Indie Horror Month Exclusive: Co-Writer/Director Andrew Weiner Talks The Frankenstein Theory - Dread Central
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Indie Horror Month Exclusive: Co-Writer/Director Andrew Weiner Talks The Frankenstein Theory

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Indie Horror Month Exclusive: Co-Writer/Director Andrew Weiner Talks The Frankenstein TheoryThis week Image Entertainment released first-time director Andrew Weiner’s docu-style indie thriller The Frankenstein Theory, which resurrects one of the genre’s most beloved giants as a 300-year-old experiment gone awry in the Arctic Circle, on DVD and VOD.

Co-written by Weiner and Vlady Pildysh, The Frankenstein Theory stars Kris Lemche, Christine Lakin, Joe Egender, Heather Stephens, Eric Zuckerman and Brian Henderson. Dread Central recently chatted with Weiner about his first-time experiences at the helm of the found-footage style project, what inspired the story of The Frankenstein Theory, whether or not he’s got a plan for a sequel and much more.

Read on for our exclusive interview with up-and-coming indie filmmaker Weiner for Indie Horror Month, and make sure to check out The Frankenstein Theory now that it’s available everywhere!

Dread Central: So my first question is a two-parter: One, were you a Frankenstein fan going into this project; and two, can you talk about why you chose to approach this character and story as a documentary? It’s certainly an approach that we’ve never seen before, which was interesting.

Andrew Weiner: Well, I think it’s hard to grow up in the US and not know who Frankenstein is because he’s been an iconic character for so many years so I was definitely a fan of the character and Mary Shelley’s original novel as well. When we first approached this story, Vlady (Pildysh) and I immersed ourselves in the novel so we could wrap our heads around it and find the moments and themes written some 195 years ago that would work in a contemporary setting.

That was something that was hugely important to myself and Vlady, that we kept this fantastic story still believable because that’s where the real terror comes from so we also did a lot of research in history and medical books so we blended those elements with the fantastical elements from Shelley’s story and approached them very scientifically for this. He’s an intelligent creature; he’s not an unintelligent ‘beast’ by any means. He has emotions and he’s someone who’s been forced into isolation and has had to live like that for a very long time, which has turned him into something that ultimately cannot be reasoned with.

Dread Central: You’ve been writing and producing for some time now- had you always intended from the very beginning to direct this project as well?

Andrew Weiner: Oh yeah, I had always intended to direct from the get-go. I felt like this was a great story to adapt, and I really used the script as my blueprint to figure out where the camera would go and other elements you wouldn’t usually have in a script just because that was the way we wrote it. I knew going in to The Frankenstein Theory we wouldn’t have a huge budget to fall back on so from the very beginning, even while writing, I had to be conscientious of every little detail, which was a great challenge. We told a very difficult story with not a lot of money and that was a huge learning experience for all of us, but thankfully I had my producing partner Caleb (Kramer) involved the entire time. He’s really great about letting me focus on the creative aspects of production while he took care of the rest.

Dread Central: You also have a story that eventually ends up in the Arctic, which is pretty ambitious for an independent production. Where did you guys end up shooting? Did the cold and snow end up making things a lot harder to get things done?

Andrew Weiner: We ended up shooting in the wilds of Alaska and using that as our environment for the Arctic Circle. It actually worked out really well since it was much easier and cost-efficient to shoot there than if we would have headed way up north in Canada. And since we did make this film on a shoestring budget, there were always challenges, but going to Alaska was necessary to the storytelling of the film and really set this story in an environment we don’t see too much.

I also wanted the sense of isolation and loneliness that resides within the creature and our protagonist Venkenheim to be mirrored by their surroundings, and we see how these inhospitable conditions help play into the characters’ psychological unraveling as things steadily deteriorate around them. Shooting in the snow definitely came with its own set of problems, and I’m pretty sure my crew wanted my head any time we needed to move our set-up because it generally meant 45 minutes of trudging through two foot deep snow and then resetting everything, which wasn’t easy at all. They were all great though and always got the job done brilliantly, but I’m sure they all secretly wanted to kill me (laughs).

Dread Central: Can you talk about collaborating with your cast for The Frankenstein Theory? I just discovered one of the actors, Joe Egender, in Holy Ghost People at SXSW so I was excited to see him pop up in this. He was just great.

Andrew Weiner: I really loved working with this whole cast and Joe was amazing. It wasn’t a huge role or anything, but he put a tremendous amount of research and energy into creating that character. That was such a big scene in the movie too; it’s really where everything tonally begins to shift, and Joe just brought this intensity and crazy sense of charisma that made that small part into something really incredible. He was such a tremendous talent, and I was incredibly lucky to get such a great group of actors on my first feature.

Dread Central: Do you see yourself returning to this universe in the future for a sequel at all, or is it too early to discuss a follow-up?

Andrew Weiner: I’m very open to the idea of a sequel if things go well on this first one; I think Vlady and I only scratched the surface of this character and we’ve talked a little bit of some possibilities so we’ll see what happens. But when you have such a rich and iconic character like Frankenstein to work with, anything is always possible.

Dread Central: What are you working on now then?

Andrew Weiner: I’ve just been hired to write and direct a series of short horror films that we start shooting in two weeks; after that I’ll be focusing on my next feature film project, which is a thriller. I’m really excited about that and it’s very, very different than this movie.

Indie Horror Month Exclusive: Co-Writer/Director Andrew Weiner Talks The Frankenstein Theory

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Scream Factory Opens the Gate 2

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There are few films more beloved around DC HQ than Tibor Takacs’ 1987 monster-filled classic The Gate. It’s top to bottom fun featuring stop-motion beasties and a cute-as-a-button young Stephen Dorff, and that’s only a couple of reasons why the flick just rules.

Scream Factory (bless their hearts) just announced that its sequel, Gate II, will finally be getting a Blu-ray release; and we have your details and artwork right here.

Look for the flick starring original The Gate star Louis Tripp on February 27, 2018.

Synopsis:
This supercharged sequel to the horror classic The Gate comes alive with unearthly creatures, heart-stopping action, and incredible special effects. Gate II picks up again with Terry, the teenage sorcerer who summons beings from the other side whose powers can be used to grant any wish. Unfortunately, before the Gate closes again, a “minion” – a tiny disciple of Satan himself – manages to slip through to our dimension. When the creature is kidnapped – all hell breaks loose.

Special Features:

  • NEW 2K scan of the interpositive
  • NEW Return to the Nightmare – A Look Back at GATE II – featuring interviews with director Tibor Takacs, screenwriter Michael Nankin, and special visual effects creator Randall William Cook
  • NEW From the Depths – an interview with make-up effects artist Craig Reardon
  • Theatrical Trailer
  • Video Promo and Video Store Contest Promo
  • Still Gallery

BUY IT NOW!

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Scoot McNairy Joins True Detective Season Three

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About two weeks ago we let you guys know that none other than The Gate and Leatherface star Stephen Dorff had joined the upcoming third season of HBO’s “True Detective”.

Today we wanted to let you know that Monsters star Scoot McNairy has joined the third season as well. He is all set to play Tom, “a father who suffers a terrible loss that ties his fate to that of two state police detectives over 10 years.”

Dorff will play Roland West, an Arkansas State Investigator who, along with his partner (Mahershala Ali), has his life and career influenced over three decades by a baffling crime.

I’m excited to check out “True Detective” S3. Even after the ‘meh’ second season. How about you? Let us know below!

Nic Pizzolatto will serve as showrunner and direct alongside Jeremy Saulnier. Executive producers include Pizzolatto, Saulnier, Scott Stephens and season one stars Woody Harrelson and Matthew McConaughey as well as original director Cary Joji Fukunaga. Steve Golin, Bard Dorros, and Richard Brown are also credited as exec producers.

Synopsis:

A macabre crime in the heart of the Ozarks and a mystery that deepens over decades and plays out in three separate time periods.

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Fear the Walking Dead Takes a Bite Out of Home Video

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It’s taken three seasons, but “Fear The Walking Dead” has finally become as interesting as it should have been to begin with. If you lost hope after the first two seasons, we invite you to give the third a chance. It’s not groundbreaking, but it’s a rotting step in the right direction.

Game? Than you’ll be happy to know that Fear the Walking Dead: The Complete Third Season comes to Blu-ray (plus Digital HD) and DVD on March 13!

In Season 3, our survivor families are brought together in the vibrant and violent ecotone of the U.S.-Mexico Border. With international lines done away with following the world’s end, our characters must attempt to rebuild not only society, but their families as well.

Special features including deleted and extended scenes and audio commentaries. Check out the artwork below.

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