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Interview

Screenwriters

Screenwriters Todd Farmer (Drive Angry, My Bloody Valentine 3D) and Destin Pfaff and Kern Saxton (Sushi Girl) mention some favorite books. They all attended the Gold Coast Film Festival, and I met the Sushi Girl creators at the nearby Supanova which is like a comic-con...

“I think Evil Dead will take the horror genre back into darker places,” Todd Farmer said at the Gold Coast International Film Festival in April. The professional screenwriter wrote My Bloody Valentine 3D and Drive Angry. He also wrote Jason X, the tenth in the Friday the Thirteenth horror film series, where the demonic, undead Jason goes into space. Mr Farmer made a lot of interesting points about horror. He liked the way the new movie Evil Dead had practical effects rather than CGI. CGI often left people underwhelmed: He said they could see it was CGI. He said with practical effects, like makeup and artificial wounds, you could “see it all” and it had more effect.
Todd Farmer mentioned some of his favorite horror movies, although he said they weren’t all strictly horror movies. He liked Jaws, Alien and Aliens, Halloween and The Empire Strikes Back.
“When stuck when I’m making movies my brain goes back to these to fill in the gaps,” he said.
As far as favorite books went, he liked Salem’s Lot. He also liked Stephen King’s Danse Macabre, which is a 1981 non-fiction book on the horror genre in film, novels and comics. In fact he liked all of Stephen King’s books. He also liked the Harry Potter books. The professional screenwriter also liked Syd Field’s books on screenwriting, which include Screenplay, The Foundations of Screenwriting. And he liked a biography of Clint Eastwood he’d read because Clint Eastwood talked about how important his screenwriter Dean Riesner had been for the success of those great Dirty Harry films. On his website Mr Farmer said Dean Reisner was a mentor of his.
I also caught up with the creators of Sushi Girl. A man called Fish is released from prison where he has spent six years for his part in a robbery. He is given a celebratory dinner by some crooked colleagues he’d protected with his silence. They are keen to ask him about some missing diamonds. Sushi is presented on the body of a young woman. She watches as the situation around her degenerates. The movie features Mark Hamill as Crow, a psychopath who delights in torture. Director Kern Saxton said he liked The Final Programme by Michael Moorcock, which he said was a post-apocalyptic political satire from the 1960s that had been made into a movie.
Co-writer of Sushi Girl with Kern Saxton, Destin Pfaff , liked A Canticle for Leibowitz by Walter M. Miller Jnr, which is a post-apocalyptic science-fiction novel from 1960. After a nuclear war, an order of Catholic monks sets out to preserve the remnants of mankind’s scientific knowledge until the world is ready for it.

-copyright Simon Sandall.

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