16th Jan2018

Horror-On-Sea 2018 Interview: John Williams talks ‘Crispy’s Curse’

by Philip Rogers

Crispy’s Curse is new horror comedy from director John Williams, which has been selected to play at the Horror-on-Sea Film Festival on Sunday 21st January. I got chance to ask John a few questions about why he decided to write it as horror comedy as a horror comedy, the curse on set during filming and creating a Christian Metal band.


What can we expect from the film?

A crazy insight into the world of paranormal investigators, a Christian heavy metal band and 2 small town detectives as they go in the search of a ghostly killer clown.

What was your inspiration for writing Crispy’s Curse and why did you decide to do a horror comedy?

I had always wanted to do a clown film, but it needed to be different. It’s more of a nod towards Cat in the Hat than it is to IT. I have done two previous horror comedies, so I wanted to make up the trilogy with this one.

I am sure the those suffering with Coulrophobia will be asking the same question, why did you decide to make Crispy a clown?

The idea with Crispy was to not make him evil as such but to make him charming and funny, it just so happens he enjoys killing people.

Is it true that the cast and crew suffered from a curse during filming?

Indeed they did, this was something that ran through the duration of filming and continued for a short while afterwards. A few examples were, one cast member almost got blinded by a dodgy prop during a fight scene, it missed his eye but pierced his nose needing hospital treatment. The same cast member also locked himself out of his car during filming and had to smash a window in order to get back inside. On another occasion a blood cannon over shot, covering someone’s living room with fake blood. There are many more instances that could fill a book.

Did you have any incidents occur whilst filming at the haunted pub called The Leopard Inn, in Burslem?

We were using items such as and EMF metre, which are used by paranormal investigators to track down ghosts etc. There was one room in particular that we were filming in where these would go absolutely nuts, despite the lack of electricity in the rooms. That alongside many bumps and bangs heard during our visit, it’s somewhere I wouldn’t visit alone at night.

With the various occurrences during filming, did Derek Acorah pick up any spirits during filming?

We filmed the scenes with Derek at his home, so any spirits about at the time I’m sure he was already aquatinted with. Derek was great though and a lot of fun.

In Crispy’s Curse you have a Christian metal band called Messiah Fist, were you ever interested in creating your own metal band?

Yes, I was, the only problem being that I can play zero instruments and I can’t sing, not a good foundation. This was a good way to do it though, create my own band and write the lyrics, we even recorded a 4-track ep with the songs used in the film.

Did you encounter any issues shooting on a low budget?

Yes, many. We started to shoot with zero funds, the funding was promised but did not materialise but in the end, I managed to make enough to get the film finished. the end cost was £15,000 instead of the £35,000 budget, another example of the curse.

What was one of your favourite scenes in the film?

There is a little off shoot with the film to establish where the Alon Baptiste character comes from, I wanted it to be a fly on the wall reality type TV program featuring a family of physics, with Derek Acorah playing the dad, very much inspired by The Osbournes. This was great to film and I enjoy watching the scenes back.

Do you have any new projects which you are working on?

After doing three horror comedies I have decided to make a full-on horror; the script is written, and I will start working on it early 2018. The film is called Tales of the Creeping Death, it is a horror anthology containing four short stories with one holding story, very much in the same vein as films such as Asylum (1972), V/H/S (2012), Creepshow (1982) etc.

If someone is looking to direct their first film, what advice would you give them?

Just do it. Too many people over think making a first film, trying to make the perfect film. When I did my first film in 2014 The Mothertown, I had no idea what I was doing, I never went to film school etc. I had no contacts, I didn’t even have a camera. I just figured the best way to make one is to just start it and wing my way through it.

Crispy’s Curse will be playing at the Horror-on-Sea Festival on Sunday 21st January at 12:30pm.

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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