If you wish to go to the current Fangoria site, you may click the top logo, "Home" or "News" links. Or click here.
Busy British producer Jonathan Sothcott of Black and Blue Films got in touch with a couple of exclusive photos and the poster for the undead-action opus THE DEVIL’S PLAYGROUND, plus word on some more genre projects in development. “We wrapped DEVIL’S PLAYGROUND last week, and it looks amazing,” he tells us.
Directed by Mark McQueen from a script by Bart Ruspoli, who also produced with Sothcott and Freddie Hutton-Mills, THE DEVIL’S PLAYGROUND features what may the fastest zombies yet (they’re played by a British parkour team). The cast includes Craig Fairbrass, SEVERANCE’s Danny Dyer, MyAnna Buring from the DESCENT films, Jaime Murray from DEXTER and THE DEATHS OF IAN STONE, Craig Conway, Lisa McAllister and Ruspoli. “Craig and I went to the Berlin Film Festival,” Sothcott says, “and the reaction to PLAYGROUND and [Black and Blue’s vampire film] DEAD CERT was amazing. Mark has done an exceptional job on PLAYGROUND; his work is so slick and meticulous, and he is a very cool cat. I can’t wait to work with him again. Also, Sean Pertwee and Colin Salmon popped in to do really neat cameos in PLAYGROUND; I’m not giving too much away to say that they both meet sticky ends, but to have stars of that caliber coming in to do guest appearances as a favor is very rewarding.”
So, according to the producer, was working with his leads. “As far as I’m concerned, Danny Dyer is my generation’s Michael Caine. The man is an icon. I’ve worked with him four times in the last year, and he just drips star quality. I’m lining up another horror project for him at the moment, but in the meantime we’re developing a rom-com for him and Lisa McAllister about an ordinary girl who falls in love with a rather unlikely angel. And I must plug a film of his that came out recently called MALICE IN WONDERLAND, a truly surreal but incredibly effective take on the Lewis Carroll book. Dan and also Maggie Grace from TAKEN are brilliant in it.” As for Fairbrass, “I have never known somebody whose time is now as much as Craig. In the last year or so, he has carved out an amazing niche for himself as the only credible action-film star in Britain. What he has done in PLAYGROUND and DEAD CERT sets him in a class above anyone else; he’s so credible as a tough-guy leading man. We are already setting up another really cool action/horror movie for him for the end of the year, this time with a military theme.”
Before that, Sothcott and Black and Blue are busy on a pair of remakes of UK cult chillers from the early ’70s. Already announced is a new take on THE ASPHYX, Peter Newbrook’s 1972 flick about a scientist attempting to capture the spirit of death. “That is now at second draft,” Sothcott says of the project, written and to be directed by Matthew McGuchan, “and is shaping up to be a really intelligent horror movie. Our next genre remake will be—and it’s one that I really want people to give a chance—BLOOD ON SATAN’S CLAW.”
The original movie, directed by Piers Haggard, stars Patrick Wymark and Linda Hayden in the story of children in a 17th-century village during to Satan worship. “Obviously we’re not going to call [the new film] that because even in 1971 it was a muggy title, but I love the idea of giving it an urban update, so that there’s something evil in the bins on a council estate that is corrupting the kids. It’s going to be directed by Simon Sprackling [whose credits include FUNNYMAN and producing and co-writing this year’s THE REEDS], and I think it’s going to be really original and scary—like the classic one is. And you can, of course, expect a Linda Hayden cameo.”
That follows in the tradition of Black and Blue’s redux of EXPOSÉ (a.k.a. THE HOUSE ON STRAW HILL and TRAUMA), in which Hayden, who co-starred in the initial film, also returned to make a brief appearance. That movie is now completed and will debut at this year’s Cannes Film Festival. “There are some great performances in it, and I’m proud of it—it’s very much its own film, and it’s clever and spooky. Fans of the original will also be pleased to know that it seems we’ve finally gotten ahold of uncut elements, so that will be on DVD in all its gory glory sooner rather than later.”
Finally, Sothcott reveals that he and his team are also turning to literary sources for upcoming fright features. “We’ve recently had Steve Matthews, producer of the cult UK TV show URBAN GOTHIC, join Black and Blue to run our development and produce, and the first project he has brought through the door is a really cool unpublished novel called DEMON CURE by Frank Tallis, about a psychiatrist who becomes possessed. It’s kind of a gritty, indie British version of JACOB’S LADDER, and will be a bit darker and more serious than what we’ve done lately. We should start that in May.” You can check out Black and Blue’s official website here.
JOIN OUR COMMUNITY AND BE THE FIRST TO KNOW ABOUT NEWS, CONTESTS, EVENTS AND MORE!
All contents © 2011 Fangoria Entertainment