Interview: Forsaken director Jon Cassar

The reformed gunfighter unable to escape his past. The greedy land baron. The gentleman hired gun with his own code of ethics. In the 1950s, these were among the most familiar tropes of the Western genre, repeated ad infinitum in an era when oaters dominated prime time television and filmmakers such as John Ford, Budd Boetticher, Delmer Daves, and Anthony Mann cranked out horse operas at the pace of one per year.

Those days are long gone, distant enough that the archetypes in a nostalgic Western such as Forsaken feel as welcomingly familiar as slipping on an old pair of boots. In Forsaken – now out on VOD and in select theaters – Kiefer Sutherland is the reluctant gunfighter, Brian Cox the greedy land baron, and Michael Wincott the genteel mercenary. Eager to leave behind his violent past and reconcile with his preacher father (Donald Sutherland), Kiefer’s John Henry Clayton heads home to Wyoming only to find the town’s farmers being forced off their land. Anyone who knows their Randolph Scotts from their Ben Johnsons can guess that Sutherland’s six-shooters won’t stay holstered for long.

Forsaken marks the feature film directorial debut of Jon Cassar following a 30-year career in television, highlighted by his Emmy-winning work as director and producer on Fox’s 24. Cassar spoke to Deep Fried Movies about making that leap. Continue Reading ›

Five Frames with Body Parts writer/director Eric Red

I turned 13 in the winter of 1990. It’s not a touchstone of youth with many official perks. There’s no driver’s license. No right to vote. No bars. Just skin blemishes, hormones and general awkwardness. However, my entry into teendom came with one important fringe benefit – my parents declared me mature enough to partake in horror movies in the theater. And partake I did. From Misery and The Silence of the Lambs to Candyman and Dr. Giggles, if a horror film hit theaters, I was there.

That era is now viewed as a time of relative dormancy for the genre between cresting slasher movie cycles, but I still hold great affection for those films. That includes 1991’s Body Parts. A variation on The Hands of Orlac, Body Parts stars Jeff Fahey as a criminal psychologist who has the arm of a murderer transplanted onto his body with predictably grisly results.

Body Parts writer/director Eric Red – the scribe of The Hitcher and Near Dark – revisited the film with me nearly 25 years after its initial release. Continue Reading ›

Deep Fried Interview: WolfCop writer/director Lowell Dean

When David Cronenberg’s 1975 horror film They Came From Within hit screens – partially funded with taxpayer dollars by the Canadian Film Development Corporation – a Canadian national magazine famously featured the headline, “You Should Know How Bad This movie Is – You Paid For It.”

No such disclaimer was necessary when WolfCop howled its way into theaters last year. Canadian audiences knew exactly what kind of romp they were in for. After all, they helped get it made.

Both WolfCop’s $1 million budget and Canadian theatrical release in select Cineplex Odeon theaters came via the paradigm-disrupting CineCoup Film Accelerator, a 12-week contest in which nearly 100 potential feature films battled for fan votes and social media engagements to determine which received a greenlight.

WolfCop writer/director Lowell Dean spoke to Deep Fried Movies about that unique preproduction process, the benefits of using action figures to create storyboards and breaking every rule in the Coors Light product placement playbook. Continue Reading ›