Welsh Demoness loved Night of Something Strange at FrightFest this year so much she gave it 5 out of 5! We wanted to know more about this insane horror comedy so we asked her to interview its director and co-writer Jonathan Straiton.
Welsh Demoness: What inspired you to create Night of Something Strange?
Jonathan Straiton: It originally started as a grindhouse double feature with my cowriter/producerRon Bonk. He was going to direct a 70’s style film while I 80’s. Eventually they grew into their own passion projects. We wanted to tap into something new and different within the zombie genre, and what’s more frightening than killer STD’s.
Welsh Demoness: The film has a nostalgic tone to it, specifically 80’s horror, what is it about that era that appeals to you?
Jonathan Straiton: I grew up watching a lot of 80’s horror. I knew at a very young age that I wanted to make movies yet I was still green about the process. Which as a kid aloud me to enjoy the pure entertainment of it, even the not so great ones. I didn’t want to necessarily make an “80’s” period piece but more so channel 80’s horror. Night of the Creeps, The Blob (1988),Return of the Living Dead, and Friday the 13th were big inspirations for me during the creative process.
Welsh Demoness: Night of Something Strange is unapologetically gory and gross out from the offset, is it fun to see the audience reactions to certain moments?
Jonathan Straiton: Dear God Yes! My last two directorial efforts were drama’s and let me tell you, you don’t get much reaction with dramas! With NoSS it was really fulfilling to know first hand what worked based on the audience reactions. Not to mention it makes it whole lot more bearable to watch your film for the millionth time.
Welsh Demoness: What were your favourite scenes to film?
Jonathan Straiton: So many but I’d have to say the “Freddy/Jason” scene’s because it was such a challenge to make it work and the actors were so limited to what they could do physically. Plus as funny as it was on screen it was 10 times funnier on set.
Welsh Demoness: Do you have any particular favourite characters from the movie? Which ones and why?
Jonathan Straiton: ?I love all of them especially when the actors put their spin on them. But if I had to narrow it down, I would say Cornieles and Carrie. Cornelius because he’s like my “Jason Voorhees.” Wayne Johnson brought such a “badassness”(if that’s a word) to the character that I like him more and more everytime I see him. Carrie because of what Toni Ann Gamble did with the role. I was blown away! Even subtle things like after she throws the “shoe” at Christine, she does this wicked like waltz in towards her that was all Toni Ann Gamble. I am very lucky to have gotten the cast I did. They all exceeded my expectations!
Welsh Demoness: Would you consider writing a sequel and could you see Night Of Something Strange becoming a franchise?
Jonathan Straiton: Hell Yes! We started coming up with ideas for a sequel before we even wrapped production. We discussed continuing the story with the rednecks and possibly bringing back some key characters. We’ve got some killer ideas for what might become “Dawn of Something Strange.” But it all depends on how NoSS does once released. If it’s received well and the demand is there, then yeah definitely!
Welsh Demoness: Were you pleased with the reaction to the film at FrightFest?
Jonathan Straiton: FrightFest was awesome! I swear the UK audience got more of the humor, even subtle jokes than any other audience. It must be my dry sarcastic sense of humor. It was one the best screenings I’ve had. Afterwards several audience members came up to tell me how much they enjoyed the film and it’s those moments that make all the hard work worth it.
Welsh Demoness: Would you like to continue making horror movies and if so what kind of movie would you like to make next?
Jonathan Straiton: Yes I’m in it for the long run! My next project “Johnny Z” will have a much more serious darker tone to it. It’s kind of “28 Days Later meets Kill Bill.” So be on the lookout.