Exclusive: Malcolm McDowell Talks Silent Night, A Clockwork Orange and More - Dread Central
Connect with us

Exclusive: Malcolm McDowell Talks Silent Night, A Clockwork Orange and More

Published

on

Post Thumb:

/may12/snps.jpg

Just in time for Christmas comes Steven C. Miller’s supremely fun Silent Night (review), which is more of an homage than a straight remake of the 1984 cult classic Silent Night, Deadly Night. Get ready to deck those halls because we’ve got an exclusive interview with star Malcolm McDowell.

McDowell, a true cinematic legend with well over 200 credits to his name, tackles a new holiday menace in Miller’s latest as the small-town sheriff who must rise to the occasion when a murderer dressed like St. Nick terrorizes his community on Christmas Eve. Silent Night also stars genre badass Jaime King, Donal Logue, Ellen Wong and Lisa Marie.

During our chat with McDowell we heard more from the acclaimed actor about his experiences working on Silent Night; he also discussed his approach to the role of Sheriff Cooper and what costume item he just had to keep after he wrapped shooting. We also briefly spoke to McDowell about his iconic role in Stanley Kubrick’s A Clockwork Orange and much more.

Check out our exclusive interview with McDowell below, and be sure to pick up your own copy of Silent Night available on Blu-ray and DVD courtesy of Anchor Bay.

Exclusive: Malcolm McDowell Talks Silent Night, A Clockwork Orange and More

Dread Central: So you’ve now tackled two holiday horror movies- are you hoping someone comes along with an Easter horror movie soon?

Malcolm McDowell: (Laughs). That would be brilliant!

Dread Central: I really had a lot of fun watching you in Silent Night– it seems like you guys had a lot of fun making this movie, too. What was the initial appeal of this character (Sheriff Cooper) that nabbed your attention before you signed on?

Malcolm McDowell: We did have fun, and I’m glad to hear that it shows. And when I read the script, I just really liked it. I met the director and the producers over breakfast, and I just loved Steven’s vision for the film; he really ‘gets’ it. I’m not a great fan of horror movies myself, but I always love when they work- and Silent Night works. Horror movies should scare you, yes, but they should make you smile, too, and I think Silent Night proves that you don’t have to have a huge budget to create great scares and kills but still leave people smiling, too.

Just that very idea – a killer Santa mixed up in a parade of a hundred different Santas – is enough to make me smile. So it really wasn’t hard to convince me to do this; it was also a role I’ve never really played before- the ‘good guy.’

Dread Central: He’s the good guy, but he’s still pretty tough on Jaime’s character, even though you can tell he cares about her…

Malcolm McDowell: Yes! That was so important to me- not to be too cartoonish with this character. You have to believe him and care about him; he’s a sheriff of a crimeless small town so he used to things running a certain way. When he puts on his uniform, he feels like he has a little bit more power than everyone else so when Jaime’s character is figuring things out that he hasn’t, he takes that as a real insult; she’s always right, and he can’t stand that even though he’s still fond of her.

Dread Central: I know that the turnaround on Silent Night was remarkably quick; did you guys get any sort of prep time at all before shooting? Did you do anything special to get in Cooper’s skin?/b>

Malcolm McDowell: No, no- we had no time for that; I think I only arrived on set just a few hours before I began shooting, but I’ve been doing this for 50 years now so I know what’s required of me as an actor. Of course I’m always willing to take direction, but you have to be prepared, too. And since I worked a lot with Jaime, it was incredibly easy for me because she’s such a pro.

And I just had a lot of fun with the character; a lot of Cooper’s one-liners were mine, and I just let my instincts take over in those moments. I also loved that silly hat I wore, too; it was just so silly and wonderful that I had to keep it when we were done. A character’s costume always comes down to the shoes and the hat I believe. I also thought that a small-town sheriff would have a beard. I think I read somewhere that a lot of law enforcement officers grow facial hair in the winter, and since I had just come off of doing Home Alone, I kept the beard because I thought Cooper would definitely have a beard. The hat and the beard really made that character (laughs).

Dread Central: Last year I had the distinct pleasure of being in the audience while you were speaking at Flashback Weekend in Chicago and just loved all the stories you shared about A Clockwork Orange and Caligula– of all movies (laughs). Is it still remarkable to you that a movie that’s now over 40 years old (A Clockwork Orange) resonates with new generations of audiences almost even stronger than perhaps it did when it came out?

Malcolm McDowell: Well, thank you; I just love Chicago so much! And yes, A Clockwork Orange was one of those moments where you have to step back and examine it with some distance. It has an incredible legacy, and it’s still a movie I speak about quite regularly like it’s a new movie that’s just been released.

And it’s remained timeless because it had such a great story; when it first was released, nobody could get past the look. This was before MTV, before any of that stuff- it was so revolutionary in that way. But really, it’s the film’s message that has made Clockwork Orange endure all these years; there’s so much that still pertains to society and government.

A lot of it also had to do with Anthony Burgess’ novel- I used that book as a bible. Kubrick too. I was really fortunate to get cast in that role, too; when you’re young, you just kind of ‘expect’ things so you don’t realize the enormity of it all until some time passes and you can gain some perspective on the experience.

I also think – and I could be wrong but this is something I’ve done a lot of thinking about over the years – but I think that Alex is the first amoral character in cinema that filmmakers wanted audiences to root for- not against. This was before Hannibal Lecter and many of the modern villains of course so I think that it was incredibly challenging for audiences at the time. How do you make a rapist and murderer redeemable in audiences’ eyes? It was a delicate balance, which is why we chose to do some of the more controversial scenes, like the rape scene, in such an unusual way…no one had ever featured an upbeat song like “Singing in the Rain” during such a brutal cinematic moment before so I think maybe people at first were caught off-guard by some of Stanley’s choices. Of course they were brilliant choices but very controversial.

And Stanley was a great friend; we became very close, and I think you can see that in my performance- an actor who was very secure with his director. There had to be a certain kind of love and trust between us, especially for that kind of a role. I also had total trust in my instincts, which may have led to a few disagreements with Stanley, but he always listened to me, and we would just talk out what would work best for a scene and come to an agreement after all that. It really was lightning in a bottle.

Dread Central: I believe I’m out of time now, Malcolm, but thank you so much for speaking with me today- it was really an honor.

Malcolm McDowell: Well, thank you. And Happy Holidays to you as well.

Silent Night

VISIT THE EVILSHOP @ AMAZON!
Got news? Click here to submit it!
Be silent in the comments section below!

Image Type 1:

Get this site 100% Ad Free Support Us on Patreon!
Continue Reading
Comments

News

Check Out the Opening 2 Minutes of Another WolfCop

Published

on

It was just earlier today that we brought you guys The Dude Design’s the newest poster for writer-director Lowell Dean’s horror-comedy sequel Another WolfCop.

And now we have the movie’s opening 2 minutes!

The clip showcases the new flick’s villain trying to sell us on his “Chicken Milk Beer” before losing his cool and taking it out the commercial’s crew. We then cut to a ragtag group of criminals, dressed as homeless Santas trying to outrun the cops.

A fun two-minutes if you ask me!

You can check out Another WolfCop‘s opening scene below and then make sure to hit us up and let us know what you think in the comments below or on social media!

The film is written and directed by Lowell Dean, produced by Bernie Hernando, Deborah Marks, and Hugh Patterson, and distributed worldwide by Cineplex.

Another WolfCop co-stars Amy Matysio, Jonathan Cherry, and Serena Miller. The film also features special appearances from Canadian music icon Gowan and legendary filmmaker Kevin Smith. It was executive produced by Sean Buckley, J. Joly, Bill Marks, Brian Wideen, Michael Kennedy, and Michael Hirsch.

The film is slated for a wide Cineplex theatrical release on Friday, December 8, 2017, with the film seeing a Blu-ray/DVD/Digital home entertainment release through A71 and Black Fawn in 2018.

Synopsis:

A month has passed since the eclipse transformed hard-drinking Officer Lou Garou into the crime-fighting hellion WolfCop. Although the Shape Shifters controlling the town have been extinguished, Woodhaven is far from returning to normal. Lou’s liquor-fueled antics and full moon outbursts are seriously testing his relationship with Officer Tina Walsh – the new Chief of Police. An old friend has mysteriously reappeared with a truly bizarre secret to share, and a homicidal new villain has emerged from the shadows looking to finish what the Shape Shifters started. To defeat this lethal adversary, it will take more than a lone wolf packing a pistol.

Prepare for the next chapter of WolfCop that will be more dirty and hairy than the original! Consider yourself warned.

Get this site 100% Ad Free Support Us on Patreon!
Continue Reading

Reviews

AHS: Cult Review – Clowns, Cults, Politics, and Peters

Published

on

Starring Evan Peters, Sarah Paulson, Billie Lourd, Cheyenne Jackson, Frances Conroy, Mare Winningham, and Allison Pill

Created by Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk


** NO SPOILERS **

It’s here. We’ve reached the end. The newest season of “American Horror Story” has ended and now we are here to provide you guys with our season review of AHS: Cult.

Spoiler free.

To start things off let me say I’m not the world’s biggest fan of “American Horror Story”. It breaks down like this: I enjoyed the absolute hell out of the first season of the series (“Murder House”), couldn’t get through “Asylum” (I know, I know, I’ve tried), dug “Coven” for what it was, really enjoyed “Freak Show”, and again I couldn’t get into “Hotel” or “Roanoke”.

That’s the story of me and “American Horror Story”. Plain And simple. But what did I think of the new seventh season of the notorious horror anthology series? Let’s find out.

Back when the seventh season of AHS was first announced (then going by the title “AHS: Election”) I was immediately intrigued by the new season because I heard it would not include any supernatural elements. Like the fourth season, “Freak Show”.

Now I’m a fan of ghosts and weird creature-men with drills for d*cks, don’t get me wrong. But the series has thus far relied almost exclusively on horrors of the supernatural variety (other than “Freak Show”) so this major change of pace was again welcomed by this guy.

Instead of vampires, aliens, and witches this season relied on terrors of the mind. Psychological fears and anxieties. The horrors man does to man. Deep issues.

Oh, and clowns. Like a lot of clowns.

But just because this new season didn’t include anything supernatural, that doesn’t mean the 11-episode season wasn’t filled with twisted visuals and horrifically disturbing acts. No, sir. This season boasted some showstoppers including S&M, gimps, and a house of horrors that wouldn’t be out of place in a Rob Zombie flick. It was all good.

But let’s backtrack a bit here.

Allow me to rundown the season’s plot for those who may be unaware. “AHS: Cult” tells the tale of a world post-election night. The literal dawn of Trump’s America. In one corner we have Sarah Paulson’s soccer mom, trying to fight through life with a series of crippling phobias (including clowns, holes, blood, and being a good person).

And in the other corner, we have Evan Peter’s angry, white (blue-haired) male, looking to seize Trump’s new position of power to bring about the end of… Actually, I want this to be a spoiler-free season review, so I’m just going to say the dude’s got big plans.

Like Manson-size plans. Let’s leave it at that.

With these two characters established, the new season then proceeds to send them spiraling into a collision course of political sabotage, intrigue, and clown-based nope, nope, nope-ing that can only end with one – or both – of them dead as Dillinger.

Overall “AHS: Cult” belonged end-to-end to Mr. Evan Peters. The young actor has continued to show his striking range from season to season of Ryan Murphy’s horror show and this season was no different. Peters’ turn as not only Kai, the blue-haired leader of the titular cult, but as infamous leaders such as David Koresh, Jim Jones, and Charles Manson – to name a few – owed this season.

I can only hope he doesn’t pull a Jessica Lange and opt-out of more AHS next year.

Speaking of top performances, “AHS: Cult ” showcases some other chilling and memorable turns with Alison Pill’s strangely vulnerable, put-upon wife character being the best next to Peters in my eyes. This actress needs to be in more films/TV!

Along with Pill, actress Billie Lourd killed it time and time again. The “Scream Queens” breakout star and Carrie Fisher spawn was yet again a highlight in her second Ryan Murphy series. Bet she has the starring role in next season. Mark my words.

Add to that, the season also boasts a handful of fun cameos, including John Carroll Lynch’s return as Twisty the Clown, Emma Roberts as a bitchy reporter that will do anything to end up on top, and Lena Dunham as SCUM Manifesto writer Valerie Solanas. The cameo cast killed it and I wish they would have been present for more episodes. What are you gonna do?

On the sour side of the season, I didn’t dig Sarah Paulson’s character. At all. But I’m sure that was the point. Right? I’m still not sure. But, boy, I wouldn’t even want to be stuck in line behind her at a Starbucks for three minutes, let alone spend the better part of this season’s 11-hours with her and her whiny bullshite. Urgh.

That said, she pulled it out by the finale. That’s all I’ll say.

In the end, I enjoyed this season as much as – if not more – than any other of the series. “Murder House” will still no doubt go on as my favorite season of the series, but “AHS: Cult” will rank third after season one and “Freak Show”.

While I was on the fence about the season after three episodes, the show ended up ditching Paulson’s character (and/or shifting her arch) after a lull so the episodes picked up quickly. Whenever the season turned its focus back towards Peters (in whichever incarnation he was playing at the time) the show got better and better. Every time.

Not a bad way to spend my Tuesday night for the past 11 weeks.

Bring on season 12.

  • American Horror Story: Cult (2018)
3.5

Summary

The seventh season of Ryan Murphy’s American Horror Story was Evan Peters’ show all the way through. The young actor pulled out all the stops time and time again to make what may have been a lackluster supernatural-free season a winner.

Sending
User Rating 4 (3 votes)
Get this site 100% Ad Free Support Us on Patreon!
Continue Reading

News

The Axiom Review – A Stylish and Clever Slice of Independent Horror

Published

on

By

Starring Hattie Smith, Zac Titus, Nicole Dambro

Directed by Nicholas Woods


The Axiom is an ambitious, well directed, impressively acted and stunningly shot independent horror film that has just a few, teensy little flaws holding it back from greatness (and therefore will have to settle for just being really, really good, instead).

The first thing you realize when watching The Axiom is that this is a beautiful film. Everything is framed and shot in a lush and stylish manner, but one which is always tonally appropriate for the scene.

The second thing you’ll notice, and keep noticing as the film plays out, is that the movie really struck gold with this cast. Not only is there a total lack of the sort of stilted and unnatural acting seen in countless other microbudget horror affairs, but the performances are genuinely fantastic across the board. The main characters are believably chill and relatably normal in the early scenes, and the acting remains just as impressive once things start getting a bit more… intense. It’s not often that an independent horror film has so many good performances that it makes it hard to pick the movie’s acting VIP, but that is undeniably the case here. Taylor Flowers delivers what is probably the showiest performance (and does it very well, indeed), but the entire cast really is quite good.

The central premise of the film is both interesting and original, and touches upon the real life fact (given some recent attention in the ‘Missing 411’ books and documentary) that a lot more people sure seem to go missing out in the woods than seems reasonable, while simultaneously weaving all sorts of folklore, fairy tales and urban legends into the mix. It’s also clever in the way that it very naturally reveals aspects to the relationships between characters that serve to later – or sometimes retroactively – explain some of the more questionable decisions they make or attitudes they display. While that may sound like screenwriting 101, it’s surprising how many films fail to do this. The Axiom rewards the viewer’s attention in other ways as well, with many aspects of the movie that initially feel odd or unnatural receiving reasonable explanations (within the context of the movie) by the end. It’s not quite as challenging (or as rewarding) in this regard as, say, something like Session 9, but it does add a nice layer of complexity to the storytelling.

The film’s score, by Leo Kaliski, is also quite good. There may be a moment here or there where the music hits an overly familiar beat, but overall it not only fits the movie’s tone, but does quite a bit to help set that tone as well.

The only thing that I don’t feel the movie quite pulls off – and I’m trying to be vague here, because I feel like the less you know going into this film, the better – is some of the makeup effects work. The gore stuff is very well executed, but some of the other stuff feels like it was crafted with the intention of shooting it in a more… stylized manner. Instead, filmed as it is here, the result is sometimes less than impressive and can fail to make the impact that the movie seems to be implying that it should. And while some of what the makeup effects lack in execution is made up for with the ingenuity and creativity of their design, it’s still a bit of a shame when they don’t quite pull them off because, aside from a few niggles that I have with the writing, the effects are the only aspect of the film that occasionally fails to live up to the high level of technical proficiency that The Axiom otherwise demonstrates.

ADDITIONAL THOUGHTS:

  • Man, the acting in this movie is really good. The dialogue may stumble once or twice, but these actors always sell it anyway.
  • Give back Mia Sara’s DNA, Hattie Smith!
  • If you’re going to put your female lead in shorts this small, I hope you’re not sensitive to viewers unleashing a nonstop parade of “Has anyone seen my pants / OH GOD WHERE ARE MY PANTS!” jokes.
  • “You just pop this here ‘Blair Witch Stick Person / Anarchy sign’ sticker up on that there windshield of yours, and them park rangers? Well – heh heh – they won’t bother you none, no sir.” Hmmmmm…
  • The film really is shot amazingly well – better than a lot of mainstream releases. Cinematographer Sten Olson has a real future ahead of him.
  • As does writer / director Nicholas Woods, for that matter. Any director who can get this level of quality out of their cast and crew on their first ever film is someone to keep an eye on.
  • “I’ll make a run for it and get help,” says the female lead, and I’m like “Yeah, let her go – she has no pants to weigh her down.”
  • The gore effects in the movie are both realized and utilized very well.
  • Welcome back to horror movies, “I’ll be right back” dialogue spoken unironically by and/or to ill-fated characters.
  • The Axiom
4.0

Summary

In the end, The Axiom is a solid and entertaining flick that manages to wring a level of quality and originality out of the somewhat tired “Don’t Go in the Woods” horror subgenre not seen since 2012’s Cabin in the Woods. The cinematography and acting are hugely impressive, it features a nice, unnerving score, the premise is original and captivating, and the whole thing moves at a nice pace that helps keep the film’s flaws from dragging it down.

Sending
User Rating 3.9 (10 votes)
Get this site 100% Ad Free Support Us on Patreon!
Continue Reading

Go Ad Free!

Support Dread Central on Patreon!

Join the Box of Dread Mailing List

* indicates required

From Around the Web

Trending

Copyright © 2017 Dread Central Media LLC