Thursday, 7 July 2011

DEVIL'S ROCK crew face their own D-Day

Okay ... so I arrived at the 20th Century Fox screening rooms in Soho Square on Wednesday evening with mixed feelings: pride - it's not everyday you get to see the London premiere of a movie you yourself have written; apprehension - because obviously you want the movie to wow its audince; and also giddy excitement - because it was a great thing to at last meet many of those involved in the production of THE DEVIL'S ROCK who previously I had only communicated with online, including two of the movie's stars - Matt Sutherland and Gina Varela - and producer Leanne Saunders, among lots of others.

This was an official 'Cast and Crew screening', but we weren't exclusively playing to a biased audience. Agents, film producers and other industry professionals were also present on invitation, so there was still the possibility that we could really blow it, that if we hadn't done our jobs properly people might get up and leave before the final credits. That's the thing you ultimately dread at these events.

Thankfully it didn't happen, and even more thankfully, after the lights had come up again everyone I spoke to had nothing but good words to say. Obviously you can never be 100% sure what people think, though none of these neutral guys and gals would have any reason to lie to me.

We all then adjourned to the Pillars of Hercules just down the road, and a good night was had by all.

So what did I think of it (never having seen it until this moment)?

Well, I lived and breathed the script over the Christmas period of 2009. I had to ignore the snow-storms raging outside, and transport myself back to the summer of 1944 and the eve of D-Day, and then weave into that historical reality the esoteric, the arcane and eventually the horrific. It was a fun but intense experience - and what we were about to see would be the final result. Naturally I was going to be as sympathetic to it as possible.

Okay yeah, those are the excuses out of the way - so what did I think about it?

Well I'm not going to say much, because at the end of the day what is my view worth? It's only the opinion of one person, and it's even less impportant in many ways as I'm obviously totally prejudiced towards the project. But put it this way, I was NOT disappointed.

It was also nice to come home again last night just in time to watch The Vue Film Show on Channel 4, and see a decent feature on the movie - including lots of nice excerpts, plus short interviews with Paul Campion, the director, and actor Matt Sutherland (HERE'S A LINK).

In fact, the programme singled out Sutherland for special praise; he plays Klaus Meyer, a colonel in the 'SS Germanorden', whose job it is to root out and utilise occult artifacts in the cause of the Third Reich - he was described as creating an intense and evil presence on camera (it was also rather pleasing to hear Matt talk about "the great dialogue" he had to work with - thanks, Matt).

On this subject, a lot of folk have actually asked us did this sort of thing really happen. Well, THE DEVIL'S ROCK is obviously fictional, but there is plenty of evidence to suggest that certain leading Nazis had a big interest in the war-winning potential of dark magic. Whether it was ever invoked or not we'll never know, but you've got to admit it makes for a great movie idea.

Anyway, thanks to all those on Wednesday night who made themselves known to me and were so complimentary on the script, and an extra special thanks to all those who worked so hard bringing this project to life and fashioning what I think is a very neat little piece of horror cinema.

It's now officially in the public domain, so we'll have to see what everyone else makes of it. Pictured above is the full cover of the new DVD release, which will be available on Monday.

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