12th Jan2018

Horror-On-Sea 2018 Interview: Eileen Daly talks ‘Witches Brew’

by Philip Rogers

Witches Brew is a new mockumentary from writer and director Eileen Daly, which has been selected to play at the Horror-on-Sea Film Festival on Saturday 20th January. I got chance to ask Eileen a few questions about what we can expect how did she come up with the concept for Witches Brew and her favorite scenes in the movie.

Note: Before we started the interview, Eileen wanted to put out a request for a cameraman or woman based in the Swanage area. This would be a paid role for her next movie She’s a Bitch and ongoing work.

Witches Brew is the fourth film in a series, which Eileen describes as Benny Hill meets Hammer Horror with a twist at the end. The other films in the series include the romantic ghost story Hollywood Betrayed (2014), the vampire horror First Bite is the Deepest (2014) and, from Eileen’s first script, Mr Crispin (2014). Daly has three more films planned in the series which will include the werewolf horror She’s a Bitch, Demon App and Voodoo Dolls. The films are part of a much larger franchise which Daly has dubbed “I See the Dead”.

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What can we expect from Witches Brew?

I hope to entertain, that’s my main goal. If people just sit there, get lost in the film and giggle a bit. I want them to get involved and want to see the twist at the end, experience it. That is all anyone could want is people to just enjoy and get carried away into a world of this peculiar castle and go on this journey with the ghost team.

How did you come up with the concept for Witches Brew?

Years ago, I was in band called Jezebel and we done a song called plastic surgery and it was about a woman who was getting older and she had plastic surgery (Eileen starts to sing the lyrics to plastic Surgery) “Plastic surgery the only security in this awful town”. With Witches Brew, as the Witches were getting older they were sucking the lifeforce out of young men. They would enchant them and as they were sucking their life force, they would get younger and more beautiful. They died back in 1466. They sucked the lifeforce out of a whole village, so they were burnt alive and buried in consecrated ground. The team have gone in there to get rid of these demons. Basically, it was plastic surgery (sings the lyrics) “Life force, life force”. I like the idea of these old witches turning into sexy nymphs sucking the life out of four men who have been captured in their spell of love.

What is your favourite scene in the movie?

I don’t know if I have got a favourite, because when I look at the actors they are so good. There is a good one when Gemma comes in. She is the Demon Hunter that has come to help us, and she loses her phone, that was quite good, and she has flatulence. I quite like that Benny Hill humour. I know she is going to kill me for this but the scenes with the girl’s performances, I am really pleased with as they don’t take it to a caricature level, they are playing it for real. It’s the reality of the mockumentary that makes it so good.

You wrote, directed and star in Witches Brew. Do you enjoy having full control of your films?

Yes and No. When you write, direct, cast, you have people around you to help, but it is such hard work. When you are directing and starring in the film you have to rely on other people. Because of the equipment, you haven’t got big monitors to play back and you haven’t got time. You hit it in one, hit in two. Is the camera ok? Yes? Move on to the next one. We haven’t got the luxury in any shape or form to sit down, check it and say shall we take that again, which is down to budget.

I had to do these to produce, direct and tick the boxes because its great on a CV. But If these are a success someone would come in and direct these films or I could get a producer in that would be great. Even getting another actress in would be great, but it really breaks up the team and people always say I don’t like that character. It was a necessity that I have to do everything otherwise I wouldn’t get anything done.

Do I like doing everything on my own, No. I am not a control freak. I would quite happily give it over, but no one has asked to take it. It was necessity for me to do it just to get it out there.

What advice would you give to someone who wants to get into acting.

As a film person I would get some nice photos with some different costumes and different characters. Go onto Star Now and go for everything. Get some experience behind you belt and see if you like it. Get some videos of yourself and put them up on YouTube, then go for different jobs as different characters. You only need two minutes of one character and two minutes of another and really push. There are so many actors out there, so you need to have a bit of an edge.
Try and befriend people, because in this this game it isn’t what you know or how you act it’s who you know and that is the most important thing I have ever learnt. Do it, follow you dreams. Even if you don’t get these big jobs, you are following what you want to do.

What about future projects?

I am going to write a book. I am going to get a ghost writer to help me write a book. I am going to do it in three parts, the early, the middle and later. Time on Big Brother, X Factor, it will a whole series of books, light-hearted and down to earth. That will be next after all the movies.

Witches Brew will be playing at the Horror-on-Sea Festival on Saturday 20th January at 5:30pm
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For more information on the event and to purchase tickets for the Horror-on-Sea please see the website for details: https://www.horror-on-sea.com

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