Pearry Teo

Director Pearry Reginald Teo made an impact in Hollywood with his first feature length film, the cyberpunk The Gene Generation starring Bai Ling and now he’s back with his latest, the dark and disturbing Necromentia. A while back I caught the trailer for the film and it had such an impact I immediately wrote about it, I hadn’t seen something so hellish since Clive Barker’s original Hellraiser movie.

Teo is currently in China wrapping up his latest film Witchville, but he kindly took time out to answer some of my burning questions regarding Necromentia and his future projects, including the highly anticipated Dark Oz.

What gave you the idea to do an anthology?

Pearry Teo: It was an idea of Chad Michael Ward to do an anthology. We originally set out to do a couple of short films for ourselves based on a single concept of demons. I did mine, he did his. Somewhere along the lines, an investor liked my short and offered me to expand it into a feature. But rather than taking that story and expanding it, I took the concept and looked at it from different ways and angles. Ultimately, it’s a love story and how I believe love, hell and pain are all connected.

Why a (albeit twisted) love story? Was it key to tying the stories together?

Pearry Teo: I think love is the key to tying everything together. The reason we do anything in our life is because of love. Whether it is love for an object, person, ideals or anything else, we are driven by that.

Necromentia out does Hellraiser in terms of freakish/hellish imagery. Did you set out to do that?

Pearry Teo: I set out to make a homage to Hellraiser, I didn’t set out to out do it. But thank you! It’s approach to pain and perversion hit a very soft spot with me. Ultimately, I find people more and more having a perversion for pain, whether it be physical or emotional, there’s the need to control or be controlled in many people that reflects perfectly in a metaphorical sense both in Hellraiser and I hope, Necromentia.

The story seems very Clive Barker-ish, did his work have any influence on Necromentia?

Pearry Teo: The only thing that Clive Barker inspired me to do was not be afraid of using metaphors to reflect on the darker aspects of life. I used that a lot in Necromentia. It’s a film (not a movie) about finding out what’s the meaning of things rather than having it handed to you on a silver platter. Some people don’t like to think and contemplate… Necromentia is not for them.

What inspired the film and the character/creature designs?

Pearry Teo: I would say my greatest influences about the film and creature designs have been life. Necromentia was a good healing film for me when I put all my darkest thoughts into multiple imagery and put them aside. It became a ritual for me. A cleansing ritual. I felt new, revived and most of all, I felt completely devoid of any negative emotions after making Necromentia.

The film features some graphic violence, were you worried about censorship?

Pearry Teo: I never made this film to please anybody. This film was a vehicle to get rid of the dark things in my head. I’m sure they’ll find a way back though, then it’s off to a new one.

What’s next, and any news on Dark Oz?

Pearry Teo: 
Dark Oz just released the novelization by the same writer Aaron Denenberg. We were in the process of going through another pre-production script noting when I got called to another project. [I'm] wrapping today on shooting Witchville, a fantasy / medieval film starring Luke Goss (Blade 2, Hellboy 2), Ed Speelers (Eragon), Andrew Pleavin (300, Blood: The Last Vampire), Myanna Buring (The Descent, Doomsday) and Sarah Douglas (Superman 1, 2)

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