Writers/directors Cameron and Colin Cairnes recently spoke with “Breakthrough Entertainment” about their new comedic horror flick “100 Bloody Acres.”
In “100 Bloody Acres,” which opens Friday, June 28 exclusively at Harkins Valley Art, Damon Herriman and Angus Sampson play brothers who, struggling to keep their organic blood and bone fertilizer business afloat, stumble upon three travelers stranded on a remote country road and cook up a radical solution to their supply problem.
Q: This is too funny to be a straight-forward horror flick but too gory to be a straight-forward comedy. Can you tell me about how you achieved the right balance between the two genres?
A: We are big genre fans. We love horror films. In fact, when we started working on this project, we had hoped that it would be this really hardcore, intense horror film. But, along the process, jokes started to find their way into the script. While we love horror films, we also love great entertainment. So we just set out to make a really entertaining film. It has certainly got a lot of horror elements but we kind of fell in love with these characters. And I guess that our sense of humor found its way into the fabric of the film. It is really just about taking people on a ride and, at the same time, exploring all of these dysfunctional relationships that we developed in the story.
Q: Speaking of said dysfunctional relationships, it seems that there is a theme surrounding that subject that this film adheres to. Granted, this is a movie with the primary intention to entertain but what is the bigger picture that you hope viewers will take away from it?
A: One of our original taglines was, “Relationships can be bloody hard work.” I think that it is essentially a relationship movie and – despite all of the horror, ugliness and gore – I think that the film has a lot of heart and explores familial dysfunction, which we know all too well. When you finish a film, you sit back and think, “There are some layers to this and there might be some deeper meaning to it.” Relationships do take a lot of work and constant vigilance. And, I do not want to sound pretentious, but I think that it also explores the human condition. We all – or most of us anyway – are basically trying to get through life doing the right thing. But sometimes – whether you are running a business, trying to get ahead in some field or trying to forge a relationship – you have to make some compromises or make not necessarily the most moral decisions. But, ultimately, you are just trying to do the right thing.
Q: Even though it does not look it, this is your first feature-length film. What can you say about your experience getting this project off the ground?
A: It was one surprise after another. We started writing it about 10 years ago. It is pretty difficult to get a movie made in Australia. We rely heavily on government assistance as there is not a whole lot of private investment. It is even harder to get a genre film – particularly a horror film – made. So there were a lot of challenges along the way. We only started to make a breakthrough when we got a very well-credentialed producer on board by the name of Julie Ryan who has got a great reputation. She has been producing films for the last 10-15 years and is very well-regarded in the independent movie scene over here. She optioned the script about 3 years ago and said, “We are going to be making this next year.” We said, “Yeah right!” But she was true to her word. We started shooting early last year and once that got underway I think that it was just one success after another.
Q: There are some pretty spectacular special effects in this film. Break down the fourth wall for me. And why did you opt for practical effects as opposed to CGI?
A: I do not want to give too much away but the big set piece features a full-body prosthetic which comes to this grizzly end. We had a really great prosthetic artist working on the film by the name of Justin Dix, who is a film director in his own right now. But he has been doing special effects for the last 20 years and has had the opportunity to work on big shows like the “Star Wars” prequels which were shot here in Sydney. So he is very experienced – and he also came very cheap so we totally exploited that. Anyway, the intention was always to go practical. It is not like we have any philosophical opposition to CGI but that is just what we grew up with. And that is what we like. And I think that is always more fun for the actors and even the crew. It just makes shooting a lot more exciting and keeps you on your game. I think that there is just something about the artistry of special makeup effects that I have always been a huge fan of. I have been buying Fangoria Magazine since I was 8 years old. I am a bit of a student of makeup effects. So, for me, it was always going to be practical.
Q: Finally, what is next for you two?
A: We developed a really great relationship with Julie and she has optioned another script of ours which is called “They Shoot Hostages, Don’t They?” We are very close to finishing a draft of that. In fact, we have a deadline this afternoon to get a draft of that in to her. We received little bit of development funding to work on that and, in the next month or so, will get it out to potential financiers and cast. With our fingers crossed, we might be shooting that early next year. It goes it a slightly different direction [than “100 Bloody Acres”]. There is plenty of violence and, again, there are a lot of bodies being torn apart. But it is more of a crime-caper comedy.