When it comes to passion for both filmmaking and fans, nobody aims to please more than The Ford Brothers. The creative team behind the harrowing African set horror outing "The Dead" (hitting Blu-ray Feb. 14 from Image Entertainment) have a real relish and dedication to making a memorable movie and with "The Dead" it shows. Not to mention that personally the brothers are surprisingly humble and thankfully unafraid to proclaim their love of all things cinema. Starpulse originally interviewed the guys back during the theatrical release of "The Dead" in October of last year (check out the previous interview/review HERE!), but we wanted to check back in with the Ford’s to see what cool surprises the new Blu-ray release has in store. So in the first of our "The Dead" Blu-ray coverage this week, we’re again chatting one-on-one with the super cool Ford Bros. who talk about audience reaction to the film, various new features on the home release (plus a new book entitled Surviving "The Dead" on the way!) and what fans can look forward to next. Watch out behind you – here’s...
FILMMAKERS HOWARD J. FORD AND JON FORD!
You guys have been very tenacious in your quest to get the word out about your fabulous film – what was the most satisfying and gratifying part of promoting the film theatrically?
Howard J. Ford: The most gratifying was when we found out that the film did seemed to work for people in the theater and the impact it has is now working on DVD. People seemed to like the film, which we’re thoroughly grateful for. That moment is great, to be with an audience, and I remember sitting in the back of the theater not really watching the film but watching the people. Hopefully it’s a bit of a ride for them and it seemed to be working and people seemed to understand it.
Jon Ford: And for me just seeing the words on a few reviews and things like that, saying ‘a cult classic’ – whether it is or not I don't know – but just seeing those words is incredibly heartening. It’s the ultimate compliment for me, since I’m a big cult movie fan generally. But to see your own movie being praised in a great fashion, it makes all that pain worthwhile.
HF: It does take a little bit of that pain away – chips away at the awful experiences that we narrowly survived!
What was the audience reaction to the film – anything surprise you guys?
HF: There’s a sequence two-thirds of the way through the film and we always new it was going to be a harrowing sequence. Without giving too much away the lead character finds himself given a baby by a dying lady. I remember seeing a lady watching that in the cinema and I thought she was going to burst into tears. After a couple of screenings some of people said to me they actually cried during the film and that was a very pleasant surprise. Because I personally hope that by the time they get to the end of the film for people it’s not just about the gore, but they feel a little something in their hearts. That was a surprise and a nice surprise.
Listening to the commentary track there seemed to be a plethora of problems and hurtles for you guys - was there anything that you had forgotten that came back upon recording the track?
JF: Unfortunately, I’d love to be able to forget it all to be quiet honest! (Laughs) I don't think however many years of counseling is ever going to make that happen. Fortunately I kind of re-live the whole thing a lot – way too much to be healthy in a mental way.
HF: He used to wake up with nightmares, wake up in sweats!
JF: I sometimes still do – my heart pounding thinking I’m back out there.
HF: Just today I’ve finished the book Surviving "The Dead". As soon as I came back from the shoot I was so disturbed by everything that had gone on, all the real death we encountered and the misery of it all, that I just had to get it down on paper. I didn't think it would be a book, I just had to get it down on the record like a ‘what the hell just happened’ kind of thing. I went away for ten days on my own and sat in a coffee bar and filled in the gaps and finished that this morning. So Surviving "The Dead" will be coming out March 1. But I remembered additional harrowing things – moments, personal moments. Moments of tension between the crew and there was also something we didn't mention on the track. There was one point we were nearly killed by a huge bus because on the dusty roads between cities these bus drivers are forced to get there on time otherwise their pay is docked. So they snort coke and they have speed – apparently – and this bus jackknifed right in front of us and I though the bus was impacting us, but it stopped just in time. The next morning sixty-six people were killed in a bus accident on that road. But that was a weird one – the grim reaper just shadowed past us.
How much of the footage seen in the 'Behind the Scenes' featurette was shot by you guys?
HF: I don't think any of that 'Behind the Scenes' stuff was shot by us. I think what happened was half the time no one was in the mood to shoot anything, they were so depressed and so ill. I wish in hindsight we’d been shooting a bit more, but it was just members of the crew.
JF: They would just pick up a camera. The guy making the food – when there was any! I was unaware that filming was going on a lot of the time.
HF: There are a couple of things on the US DVD and Blu-ray that I thought that’s good. We didn't edit that footage either that’s on there, I guess Anchor Bay did it in a way that’s a shot by shot comparison and it’s interesting and kind of nice to see it that way. We were just too miserable to be shooting that!
JF: It took all our energy to shoot the film! (Both laugh) Hopefully there’s enough on the Blu-ray and our 'Commentary Track' is very revealing. Plus the 'Deleted Scene' you can't get anywhere else, so that’s an exclusive.
And what’s next for you guys?
JF: For me at the moment whether some sort of sequel to "The Dead" does immerge I don't know, but it wouldn’t be the next one. I’m writing a script at the moment on the subject of revenge, a great passion of mine, so we’ll see how that goes.
HF: For me it’s the book, which I hope people check out. I think anybody who reads the book will want to see the film and again that’s coming out March 1 called Surviving "The Dead." Also got a supernatural thriller that I’ve written called "Indelible" which is due to shoot in the US this fall, so hopefully we’ll be heading out stateside.
Stay tuned to Starpulse for much more "The Dead" Blu-ray coverage this week!