We caught up with friend of the site, indie horror writer/director Luke Brady, earlier this week to speak to him about his latest project, a web series entitled The Highridge Massacre.

The Highridge Massacre teaser

The Highridge Massacre teaser art

What was the inspiration behind THM?

THMassacre was inspired by my debut film Young, High and Dead which I self released in 2013, a lot of people who watched the film started asking if there would be a sequel, so I began to work on ways to expand the story, even though THMassacre is technically a sequel it’s been designed in a way that it can be enjoyed as a stand alone film, plus it’s much more bloody and violent than the first instalment.

Why a web series?

After finishing the script of THMassacre I decided to test out the characters and project so I made two clips from the script and entered them into Eli Roth’s #6secondscare competition for FearTheCrypt, I didn’t win but came in the top finalists so The Crypt people got in touch and asked me if I would be interested in making an online web series so I am currently running a kickstarter campaign for the shoot which you can check out here.

In both YHAD and THM, the leads have been a strong female characters, what draws you to creating these characters?

Originally in an early draft of YHAD a male character was the main hero but my sister suggested the film would work better if I flipped it round to one of the female roles, however I deliberately try avoid the main female characters in my films from becoming stereotypical final girls. JENNY from YHAD and BETH from THMassacre are incredibly strong, tough independent women, they are not victims or damsels in distress and they don’t run about screaming, Beth in THMassacre could not be any further from your ‘virginal bookworm’ who saves the day, those characters have been done to death and don’t portray women in a realistic or positive light.

Eliza Murray as Beth in the Highridge Massacre short

Eliza Murray as Beth and Drew Sheridan as Elliott in the Highridge Massacre short, shot for the #6secondscare competition

Are there any female characters within the horror genre that you feel are setting a good example?

With regards to good role models in horror it has to be TANK in Crawl or Die played by Nicole Alonso, the film is not yet available in the UK but I think Oklahoma Ward has paved the way for a new generation of horror and proved female lead roles can be just as engaging as male ones without resorting to cheap titillation, I love reading comments from viewers who have watched Crawl or Die and just seeing how much they love TANK, I hope BETH gets the same reaction.

What was the last decent horror film you really enjoyed?

Naked Zombie Girl by Rickey Bird/Hectic Films, it’s a short film that’s not many people know about but I absolutely loved it! I am very excited to watch The Green Inferno, Deathgasm and TurboKid which all hit UK screens soon!

In your Kickstarter campaign, you make a big deal about the film being all practical effects. What are your feelings on the impact of CGI within the horror genre? Is it a good thing or a bad thing?

I love special effects, it’s the very first thing that introduced me to the world of filmmaking. I don’t hate CGI I just feel that it’s often only used as a ‘quick fix’ solution. Practical effects make you really think about the shots and they involve a lot more problem solving which I think is the most creative part of the process. There is a huge difference between CGI & VFX, VFX is an invisible art and when done right it’s impossible for the audience to distinguish between what’s real and what’s practical. CGI still looks synthetic and more often than not fails to trick the human eye, especially fake CGI blood. I am sure many filmmakers love the flexibility CGI offers but for me I don’t see the point of shooting a gore scene if actors and crew are not getting covered in blood, surely that’s half the fun. I just watched the ‘Deadpool’ trailer and thought the triple head shot towards the end looked dreadful, had they used squibs and designed the shot with the blood in mind it could have been amazing.

Which filmmakers would you cite as an inspiration?

In no particular order Robert Rodriguez, Eli Roth, Quentin Tarantino, Tobe Hooper, Hitchock, Kubrick, Wes Craven, John Carpenter the list is endless and each one of them inspires me in different ways.

Any other projects in the pipeline?

I have a few, one is a short film about the early years of John Keats life when he wrote Endymion, it’s something outside my comfort zone which has been challenging but hugely rewarding. I am also working on several scripts, one is about a ‘digital apocalypse’ which I am hugely excited about and will be releasing the first few chapters for free on my blog. I also have an ultra violent action film about a secret government agency called the ‘Ricochet Squad’.

Aside from your Kickstarter, would you like to give a shout out to anyone else in the genre?

Yes I would like to mention a huge thank you to all the backers and all the horror bloggers who have helped promote the project including Beyondthegore.co.uk, modernhorrors.com, theslaughteredbird.co.uk, horrorbyproxy.com, CryptUK. I would like to give a special shout out to Paul Fry from SST Publications, Riley Schmitz creator of the comic ‘Live Stock’ and Rickey Bird from Hectic Films if you haven’t seen Naked Zombie Girl you should definitely check it out.

Finally as part of the Kickstarter campaign for THMassacre I will be doing a FREE live screening of Young, High and Dead – The dirty directors cut’ this Sunday 27th 7:00pm (UK GMT) with a live Q&A afterwards, use the hashtag #THMassacre to ask questions throughout and after the film.

You watch it here  and on Ustream

About The Author

Colin lives in south west London. Looks like a hobbit and has been watching films ever since he saw Return of the Jedi at the age of 3. You can follow Colin on Twitter @obicolkenobi.