In Cyrus: Mind of a Serial Killer, we are introduced to one of the more sinister and depraved sociopaths of the modern horror age. The mastermind behind the titular lunatic is writer/director Mark Vadik, who is about to see all of his hard work over the last few years come to fruition.
The good people at Anchor Bay Entertainment are set to release Cyrus, Vadik’s disturbing exploration into the world of a modern serial killer, on this Tuesday, June 28th.
Recently Dread Central had the opportunity to talk with Vadik to find out what inspired him to create Cyrus, why he thinks people will always be fascinated by serial killers and if he has any future plans for “The County Line Cannibal.”
Being a native Midwesterner, Vadik had seen some of the most notorious serial killers of our time being discovered not that far from his own front door including John Wayne Gacy, Richard Speck or even Jeffrey Dahmer. He discussed how these real-life monsters served as the inspiration behind his killer in Cyrus.
“I had been doing a lot of research on serial killers at the time I started to work on Cyrus, and I realized how absolutely horrifying these killers and their crimes were,” explained Vadik. “But at the same time I also wanted to know more about what makes them tick and what drove them to become serial killers. Around the same time I was driving up to Crypticon in Minnesota from Illinois, and I saw a creepy, deserted farm house along the way that seemed like the place these kinds of things would happen at. That inspired me to write a short story called ‘Roadkill’ that eventually evolved into Cyrus.”
”Because I didn’t want Cyrus to feel like a lot of slasher films out there today. I decided to make the film more of a character study that delves into the motivations of a serial killer. The material is presented very matter-of-factly because I didn’t want to romanticize who Cyrus was to the viewers. Sure, there’s a level of humanity to him, but he’s still a killer and he’s very dangerous. There’s nothing romantic about who Cyrus is- at all,” added Vadik.
Since serial killers don’t seem to exactly be the kind of people any of us would normally want to grab a beer with or invite over for a BBQ, we asked Vadik his thoughts on why our society seems to be so fascinated by these demented characters and the details of their heinous criminal acts. “I think our fascination with serial killers is similar to why we all slow down to look at car accidents- it’s the ‘forbidden fruit’ idea that we always want to know and see things we know we shouldn’t really want to. Because our lives are all about the need to be ‘normal,’ I think it’s part of natural human psychology to want to explore others’ abnormalities.”
Vadik discussed how once he was finished nailing down the story to Cyrus, he immediately realized he only had one actor in mind to the play the role of Emmett, the creepy but even-keeled associate of “The County Line Cannibal” who acts as a narrator of sorts throughout the film.
“Once I finished with the script, I went back and started reading through, and immediately it was Lance [Henriksen]’s voice I was hearing for the narration in Cyrus so I knew right then and there I wanted to go after him,” said Vadik. “He has such an earthy voice that I knew I needed someone like that to be able to really hit all the right notes when telling Cyrus’ story. I think there’s something very off-putting when you hear Lance’s soothing voice describe these terrible crimes so matter-of-factly. Then, once Lance came on board, all the stars began aligning, and we suddenly had this amazing cast lined up that included Brian (Krause) and Danielle (Harris), and I was beyond thrilled on how the movie started to shape up from there on out.”
“Of course, when we first started putting Cyrus together, we hit all the usual roadblocks, but once the ball started really rolling, the project took on a life of its own and came together wonderfully. I was pretty lucky in that respect. I know we had ambitious goals for the movie because we had a lot of stunts and effects work, but the crew really pulled together to make it all look great on camera,” added Vadik.
Now that Cyrus: Mind of a Serial Killer (review here) is set for a home release on June 28th, we asked Vadik if he had any future plans for a sequel to the project. “We have kicked around an idea for a sequel, but it all depends on how Cyrus performs on DVD. I do know that for a sequel to happen, Lance and Brian’s involvement would be integral for the type of story I have somewhat planned. But again, we just have to wait and see how fans respond to this one before we can start planning for a sequel. Luckily, we’re in good hands with Anchor Bay so I’m excited to see how horror fans react when the movie comes out.”
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