Simon Rumley, the British writer/director of the truly disturbing horror/drama THE LIVING AND THE DEAD, got in touch with Fango to let them know about his next frightful feature project. “Just before heading out to the excellent Sitges film fest,” he tells Fango, “I finally managed to sign an option on a book I’ve been interested in ever since I read it about five years ago—Poppy Z. Brite’s EXQUISITE CORPSE. After Anne Rice, Poppy is America’s leading female horror writer, and EXQUISITE CORPSE is her most controversial book to date. Set in New Orleans, it’s a tale of two gay serial killers who happen to meet and then fall in love with the same Vietnamese boy.”
Rumley describes the novel, first published in 1996, as “a modern update on the age-old ménage a trois/JULES AND JIM theme,” and envisions a movie adaptation that “will be structured like Takashi Miike’s AUDITION: a gradual buildup with a hardcore gross-out ending. Add a sprinkling of gay sex, and this is sure to become one of America’s most controversial films in recent years.
“Similar to THE LIVING AND THE DEAD,” he continues, “I intend to make a film which appeals to and repulses art-house and horror audiences alike. I’ll be challenging the horror fans especially to sit through some serious gay sex for the reward of some uncompromisingly bloody bodily dissection. To horror fans everywhere, I say try anal if you’re hard enough!”
While prepping to bring CORPSES to the screen, Rumley has been enjoying the success of his 15-minute THE HANDYMAN, which took the Best Short prize at Sitges. Filmed in New Hampshire, it stars Greta Scacchi, Bill (AMERICAN PSYCHO) Sage and Bill Mitchell in the story of a spinster living on a lonely farm who hires a good-looking drifter to help out around the house. A romance begins to blossom between the two—just as she learns that a serial killer is on the loose in the area. THE HANDYMAN will be shown as part of the New York City Short Film Festival on Saturday, November 11 at 8:30 p.m. at the Leonard Nimoy Thalia (2537 Broadway at 95th Street). You can get information on the fest here and find out more about Rumley and his work at his personal website.