During the recent Weekend of Horrors in Secaucus, NJ (“>read the full report here), I finally got the chance to meet Soft for Digging and Mimic: Sentinel director JT Petty, whose work I’ve been a huge fan of for years. He was there to promote his next film, The Burrowers, a monster movie we’ve been keeping tabs on since its initial announcement.
”What’s fun about a creature movie is you can get to some really deep material without actually going at it directly,” Petty said when asked about the social commentary in The Burrowers. ”Goijira, the original Godzilla, is a great example of that; four years after Hiroshima gets bombed they make a movie about a giant monster that does exactly what the bomb did. Cloverfield is a good example as well as a reaction to 9/11. And Burrowers does get to the level as well, but it’s more of a message about how the military deals with threats, even back then.”
”Back then” would be the Old West, which is when the film takes place, and Petty definitely did his research to make sure the time period was recreated truthfully. ”Part of the interesting research we did was discovering just how many immigrants were cowboys back in the day,” he explained. ”Being a cowboy was probably one of the worst jobs you could get then; it was just hellish. Part of what the movie is about is debunking the myths about what it was like back then, how chaotic and violent it was.”
Of course, it’s a monster movie at its heart so inquiring minds wanted to know just what the beasties are. ”The monsters were designed by Robert Hall, who cut his teeth on Buffy,” he said of their origin. ”I was really impressed that he could come up with that many monsters over and over again. I had a whole mythology worked out; I want to have a very clear set of rules the monster has to follow and slowly dole those out during the movie, but not fast enough that anybody could survive. The movie’s all about unveiling how the monsters work so I don’t want to give too much away, but it has to do with being buried alive and eaten alive…”
Sounds like a recipe for some very gruesome set pieces, or so we can dream. So what is the status of The Burrowers? Lionsgate had just seen a cut of the film the week prior to the convention, so I’ll bet we’ll be hearing from them or Petty soon to let us know what the release plan is. Sooner rather than later, please!
He also gave a quick update on the proposed “remake” of Faces of Death: “It fell apart for a while, but now it’s back together. I’m usually not excited about horror remakes, but since the original didn’t have a plot, we’ve got a great title to work with, and the guys who made the original are really anxious to get the name back out there.”
Keep it on Dread Central for more on The Burrowers, Faces of Death, Goth (an anime he’s also working on bringing to the big screen), and anything else JT Petty is involved with!
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