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
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
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
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
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
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
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.