Kieran Reed (Director, All You Can Eat)
The Horror Revolution: First off, what’s your favorite horror movie? What movie scared you the most?
Kieran Reed: Nice easy one to break me in! Thank you. My favourite horror film is Zombie Flesh Eaters (just 'Zombie' to my American cousins). It delivers on all levels!... genius. The movie that scared me most? I seem to remember being very unnerved when I first saw The Haunting (1963). I've not seen it for a long time, I must watch it again, and see if it still has the same effect.
THR: What got you interested in making movies? What inspired you to be a director?
KR: The opening credits to Star Wars! It was the first film I went to see without and adult accompanying me (1977) It was jaw-droppingly astounding! There had never been anything like it before, and I was at the perfect age to have my tiny mind blown!... I can still picture the moment the star destroyer enters frame! I think it was also Star Wars that subconsciously inspired me to be a director. I say 'subconsciously', I almost immediately went home and began playing with my parents super 8 camera, but I didn't know why I was doing it, I just wanted to film stuff. I didn't consciously make any moves towards directing until I started working in the film industry, I think I got to see that it is not a secret 'black art', that is beyond reach, it's an art that is achievable with a lot of dedication.
THR: Are you primarily interested in horror? Why did you decide to make a horror film as your solo directorial debut?
KR: I do love horror, but I'd consider myself a 'genre' fan. I like my cinema to be a flight of fantasy, I want to be taken to somewhere other than the world we know. I grew up in the golden era of Star Wars, Jaws, Alien and Superman (Richard Donner) pure escapist spectacles.
The reason I wanted to make a horror was because, to me, horror is the 'punk rock' of cinema. It's a genre where you can bend, or to a curtain extent, break rules, giving you a huge amount of creative freedom, with tons of energy and fun. Also, again like 'punk rock', it has a dedicated following of amazing, like-minded people.
THR: Do you have any plans to turn All You Can Eat into a feature film?
KR: Funny you should ask that. I wrote a feature script before making ALL YOU CAN EAT. It's a crazy, gore and blood soaked roller-coaster ride, taking us from ancient Mayan death rituals through to modern day bio-molecular body-horror. It's called TOXIC BURRITO and it's 'off-the-f#*king-wall'!!!
I was/am really pleased with it, but when I had finished the 3rd draft I decided I needed to shoot a short 'proof of concept' so I plucked a minor character out from it and wrote a short film around it, giving the character more of a back story, but keeping the same stylistic tone and feel of the full length script (albeit toned down, as I had no money!) That character is Nola, who's story became ALL YOU CAN EAT.
So I guess the short answer to your question is yes, it will be a feature, that feature is TOXIC BURRITO.
THR: I’m actually a fan of Dead Kennedys. How did you end up getting Jello Biafra for the voiceover in the film?
KR: Same here, The Dead Kennedys are in my top 3 favourite bands. This again goes back to the writing of TOXIC BURRITO (feature script) there is a sequence in it where the narrative exposition is being told by an answer machine message. I spliced this into ALL YOU CAN EAT as it fits almost perfectly with the timeline where it happens in the feature script.
Anyway, while I was writing it, both originally and then for the short film, all that I could think about was 'Kinky Sex Makes the World Go Around' by the Dead Kennedys. In my minds eye it was perfect, so with nothing to loose I reached out to the man himself Jello Biafra. It took some doing... not least, simply to convince him I wasn't just some loon wasting his time (I am in no doubt that he gets more than his fair share of them!) but eventually we got it together and I am so please that he agreed to it, it 's perfect (IMHO)
THR: If you had access to an infinite budget and could cast any actors that you wanted, what film would you make and why?
KR: Jeez...I've been thinking about this question all day. The 'not so original' answer to this question is: I'd make TOXIC BURRITO. Imagine the on-screen carnage I could create with this script and an infinite budget! For a more adventurous answer to this question; I would love to make a hugely grandiose epic of a film, that really did justice to the equally grandiose book Perdido Street Station by China Miéville
However, I think I'd turn into a gibbering useless pile of jelly if you, or someone, suddenly gave me this opportunity. I've been on a few sets for some major blockbusters, It's quite an intimidating experience, especially if someone wants to see a return on this 'infinite budget'
THR: If you could work with anyone in the industry, alive or dead, who would it be and why?
KR: This question reminds me of Jodorowsky's dune! The breathtaking talent that was assembled in the pre-production of this 'never to be' film was incredible. I'd be the same, I'd want Jeff Vandermeer, Bill Sienkiewicz, the Butthole Surfers, Mario Bava etc etc... (the list is endless) all in my pre-production team, it'd be chaos... but brilliant chaos.
THR: If you could have one piece of trivia about you that anyone watching your films should know, what would it be?
KR: About 'me'?! I'm not interesting, why would anyone want to know anything about me? I once got caught in an actual plague of locust on the edge of the Sahara desert! That was friggin nuts!
THR: What’s next for All You Can Eat? Where can people watch it?
KR: ALL YOU CAN EAT is currently doing the short film/horror festival circuit. It's doing quite well, I think, getting some selections into so fantastic festivals in the UK, Europe and the US. I had always intended to offer it up for a limited time to a festival run, as I really love the idea of actual 'live' screening, nothing beats the cinema experience, especially when there is a passionate and lively horror crowd in attendance. Sadly though, it's common courtesy, while a film is up for consideration to film festivals, that it is not, at the same time, available for general viewing online.
If anyone wants to catch ALL YOU CAN EAT they are more than welcome to contact me and I can let them know if, when and where it is being screened and a festival near them. Eventually, around early 2023, I will release it into the wilds of the internet, and I've even got plans for a 'special edition', re-mastered version for this, which is going to really please the gore-hounds!
I really recommend trying to catch it on the big screen though, it was made with that whole 'flea-pit'. Grindhouse, sticky-floored cinema feel in mind, plus I might see you there and grab a beer with you!
THR: What’s next for you? Anything coming up soon or in development?
KR: Yeah, I've got a few things going on that I'm really excited about. Probably most importantly is the full development of a really tight pitch-deck for TOXIC BURRITO. I want to try and get actual funding for this project, and there by have a 'workable' budget. The style I have in mind for this film, means really does need some very creative production design, possibly a couple of location shoots and definitely some gorgeous creature (rubber monster) FX work, but all of this cost!
Obviously I have ALL YOU CAN EAT already 'in' the pitch and final draft of the feature script, but I am hoping to shoot elements in the next month or so that I can build a 'green light' trailer for it, as well as speaking with concept and storyboard artists about creating some bespoke images. It's a ton of work, but I'm chipping away at it.
Just because I seem to be a sucker for punishment, I'm developing another feature length script that I hope to eventually fund through crowdfunding (and by selling everything I own on ebay) with the intentions of shooting this while the whole TOXIC BURRITO pitch is doing it's thing! This project is still in the early stages, I have a pretty well fleshed out story outline but I am actively looking for a female co-writer for this, as the bulk of the characters are female. If you know of anyone, please point them in my direction.
Lastly, on my 'to do' list is the re-mastering of ALL YOU CAN EAT (which I mention earlier) for it general release. Somewhere in there I've got to fit in 'life' and a day job!
THR: Finally, if you absolutely had to, how long do you think you’d be able to grow your hair?
KR: I know exactly how long I can grow my hair! I used to have dreadlocks down to the middle of my back. This was perfectly fine until I took up surfing... jeez, they got heavy after they were soaked in salt water for a few hours... as for getting the salt water out, so, reluctantly they had to go. I have since then, mulled over growing my hair again but I think you can only do it to that extreme once in your life.
Check out THR's review of All You Can Eat