Entries by Christine Caprilozzi

No Place Like Home interview with Angelo Tirotto

Dee’s life is in turmoil when her parents are killed in a freak tornado. Returning to Kansas for the funeral after five years in L.A., Dee discovers Emeraldsville is the same unexciting place it was when she left – until the bizarre unexplained murders begin. With an unknown killer closing in, the events of one night in 1959 begin to unravel as a portal to a world of horror opens, a portal paved with yellow bricks… Christine Caprilozzi caught up with writer, Angelo Tirotto, to talk about No Place Like Home. 

Check out the No Place Like Home interview with Angelo Tirotto.

The Sleeper interview with Justin Russell

It’s 1981 and the girls of Alpha Gamma Theta sorority are having a party. Amy, sick of living in the dorms, invites her roommate Ava to attend the party with her in hopes that they’ll both become Thetas. As the girls arrive, so does an uninvited guest watching them in the shadows. Amy’s choice quickly becomes a nightmare as the Theta girls begin to disappear one by one. Announcing his victims, the killer calls the house whispering the next to die. The police hunt for the missing girls and the killer, but will they find him in time? Or will all the girls sleep for good?

Christine Caprilozzi caught up with director, Justin Russell, to talk about The Sleeper.

Horror News Network: “The Sleeper” is a total throwback to the eighties. Although, the manner in which its shot is supposed to look eighties, the girls dorm feels a bit like the original “Black Christmas.” Tell us about the concept, and inspiration to keep everything real to the time period?

Justin Russell: The concept really came out of my deep love for the slasher film. They are my favorite of the genre. So when I sat down to write “The Sleeper,” I tried to keep it as true to my predecessors as I could. The problem with producing a period piece is always money. The Sleeper was made for such a small budget that a lot of the look and feel was created by the large pieces. When I wrote it, I knew where most of these locations were and I knew that they all still looked pretty retro. So when I didn’t have the money for wardrobe or other props, I’d try to focus on the big stuff. Keeping any cars out of the shots. Showcasing the house. Bringing in an old police car for a day just to have something from the era. I would have loved to have had an art department working on this, but it was essentially myself and ebay working to make it look just right.

Horror News Network: Your stalker is super creepy. Does he have a back story?

Justin Russell: The one thing I am not a fan of in the slasher film is the back story. In some cases it’s fine, like Friday the 13th. But in most cases I just want to see a madman going after some innocent co-eds. So when I wrote the character I never thought of him as very three dimensional. I wanted him to have a presence, which Crabtree absolutely nailed, but I wanted his motivation to essentially be ‘The Slasher Film.’ Look at how they walked, moved, killed and lets go with that. A lot of those films were rushed into production to capitalize on the trend, so I tried to go about producing my film the same way. I wasn’t overly concerned with plot holes and back stories because I wanted it to feel like the studio just went for it as quick as possible.


Horror News Network: Tell us about the casting of Jason Jay Crabtree as the insane stalker?

Justin Russell: Crabtree and I met through a mutual friend and I always loved his presence. I didn’t know him that well when I wrote the story, but I really wanted him for the part. We were at our friend’s house and I told him I wanted him to play the part. A week later I called him and said, “So I was kinda serious about you playing the part.” And he responded with ” I’m kinda serious about playing it.” The film would have been nothing without his presence and his dedication to the film.

Horror News Network: There is one particular scene that’s pretty suspenseful. Without giving too much away, the “dark theatre scene,” where Amy is hiding under the seats, was the whole walking around the theatre and hitting every seat scripted?

Justin Russell: Yes and no. I wanted a really great chase scene in the film, followed by a long suspenseful ‘wait and see’ moment. I originally had the character of Amy running into a cafeteria on the campus, trying to escape. Well, I re-wrote the scene when I was location scouting and found an old middle school. They allowed me to walk around and scout the whole building without anyone, so I just started opening up doors. I ended up opening the door to this amazing abandoned theater and my mind went to work. Before I even had the location locked down I was walking the theater and dreaming up the shots. We ended up only having the location for 3 hours, with 3 other scenes to film in the hallways, so that scene was practically shot in real time! It ended up being one of my favorite scenes in the film.

Horror News Network: I have to ask about another scene. The 1980’s, new wave, white kid, group line dance?? Whose idea was that? Who choreographed it? It was a personal highlight for me.

Justin Russell: That scene has become very controversial in a lot of reviews. No one really knows how to take it. The dance scene was my idea after watching Prom Night and noticing how many ridiculous dance moments there are. I loved the fact that amidst the chaos and killing, there was this “party” happening at the Night Owl. It was for sure going in the film when I hear James Curd’s Live Forever. That song was so perfect, I had to make sure the dance was in there. The lead, Brittany Belland’s friends actually choreographed the scene for me the night before we shot. That’s how indies are made!

Horror News Network: As for the horror fans, how would you describe the “kill” scenes to them?

Justin Russell: Obviously with an 80’s slasher, you have to have a high body count. When I wrote the story I picked a college campus so that there would be an endless supply to knock off. Again with our limited budget I could only do so much. Some of the kills, the first in particular, are very brutal, while others are somewhat absurd. When I watch a horror film it doesn’t all have to be completely conceivable. Adam Green’s Hatchet had one of the best gore scenes ever, when he rips a woman’s head apart. I sometimes think being able to cheer at a kill and not wince is sometimes more fun. A lot of newer style horror slashers are way too violent and real. I wanted there to be a level of campiness to the kills.


Horror News Network: Where can our readers find out more about The Sleeper?

Justin Russell: You can keep up with The Sleeper at www.gammaknifefilms.com and also find us on Facebook and Twitter.

Horror News Network: There are many loose ends, and unanswered questions left at the end of the movie. Are you leaving the door open for “The Sleeper 2”?

Justin Russell: Almost all the slashers from that era ended pretty openly. I wanted it to end with that same sense of uneasiness that, he’s still out there! Don’t close your eyes tonight! If everyone wanted a Sleeper part II, I wouldn’t have any reservations about doing one. They are so much fun to make and really that’s what slasher movies should be…fun.

Horror News Network: Thanks for your time, Justin.

Familiar review

Synopsis: John Dodd is a man who is becoming increasingly displeased with his typical suburban life to the point of madness. As he cruises through his 40′s on autopilot, our hero often daydreams about his parasitic daughter heading off to college; though most of his time is spent obsessing over how much he detests his wife Charlotte (Astrida Auza). Just when he thinks that he’s free of his stale marriage and his pathetic existence, his spouse drops a bomb: she’s pregnant, a revelation which causes John to have a complete psychological breakdown. Under control of the persuasive voice inside his head, John embarks on a dark journey to free himself from his self-imposed shackles, that is, until things go too far. read more read more

D4 interview with Darrin Dickerson

A team of ex-military mercenaries is hired by a wealthy doctor to rescue her kidnapped child from a supposedly abandoned government facility. Once inside, they discover they’re not alone, and what was meant to be a simple search and rescue quickly turns into a fight for survival.

Christine Caprilozzi caught up with director, Darrin Dickerson, to talk about D4.

Horror News Network: The premise of “D4” is really interesting and disturbing in its own right. The story revolves around a secret military operation to rescue a prominent billionaire’s son, who has been kidnapped. The disturbing part is that they are performing experiments on epilepsy patients there, which would include the boy. The plot has some depth to it. Can you give us a bit of the inspiration behind the story? How you drew upon your personal experiences as both a writer, and actor? read more read more

The THING review

“The Thing” opened this weekend with some mixed emotions from many horror fans. John Carpenter’s 1982 remake of the 1951 classic has great affection from many. So now, we have a prequel from director Matthijs Van Heijningen Jr. I went into this, with some skepticism, but obviously some excitement to see a 21st century take on the evil from another planet.

First off, let me say the acting and actors were genuine and believable as scientists researching a special project in Antarctica. Van Heijningen did a great job with setting the scene. Not only did you feel the cold, blizzard conditions, but he also brought you back to 1982. He definitely gets props for using the Men at Work song in the film. For the most part, the film wasn’t shot in a slick manner, it had the grittiness a dark themed movie needs. read more read more

Billys Cult interview with Michael Lucas

Billy’s Cult takes us into the demented mind of Billy, a ruthless killer unlike any other seen before. Born out of sin, Billy is given up at a young age for adoption by his mother, Lenore Kingsley. He grows up wanting revenge on his mother, and biological father, a Roman Catholic priest, Father Allen Perry. Meanwhile, Detectives Gates and Steele are in pursuit of this killer, trying to put an end to the killing spree, while at the same time, attempting to exorcise their own inner demons. read more

Strigoi interview with Faye Jackson

Vlad investigates a mysterious death in his grandfather’s village that raises questions about land ownership in the community. The trial points to ex-communist bully Constantin Tirescu and his wife, but when Vlad confronts them, he discovers that the richest landowners in the village have become real bloodsuckers.

Staff member, Christine Caprilozzi, caught up with writer/director, Faye Jackson, to talk about Strigoi.

Horror News Network: The concept for the movie Strigoi was based on Romanian myth. What drew you to this? read more read more