Horror Favourites – Robi Michael

Robi Michael is the director of metaphysical sci-fi thriller, Every Time I Die and we had the chance to talk to him about his horror influences to celebrate the digital release of his movie.
The UK premiere took place at Grimmfest last year and soon audiences will be able to stream or download the film from the comfort of their own home.After Sam (Drew Fonteiro “The Last Ship”) is murdered, his consciousness travels through the body of his best friend, Jay (Marc Menchaca “Ozark”), to protect him from his killer.

Commenting on the release, Matthew Kreuzer, Commercial Director at Lightbulb Film Distribution, said: “We are delighted to be bringing this enthralling, science fiction thriller to UK audiences. It’s without doubt my favourite independent genre film of the year. For fans of sci-fi, fantasy and horror, there is something for everyone. And it’s the kind of film that demands a second-viewing.”

Below Every Time I Die director Robi Michael talks about his favourite horror and he needs your help:

“When I was asked to write about my favorite Horror films, quite a few movies came to mind.
As a young teenager, I remember watching “A Nightmare On Elm Street” alone and on VHS! I had to stop midway to catch my breath, but then managed to brave through.
A bit later, “Psycho 2” blew my mind. I liked it so much that I had to see the original which introduced me to Hitchcock, my favorite director since.
When I grew older, it got harder to scare me. But a shout out for “The Shining” is a must.
Other films like Lynch’s “Inland Empire” or Von Trier’s “Antichrist” turned my world, or at least my stomach, upside down. Not sure I can call them my favorites, or even “Horror Films”, but the fact they made me physically ill, says a lot about the power of their filmmaking.

However, in the back of my mind, the memory of one film kept persisting. Thinking about it now, I realize that as a filmmaker, it had the biggest effect on me. The problem is, I don’t know it’s name! And I don’t even know how to start google-ing for it.

It was during the early 80’s, and I couldn’t have been older than 9. Back then, In Israel (Where I’m from), we had only one TV channel. But our antenna picked up the signal from Lebanon, a neighboring country. The station was called Middle East Television and they presented a different scary movie each a week. The films were probably made for TV, and might even have been an anthology show like “The twilight zone”. I was too young to know the difference.

Anyway, for some reason, my mom let me stay late and watch these movies with her. It was a weekly ritual that I loved.

One of those movies was a story about a suburban family living in their suburban home. Everything seems fine and average until one day, they find themselves locked inside the house. All the doors and windows got blocked by a metal wall and it started to get hotter and hotter. When they investigated further, they found that every item in the house had a stamp of a mysterious logo. From the walls, to the furnitures to the food items in the pantry. Everything was marked with a corporate looking stamp. On top of that, there’s a giant green blob in the living room, that seemed to melt and expand as time goes by.

I don’t remember all the details of how they tried to escape, but at the end they didn’t. Instead we got a twist ending, the first one I ever saw. And it’s not unlike the “Lego Movie”! (***Spoilers ahead):

These people were actually a family of dolls belonging to a little girl. Her brother took the entire doll house, placed it in the oven and cranked up the heat. The corporate logo belonged to the manufacturer toy company and the blob was a melting green candy left by mistake.

I’m pretty sure I remember this right. But the fact I remember it at all is quite amazing. In any case, these ideas are ingrained in my filmmaker’s mind. “Evil forces that control you”, or “Questioning your reality and who you really are”. These are the subject matters I try to explore in my own work. And like this movie, I love wrapping my stories in a mystery that builds up slowly, and ends in a twist that makes you reinterpret what you just saw.

It’s quite remarkable how a random movie, watched at the certain time in your life, can affect you so deeply. I wish I could see it again. If only I could remember it’s name!

But hey, maybe you know? Will love to hear from you!”

Every Time I Die will be available on Digital Download now.

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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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