Marcel Walz, director of the upcoming Blood Feast remake, was kind of enough to take some time out of his day to talk with Bloody Disgusting about what it’s like to take on a remake and some of his genre influences. Blood Feast is currently about to embark on the festival circuit but I was fortunate enough to see an early screening of the work print and personally I thought it was awesome. Check out the trailer below and then continue down for the interview with Walz!
Fuad Ramses and his family have moved from the United States to France, where they run an American diner. Since business is not going too well, Fuad also works night shifts in a museum of ancient Egyptian culture. During these long, lonely nights he becomes allured by goddess Ishtar as she speaks to him in visions. Eventually he succumbs to her deadly charms. After this pivotal night, Fuad begins a new life, in which murder and cannibalism become his daily bread. As butchered bodies are heaped upon the Altar of Ishtar, Fuad slowly slips further into madness, until he is no more than the goddess’s puppet…
Bloody Disgusting: How did the idea of remaking Blood Feast come about? Is it something you had wanted to do or were you approached with the offer?
Marcel Walz: Definitely I had in mind doing a remake of a movie in the future, that it should have been Blood Feast and that a production company would ask me to direct it, wow I would not even have dreamed of it. But in 2014 this turned into reality, I was on a promotion tour in the USA for one of my last movies, when I met one of the CEOs of Gundo Entertainment, during our conversation he mentioned that he wanted to produce a remake of a classic horror movie and that his company is looking for a European Director, as they wanted to shoot most parts of the movie in Western Europe. He mentioned by the way….“we want to remake Blood Feast“…I asked if I understood him correctly…really Blood Feast, remake the first splatter movie? And he said, “Yes…why?“ I knew I had to take the chance, this could be mine…and finally a couple of weeks later, we had a deal and they hired me to direct Blood Feast. The pre production had just started and I was still able to make suggestions about the story and the cast. It is still like a dream for me, from which I did not wake up yet, but I am really proud that GUNDO ENTERTAINMENT trusted me and supports me that much.
BD: Remakes can be tricky. They sort of come with built in expectations that you don’t get on other films. Did you have any hesitations with taking on a remake?
MW: Absolutely, the audience has certain expectations on a remake and so do I. Blood Feast is one classic horror movie and the first splatter movie in motion picture history, and a remake should definitely satisfy the expectations you have. It is quiet tricky in that way that the original Blood Feast was filmed in 1963, over 50 years ago and now taking the story to 21st century, was not very easy at first. The producers, screenwriter and I discussed a lot about how to adapt the story, how to change the storyline and what parts to keep. But I think at last we found a good way to enhance the storyline, but still keeping it close to the original. The crew and I of course wanted to honor the original Blood Feast, we are all genre fans as well and we all did our best to satisfy the expectations of the horror fans around the world.
BD: Herschell Gordon Lewis is a legend when it comes to gore and splatter films. Looking at not only Blood Feast but some of your other films you seem to be a fan of gore and practical effects as well. Who, aside from Lewis, has served as an influence on your films?
MW: Really good question, first I was about 12 years old I got in touch with movies like ‘Scream’ (Thank you Wes!) or ‘I Know What You Did Last Summer,’ movies I was not allowed to watch at this time officially, because they were rated with a 16+ here in Germany, but I found a way to buy them, my mom was so cool she really bought these movies for me. At the end every weekend all my friends met at my home watching these movies 🙂
So the teenie slashers really influenced me first, then later of course classic horror movies like TCM, Halloween or Friday 13th. I still like the practical way and the use of handmade special effects, rather the using CGI.
BD: I can see some people labeling Blood Feast as “torture porn.” Personally that’s a term I don’t like and wouldn’t use. What are your thoughts on torture porn? Do you think it’s a fair label?
MW: Personally I would not label Blood Feast as a torture porn. As you might know from some of my movies I made some years ago (La Petite Mort 1+2), I was and am still a fan of that part of horror genre called torture porn. A movie showing splatter and gore, without a real storyline but I think the audience and fans have seen almost everything in this part of the horror genre. And a splatter movie without a story is not the kind of movie people like to see in 2016.
In 1963 it was a different situation, they took a simple story and created splatter effects people had never seen before, and it worked, people were shocked and the film spread out to the world and started a new century in filmmaking. But calling this torture porn? It was the beginning of a special kind of horror movie that ended up in the torture porn hype a couple of years ago. But now in 2016, we created a remake that uses an enhanced story, classic splatter effects and slasher elements to create a movie that goes far beyond the so called torture porn. I would call Blood Feast 2016 a horror movie with family drama elements and many, many splatter and gore elements.
BD: Do you have plans for your next film to follow Blood Feast? A sequel perhaps?
MW: We have so many cool and crazy ideas for a sequel of Blood Feast of course, and there is also one big project planned for 2017 already, but presently I can not talk about this. Maybe it is the sequel already or something else, I will let you know as soon as possible. But be sure, you will like and enjoy it.