Fantasia 2012: Michael Biehn and Jennifer Blanc-Biehn Talk The Victim and More! - Dread Central
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Fantasia 2012: Michael Biehn and Jennifer Blanc-Biehn Talk The Victim and More!

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The Victim Interview with Michael Biehn and Jennifer Blanc-BiehnWidely known for his iconic bad-ass roles in The Terminator, Aliens, Planet Terror and last year’s sleeper hit The Divide, Michael Biehn is a legend to movie buffs worldwide.

So it came as no surprise that many film-goers came to Montreal’s prestigious Fantasia Film Festival to see the man kick some much deserved ass in his own grindhouse directorial debut, The Victim, which was also produced by his wife and co-star, Jennifer Blanc-Biehn.

For readers out there that are unfamiliar with the plot of the film, The Victim starts with an unexpected bang (or should we say “crack”?) when Annie (Jennifer Blanc-Biehn) witnesses the murder of her friend in the middle of the woods and is forced to take refuge in the home of a stoic hermit named Kyle (Michael Biehn) even though she is being hunted by two crooked cops desperate to get rid of any witnesses to their crime.

Considering the film is full of sex, violence, cocaine and exploitative elements throughout, it came as a welcome surprise to see that both Michael and Jennifer are polar opposites of the characters they played and envisioned onscreen. In fact, before the film screened, the amorous couple offered up their own reserved seats to the general public to make sure no one was left out at the screening, which is almost unheard of in the festival circuit.

After the successful screening, Dread Central had the opportunity to talk to “The Biehns” about their new film, their future projects and what had inspired them to tackle the gritty world of low-budget horror.

When asked about his interest in taking on his first writing and directing venture, Biehn expressed much gratitude to his greatest muse, Grindhouse: Planet Terror director Robert Rodriguez.

I had thought about directing for quite some time. [James] Cameron always said I would make a good director. However, I wasn’t that aware of grindhouse films until I worked with Robert Rodriguez on Planet Terror. After that, I started watching all types of these films. I knew with my name that I couldn’t make a five-million-dollar movie, but I could make a smaller one. Jennifer [Blanc-Biehn] actually raised the money for the project, and then the opportunity presented itself. My real inspiration came when I was in Canada shooting The Divide and read Robert Rodriguez’s book A Rebel Without a Crew in my spare time. Reading that book gave me the confidence I needed.

Jennifer also had some loving words to say about her husband in terms of his directing skills.

Michael has always helped me in terms of directing me. He helped me with my screen test for “Will & Grace,” and when I did a film with Shannen Doherty called Friends Til The End, he coached me for the part. He has always had these directing skills, and it wasn’t until Robert [Rodriguez] inspired him that he truly knew he could this.

During the Q&A after the film, Biehn had revealed that the final script for The Victim was one that he polished after he was not happy with it (he had agreed to just star in it at the time). He took away the SAW-like torture porn aspect and injected an entirely new plot, making it a psychological grindhouse thriller instead. During our own interview, he elaborated in more detail why he made this crucial decision.

Believe it or not, I don’t like gory movies that just show violence for the sake of violence. I know there are good filmmakers that have made these types of films, but it just didn’t interest me. I’m more interested in stories of the human condition, and even though [The Victim] is a pulp version of that, to me this is the story of what happens to men when attractive women are around and they don’t think straight and they get into trouble. I didn’t want to just make a violent movie, but rather I wanted to focus on men with too much power and how they can do anything they want. Behind every powerful man is a mistress. I wanted to explore that. Men have so much to lose as far as respect and their jobs when it comes to falling for alluring women. That’s the story I wanted to convey.

While talking candidly, the duo also revealed that their film was shot amazingly enough in twelve days. We talked to Jennifer, who is the protagonist of the film and the challenges of her having to perform emotional, physical and sexual scenes on screen in such a short period of time.

It was just fast and furious. I was having a really good time because I was literally running around non-stop 24/7. Even on my days off, I was still busy producing and was always up for the challenge. Don’t get me wrong; there was fighting off-screen, and that could be seen in the making-of featurette. There’s all this kind of drama that went on. But for the most part I had a really good experience, and I trust Michael’s direction. Right from the start, I told him I didn’t know how to do this in the time frame, the crying, the fighting, the whining, the running. Although I relied on him, and he really did help me through it.

The couple spoke glowingly of not only their current film but also their upcoming project under their production company Blanc/Biehn Productions, Treachery, which stars the pair and I Spit on Your Grave’s Sarah Butler.

We made The Victim on a low budget—way under a million dollars, but what we did after was the opposite of what we thought we’d do, and we made our next follow-up [Treachery] for a quarter of the budget we had with this film. It was like an experiment, and we did it in eight days!” Jennifer exclaimed.

Ninety percent of the new film is cut, and we’re really happy about it,” Biehn added.

For those of you who could not make it out to the festival circuit to see The Victim, you will be excited to know the film will make its DVD and Blu-ray debut on September 18, 2012. The filmmaking couple and team also added some words on the cool features to be expected.

According to Jennifer, “There is a half-hour featurette; it is full of interviews and candid footage. And there is an audio commentary with both Michael and I so there will tons of cool things to see that you haven’t seen with the theatrical version.

Make sure to support Michael and Jennifer and buy The Victim this September on Blu-ray or DVD from Anchor Bay. The film will also have exclusive theatrical engagements at select theatres in New York starting August 24th and in Los Angeles starting September 7th.

Fantasia 2012: Michael Biehn and Jennifer Blanc-Biehn Talk The Victim and More!

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Go Christmas Caroling with The Killing of a Sacred Deer

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Given that I personally have gone Christmas caroling with various lunatics hopped up on eggnog, what the hell… why not go Christmas caroling with The Killing of a Sacred Deer? Dig on this latest clip!

Look for the flick starring Colin Farrell (Best Actor in a Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy, In Bruges, 2009) and co-starring Oscar winner Nicole Kidman (Best Actress, The Hours, 2003) to hit Blu-ray, DVD, and digital on January 23rd. Yorgos Lanthimos directs.

Special features include “An Impossible Conundrum” featurette, and the package will be priced at $24.99 and $19.98, respectively.

Synopsis:
Dr. Steven Murphy (Farrell) is a renowned cardiovascular surgeon presiding over a spotless household with his ophthalmologist wife, Anna (Kidman), and their two exemplary children, 12-year-old Bob (Sunny Suljic) and 14-year-old Kim (Raffey Cassidy). Lurking at the margins of Steven’s idyllic suburban existence is Martin (Barry Keoghan), a fatherless teen he has covertly taken under his wing.

As Martin begins insinuating himself into the family’s life in ever-more unsettling displays, the full scope of his intent becomes menacingly clear when he confronts Steven with a long-forgotten transgression that will shatter the Murphy family’s domestic bliss.

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Which Monsters May Be Making Their TV Debut in Junji Ito Collection?

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Studio Deen’s highly-anticipated anime anthology Junji Ito Collection has been building buzz, especially since its new teaser dropped weeks ago. Eagle-eyed fans who are well-acquainted with horror mangaka Junji Ito’s body of work will spot some familiar faces in the new trailer, brought to the small screen by showrunner Shinobu Tagashira.

So, who among Ito’s famous menagerie of monsters may be making an appearance in the show when it airs next year?

Oshikiri Toru

Oshikiri is the morally-questionable highschooler who begins to question his perception of reality in Hallucinations, a series of some loosely connected one-shots. Oshikiri’s a little on the short side, with an even shorter fuse. One thing he’s not short on is moneyas evidenced by his impressive, albeit creepy, mansion. We’ve yet to see which of his adventureswhich range from murder to parallel dimensionswill be his television debut.

Yuuko

The once-chatty Yuuko falls ill and sees her worst fears come to pass in Slug Girl, the famous one-shot whose brand of body horror is sure to feel like a distant cousin (or maybe a predecessor?) to Uzumaki‘s “The Snail” chapter. It offers little in the way of answers but is best enjoyed in all its bizarre glory.

The Intersection Bishounen

In Lovesick Dead, one of Ito’s longer standalone stories, an urban legend causes a rash of suicides when young girls begin to call upon a mysterious, black-clad spirit called the Intersection Bishounen. The custom catches on quickly among teenagers, out late and eager for him to tell them their fortune in life and love, since his advice is to die for. Literally.

Souichi Tsujii

A long-running recurring character in Ito’s manga (probably second only to Tomie herself), you’ll know Souichi by the nails he sucks on or sticks out of his moutha strange habit borne out of an iron deficiency. He’s an impish kid whose fascination with the supernatural makes him the odd man out in an otherwise normal family. The morbid pranks he likes to playfunny only to him—don’t do much to endear him to his peers or relatives, either.

Fuchi

The titular character in Fashion Model, Fuchi works as a professional model for her, shall we say, unique look and Amazonian stature. When she and another actress are hired by a crew of indie filmmakers, Fuchi shows them that she doesn’t like sharing the limelight. She also makes a cameo in a couple of Souichi’s stories, and in them he finds her genuinely attractive. Beauty, after all, is in the eye of the beholder.

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Nemo Rising Signing Happening at Dark Delicacies on December 23

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Author C. Courtney Joyner will be signing copies of his new book Nemo Rising at Burkank’s Dark Delicacies horror store on Saturday, December 23 at 4pm. You can get the full details of the event and directions on Dark Delicacies’ website.

Nemo Rising will be a sequel to Jules Verne’s 1870 masterpiece Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea, and will see President Ulysses S. Grant recruiting the notorious Captain Nemo to destroy a gigantic sea monster which has been responsible for sinking ships. The gigantic eight-tentacled mollusc can be seen on the book’s cover below, and it looks like Nemo will have his work cut out for him.

Joyner also worked on the screenplays for the Full Moon films Doctor Mordrid and Puppet Master vs Demonic Toys, whilst his previous books include Hell Comes To Hollywood and the Shotgun series. If you can’t make it to the signing, Nemo Rising will be released in the US on December 26, and in the UK on January 13.

Nemo Rising Dark Delicacies Signing Details:
​Nemo Rising will be released on hardcover from Tor Books on December 26th, 2017.

JUST ANNOUNCED: On December 23rd at 4:00 PM, C. Courtney Joyner will sign copies of NEMO RISING at Dark Delicacies in Burbank, California!

C. COURTNEY JOYNER is an award-winning writer of fiction, comics, and screenplays. He has more than 25 movies to his credit, including the cult films Prison, starring Viggo Mortensen; From a Whisper to a Scream, starring Vincent Price; and Class of 1999, directed by Mark Lester. A graduate of USC, Joyner’s first produced screenplay was The Offspring, which also starred Vincent Price. Joyner’s other scripts have included TV movies for CBS, USA, and Showtime. He is the author of The Shotgun western series and Nemo Rising.

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