Monday, December 13, 2010

Lights! Camera! Brandon!

This month filmmaker, and my good friend Brandon Bennett are trading places. I am the guest blogger on Indie Film Revue and I have turned the tables on Brandon, and subjected him to a Mini-view. Here are some interesting questions I had for Brandon and his incredible answers!!!

A Mini-View w/ Brandon S. Bennett

1. I know you enjoyed your time working on Steve Balderson's film Stuck, and I think it was a great movie. Is there a project that you would like to see Mr. Balderson shoot or an idea, book or character you want to work on with him.

Steve is such a talented director, and an amazing person all around. I think the thing I love about his films is that each one has its own feel. Even though they are all so different, there is just something about them that when watching you go “This is a Balderson film”. He talked to me before about how he would love to do a classic themed horror film, very much in the style of the Hammer Films. I know that he also has a sweet spot for Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining. So I guess I would love to see him peruse something along those lines. Perhaps a mix of The House on Haunted Hill, The Changeling, The Legend of Hell House, and The Innocents. Each of those films have ‘that something’ about them that you never forget, which is what makes Steve’s films stand out.

2. In an industry full of remakes and re-imaginings, what remake would you be unable to turn doing, if it was offered to you, or name a remake you would love to do. (Feel free to cast it too)

There are a couple films that I would love to see remade, if staying true to the source material.

The first would be Something Wicked This Way Comes, directed by Jack Clayton (The Innocents, The Great Gatsby) which Ray Bradbury adapted from his own book. The film still holds up quite well, but I would love to see Steve Balderson’s touch on the carnival scenes after watching his film Firecracker.

Second would be the 1976 film Burnt Offerings directed by Dan Curtis, based on the book of the same name by Robert Marasco. Curtis is well known for directing, writing, and being executive producer on the series Dark Shadows (the original, the movies, and the reboot) and directed both of the Trilogy of Terror Films. After seeing Nicole Kidman in The Others, I think she would be perfect in Karen Blacks role in a remake. The beautiful and talented Bette Davis played Aunt Elizabeth, and I think casting Karen Black as that character would be a great tribute to the original.

Lastly, I have always wanted to see an updated version of the 1973 film Don’t Look in the Basement, also known as The Forgotten or Death Ward #13. It was directed by S.F. Brownrigg who also directed Scum of the Earth, Keep My Grave Open, and Don’t Open the Door. All of these films had a certain dirty, gritty, and bleak feeling to them. There was always a certain bit of nail biting and sweaty palms when watching them. Luckily, this is a remake that will be seeing the light of day. Directors Alan Rowe Kelly and Anthony G. Sumner have decided to put their own twist on this story. These are two people that I feel understand the atmosphere in the original. I know my friends Marv Blauvelt and Jeff Dylan Graham are attached to this project along with Debbie Rochon, Deneen Melody, Carl Burrows, and Caroline Williams. This seems like a cast of people who fit a kind of grindhouse feel. It’s a film that I have had a small obsession with since I was young. There is a jealousy in me for everyone working on this. (laughs)

3. As a fan of all kinds of horror films what scares the shit out of you, in real life?

I have two very distinct fears. Strange, but distinct.

The first one is ladybugs. Weird huh? It all stems from when I was a teenager. My family had moved into a new home, I had a basement bedroom, and we had only been living there a few days. I woke in the middle of the night feeling my face itch, I reached over to turn on my touch lamp and found my face was covered in the little bastards! Not just my face, but they were crawling in and out of my mouth as well. It was traumatizing.

It’s funny you mentioned this, because the day you sent these questions I was faced with my second fear: NUTCRACKERS. Holy shit do they terrify me! I was riding in the car with my girlfriend the other day and we made a turn at a stoplight, when to my right there were two four foot tall nutcrackers on each side of a set of stairs. I believe the conversation that followed went something like this, “What the fuck! Oh my god! Are you kidding me? That’s just not even cool! Why would someone do something like that?” About that time my girlfriend, Melissa, tried apologizing saying she didn’t mean to drive by them on purpose. “No. It’s not your fault. What the hell are those people thinking?! That’s fucking terrifying! I don’t even know why the hell they scare me so much but they do! I think it’s those big fucking teeth. I mean come on! What other reason do they need them but to bite your damn nuts off! Look at them! They’re huge! What’s not to be terrified of?” I know I rambled on for at least 10 minutes. Of course my lack of sleep did not help the severity of the problem. Poor Melissa was just about crying she was laughing so hard. So, yeh. Fuck nutcrackers!

4. Besides film making, you are also really into music, but the two go hand and hand a name your top 5 Movie Soundtracks/Scores

This is a really great question. Tough, but great.

5. Judgement Night (1993)
4. Spawn: The Album (1997)
3. The Crow: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack (1994)
2. Lost Highway (1997)
1. SLC Punk: Original Soundtrack (1999)

A couple other notable soundtracks are:
The Soundtrack to Lucio Fulci’s The Beyond by Fabio Frizzi is just nightmarish.
And also, Mike Patton’s side project Fantamos’ 2000 release Delirium Cordia. This album is like listening to a horror film. The first time I heard it I was alone in my car driving from where I was living in Evansville, IN to my parents place in Petersburg. It was about midnight and pitch black outside. The album is 1 hour and 14 minutes long. I slept with the lights on that night!

5.You have a blowup doll, a copy of Purple Rain, a hammer and a bottle of whiskey...what are your plans for the night?

Hmmm.. Let’s see. I’ll be downing the whiskey like it’s Kool Aid, beating the blowup doll in its orifices with the hammer, while watching Purple Rain.

Check out more about Brandon, more Mini-views and my guest blogspot @