Five FrightFest Facts From Heckle director Martyn Pick

Everyone can agree that 2020 has been a challenging year. Apart from all living in a real pandemic horror movie there have been lockdowns, lay offs, panic buying and more and we don’t seem to be done with it yet. However FrightFest have done their best to make 2020 better by bringing us TWO Frightfests packed full of fantastic fear filled films.

Arrow Video FrightFest will go virtual for the second time in 2020, having taken the decision to cancel its planned physical event at the Cineworld, Leicester Square, due to continuing COVID restrictions. The forty-five feature film line-up will merge the in-cinema selection with brand new titles to provide an online festival experience from Oct 21-Oct 25.

Below we feature one of those amazing movies with our regular exclusive interview feature Five FrightFest Facts From and these five are from Heckle director Martyn Pick

1.Tell us about your film.
Joe, a hip debauched comedian juggles his love life and is stalked by a psychopathic heckler. With his entourage, he flees to the country for an 80’s horror party. Their camp ironic veneer is ripped apart and a raw savagery exposed…

The intent with Heckle was to mix fast natural character acting with stylised Giallo lighting. The look would convey the metropolitan cool of Joes friends and the performances the dazzling tangle of their relationships…

Lush anamorphic cinematography, pulsing electronic music and insistent sound design are directed to get us inside Joes unravelling world…

2. How did you get into making horror movies?
When I was a boy I was struck by old Universal horror films that were alien to everything else in the colour TV mainstream. Extraordinary black and white myths with fantastic eccentric characters and startling art direction…

Equally imprinting were the raw traumatic horror of the 70’s and 80’s. Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Driller Killer, Dawn of the Dead, Videodrome. Really delivering as raw visceral experiences they convincingly played on neuroses around social breakdown.

Many years later after a career in Art Animation, with numerous complaints about my work being too dark, I was drawn into making horror.

My first feature was the CGI animated “Ultramarines: A Warhammer 40,000 Movie” (starring the facial capture of Sean Pertwee, Terence Stamp and John Hurt). The dark painterly look of my artwork had led to this film and this subsequently paved the way for me for further genre filmmaking…

With live action horror I enjoy the exhilarating “punk rock” blast of the fast-intense shoots! Using my concept art and storyboarding skills from animation I can really drive the visual storytelling…

I directed a short horror film “Blue Moon” written by Anthony Hayles which played in Screamfestla (a top US horror festival). We went out to the premiere at Chinese Grauman’s Theatre and discussed how we could build on this with a feature that could be produced swiftly with a tight ensemble cast. This led to “Heckle”!

3. What film would you love to be screened at Frightfest and why?
“London After Midnight” 1927. The legendary lost vampire film starring Lon Chaney and directed by Tod Browning. Chaney and Browning repeatedly and compulsively attacked cinemas standard ideas of beauty and glamour. Real obsessive auteurs working within the Hollywood system…

4. If you could create your own award to give at the Frightfest what would it be and why?
For the greatest audacity! Anything that pushes the form in extreme content, resourceful production, or artistic bravery,,,

5. If your life was made into a horror film, what would it be called and who would play the starring role?
“Development Hell” (to be followed by the sequels “Purgatory” and “Paradise” ) Dwight Frye (Renfield in Dracula ’31) or Willem Dafoe please!

HECKLE plays Saturday, October 24, 2020 12:00 PM BST. Find our more and book your tickets HERE


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

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