Huff interview with Paul Morell


While the re-envisioning of a childhood fable is not new territory, adding a horror twist is certainly a step in the right direction. Following the premise of The Three Little Pigs, Windchaser Pictures’ slasher flick Huff puts a reality-based spin on the longtime kids favorite. Three sisters (Marie Bollinger, Jenna Stone and Elly Stefanko) run away to escape the drug-fueled rage of their stepfather, played by Charlie O’Connell in a not-so-typical role. As they are hunted down, each finds herself in a hideout-specific predicament where their surroundings could be their saving grace..or their downfall. HNN staff member Sean McLaughlin caught up with Huff’s director, Paul Morell, to talk about the film’s unique premise, and what it was like working with the unique cast.


Horror News Network: Did you have any reservations about putting such a hardcore spin on a beloved childrens tale such as “The Three Little Pigs”?

Paul Morell: No reservations….  The original story is pretty hardcore anyway, a wolf devouring it’s prey…. It’s the perfect scenario for a bloody thrill.  It was fun, challenging, and I think you will agree, completely worth the effort!


Horror News Network: How was the cast to work with?

Paul Morell: Cast was completely professional. Everyone brought something to their roles…  We got super lucky this go round and didn’t have trouble getting solid performances out of anyone.  


Horror News Network: Charlie O’Connell really deviates from his usual care-free role in this film. Was it difficult to direct him into such unfamiliar territory?

Paul Morell: Believe it or not….  Mr Nice Guy played this role very naturally…  Charlie did a fantastic job researching and prepping for his character.  When we were casting, I knew who Charlie was, but wasn’t familiar with his body of work at all.  He came in and read for the part and I was hooked.  He had this sense of terror about him that was laced with humor.  It was something that I didn’t know I was looking for till I saw it…. and then I was convinced I needed it.   Due to his reputation as a comedic actor, the production team wasn’t completely behind it at first. It was a risk no doubt, but a risk that has entirely paid off.   What Charlie brought to this role far exceeded anything that was written on the pages of the script.   I am tickled pink with the result. (yes, I said tickled pink)


Horror News Network: Would you say that “Huff” is more of a psychological thriller

Paul Morell: Yes!  I looked for every opportunity to turn the ship toward a thriller and away from traditional horror.  Even the kills were more in the vein of a thriller.  Now, don’t misunderstand – this is still very much a horror, just not a splatter fest…. I like to call it a “bloody thriller”.   A solid mix of blood AND story.


Horror News Network: This film explores the topics of an abusive step-parent and the role that drugs can play in destroying the family dynamic. What was it like dealing with such sensitive subject matter?

Paul Morell: This is perhaps the most disturbing part of the film….    Sexual abuse is never a pretty subject, but from a family member and involving children definitely adds an extra level of discomfort….  When on set, everyone knew the subject matter and some were more upset than others.   Charlie was a superstar at keeping the mood light between takes, but unfortunately it got tense and there really wasn’t anything we could do about it.    Not that I wanted to….   It felt real.   It was beyond distrubing….  and absolutely phenomenal to watch and bring to life at the same time!  Does that make me demented????  lol.


Horror News Network: What can the audience expect in terms of blood and guts with “Huff”?

Paul Morell: Well, there is enough blood to get us an R rating….  As I said before, it is a “bloody thriller”, but not a splatter fest.   We went more for disturbing story.  I think letting the imagination build the visuals is way more scary than just splattering blood on the lens.


Horror News Network: How cool is it to work with Clint Howard?

Paul Morell: Clint is a rockstar.   I have heard horror stories before of working with established actors….  that they will come onto your set and tell you how the scene is to play out.  Clint was NOT like this at all.  I got the pleasure of spending a day with Clint before we shot doing character development and rehearsing his scene.  Clint took solid direction and adds depth to the film no one else could have.  It was an honor to work with him!


Horror News Network: Do you have your next project all lined up? What’s on deck?

Paul Morell: Yes I do!  I have another thriller that is expected to go into production this winter.  And I just optioned Stefne Miller’s book COLLISION – a romantic drama set against the grit of Uganda.   It is a complete mold break for me and I am ecstatic about the project!


Horror News Network: Any word on the DVD release of Huff?

Paul Morell: We have had several distribution offers and we are trying to decide now which way to go…   We will keep you posted 🙂

Thanks for the time, Paul. I know that HNN’s readers are excited about Huff, and can’t wait for the official release on DVD. For more details on Huff, currently playing at movie festivals around the country, check out Have a comment on this interview? Post it here.

William Sadler joins Machete Kills

William Sadler has been added to the cast of Machete Kills. The new film finds Machete (Trejo) recruited by the U.S. Government for a mission which would be impossible for any mortal man. Machete must battle his way through Mexico to take down a madman cartel leader and an eccentric billionaire arms dealer (Gibson) who has hatched a plan to spread war across the planet with a weapon in space. Machete takes on an army in an effort to dismantle a plan for global anarchy.

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Full Moon Blu-ray releases Puppetmaster and more

For over thirty years Charles Band has been creating modern day horror classics such as Puppetmaster, Trancers and Subspecies. According to Charles Band, Chairman and Founder of Full Moon Features, “After testing the Blu-ray market with the original Puppetmaster, and Subspecies, Full moon will move forward with additional Blu-ray releases of the best selling titles in the Full Moon catalog. The fan response has been overwhelming in support of Blu-ray, and they are demanding more. Featuring wide-screen 16:9 fully remastered picture and sound, these transfers have never looked more beautiful, and we’ll re-release the titles on DVD as well.” On September 18th, 2012, the premiere Full Moon Blu-ray releases will be the first three Puppetmaster films, available individually and as a three-disc set. Subsequent releases will include sequels from the Subspecies and Trancers franchises, as well as classic films directed by Stuart Gordon such as Pit and the Pendulum starring Lance Henkrisen and Castle Freak starring Jeffrey Combs. Other Full Moon classics seeing release on Blu-ray for the first time include Dollman and Dollman vs. The Demonic Toys starring Tim Thomerson, Vampire Journals, Doctor Mordrid, Demonic Toys, Head of the Family and more to be announced later in 2012. They will be available for the low price of only $14.98! 

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Grave Encounters 2 release date

The guys over at Dread have a report that Grave Encounters 2 will hit VOD this October 2nd with a theatrical release also planned sometime in October. In 2011 GRAVE ENCOUNTERS was a found-footage horror phenomenon from the Vicious Brothers, with a trailer garnering over 20 million views on YouTube. Many people believed it was just a movie. They were wrong, and film student Alex Wright is out to prove it in GRAVE ENCOUNTERS 2. While researching the events depicted in the original film and the subsequent disappearance of its lead ”actor” Sean Rogerson, Alex Wright received a bizarre video from a mysterious blogger named “DeathAwaits666.” Appearing to show Rogerson still alive but trapped inside the Collingwood Psychiatric Hospital from GRAVE ENCOUNTERS, Alex and his friends agree to meet the blogger at the infamous hospital in hopes of learning what really happened. To their horror they quickly find themselves face-to-face with unspeakable evil. Realizing that they must be smarter and faster than Rogerson and his crew to avoid suffering the same fate, they use their knowledge of the original film to do whatever it takes to survive.

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The Selling to be released on August 21st

THR reports that GoDigital has picked up the comedy horror feature The Selling for digital release. Directed by Emily Lou from a screenplay by Gabriel Diani, The Selling is set in a world where ghosts, demonic possession and real estate converge. The film stars Barry Bostwick (Cougar Town), Simon Helberg (The Big Bang Theory) and Janet Varney (Entourage). GoDigital will release the film Aug. 21 on all major Internet VoD platforms. Story centers on a too-honest-for-his-own-good real estate agent who must sell a haunted house before its ghostly inhabitants ruin his life. The film picked up five awards at least year’s L.A. Comedy Film Festival, including best feature. "We're thrilled to be working with GoDigital." Lou said. "They're very filmmaker-friendly and really get the evolution of distribution models."

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Universal Classic Monsters Collection on Blu-ray

For the first time ever, eight of the most iconic cinematic masterpieces of the horror genre are available together on Blu-ray™ as Universal Classic Monsters: The Essential Collection debuts on October 2, 2012 fromUniversal Studios Home Entertainment. Digitally restored from high resolution film elements in perfect high-definition picture and perfect high-definition sound for the first time ever, Universal Classic Monsters: The Essential Collection brings together the very best of Universal’s legendary monsters—imaginative and technically groundbreaking tales of terror that launched a uniquely American movie genre. This definitive collection features eight films on Blu-ray™, a collectible 48-page book featuring behind-the-scenes photographs, original posters, correspondence and much more. Each iconic film is accompanied by an array of bonus features that tell the fascinating story of its creation and history, including behind-the-scenes documentaries, filmmaker commentaries, interviews, storyboards, photo galleries, and trailers. Especially appealing for fans are a never-before-seen featurette about the restoration of Draculaand the first ever offering of Creature from the Black Lagoon in its restored Blu-ray™ 3D version. From the era of silent movies through the present day, Universal Pictures has been regarded as the home of the monsters. Universal Classic Monsters: The Essential Collection honors the studio’s accomplishments with the most iconic monsters in motion-picture history includingDracula, Frankenstein, The Mummy, The Invisible Man, Bride of Frankenstein, The Wolf Man, Phantom of the Opera and Creature from the Black Lagoon. Featuring performances by legends of the horror genre, including Bela Lugosi, Boris Karloff, Lon Chaney, Jr., Claude Rains and Elsa Lanchester, these eight iconic films also feature groundbreaking special effects and innovative makeup that continue to influence filmmakers into the 21st century. Sure to be a Halloween favorite for years to come, Universal Classic Monsters: The Essential Collection is the ideal gift for film buffs and horror aficionados alike.

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My Pure Joy available on VOD

Media Blasters is proud to announce the Video on Demand release of the critically acclaimed new film from then 18-year-old writer/director James Cullen Bressack. The film is now available on all VOD websites as well as HULU and XBOX among many others. After a March DVD release, consistent press, numerous great reviews and loyal fans, MY PURE JOY found it's way onto the amazon Best sellers list in Horror for a few weeks. It still flickers on and off the list every day. MY PURE JOY is a story of teenage angst taken to the extreme. It's Tipper Gore's worst nightmare come to life, because as every suburban mother of a teenage boy knows if you keep watching those horror movies, you're going to end up being a serial killer. And that is exactly what has happened to our anti-hero, Adam. On the outside, Adam appears to be a normal teenager; but from single-handedly caring for his abusive and dying father years earlier, Adam has learned that the only way to get people to respect you is through fear and intimidation. His mind has been so rotted by trauma from his past and the gory films he watches, that he has blurred the line between reality and pretend. This prompts him to start killing people in similar ways to his favorite slasher films making sure to put his own little spin on the violence. This was the first feature film by James Cullen Bressack, who has been labeled “Horror’s New Hope” Since the films release James has landed multiple new projects and is heading out to direct a large budget horror feature in thailand this january, produced by Daemon Hillin and Benetone Films. The Film Stars: Alexei Ryan, Cory Jacob, Jd Fairman, Christopher Chandler, and Lisa Frantz

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Zombie HQ released on app store

Today, the App Store faces a zombie infestation as mobile game publisher Fuse Powered, in collaboration with renowned development studio, Rebellion, today launched Zombie HQ as a free app for iOS devices. Players must fend off undead hordes and rescue survivors to earn relaxation time in Zombie HQ, as one of the few remaining humans in a city plagued with zombies. “Zombie HQ, with its twist on zombie warfare and tongue-in-cheek humor, will provide players with hours of entertainment,” said Jon Walsh, CEO of Fuse Powered. 

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Radical Entertainment to be shut down

Here is some sad news. Tweets from staff at Activision-owned Radical have revealed the studio has been all but shut down. Audio chief Rob Bridgett tweeted "RIP Radical Entertainment 1991-2012". Activision has since confirmed the move. I always thought Prototype was a hidden horror-esque gem.

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Splatter Strip #19 – Dracula’s

Toon number nineteen of our weekly feature, 'The Splatter Strip' is here. This week features a meet up of two of the same characters.

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