Horror-on-Sea interview with White Goods director and co-writer Bazz Hancher
White Goods (2018)
Director: Bazz Hancher
Writer: Bazz Hancher, Richard Rowbotham
Stars: Aaron Bennett, Phillip Bishop, Shaun Blackwell, Vicki Clark, David Clarke
When Rio Tard finds a magical box in the wall, all hell breaks loose.
Date & Venue: 19th Jan 2019 at 10:30pm
Park Inn by Radisson Palace Southend-on-, Church Rd, Southend-on-Sea SS1 2AL, UK
White Goods is the latest horror from director and co-writer Bazz Hancher, which has been selected to play at the Horror-on-Sea Film Festival. I got a chance to ask Bazz Hancher a few questions about what we can expect from the film.
Q. The horror-comedy White Goods has been selected to play at Horror-on-Sea, what can we expect from the film?
The film is like a rabid dog, doing its own thing outside of the control of its writers and director. People tend to like dogs, not so much rabies though.
Q. You co-wrote the film with Richard Rowbotham. How did you come up with the original concept for the film?
I usually write the original concepts/stories for our films and then between myself and long-time collaborator Michael Walcott; we would thrash out a screenplay. However, on this occasion, we were both interested in making a film that was lighter in tone compare than our previous ventures. We wanted to make a film where the script would be written by someone else. Since we had worked with Richard Rowbotham on many projects and knew that he was a comedy writer, he was our obvious choice. I have a dark sense of humour in the vein of League of Gentlemen (1999-2017) and Frankie Boyle that goes for shock value, in contrast to Richard who has a more slapstick type of humour. When you watch the film, you can see both of our influences played out.
Q. Why did you decide to create the film as a horror-comedy rather than a straightforward horror?
I am a big fan of gore and edgy films. As filmmakers, we seem to have carved out a reputation for extreme films with the likes of Leon’s Broken Mind (2011) and Cibo di Violenza (2015). We decided that it was time to lighten the mood a little, while still keeping our notorious fingerprints on the movie.
Q. What were your inspirations for the look and style of the film?
My original concept was to make an adult version of The Goonies (1985) crossed with Spookies (1986). However, even though the road was paved with good intentions, this movie ended up in the outer reaches of hell. It was certainly not what we intended it to be. Nonetheless, there are parts of it where you can still the original influences.
Q. What makes White Goods stand out in the horror genre?
In the horror universe, some films make little sense, some are non-PC, some a disjointed ensemble of actors and some go for all out grossness. I think White Goods has all of these ingredients. It would be difficult to find another film like White Goods.
Q. Are there any elements of the finished film which are different to the original script?
Yes – all of it! If both Richard and I are honest, the original script was more story driven with added funnies. I had problems with the pace of the film, so I filled it with random craziness to make it flow quicker. I was not happy with the film at all and I am sure Richard probably wasn’t happy with my changes. However, it has served us very well from reviewers and has given us the opportunity to meet great like-minded people at Horror-on-Sea because of it. You can never second guess these things; you will either love it or hate it.
Q. Did you experience any issues during filming?
There were so many issues during filming that we could have made a documentary about it. Actors not returning, forced rewrite after rewrite. One of the main actors broke his penis doing something unrelated and didn’t turn up for the shoot that day. With some quick thinking, we managed to shoot some unconnected scenes which we then used as inserts for a separate anthology film we were putting together. Because of all the rewrites, the original soundtrack didn’t fit the edit. Also, an army tank we were hoping to use for the final scene was sold a few weeks before it was due to be filmed. That’s just to name a few things. The whole film was a nightmare, to be honest.
Q. What was one of your favourite moment during filming?
Finishing it! Although nothing really went to plan, I have always enjoyed working with people both behind and in front of the camera. We always have a brilliant laugh, probably too much really. I really enjoy the moment when the narrator sang his cup of tea song. Also, the moment when we did the exploding head shot and the relief that it actually worked.
Q. Do you have any other projects which you are working on?
We are currently working on a Giallo which both Michael and I are really excited about. We have written it ourselves and it has taken us back to when we made Leon’s Broken Mind, where we had full control. We have become wiser filmmakers since then, so we are hoping this will be our best to date. However, as I always say, you can never second guess what people are going to think. In our case, the rule of thumb seems to be if we hate it people will like it and vice versa.
Q. What advice would you give to someone who is looking to write and direct their own movie?
Go for it. You only need an idea and a camera or even a smartphone. What do you have to lose? If it doesn’t work out do something else. If it does work out, you will fall in love with filmmaking as I have done and that will last forever.
You can find out more about the feature films playing at Horror-on-Sea Film Festival and details of tickets on the website.