Brian Pulido On After Dark Films The Graves

Talks sequel, status of Lady Death movie

Shock caught up with writer/director Brian Pulido at tonight’s premiere of The Graves in Los Angeles, which is now currently playing in theaters as part of After Dark Films’ Horrorfest 4, “8 Films To Die For”.

In The Graves, two inseparable sisters (played by Clare Grant and Jillian Murray) are on a cross country trip when they decide to make a pitstop at a remote (and supposedly haunted) mining town. Their detour turns into a fight for survival against menaces both human and supernatural.

Having the dynamic between the lead characters be two siblings isn’t the norm for horror movies these days, but it was something Pulido wanted to explore with The Graves. “I’m a big horror fan myself,” he confesses. “So we all know about the serial murder premise. And in quite a lot of horror films people are going to get knocked off one by one. I knew I didn’t want to start that way, but I knew I had to give the audience that. I wanted to start with the sisters because I feel strongly about that type of story. One’s growing up, one’s coming of age, that’s what worked in Jeepers Creepers, it was a straight up brother and sister story and they go through hell, and for an audience that’s a lot of fun. But I knew I wanted the body count too. So I did have the sisters go through hell, but we kind of reversed the system. A lot of the body count comes through the monsters.”

Prior to filmmaking, Pulido had made quite a name for himself in the comic book world having created Lady Death and Evil Ernie. Shock asked if his writing background in the comics medium benefited how he approached the story for his screenplay. “Being a comic book guy helped me a lot actually,” he says. “You’re always thinking about what’s happening next issue, or you see things in pictures, so that served me really well on the movie. Because long before we even shot when the screenplay was complete, we were able to go on set, start mapping things out, see what would work or what didn’t work. A lot of survival horror films like this one, there aren’t story arcs per se, but I decided to throw some story arcs in there for the sisters.”

Another notable aspect of The Graves is it’s inclusion of horror alumni Bill Moseley (The Devil’s Rejects), Tony Todd (Hatchet 2) and Amanda Wyss (A Nightmare On Elm Street). “I wrote the characters broad enough, but I’ll give the credit to our producers that were adamant that we were going to get icons,” explains Pulido. “The script first got to Tony Todd and Bill Moseley almost simultaneously and thankfully they both said yes. Then getting Amanda Wyss, we knew we wanted one of the original Nightmare girls, so she was our choice for the character of Darleen.”

Pulido also directed the music video “Voices Of The Dead” for the band Calabrese. We asked if the band or music in general played a part at all in the film. “Music plays big in The Graves, because I felt it help explains the girls characters. One of the girls is into metal, the other is into horror punk, hence Calabrese. Calabrese actually appears in the film. You’ll see them early on. We also have music from Halo Of Locusts, Randy Blythe’s side metal project, this band called The Mission Creeps who sound like “what if the Addams Family played surf rock. We’ve got 17 songs peppered through out the movie, sort of embedded in it. We’ll have a soundtrack coming out March 23rd.”

While a sequel would depend on the films performance, that hasn’t stopped Pulido from thinking about it. “I have outlined a sequel and I’m ready to do it. One thing I will promise. Bill Moseley and Tony Todd have both been in many movies together but never in the same scene. In The Graves sequel, you will see them in scenes together.”

Lastly, Shock couldn’t help but wonder if any big screen incarnations of his comic properties Lady Death or Evil Ernie were in the works? “I’ve been in town this week specifically talking about Lady Death. What I can say is that Lady Death comes back as a monthly series in the fall from Avatar, written by myself. And there have been discussions about a movie, but for me, it’s really got to be right. So I’m taking my time. I’d be happy to helm it as my fourth movie, or I’d be happy if the right team of filmmakers came and did it, as long as it’s done right. There was an animated film in the past and I wasn’t overly satisfied with it. So the next one’s gotta be powerful.”

And while nothing is solid for Evil Ernie, the writer did go on record as saying, “Even though I wrote it, I still this it’s the coolest horror comic. It would great to see it as a movie, again if it could be done right.”

Source: Robg.


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