Exclusive: Chad Archibald Talks Bite and His Upcoming Projects


Chad Archibald is one of the most prolific movers and shakers in independent horror movie-making today. He’s been at it for over 10 years and has produced seven movies in just two years… whew! Makes us tired just thinking about it.

Luckily, the movies are good. His most recent one, which he directed, is called Bite (review), and it got a lot of people’s attention on the festival circuit. It’s a body horror in true Cronenberg tradition – a young woman gets bitten by a mystery bug while on vacation and arrives home feeling more than just a bit peaked.

Now that Bite is about to be unleashed on the world, Chad sat down to talk to us about it.

Dread Central: So, this film is totally gross and gooey. Probably the most viscous movie I’ve seen in years. How’d you come up with the idea in the first place?

Chad Archibald: The initial idea just came up from this: I was at a family event and my sister-in-law came over; she had just been in Guatemala, doing some animal rescue stuff in the jungle there, and she had bug bites all over her – over her arms, her legs, her neck, her head, everything. She was sleeping in this jungle, and every night they’d have to sleep under nets because there were tarantulas and crazy insects all over the place. There would be all of these insects covering these nets all around her, and she said every day she would see insects that she’d never seen before. She didn’t know if they were poisonous or dangerous or what, but after a while she just got used to being eaten alive. Some of them were grotesque little bites, and I just kind of came up with the idea of “what if one of those bites just got worse and worse?” and went from there.

DC: I saw a bit of Cabin Fever in there – even with the fact your idea was based on an infection you saw. But it’s even more like the classic body horror of David Cronenberg… are you a fan of his work, and did it influence you much or is it more coincidental?

CA: Yeah… I mean, I love The Fly. I kind of came up with this idea and started working through it, and obviously there were relations to The Fly, being a bit of an insect transformation movie. It was such a great film and being a fellow Canadian, I was excited about that [comparison], but yeah, it was pretty awesome and it was kind of a body horror that had a story behind it, similar to Cabin Fever. There’s a ton of body horrors out there. I think one of the things we wanted to do different is we wanted to do body horror that never had blood in it. So it’s gross, it’s gooey, but there’s no real blood in the entire movie. We also wanted to make a body horror movie that had some heart to it and a bit of a back story to it so it didn’t rely on body horror per se. So even if you took out all of the body horror elements, you would still have a story, you would still have a drama about a girl who’s not ready to get married and have kids, and she just had a bachelorette party and something kind of horrible happens to her, and she’s got some manipulating friends and whatnot.

DC: In a story like this, which relies so much of visuals and practical effects, your DP must have been in heaven. What can you tell me about your collaboration?

CA: His name is Jeff Maher, and we’d worked with him on a couple of films before. He worked on the Antisocial movies with us, and he actually just directed his first feature called Bed of the Dead. But when we were doing Bite, it was interesting because any time a DP can catch light off of anything, they get pretty excited… so he was pretty excited about these ideas of finding this disgusting hive place but capturing some sort of beauty in it. There’s some scenes of these balls kind of rolling off the bed or rolling off things where they kind of actually have a little bit of beauty to them so he was pretty excited about that. It was hilarious filming the movie, though, because everything was just covered in goo and muck and eggs. We wanted to make sure there were things moving every time; when you watch the movie, these little eggs from the hive grow so quickly that we wanted to make sure it felt like it was growing all the time so everyone that didn’t have a camera in their hand or wasn’t on screen would run up and pile all these eggs up on tables and stuff like that and we’d blow and everyone would let go and run so that it looked like all these eggs were growing so much, they were pushing each other off edges and stuff like that. They were always moving and they were always like capturing light and stuff. It’s difficult to shoot a movie that’s based in one apartment for 85% of the film so it was important to kind of keep having this grow and evolve and move.

DC: We know you’re currently in the casting process and pre-production of your next feature, so… what can you tell us about upcoming films, hmmm?

CA: It’s so funny; we don’t even have a name for it yet. We start production on it in a couple of weeks, and we haven’t really done anything yet; I don’t even think I can [say much]. It’s gruesome, it’s gory, it’s really got some interesting characters, interesting set pieces as well, and there’s a little body horror element to it, too, so yeah, we’re really excited about that. We also have a couple of films that are coming out in between. We have a film, can’t even say the name of it yet, directed by Cody Calahan. We should be dropping a poster and trailer for that in the next couple of weeks. As well as Jeff Maher, the DP of Bite… his movie, Bed of the Dead, which we just finished up this week. Again, a trailer and whatnot will come out for that in the next couple weeks, too, so I’m sure we’ll send it over to you guys.

Bite debuts in select U.S. theaters, on VOD, and On Demand May 6, 2016, from Scream Factory. The film stars Elma Begovic, Annette Wozniak, Denise Yuen, Jordan Gray, Lawrene Denkers, Barry Birnberg, Daniel Klimitz, Tianna Nori, and Caroline Palmer. Bite is produced by Black Fawn Films.

For more information visit bite-movie.com.

While on her bachelorette party getaway, Casey, the bride to be, gets a seemingly harmless bite from an unknown insect. After returning home with cold feet, Casey tries to call off her wedding, but before she’s able to, she starts exhibiting insect-like traits. Between her physical transformation and her wedding anxiety, Casey succumbs to her new instincts and begins creating a hive that not only houses her translucent eggs but feeds on the flesh of others. As her transformation becomes complete, Casey discovers that everything can change with a single bite.




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