Interview: Rebekah McKendry Talks ALL THE CREATURES WERE STIRRING
A welcome new addition to the ever-expanding Christmas horror subgenre, All The Creatures Were Stirring tells six stories of holiday fear and all of them entertain, a rarity for most anthologies. Real-life couple Rebekah and David Ian McKendry put together an impressive cast including Constance Wu and indie horror faves like Graham Skipper, Jocelin Donahue and Brea Grant lending a great deal of horror caché to the proceedings.
Rebekah and I used to work at Fangoria together, so it was fantastic to catch up with her in the below interview where we talk about the work/life horror balance, shooting a movie while your eight months pregnant, and whether or not it’s possible to make a quality 25 Days of Horror List.
All The Creatures Were Stirring is now available On Demand, Digital, and DVD.
DC: Did you guys shoot everything individually or in sequence?
RM: We did everything individually because we were working with a lot of sitcom actors. We knew we wanted to cast sitcom actors from the get-go because we always viewed it as a horror comedy. So we had to work with their schedules… Constance [Wu] was on Fresh Off The Boat and Jonathan Kite was on Two Broke Girls and Amanda Fuller was on Last Man Standing.
But for like half the movie I was pregnant! We started shooting when I was eight months pregnant right up until we gave birth, literally. We found out that they were going to go ahead and have us deliver the next day at one of my doctor’s appointments. The first call we made was to the producers and we called them from the Ultrasound room!
DC: Which story do you think could make the best full-length feature?
RM: The van one, we call it Tethered and I think the name became … I can’t even remember what the name was …
DC: I think it’s Dash Away All…
RM: Thank you. That one actually originated as a feature concept then we put it into the anthology because we thought it’d make a great sequence as well. We actually have a feature ready to go for that one so we absolutely love that one.
DC: Just call it Witch Van!
RM: (laughs) That’s the van from Ant-Man interestingly enough. When we went to the rental house looking for an old van they were like, we’ve got the van from Ant-Man here and it did not run very well. We had to have it towed to the location and it kept shutting down while we were filming. It was a trip. It’s one of my favorite segments, I love that one so much.
DC: You’ve been married and working as a couple together but how was the relationship writing and shooting this? I would guess you have quite a shorthand at this point.
RM: Well, Dave and I, we met working together. We were doing theatre together in college. Dave worked at Fangoria, we weren’t in the same department but we were there together. Same with Blumhouse, Dave was there as well. All of our music videos, all of our short films, they’ve always been co-productions.
DC: When I first met you guys, I think you were doing some Gwar videos at the time.
RM: Yep! We met Gwar through Fangoria and we filmed a promo video for them. It was in lead up to one of our Weekend Of Horrors convention and they liked the promo stuff so much they asked if we wanted to shoot their next music video. Dave and I were so excited and it was just a blast to do. That got us in with a lot of the metal companies like Nuclear Blast and Metal Blade and we started doing a lot more music videos.
When you talk about shorthand between Dave and I…it’s definitely a horror lexicon, like how we describe things in terms of horror movies. So he’ll be like ‘Hey do you want to Demons theater this shot?’ and then, immediately we’ll know what each other is talking about.
DC: Everyone watches a horror movie a day for 31 days in October. At this point, couldn’t we do a horror marathon for the 25 days of Christmas? With All The Creatures Were Stirring added to the growing list of Christmas themed horror, it’s getting close.
RM: Yeah, there are some really good ones. I think that you could definitely get close now. I think with some of the Christmas short films that have come out like Izzy Lee’s My Monster was incredible and, of course, Treevenge. So we’re seeing a lot of really good Christmas horror content.
DC: Do you have any favorites? I was trying to get a hold of Elves from the late eighties.
RM: Elves! Oh my god. That one is just bonkers. It’s got these Nazi elves that are really plastic-y looking and you don’t really understand where the Nazis made elves but to what end? I always like Rare Exports. Dave and I always watch Black Christmas, we kind of wink at it with the phone call in the office segment of our film, that was our Black Christmas wink. I really like Christmas Evil, I’ve always found that to be fun. I’ll watch all of them!