With the recent release of the throwback slasher Pool Party Massacre I got a chance to ask writer-director Drew Marvick a few questions about; what we can expect from the film, getting banned in the UK (ASDA) and the range of merchandise which you can purchase for the film.
You recently released the horror-comedy Pool Party Massacre, what can people expect from the film?
Well, it is a no-budget love letter to my favourite slasher films of the 80s, and it has the word ‘MASSACRE’ in the title, so I feel like most horror fans will know what they are getting themselves into. But with that being said, hopefully, we deliver a product slightly better than that.
How did you come up with the concept for Pool Party Massacre?
The actual seed for the idea came from a photo shoot that took place in my back-yard pool. A friend of mine was shooting some portraits for her modelling portfolio and I sort of snuck myself into the background of one of the shots, holding an axe. The photo just turned out super cool and got me thinking about expanding on the story that the photo told. From there I knew wanted it to be a slasher set during the day, I also knew I had access to a house with an amazing pool, so the story was really just built from there.
What were your influences for the look and style of the film?
We didn’t have too many direct influences for the look of the film, we just knew that we wanted it to look good. It is set during the day, on a hot summer day to be exact, so we knew it needed to bright and colourful.
Were there any ideas in the original script which you didn’t use in the film?
There were several things in the original script that didn’t make it in the film. We were very limited by time and money, so some things just had to go. Plus, we had a couple unexpected setbacks, actors moving out of state, rain, family emergencies, so I am surprised we have a movie at all. But there was definitely more bloodshed and practical gore in the script.
The film has now received some notoriety having been banned in the UK (ASDA). How do you feel about the film being removed from stores and will you be releasing a special ‘Banned in the UK’ addition?
I am actually pretty excited about being banned in ASDA stores. I mean, some of my favourite movies were banned in the UK, so I am in some great company. Plus, like you said, it gave us some good press. As for a BANNED IN THE UK edition, that would be up to our UK distributor, but I say Hell Yeah!!!
You have a lot of blood and practical special effects in the film, did you have moments when things didn’t quite go to plan?
We had a lot of moments where things didn’t go our way. With such a small crew we were always short handed. Plus, despite what it may look like on screen, we were shooing in the winter and the temperature dropped pretty low. There were days when the fake blood was actually freezing before we could spill it.
What was your favourite moment to film?
The most fun scene to shoot was definitely the scene when Clay was introduced and interacted with the girls. It’s pretty hard to keep a straight face when Nick Byer is on set. I would say Clay’s death scene was fun to shoot as well but that bathroom was so small that it was hard to even breath without bumping the camera.
You have a range of merchandise for the film including limited VHS editions, lunch boxes and my favourite a Sexy Party Guest figure (Headless Version). Did you always plan to create merchandise products for the film?
From the beginning, I knew I wanted to do something special with the marketing of the film. I have watched so many of my friends make great indie horror films and then just sign them away to a distributor that dumped them on Amazon and walked away. I wasn’t going to let that happen. So, I self-distributed the film and treated it like it was Star Wars! Of course, I am not saying the movie is even close to as good as Star Wars, I just felt that if I wanted people to give the movie a chance, I needed to show that I was fully invested in it. Plus, I wanted all of those things for myself.
Are there any plans for a Pool Party Massacre sequel?
There will most certainly be a Pool Party Massacre 2. I am almost done with the script and hope to start shooting towards the end of the year. It’s going to be bonkers!
Do you have any other projects which you are working on at the moment?
I have a lot of little things going on. Plus, I am also producing a Christmas Horror Anthology, and hopefully directing another no-budget horror feature in December (not Pool Party related). In between projects I find myself acting a lot of my friend’s films. I am always happy to kill or be killed on camera.
For anyone who may be looking to get into directing their first feature, what advice would you give them?
Really the best thing to do is make something. Make a short with your friends, direct a music video for your cousin, edit together cell phone videos. Just make stuff.
You can find out more about Pool Party Massacre on the website www.poolpartymassacre.com and social media.
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