Five FrightFest Facts From Aaron McCann & Dominic Pearce writers & directors of Top Knot Detective

1. Tell us about your film?
Top Knot Detective explores the true, behind the scenes tale of a little known Japanese samurai series called: Ronin Surari Tentai (translation: “Deductive Reasoning Ronin”). It starts off fondly, reminiscing on a long lost television show that was written, directed and stars a narcissistic former pop-idol: Takashi Takamoto. Takashi had a surprisingly dark history though – one that ends in yakuza, drugs and an unspeakable crime. His film work had all the classic samurai hallmarks: ninja, honour, love, death, revenge, robots, kaiju, cigarettes adverts, throbbing penis monsters, split-dipodier filters etc. Written and directed by Aaron McCann and Dominic Pearce – an Irishman and a Canadian – who live in Australia and made a film all in Japanese. Tell the story you know, right?

2. How did you get into making horror movies?
Aaron McCann: I think horror and comedy go hand in hand. When I was eight, my dad took me to see Freddy’s Dead: The Final Nightmare (unfortunately it wasn’t) at a cinema in Dublin. Then when I moved to Australia, I’d stay over at my friends house and we’d rent out all the A Nightmare on Elm Street and Friday the 13th films on VHS. Those films always made me laugh. When I got older and went to film school, I started off making comedy skits with friends, those skits would always end in some dark, gory fashion. The first short film I made which played at SxSW was a horror called: Perished. It was a zombie film shot in and around my friend’s backyard. That didn’t have any humour in it at all, but I took everything I had learned on that shoot over to my music videos and other short films and TV series I was working on. Each one I tried to add in more gore, violence or general weirdness. For me, both genre’s gel well together. They both elicit a primal response, plus making horror films is a lot of fun. Fake blood is pretty ridiculous, and goes everywhere.

Dominic Pearce: My first ever was a one-shot remake of The Blair Witch Project that myself and a bunch of friends made in high school, in the rainforests of Singapore. Good, albeit sweaty times. I’ve always loved horror – even from a super young age. I think Army of Darkness was my first on VHS, and it kind of set the tone for a lot of my future work. Sam Raimi is my jam. I love horror because of how visual and kinetic it is as a medium. You can experiment with so many different things, and pretty much splice any other genre of film into it.

3. What film would you love to see screened at FrightFest and why?
Aaron McCann: Ohhh… I would love to see a full 4K Restoration of John Carpenter’s: The Thing screen at Frightfest as a double feature with a 4K Restoration of Chick Russell’s: The Blob. That would be the dream, to see them both on the big screen, in pristine condition with an audience of screaming fans… but also people who have never seen those films before. Because audiences need to realise just how fucking amazing those films are, even today.

Dominic Pearce: Phwoar. Tough one. To be honest I’d love to see 4K remasters of The Fly and The Fly II. The original is timeless of course, but I actually think The Fly II is incredibly underrated. All the scenes with the mutant dog – Fuck me… So sad.

4. If you could create your own award to give at the FrightFest, what would it be and why?
Aaron McCann: The Bronze Pants. An award given to the scariest film of the festival. Shaped like a pair of shit stained pants the award would be given to the audience favourite and would be voted on after each screening by dropping a miniature turd into a toilet bowl located just outside the cinema doors. The film with the most turds in the bowl would win The Bronze Pants.

Dominic Pearce: The Dear God, Please Shut The Fuck Up Award. Given to those special people who sit in cinemas and think their whispered conversation level is much quieter than it actually is. You know who you are. Yeah, you!

5. If your life was made into a horror film, what would it be called and who would play the starring role?
Aaron McCann: One Night with a Banshee starring Tim Roth

Dominic Pearce: You’re Not My Real Dad starring Bobcat Goldthwait.

The English Premiere of TOP KNOT DETECTIVE takes place at FrightFest 2017 MONDAY 28TH AUGUST. Get your tickets HERE and watch the trailer below:


Alex Humphrey

Alex studied film at the University of Kent and went on to work for Universal Pictures in their Post Room gaining an inside look at the movie industry from the very bottom. Constantly writing reviews in everything from local magazines to Hip Hop sites Alex honed his critical skills even spending a brief period as a restaurant critic. Read more

Related post

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.