “kill my darlings” (as Hemingway so eloquently put it), and having those trusted voices there to tell me what may be a miss is very helpful. From there, I do another pass, and I’m usually pretty happy with it. I will of course still tinker with it, but usually after 2-3 drafts it’s mostly the way it will be shot. The successive drafts after that (if there are any) are usually to hone a particular element or part of the story, or to help a certain area pop when I feel it’s not, etc.
Will: there be other films in the future?
Ben: Goodness, I sure hope so! I just finished co-writing the horror/suspense feature film “Cry Baby Bridge” with Mike McDonald, the producer of “A Little Dead” that I am signed on to be one of the leads on as well. We have Tribeca Film Festival producer alum Jacob Snovel slated to direct, so we have our fingers crossed that will get green lit soon. In addition to that, I am working on the feature film version of “A Little Dead” right now as well. With the momentum we’ve had with screening at Dances With Films: LA in the TCL Chinese Theatre, and winning Audience Choice for ‘Best Short Film’ at deadCenter this year we hope to film it early 2023 if
the stars align and we’re able to get funding. I think folks are going to like what I’ve come up with to expand the universe and story of ALD. I hope they will anyway.
Will: Where is the best place to follow and support you?
Ben: My GoFund me is...I’m kidding. You can follow me on Insta at: @benrichardson24 and you can follow “A Little Dead” at: @alittledeadfilm
From those you can probably find most people that were involved with the film. And if you’re interested in supporting my films or wanting to be a part creatively or financially, I hope folks will reach out. I love to collaborate as a director, actor,writer, and producer (when need be).
Ben: I feel like this is a lighting round the tI must have my hand on the buzzer ready to strike! Okay, I’m ready, let’s do this!
Will: Pokemon Go or Teen Titans Go?
Ben: Pokemon Go. Fo-sho.
Will: Jimmy Buffet or Asian Buffet?
Ben: This is a tough one... I do love me some Jimmy, and maybe it’s just because I’m hungry as I write this, but I do love me some good Asian Buffet too. right now, Asian Buffet is the winner, but ask me after I eat if that’s the same.
Will: Sega, Xbox 360, PS4 or Wii?
Ben: I probably lean toward PS4 and Wii. Good stuff on those old school Sega’s too though.
Gremlin Is Fun, Creepy and It LEAVES YOU ON THE EDGE OF YOUR SEAT!
Written by Will Harrison
Gremlin was a real treat! It’s not connected with The Gremlins from the 80s - you won't see any cute furry creatures that turn into hideous creatures.
This one’s about a box that is handed down through the ages from loved ones to other loved ones, the only catch is it holds a murderous God creature in it. It’s kinda like Hot Potato on acid, except it’s a cool looking box that’s indestructible. It’s like a Jack in the box of death, not the food chain, the kids toy with a knob you turn and it surprises you with a clown that pops out, but no knob on this to turn - you just have to wait on it.
The story is an original written by the director of the film, Ryan Bellgardt. It does remind me of a short story called “The Monkey’s Paw” and the movie called “The Box”. However still quite different.
The CGI used for the monster in the film was amazing and creepy, The acting by Adam Hampton, Kristy K. Boone, Catcher Stair, Michael Page and Katie Burgess was Grade - A. I enjoyed the sound score on this one a ton.
The way the film ended left me with a few questions, but that is a good thing. Check it out for yourself, it’s available now on www.tubitv.com
Review - Clown Motel: A Carnival of Scary Fun!
Written by Will Harrison
Clown Motel was everything I was hoping for and more!
Directed by Joseph Kelly, Starring Martin Kiebba, Tony Moran, First Jason/Ari lehman, Chalet Lizette Brannon, Amanda Kott.
The premise of the film is that a group of Ghost Hunters runs into a group of women celebrating their friend’s bachelor weekend, anyway they all get stuck out in the middle of nowhere at the haunted Clown Motel, they share a room and it all goes to hell from there.
When watching this film I noticed a few things, first was Ari Lehman as a ghost clown - He’s known as the first Jason Vorhees from the Friday The 13th franchise, then I saw a band that I know pretty well, Beauty In The Suffering, so that was pretty cool!
Overall this film was really well done! The cast, makeup and set was great, however the storyline for how the hotel was originally destroyed was a little vague and lame.
I say give it a try if you haven’t already?
Clown Town: It's Not A Funny Story!
Written by Will Harrison
What is Clown Town? A town where originally inhabited regular people, is now basically deserted and taken over by clowns. This leaving it unsafe at night for regulars, because they will be attacked of kidnapped or both.
The backstory of the film is of course silly and over-exaggerated but that’s what make it worth watching right?
Well, that’s what I thought anyways, the cover art really stuck out to me and I had to give it a try.
The real premise of the story is that a group of friends on a road trip get stuck in this seemingly deserted town. However its controlled by psychotic clowns.
Director - Tom Nagel, - Writer Jeff Miller - Stars Brian Nagel, Lauren Elise and Andrew Staton and David Greathouse.
The make-up and filming was decent and the over-acting was as to be expected right? It was a fun ride sort of, I say give it a try if you’re into this type of thing!
Horror Star Exclusive: Featuring Christophe Murdock (Son Of The Saw).
Written by Will Harrison
Here is a short interview with Christophe Murdock, Actor, He plays the monster/killer in the film.
Will: How did you prepare for the role?
Chris: To prepare I really just created a backstory for the character and gave it something so it was more than just a guy with a chainsaw grunting.
Will: Any other crazy stuff that you did on set?
Chris: I didn't find "the" chainsaw until fairly last minute, but practiced swinging around a small model to get used to it. Had a few days practice with the large model. Enough to get used to the weight and length.
Will: What was your creative process in between sets?
Chris: I picked out the outfit for the character and my mother Carolyn Murdock made alterations to it so it was like I wanted and gave me room to move my arms around and swing that chainsaw. Eric Xton then weathered the hell out of it and dirtied it up. Eric made the mask.
Will: How long was the process for getting ready with the makeup and all?
Chris: That never took long to put on. Just slip it on and strap it down. Jennifer Flores did the makeup. Not a lot since my face is covered. Mostly working on the eyes and mouth. Making my teeth look nastier. The only part that took a while was covering my tattoos.
Will: How'd you get picked for the part?
Chris: Eric Xton and I created it together. I was Leatherface for Halloween and posted videos and photos of my costume. With my size it came off really well. Eric had made the comment that we should make a Leatherface film. I hit him up and said we seriously should. We bounced some ideas back and forth and I wrote the song "Pray to the Saw" that was meant to be the theme of the film from the beginning. He in turn did a script treatment and that's how Son of the Saw was born.
Will: Did you play an other parts on this film maybe just as a voice?
Chris: As for other parts, I focused on my character and wore a few hats behind the scenes but nothing else on screen.
Will: You heard it here first Guys and girls, now be sure to go watch Son of The Saw on Youtube, and go #support your local Christophe, follow him on Facebook and all other social media!
Horror Exclusive: Part II - Featuring Eric Xton(Son of The Saw).
Written by Will Harrison
This is a kind of part two of the previous interview with Christophe, Since Eric Xton is one of the directors as well as an actor in the film “Son of the Saw”! So enjoy!
Will: How did you prepare for the role and direct at the same time?
Eric: Well I was never meant to be in the film itself, i’ve never thought of myself as an actor and I had cast a local professional to be in the role of “John" the "father" figure of the household, an older gentleman that would have really taken the role to new levels, I believe that He ended up canceling just before filming started and since I wrote the script and knew the lines already I was the only real option to fill those shoes on such a short notice, I would have liked the character to have had an older feel and look to him but it worked out in the end lol, as for directing at the same time, being on set and directing usually isn’t to complicated I wouldn’t say, especially if your lucky enough to work with good people around you. your other actors and you can run through a few times per scene and make sure everyone knows lines and how to act, position, move etc then give it a shot and if it doesn’t go well you do it 47 more time, lol!
Will: How long did it take for you get ready to film?
Eric: Well not too long, Christophe Murdock (the villain) posted an image on Facebook of his halloween costume of him as leather face, a very impressive costume I might add. I made a joke about "we should make a fan film", he said "okay" , I said okay? lol, and a couple of months later we were in the woods with 60 people cast and crew huddled around a camp fire trying not to freeze to death while people did there scenes lol, basically i wrote the script out in a few days, a production crew got slammed together with some of the local college students, I was able to secure a house/location, thanks to David Timmons, everyone’s schedules got figured out and BAM! We all almost froze lol
Will: How did you find people to be involved in the film?
Eric: Now thats an odd story, this whole started more as a side joke comment, well from there the crew was found due to a mutual connection through another guy who I did some work for at a convention ... that guy I asked if he wanted to come on as a camera man basically and he said sure i’ll call you back .... a couple of days later when he finally did he informed me we would have 2 camera crews, 3 audio crews, full support for lights and grips, gaffers, and all sorts of other fancy technical terms for filming stuff, lol and I said, oh crap okay then I guess we are going to make something legit here, lets see what happens
The cast, a lot of them I knew from other things i’ve done or helped on, but one guy named Darren Gray, this guy just started talking to me one day about being in a roll, and i told him sure why not. See I thought he was a good friend of Christophe’s and I was taking a leap of faith trusting that this Darren guy would be okay thinking that he was in this because of Christophe, and honestly I for the life of me can’t remember how I got that idea in my head to begin with lol so this "random" guy shows up on film day and no one has any clue who he is, so people start asking me "hey who’s that dude over there?", and i’m like "yea that Darren, Christophe’s friend ....right? ..." and ended up being no one knew him and he was a complete wild card of an actor and he did a great job, and he is a great guy too so i’m REALLY glad we took that chance PLUS he ended up bringing in some props that were used on the actual Texas Chainsaw Massacre films from the past!
Will: Give us a spoiler for your new film if you can?
Erik: Oh yeah I love to ruin movies for people before they see it lol, "son of the saw" had its moments, it had a lot of ups and downs as do all films, after I learned so much from that experience i REALLY wanted to push some envelops, so I decided to create something a little different but keep it horror (i cant help it). The film is called IIIIII and its going to be dark, I do love my horror comedies BUT i’m not ready to make those yet i would like to terrify people a little first, so its going to be based around halloween time (how cliche' I know right lol) and it will have to do with some family struggles, fighting personal demons ...and maybe some more physical ones even lets say LOL .... but filming will start this October and I will begin editing it down over the following months,i’m teasing a few updates here and there, over the filming and editing time
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