Director Brian Corder was kind enough to chat about his film Carnies, which follows the denizens of the Knuckles Brothers Show and their travails as a sinister force stalks the midway, leaving a bloody trail of "crumpled, torn, soulless bodies in its wake." With a talented cast that includes Reggie Bannister, Doug Jones, and Denise Gossett in a setting that automatically screams 'creepy'.
Carnies is set in the 1930s. What challenges have you experienced in directing the action and characters for a film set in this time period?
Thanks to my wonderfully talented cast, I don't recall a problem with direction when it came to it being a period piece. There is certain Carny terminology, like the words Rangy and Grouch Bag that had to be worked out in prior to the shooting, but it really wasn't any problem.
ZC Note: A grouch bag (circa 1908) was a hidden purse used by a performer to carry money, and was usually strung around the performer's neck. It is reputed that Julius 'Groucho' Marx got his nickname from using one to carry his poker money. BC Note: Rangy or wrangy (rhymes with "tangy") — Worked up, usually in a vulgar sense (possibly a variant of 'randy'). A show could be rangy ( a really 'strong' kootch show), or the patrons might be in a rangy mood (a very hot Saturdaynight, or being able to afford too much beer 'cause it's payday) or a patron may be rangy or ranged up (drunken, disorderly, disruptive, spoiling for a fight). "He's wrangin' the joint" would mean the customer is giving the jointee a very hard time. May also apply to an aggressive animal. From what I understand, the word 'rangy' is derived from the word 'orangutang'.
Ron Leming and John B. Nash developed the script for Carnies from your story. Why do a horror story set in a carnival in the 1930s, and what makes this setting and time period especially suited for the horror genre?
I've always thought that traveling freakshows were a bit creepy. With various oddities and colorful characters. Of course, there's nothing more terrifying to me than a savage killer in a top hat!
Which director or directors most influenced you and why?
Stanley Kubrick for his suspenseful scenes in his classic film, The Shining. Tod Browning for films like Freaks , London After Midnight, and The Unknown starring Lon Chaney. Of course, there's directors like Hitchcock, Kurasawa, Coppola, Carpenter, Craven, I could go on and on.
Which film is your all-time favorite?
That's a very difficult question; there are so many fantastic films out there. If I had to, one single all-time favorite, I'd have to say Apocalypse Now.
What projects will you be working on after Carnies that we can look forward to?
We're actually working on another horror/thriller period film (can't tell you which period yet). The script is currently being written and it's going to be terrific!
I can't even think of Carnies without thinking of Carnivale, and how sad it still makes me that the show didn't survive. Sigh.
Posted by: Price | February 02, 2009 at 06:27 AM