INTERVIEW BY NICK KEWL
Amongst the chaotic spectrum of the comic book universe, Kaare Andrews erupted from this medium by making a name for himself. This includes Iron First, and Incredible Hulk along with countless other Marvel novels that made him a notable artist in the industry. While being an artist, it’s always complicated to experiment in more than one medium, but opportunities do arise where one can get involved with film. Yes, the film industry has changed dramatically over the years, but these days one film can make or break your career. My interview today was with the young and talented Canadian director that has taken chances artistically and come out on top. The recent movie Cabin Fever: Patient Zero gives the audience a big gulp of gore and a growing epidemic that can’t be stopped. This is the third installment in the series, and hoping to recoup the audience’s attention with a new horror film by Image Entertainment.
There has been quite a bit of buzz surfacing the interweb for some time in regards to Kaare Andrews new horror depicted massacre, Cabin Fever: Patient Zero. Most horror fans like myself, loved Eli Roth’s Cabin Fever film in 2002. But utterly despised second film called Spring Fever. After speaking with Kaare briefly on the phone today, I gained a new respect for the film artistically, and with a new found appreciation for how art and film can be blended as one. What has the buzz been around the Internet you ask? Well as many fan boys/girls closely follow comics these days, they heard that Mr. Andrews was attached to a new film. Was he out of the comic book business? Will he incorporate Iron Fist into a new film? The nerd community wasn’t sure at first and scratched our heads after Cabin Fever was announced. After the premise, cast, and photos were released shortly after, the geek community didn’t turn our backs as we patiently waited for the film to be released.
I was able to catch a screener of the film and was pleasantly surprised the movie surpassed my expectations and stayed true to the original film. Despite none of the surviving cast members were in this film specifically, this is a must see for any Horror fans out there. Kaare’s keen sense of detail, mutilation, premise, and comedic undertones kept me interested for the entire 90 minutes and I was very thrilled to interview him on the phone. This film surpasses the sequel in every aspect and is a great nod to the original film that made audiences scratch their skin while exiting theaters nation-wide. Today, I interviewed Mr. Kaare Andrews about his background, the Cabin Fever film, and his future plans.
Kaare Andrews (KA): At the time, the writer and I had the same agents and the agent put me in contact with the producer from the first Cabin Fever film. Shortly after, I was offered the job and was straightforward process in putting the movie together.
NL: I love your work in Iron Fist and other Marvel series, what made you switch from comics to directing a horror movie?
KA: When I was a kid, I looked at film, art, and comics which were all one big thing I loved. As I grew older, I sculpted, painted, and was involved in film. The industry tells you have to do one thing. So I focused on comics and was one of the hardest things a person can do. I am a do it yourself kind of guy, tried the comic industry first, and questioned myself after the success. Why can’t you work in comics and movies? I bought some gear, started shooting shorts, and writing scripts from there on out. It was redefining what you can do in the world really, and having more than the one focus. I always loved horror and sci fi, and the genres that are very creative and visual. I loved James Cameron work in the first Terminator and that film was a slasher movie with a sense of sci-fi. My favorite directors have done everything in movies and can focus more in visual elements within the action, horror, and sci-fi genres.
NL: This movie is a different compared to the other two films, minus the virus, who decided to go a different route with this film?
KA: The foundation was already set before I came on board, which included the script, and being filmed in the Dominican Republic. For me, to be honest, I really enjoyed the first Cabin Fever, and heard a lot of crazy things about the sequel, so I didn’t want to read the script. Like any young directors, you are vicarious, and looking for a new project. There are often times, more experienced directors pass over scripts, and land in my lap. But, I loved the first film, and I liked the Patient Zero script. The filmmakers, producers, and the audience didn’t like the second film, so how do you go from a great film into a debacle? You want to do another film? Why??? Wow, how do you go about that is a dangerous situation. As an artist, you don’t want to make decisions out of fear, and is the worst thing you can do. I wrestled around with the idea and said “no” a few times, then I wondered “Why?” I was scared, but I tried to inject all the elements I loved from the first film, enjoy a new life process, and enjoy the film making process. I threw myself at it.
NL: Any advice to young, up and coming directors?
KA: Well, every director has his or her own process. As an artist there are a few things I learned at art school. The reason we stop making art, every kid creates art, and is in our DNA. This is a pre-dated process and people have drawn pictures to communicate with one another for centuries. Every child does it and at some point, people are shamed away from it, or parents don’t support it, so humans move away from art as they get older. There was a big speech at my graduation, “90% of you will NEVER create Art after you graduate from this school.” Creating art will stop in any form, which was a big punch in the face to me at the time. If you’re a doctor and have a failure rate at 90%, it’s a national crisis. People love art, but in the real world, people are afraid to pursue it. Any artist has to make the final decision out of strength and confidence, and then make it happen. If you ask yourself, “Am I scared?” You should pull your pants up and do it!
NL: Sean Astin is one of the most known actors in the film, what brought him into the film, and did he have any insight with you behind the camera?
KA: Sean Astin is an unstoppable ball of energy. On set, the guy loves making movies and the process. He loves acting in smaller movies, so he can be more involved the movie making process, where larger movies there as not as much collaboration from the actors themselves. It’s not encouraged; but he was working with the wardrobe people, helping with the make up, and just wants to be involved with everything. I really loved working with him and what he left with me was great. He was a little fireball, rocketing through set, he was a lot of fun to work with, and he knows his stuff. He has been acting since he was nine years old and you can throw him anywhere, which is comfortable. He knows the lines, the lighting of the scene, and just one of those experienced actors that enhances what you give him.
NL: The series goes from a cabin out to a tropical island, did Mother Nature affect any days of shooting, and what did you learn about filming on an island?
KA: Did you hear about the hurricane we shot through? This movie was a crazy experience filming in a foreign country where know one speaks your language. Locals joke it’s a third world culture with the poverty and lack of security, so it can be scary in the Dominican Republic. Everyday was an adventure, with handguns being pointed at us, shooting with tarantulas, the overall weather, etc. The first day involved ten rain towers and in the D.R., you can’t bring them in, so you have to build them from scratch. We had full make up on the actors, the movie cranes leaded, and was a night shoot. There were flame throwers involved, people in HAZ MAT suits, downpour rain that turned into a full-blown hurricane when we arrived on set. We had to film the first night through a hurricane, the techno crane operator never heard of filming in such hazardous weather conditions, so he didn’t. We had to find gentlemen to hold up a light on the crane during the hurricane. We gave him five hundred bucks to stand on top of the crane, and in the Dominican Republic, that is a lot of money. Each day I asked myself “will someone die on set today?” If you watch the opening credits, it doesn’t look bad, but it was really extreme. The flamethrowers were brought on set the day before shooting and were really sketchy. We figured out how they worked, and the operators assured they were safe, but really we weren’t sure. Luckily, everyone survived, and know one died on set, that I know of.
NL: Who inspires you most and what were your favorite fims?
KA: The first Terminator because I watched it as young kid and had no idea what I was watching. I never heard of it before and blew my mind in terms of elements of the horror, sexual, and over the top action. It doesn’t feel expensive and over done, you can see artists that made the movie, and real craftsmanship put into the characters that made it a great film. Even Ridley Scott in the Alien franchise was a big influence.
NL: Any new movie projects/artwork coming up?
KA: Well in the immediate future, I am super focused on comics, and have twelve issues of Iron Fist: Moving Weapon coming out. As an artist, just focus on that, and I’m laying out issue #8 as we speak. From there, it could be another movie, it could be another season of Iron Fist. It’s a little nebula right now and I am just focusing on deadlines right now. I am pushing the Iron Fist story as long as it could go, and I took a year off from comics to shoot Cabin Fever: Patient Zero. I had so much built up comic book energy that can’t be released in film, so was ready to come back, and get back to what I know the most. ***
Cabin Fever: Patient Zero will be released to the public on August, 1st 2014. This is not just a film for the artist, but for the fan base that loved the franchise from the very beginning. Kaare Andrews does something special with this film and captures the audiences attention from the get go by keeping the overall feel of brutality with an unstoppable, and malicious un-seen force. It was my pleasure to interview Mr. Andrews and recieved my vote as one of the better indie horror films of the year, and am really looking forward to his future work.
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