DUNDEAD filmmakers talk to DCA

Brian O'Malley and Simon Rumley on their upcoming DUNDEAD screenings

8 May 2018

With DUNDEAD 2018 taking place in DCA Cinema this week, we took some time to chat to a couple of the directors behind two new films in this year's programme: The lodgers and Fashionista...

Brian O’Malley is an Irish director known best for the 2014 horror Let Us Prey, which won Best European Fantastic Feature Film at the Brussels International Fantastic Film Festival in 2014. His new film The Lodgers, a gothic ghost story set in 1920s Ireland, previews at DUNDEAD on Sun 13 May.

Brian on the DUNDEAD 2018 line-up…
When the Dundead team sent me the list of films screening at the festival, it brought me right back. I recall being around 10 years old when Poltergeist came out and the only name on the poster that meant anything to me was Mr Spielberg's. As time came to pass I learned the name Tobe Hooper, and whilst I’m a horror fan, my first love is science fiction. So back in the mid-80’s I was far less interested in Texas Chain Saw Massacre than I was in 'Lifeforce - from the director of Poltergeist'. My first viewing was on beautiful 4:3 VHS with my school buddies on a half day from school, and I haven’t watched it since. In recent months I’ve read some articles about how Tobe may or may not have actually directed Poltergeist, and as a director I found myself wondering how that must have hung around his neck for his entire career. 

"My first viewing was on beautiful 4:3 VHS..."

I tracked down Lifeforce and gave it another watch. It doesn’t have the elegance of Poltergeist, to say the least, but his signature is undeniable. I can see a shared aesthetic in both the visual direction and approach to visual effects that can only be down to Tobe. Finally seeing it in widescreen after 30 years, there's no doubt announcing it as the 'cinematic sci-fi event of the 80’s' was a bit of a stretch; I’m giving that title to the flawed but glorious David Lynch’s DUNE. But it's a sci-fi gem that deserves a whole lot more love than it gets, and I only wish I could share that love on a big screen with all you fine folk at Dundead!

Brian on The Lodgers' preview at DUNDEAD…
Whilst we only spent one of our four weeks shooting Let Us Prey in Scotland, the cast and crew of my first film were almost entirely Scottish, so in every way I consider the heart and soul of that film to be Scottish. Of course, I needed someone really tough to play the Devil, so I had to bring in a Dubliner for that role - you’ll understand - but thankfully Liam Cunningham met his match in the brilliant Pollyanna Macintosh! We played Let Us Prey at Dundead, which felt like the right home for that film - it was a film made for horror fans by a horror fan.

"I’ve gone for mood, tone and dread rather than bloody mayhem."

It's a great pleasure to have my second film screen at your brilliant festival! There's no Scots in this one, just a few Englishmen, an English/Spanish woman, and a bunch of Irish actors, but that dynamic won't be lost on my Scottish brethren! This time out I’ve gone for something less about horror and more about what's said and implied. I’ve gone for mood, tone and dread rather than bloody mayhem. It's an elegant period gothic ghost story set against an Irish historical backdrop, which I believe will resonate with a Scottish audience. I sincerely hope you enjoy.

Simon Rumley is a British screenwriter, director and author. His 2016 psychological thriller Fashionista screens at DUNDEAD on Sat 12 May, and tells the story of a vintage store owner who develops a fetishistic obsession with clothes.

"some of the most exciting and thought-provoking films..."

Simon on the DUNDEAD 2018 line-up…
Dundead has another excellent programme this year, mixing transgressive film history with the best in edgy contemporary cinema. Any self-respecting horror fan will jump at the chance to see The Texas Chainsaw Massacre on the big screen but, perhaps more interestingly, here’s a rare occasion to see some of Tobe Hooper’s other works on the big screen. Although he never reached the heady visceral heights of Chainsaw, Lifeforce, Funhouse and Eaten Alive all show other facets to his filmmaking skills. As well as historical gems like James Whale’s The Old Dark House and Jim Henson’s The Dark Crystal, there’s a selection of some of the most exciting and thought-provoking films that have been travelling the world’s genre festival circuit. Marc Meyers’ brooding and intimate My Friend Dahmer, Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead’s critically lauded The Endless and Natalia Leite’s bold investigation of a campus sexual assault in M.F.A are all films to look forward to and not be missed!

"I’m glad the good people of Dundee are getting an opportunity to watch this film..."

Simon on Fashionista at DUNDEAD…
Since its inception in 2011 with a double-bill of Jason Eisner’s Hobo With A Shotgun and Dario Argento’s Suspiria, Dundead has been a festival which revels in its own unique identity showing edgy and cool films north of the border. I’m very excited therefore that the festival has chosen to screen Fashionista and continue what has been an excellent and extended festival run for the film. These are an increasingly important part of finding new audiences for film so I’m glad the good people of Dundee are getting an opportunity to watch this film how it was intended to be seen, on the big screen, and I hope the audience takes it in its stride!

Thank you Brian and Simon; we can't wait to see the films at DUNDEAD 2018!

Horror film festival DUNDEAD returns to DCA for an eighth year from Thu 10 - Sun 13 May 2018. 

Buy tickets for individual films online, or visit/call our Box Office (01382 432 444) to treat yourself to the Dundead Festival Pass for £75, which includes a ticket to all 14 films, the Dundead Quiz, plus a t-shirt and special edition postcard. There's also a six-film pass available for £39, which includes a Dundead t-shirt.

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