Is ‘Red Sands’ Really a Sequel to ‘Dead Birds’? What’s Next?!

Arriving on DVD February 24th from Sony Home Entertainment and Stage 6 Films is Alex Turner and Simon Barrett Red Sands (trailer), which follows the story of a group of U.S. soldiers who face a deadly supernatural force after they destroy an ancient statue. We caught up with writer Simon Barrett who talked with us a bit about his forthcoming projects, while he also addresses the rumor that SANDS is actual a sequel to Barrett and Turner’s DEAD BIRDS.It has been said that RED SANDS is an unofficial sequel to DEAD BIRDS in a planned trilogy. Barrett clears the air on exactly what it is.

We’ve been lousy at clarifying this,” Barrett confesses. “RED SANDS is not really a sequel. It has an ostensibly different supernatural mythology than DEAD BIRDS.

However, RED SANDS and DEAD BIRDS are both scripts that I conceived as being similar, both thematically and in other ways,” he continues. “For one thing, they’re both obviously period horror stories dealing with conflicts in our country’s history. DEAD BIRDS was set during the Civil War and used the institution of slavery for some of its horror stuff, and RED SANDS obviously is set in the time shortly after the September 11, 2001 attacks, when a lot of people were criticizing our military response. I’ve always thought it’s interesting to set a horror story in a time and place where people are already on edge.

As for the third film in the “trilogy,” Barrett reveals that while his agent says it should take place in the future, he wants to stick to his original theme.

We’ve had a lot of conversations about what the third film will be. Our agent thinks it should be futuristic, and I have some cool ideas there, but it doesn’t fit with my original concept. The thing is, I do have a script written for the third film in the trilogy, and Alex wants to do it, but I’m not convinced we can get it made.

His story heads back in time (once again), this time to 1586…

It would be set in 1586, right when this country was first being settled by the British, and is much more of a horror-action thing, with a lot of disease horror and mutation elements. But because that script has more action and gore than DEAD BIRDS or RED SANDS – like, on a zombie apocalypse movie scale – it’s more difficult to get financed. It would be a significantly larger film; we’d need about ten times the budget of RED SANDS to film this one. And getting the money to shoot RED SANDS wasn’t exactly easy.

So, if you want to see the third film in the trilogy, go rent the RED SANDS DVD, I guess. Or buy one! Or several! They make excellent coasters,” Barrett jokes.

Now that RED SANDS is coming out, it;s time to look to the future, Barrett reveals a few tid-bits about what’s to come.

I’ve directed a few shorts, but I do plan to direct something on a larger scale. We’ll see if that ever happens,” he continues, “In terms of my immediate projects, I just finished a deal to develop an internet series called ‘death_chain‘, which would be a fun slasher horror thing, you know, with nudity and gore, not as serious as RED SANDS or DEAD BIRDS. But that’s a television-style deal, meaning that I haven’t even delivered scripts yet, and then the studio might just decide to not film anything. So I’m not counting on that, although I’d love to see it happen and think it would be quite successful.

He also reveals that he’ll be working with POP SKULL director Adam Wingard on a new serial killer drama.

I’m also working with Adam Wingard, who directed POP SKULL and HOME SICK, to independently produce a serial killer drama that I wrote, which is right now called A HORRIBLE WAY TO DIE. We start shooting that in March, so I’m pretty busy with that right now. We’re doing that very low budget, for just $75,000, totally outside of Hollywood, just to be productive. It should be interesting.

But Barrett is a more than just a screenwriter, he’s also writing a young adult novel!

I’ve also been writing a young adult novel that I’m really proud of, and I have some more scripts in the works that I’m trying to finish. Hopefully that will all get done soon. I keep neglecting my writing for these other projects.

You can pick up RED SANDS on DVD February 24th.