Icons of Fright Chat with CARNAGE PARK Director Mickey Keating!

CARNAGEPARK_POSTER_MEDIUMOne of the most prolific, up and coming directors working in genre films today, filmmaker Mickey Keating is an inspiration to those who have a dream and a passion. From his cult-based shocker film RITUAL, all the way to the alien conspiracy-filled POD, the Polanski homage of DARLING and now CARNAGE PARK, Keating wears his influences on his sleeve, without ever feeling like he’s lifting from those influences, his films all feel uniquely original and he’s one of the few filmmakers today who has yet to make a film I didn’t love.

We had a short chat with Keating to discuss his survival horror thriller, CARNAGE PARK (In theaters/VOD now!), a film that showcases excellent performances from CHEAP THRILLS star Pat Healy, THE LAST EXORCISM‘s Ashley Bell and FERRIS BUELLER’S DAY OFF/YOUNG GUNS 2 star Alan Ruck.  Read on!



MICK1Your knack for making films all a cross the board is unparalleled within the genre. I’m curious what led you to the survivalist horror subgenre? It has a cross between SOUTHERN COMFORT meets being stuck on hell on earth ala THE TEXAS CHAIN SAW MASSACRE. 

I’ve been drawn to this kind of story ever since I saw the very original version of The Most Dangerous Game many years back. You can see it’s influence over countless films. I was definitely inspired by Deliverance, Southern Comfort, Harvey Hart’s Shoot, Eden Lake and also Peter Bogdonavich’s Targets.

I’m curious, what brought you to Ashley and casting her? She really holds her own and then some against Pat Healy’s crazed character.

Ashley is one of the best actors working today. She’s a true artist and I knew that if she was interested in doing the film that there would be nobody else in the world better to play the role. We talked about the character and rehearsed quite a bit before filming and so when we showed up to shoot, she was already was Vivian Fontaine. It was important to me that Vivian holds her own in these crazy situations, that she fights back when she needs to and is quite resourceful. Ashley brought it 110% and I’m quite proud of that.

CARNAGE_PARKAlan Ruck. His casting caught me off way guard and he was SO good in this one, playing against what one would think!
Alan is an incredible actor. We’ve been friends for a little bit and I thought it would be really fantastic to see what he would bring to the trope of the tough-as-nails, shit kicker country Sheriff. He made that role entirely his own. One day we spent a half a day riding around in that cruiser just improvising his neurotic alibi. We got so much footage of that we could have another movie. His ability to bring a sense of vulnerability to that kind of role is something that I feel super fortunate to have in my film.
Speaking again on the survivalist subgenre, what are you favorite films that fall within that?
From the 70s, I would probably have to say Deliverance, that Australian film Long Weekend and, while it’s not necessarily horror, Nic Roeg’s Walkabout is an absolute hands down masterpiece. For more modern works, I adore Wolf Creek and Eden Lake. But Southern Comfort is always my go-to and I’ve said over and over that James Hebért, who plays Scorpion Joe, is my Keith Carradine.

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