Filmmaker John R. Walker gave us the 411 on his fun, new spookfest Ouijageist.
What a spooky flick! You sure have a knack for crafting a good scare!
That’s jolly kind of you to say so. Thank you!
Have you always dug horror?
Yes, both horror and Sci-fi. I have a stupid collection of horror. I especially love the low budget films that people work so hard making. I find myself spending more on those being imported to the UK than mainstream horror
What types of horror films would you say you gravitate towards?
Anything with the word Amityville in. Yes, I know most are other films with a name change, most now are made on a shoestring and most are sold for the money instead of love for Amityville.
I think Catholic films are scary and I’m not even a catholic but Exorcists and possessions are cool.
But saying that, I totally love blood and slashers and Zombies.. Darn, I didn’t reali.se how difficult that question was!
And is “Ouijageist” inspired by any of your favorites?
Yes indeed. I love Witchboard 1, 2 and 3 and the more recent Ouija 2
You’ll see references to Poltergeist 2 and the Exorcist…
It’s similar to the recent “Ouija” films but it’s also it’s own beast. How difficult was it bringing new concepts into a fairly well-trodden subgenre?
I gave the writers an outline to work with.
In the initial brief I gave the writers it was Ouija Vs Poltergeist as there was a Poltergeist out to kill a girl as she tried to solve the mystery of a death but the Ouija Spirit helped guide her.
The poltergeist was transferring to different bodies so she was always in danger from anybody.
You can see how much my writers listened to me.
We tried to make the concept simple. A board is found in random places across the world (There was going to be a morocco scene but we found out the USA distributor for Amityville went bust so we weren’t getting paid and that put an end to morocco)
The board has a keeper/guardian and the board kills all the people who come in contact with it and the blame goes onto the one who finds it
There’s also a grittiness and Raimi-esque independent nature about the film that makes it scarier than the more polished, studio films. What did you shoot on?
Sony FS5 with Samsung primes!
What was the hardest scene to shoot?
There was the ending in the house with the possessed bodies of fallen friends. That was a lot bigger scene with them going up the garden and round back to the road but it just proved too much for time allotted as we had 2 people in full prosthetics and lighting. As the lighting guy was also the camera man we had to cut this short plus the first one of our cast members to sadly pass away had died and so we were unable to shoot the fight scene with the old guy from the shop (The fighting itself would have been a stunt double)
How important was sound here?
Sound is still an issue with me. There were certain sounds I wanted for the possessed dead and also the sink monster (referred to by the crew as Penis monster!) but I’ve still not been able to get these as I wanted and unfortunately with a project like this, I haven’t the money to invest in everything I want.
Nick Kendrick who played the boyfriend did this great screeching noise but it got a bit much listening to it in post over and over.
And, I’d be silly not to ask, ever played with a Ouija board?
Has it ever worked and do I believe in them? Not in the slightest.
But they are cool to look at.
And why is it called an Ouija Board? Oui is French for YES and Ja is German for YES so it’s a YES YES board? Crazy!
OUIJAGEIST is now on DVD and Digital from Wild Eye Releasing