If you’re a fan of practical and gory, balls to the wall horror, then be ready. The upcoming Tribeca Films’ release (hitting iTunes and VOD September 30th), THE DEMON’S ROOK, is a horror film that lovers of Italian horror, practical effects and just good ol’ splatter-filled carnage can sink their teeth into. A truly independent venture, Director James Sizemore not only directed the film, but also co-wrote, c-produced and stars in the film, showing that he’s a force to be reckoned with, a filmmaker who isn’t afraid to get his hands (and his actors) dirty. Sizemore was nice enough to briefly talk to us about THE DEMON’S ROOK and what’s next on his plate.
“Chaos descends upon a quiet town when Roscoe, the pupil of a wizard monk from an ancient race of demons, unknowingly opens a portal that allows an unspeakable evil to travel freely into our world. When three grisly beasts cross into our dimension, the living are possessed and the dead rise to destroy everything in their path. Armed with demons’ magic, Roscoe is the only fighting chance to put an end to their eternal path of destruction.”
There’s such a great amount of love for the genre that is apparent in THE DEMON’S ROOK, what started that admiration for these types of films?
You can do so much with horror and fantasy. There are no limits. Ever since I was a child, I’ve always been into the fantastical. Not only in movies, but other art mediums as well like books, paintings and even music.
It feels like such a labor of love, in the best of ways, with people tackling multiple responsibilities, was that kind of DIY work ethic something that helped make it 100% your own thing, as opposed to taking direction from a few dozen others?
I don’t think there’s ever been a movie made that was 100% one person. Some people like to take all the credit and pretend it’s all them, but that’s bullshit. Making a movie is about collaborating with others to create something much bigger than ourselves. True, I did wear an insane amount of hats for this beast, taking on way more than any one person should ever take on. But there’s no way I could have done it without my team.
The film has a very Italian horror vibe to it, what are some of the films that played a part in wanting to take on THE DEMON’S ROOK?
INFERNO, DEMONS, THE BEYOND, many others too that weren’t specifically Italian. CREEPSHOW was a big influence. EVIL DEAD 2, FUNHOUSE, RETURN OF THE LIVING DEAD, FIRE WALK WITH ME, many others as well.
The use of practical effects is something diehard horror fans will always love and will be on board with, was it important to use that technique and bypass a lot of today’s CG methods of effects?
Yes! I feel like it’s extremely important to do practical effects when making a movie of this genre. It all goes back to the roots of this style of filmmaking. If you’re gonna make an 80’s inspired creature feature, you better do it right, and having practical monsters and effects are the key ingredients there.
What’s next for you, and is there any chance fans of the film might get a DEMON’S ROOK 2?
I don’t think a DEMON’S ROOK 2 is on my list. There are just way too many other stories I’d like to tell before it’s all over and done. I just finished directing a short film called “Goat Witch“. It’ll be coming out as a special feature on THE DEMON’S ROOK DVD. Currently I’m producing and creating the monster for a movie called “Bad Blood” by my filmmaking partner, Tim Reis. We’re starting principal photography for it in October. I’m also in development on two other projects that I’ll be directing. Lots of fun stuff down the road. I’m just keeping my nose to the grindstone.
THE DEMON’S ROOK invades iTunes and VOD beginning September 30th via Tribeca Films.