We love ourselves some Drew Daywalt over here at Horror Fix so when we found out that the Camera Obscura and Fear Factory director was tackling the St. Paddy’s Day themed Leprechaun’s Revenge over at SyFy we tracked the fearmeister down to answer some of our questions! HF: Leprechaun’s Revenge seems like a very interesting choice for you. I’ve read interviews that say this is a SyFy film that feels like a parody of a SyFy film. Is the film’s self awareness intentional or just a pleasant surprise? DD: Great question. I think it was a pleasant surprise for a lot of people who hadn’t worked with me before. When I read the script, it screamed out to be funny. It was begging to be fun and light. And the cast and my crew agreed on that point. It’s a monster that’s a leprechaun, for crying out loud, so it wanted to be fun. We had a great time with creature design and really tried for a total reinvention of that, so, you know, it wouldn’t be a regurgitation of other things we’ve already seen. I wanted a sort of quirky modern dark fairy tale. There’s an etherial lightness to the film, even now, and an offbeat sense of humor to it. I saw that from early on, and just steered the ship in that direction. HF: Of course, the Leprechaun series of films is synonymous with the subject matter. Was there a conscious effort going in to separate this film as much from that franchise as you could? DD: Yeah, believe it or not I’ve never seen any of those films. (Let me duck for a second while my horror brethren pelt me with feces and rotten fruit) . But my sensibility is not to go that campy or wacky or silly. We walk that line a few times in this film, and there’s a wonderful schlockiness to what we did, but it’s more in the spirit of William Castle and Jack Arnold than trash cinema that’s laughable to watch. It’s very self conscious. Creature design was a big part of veering away from the big franchise, and so was the depth of the mythology. Even in something as light as this, I wanted to create a world with some history to it that seemed just a little bit believable.
HF: Coming off of Camera Obscura and the Fear Factory shorts, as a director, did you have to redefine yourself to approach Leprechaun’s Revenge and incorporate more humorous elements?
DD: A little bit, yeah. For sure. But I’ve also done some darkly humorous horror at DFF with films like BEDFELLOWS, MY NAME IS KRIS KRINGLE and LAUNDROMAT), as well as the horror comedy series DEATH VALLEY that I just did for MTV. I’ve been told that I have that rare DNA strand that lets me be frightening one moment, then scary the next, and sometimes, albeit rarely both at the same time. Which I guess is the creative equivalent of sneezing and farting at the same time… I don’t know what that meant. It seemed funny in my head.
HF: Jeff Farley has always impressed us with the originality behind his creature designs. How much input did you have behind the design for the creature in the film?
DD: Jeff is my slave and does what I tell him. (Tell him I said that and watch his expression).
HF: Everything you’ve done, from your shorts to the episodic Camera Obscura has such a cinematic feel. Were you worried about being able to represent that creative stamp in a TV movie?
DD: Syfy actually asked me to bring that. They said they didn’t want it to feel like a TV movie at all. They said to go for it. They wanted this to have a large, cinematic feel and I really tried my best (on the 15 day shoot) to deliver that. I tend to strongly dislike the look of most TV movies, you know – shooting everything in an ugly master and moving on, so hopefully I was able to make something that felt and looked a little bigger. I’ll let you guys be the judge of that.
HF: As a bald man, Billy Zane is a personal hero of mine… is the “dome” as glorious in person?
DD: It’s even more glorious in person. And he owns that motherfucker. And I hate him because even bald and in a frumpy-ass sheriff uniform and beat-up old fedora, he looks sexier than I ever will. And I hate him even more because he’s such a great guy too, so I don’t get to even really hate him right. He’s too nice. Too sexy. Too talented. Fucker.
HF: Lastly, if you could leave the audience with one message going into Leprechaun’s Revenge, what would it be?
DD: When you see the leprechaun, drink!
We wanna thank Drew for taking the time to answer some of our questions and get us up to speed before Leprechaun’s Revenge airs this Saturday, March 17th, at 9/8c. http://www.syfy.com/movies/view/174
Keep up the good work Drew and Jeff!!!
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