Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Details on scary/sexy DEMONIC II/FOREST OF THE DAMNED II


By Michael Gingold
Mark Evans, co-writer and co-producer of the new DEMONIC II (a.k.a. FOREST OF THE DAMNED II), got in touch to talk up the sequel, for which an official website has opened. The movie is a follow-up to the 2005 feature known as FOREST OF THE DAMNED overseas and retitled DEMONIC for its 2006 U.S. DVD release; the original’s director/co-writer, Johannes Roberts, is an associate producer on the new film.

Ernest Riera makes his directorial debut on DEMONIC II after serving as a producer on the first film as well as Roberts’ upcoming youth-gone-crazy thriller F and other features; he also scripted and produced with Evans. “As in the first film, we follow a group of people into the woods for a weekend break,” Evans tells us, “but this time it’s couples hoping to enjoy a naughty weekend of swinging in a rented holiday home on a remote island. They soon realize that the place isn’t quite right, and when the party gets into full swing, things turn horribly wrong as they’re preyed upon by murderous fallen angels.”

The cast is headed by Francesca Fowler, Alex Humes, Rachel Freeman, Sebastian Knapp, Lewis Clements, Sally Janman and Victoria Broom. In addition, Evans notes, “Marysia Kay and Eleanor James [also seen together in next week’s DVD release COLOUR FROM THE DARK] return to continue their roles as the seductive, bloodthirsty monsters.” The official website, featuring a bunch of grisly pics as well as some non-work-safe topless-demon shots, can be found here.

There will be no shortage of grue in the movie, Evans promises: “It starts with a very nasty scene where a young women has to chose between cutting off her trapped leg with a rusty ax or taking her chances with the pursuing angels. The tension and violence increase throughout the film, climaxing in a final fight between the main character and the main angel. That’s very intense—I’ve probably seen it over 100 times and it still makes me uncomfortable. There are also gouged eyes, exposed intestines, severed limbs, brutal stabbings and a basement full of bodies.”

Riera, who has previously helmed a number of short films, first hooked up with Roberts when he lensed a documentary about the making of the latter’s feature DARKHUNTERS. When Roberts was too busy scripting F to tackle the DEMONIC sequel, Riera, who had just finished directing the 2nd unit on Roberts’ WHEN EVIL CALLS, was tapped to take it on. “Ernest hadn’t had much experience writing horror, and he approached me to co-write the script,” Evans recalls. “At our first meeting, we realized we could work very well together and that the project was going to be a lot of fun. However, after our third session, we found out that the financiers had decided to put the money into a Formula One car instead! At that stage, we were so involved in the movie that we decided to finish the script, and I would raise the money myself.” He also put together a creative team that includes cinematographers John Raggett and Rainer Antesberger (both encoring from DEMONIC and other Roberts flicks; Antesberger edited the film as well), production designer Ryan Haysom, Luke McNally and his makeup FX team, CGI creator Eren Ozkural and soundtrack/sound FX artists Bernie Riener and Robert Pawliczek.

The end result, Evans says, “is even more violent than the original, with very tense scenes between strong characters and a horrible fight for survival. Our aim was not to allow the audience to relax. The awkward sexual tension between the couples and the terrible ways in which they die will really keep you watching.” We’ll keep you posted on the film’s release status.

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