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Jonathan Glendening

Jonathan: "If you want to view it as a creature tearing some
posh kids apart...you can".

Jonathan Glendening
Interview conducted by Steven Davies
29 February, 2012

Rising British filmmaker Jonathan Glendening took time out to chat with us here at the Horror Asylum about his latest project 'Strippers vs. Werewolves', working with legendary horror icon Robert Englund and just exactly what makes him tick.

'13Hrs' gets its UK TV premiere on the Horror Channel next month. What can audiences expect?
Hopefully a seething hotbed of insecurities and family secrets that result in a creature tearing them apart one by one! It’s about class, family problems, sibling rivalries – oh and a vicious creature that’s an unseen menace. I hope that audiences will really let the films themes seep out as it’s more than just a kill ‘em/eat ‘em kind of movie, although if you want to view it as a creature tearing some posh kids apart… you can.

We noticed that '13Hrs' has gained a title rename to 'Night Wolf' for its impending US release on DVD? Is there any particular reason for this?
Somebody in marketing thought that 13hrs was too interesting and would promote discussion for an understanding? I don’t know really, it is set at night and has a wolf in it so I can’t argue with their logic but I don’t like it myself. Still, if it sells for Lionsgate I won’t complain.

Your new horror project 'Strippers vs Werewolves' arrives in UK theatres at the end of April. We're very much looking forward to it here at the Horror Asylum! How did you get involved in the project?
I was approached by the producer after the incredibly successful screening of 13hrs at Frightfest. He said he’d like to do a movie with me and that resulted in the terrific script by Pat Higgins being offered. I thought it was irreverent and playful and would be a lot of fun to make.

Jonathan: "I need to make sure that I don’t just become
the 'werewolf' guy or the 'stripper' guy".

And how did you land horror legend Robert Englund?
I’d love to take the credit for reeling him in but I can’t, and I can’t take any credit for casting except for championing Marc Bayliss who was eventually cast as Carlos (the punk werewolf). Robert Englund was brilliant in every way, not only was he polite, respectful and a great actor but he was very happy to indulge the crew with ‘Freddy’ nostalgia. Felix, our excellent art-director was a huge fan and she even got an ‘official’ photo with him ‘attacking’ her. He was very obliging, but the best thing for me as the director was the way he really attacked the script. He completely committed to his role and the way he could chew the dialogue and be menacing just by a twinkle in his eye was superb.

Having now two werewolf-themed projects under your belt is it a sub-genre you’d look to revisit again in the future? And did you draw on any influences from other werewolf movies?
Never say never. I really liked the treatment for the 13hrs sequel by Adam Phillips and that did do something fresh and original so that would interest me but I think maybe the time has come to move away and do something unexpected. I need to make sure that I don’t just become the ‘werewolf’ guy or the ‘stripper’ guy (in fact I turned a movie down recently exactly because of its sex-industry worker content) but as my first movie was a romantic comedy hopefully pigeon-holing won’t be a problem. Still, if the project is exciting enough I’d love to go back to the genre. Actually, there are lots of ideas and parts of the werewolf mythology that originated in ‘The Wolf Man’ that I’d like to explore more fully one day, but as for influences for SvW… well, I did watch ‘The Monster Squad’.

What other influences have had an effect on your film career so far?
I’m quite a traditionalist really, so I grew up on Spielberg and through him discovered Hitchcock and the classical Hollywood directors like John Ford, so I’m a sucker for old-school cinema. However, I try and do every film with a new eye and fresh take. As for influences that have effected my film career? Well, I was lucky once in that Kenneth Branagh saw one of my short films and invited me to meet him. I found his energy, enthusiasm and talent really inspirational and it’s meetings like that which keep you going.

Jonathan: " I thought it was irreverent and playful and would
be a lot of fun to make".

In your opinion what is the scariest horror film of all time?
Hard question to answer and it depends how old you were when you saw the movie! Jaws kept an entire generation out of the water so that has to be right up there. I love ‘The Omen’ as although its nonsense it’s completely truthful in its treatment of its subject, Donner’s word was ‘veracity’ and of course it has Gregory Peck, he makes any film brilliant. The running ‘rage infected’ Zombies of 28 Days Later really excited me. I’m a huge fan of Neil Marshall’s ‘The Descent’ but scariest horror film ever… I think maybe is Tobe Hooper’s ‘Texas Chainsaw Massacre’. It’s horrifying, visceral and achieves so much without actually showing anything, just brilliant.

What exciting projects are you involved with in the near future?
I’m hoping to do Adam Phillip’s brand new script but that’s early days yet. I’ve got quite a few things going on with several companies but I’m not going to jinx them by declaring them now. Also, I don’t want to rush into my next project as I want to get it right, get the right team around me to do justice to the scripts with the appropriate budget and schedule. Patience is a virtue, especially if you want to really focus on the project that you really really want to do.

"Thank you ever so much for taking part in this interview Jonathan.
And we wish you the very best of luck in the future."

'13Hrs' makes its TV debut over on the Horror Channel on Friday 16 March and will arrive on DVD across the US (as 'Night Wolf') from 24 April.


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