Indie Horror Month: Q&A with the Directors of UK Indie Horror Movie Patrol Men
David: I refer to the politics as ‘Panto Politics’. What I mean by that is that there is a political aspect to the film, but it’s very big, obvious and ‘in your face’. Back in the 60’s and 70’s, horror was the perfect vehicle to make sweeping political statements. I definitely think the contemporary climate is perfect for criticism; we should all be fucking angry at the moment.
The economy is a joke; and the people to blame are all still rich, whereas the ‘working man’ has to work even harder just to get by. Over here at the minute, things are particularly shit. There is a coalition with the Conservative government and the Liberal Democrats. The Lib Dems were once the shinning hope of every young person in this country, as they seemed to reflect what we were feeling. But now all of that has turned, and their values are definitely reflecting the Conservatives.
Dread: Independent filmmaking can be a very trying experience for filmmakers. What sort of sacrifices have you both made in order to get Patrol Men made? Is there anything you would have done differently if you could go back and do it over again?
David: We were 21 and 22 years of age and very naïve. If we were to do things today, I think the script would look a lot different. We would shoot with a better camera, actually have a proper sound guy and people to handle the special effects. These are definitely the weak aspects of the film, but at the time we were turning a blind eye to everything…I guess that’s how we made it; we were stupid!
Ben: I completely agree; we were so naïve back then. We had no clue about anything- we just had a story, and we were determined to get through it no matter what. At the time of making Patrol Men, we set a deadline to shoot by, and we would stick with it no matter what. I think that was really important for us. If we could go back, I think every aspect of Patrol Men would have changed. But it was a great learning experience. It was our film school.
Dread: With Patrol Men finally getting released in the UK this week, you must be looking towards future projects now. Can you talk about what you’re looking to do next?
David: There’s a gypsy revenge flick we’re working on that we now have a name for called Woodfalls, and it's about a family of travelers/gypsies living in a field next to a small town. The film follows the dramatic tensions between the gypsies and the local townsfolk, as both subcultures have very little understanding of one another. The film will be a genuine potboiler, which will explode into violence at the end.
Thematically, I guess it’s quite similar to Patrol Men, but this’ll definitely be a lot more serious.
Ben: Woodfalls will be a lot harder going, too. We won’t be holding back any punches. Dave got the idea for Woodfalls while he was driving his car. He drove past some gypsies in a caravan, and the idea snowballed from there.
I got the idea for Video Nasty while watching the documentary of the same name. I want it to be in the same vein as Monster Squad and Goonies with a gory twist, and it will be our love letter to the horror genre.
Dread: I know you both said that you’d love to always continue making horror movies throughout your careers. What is it about the genre that keeps you so committed to it?
David: Horror is such a broad canvas for any filmmaker to work in. I don’t think we’ll ever get bored with horror because there are so many ways you can take it. Plus, horror audiences are amazing…they’re passionate and will give anything a go. You just go somewhere like Frightfest or Fantastic Fest and you see these films cross all sorts of boundaries, but the audiences are completely willing to go with it, not even caring about their own personal expectations. If people are willing to be taken by a film, then those kinds of films NEED to continue being made.
Ben: I just love the passion and rawness that comes out of horror films. I’ve always been interested in the macabre. I have no interest in the norm; it doesn’t appeal to me. It’s the dark things in life that drive me creatively, and I can’t ever see it changing.
Big thanks to David and Ben for speaking with us!
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