A New Damned Dawns
By: Craig Villinger on May 10, 2009  |  Comments ()  |  Share 
Damned By Dawn PosterAs we mentioned back in March, the trailer for the forthcoming supernatural horror flick Damned By Dawn sent ripples of fan boyish anticipation through DR Towers. Loaded with foggy gothic atmosphere, spilled guts, ghostly apparitions, and banshee related goodness, Damned By Dawn is a low budget Australian feature with a lot of potential, and with the film now in the final stages of post-production we cornered writer/director Brett Anstey and asked for a few comments.

According to the official synopsis, Damned By Dawn revolves around a family that is terrorized during a violent thunderstorm when a banshee's wailing raises the dead, but Anstey's own summary makes the project sound even more appealing: "Essentially Damned By Dawn is an atmospheric ghost story, but with intestines. And a banshee." Atmosphere? Intestines? A banshee? Frankly, if those ingredients don't have you drooling you are too fussy!

Talking about Damned By Dawn's inspirations, Anstey said "I was wanting to make a Hammer style horror film. The sort of film I grew up watching on late night TV featuring rich Technicolor cinematography, dense forests, the foggy atmosphere and the saturated red of the blood. To counter balance that, I really felt the need to center the film around an original protagonist (or antagonist), someone or something that didn't have too much horror film history or baggage. There was a sequence in the Disney film, "Darby O'Gill and the Little People" that featured a banshee and it always scared the crap out of me when I was a kid. That concept of a banshee really made an impression with me. And apart from the Vincent Price film, "Cry of the Banshee", at the time of writing Damned by Dawn, I couldn't think of any other banshee films. So I figured it was high time I made one!" And make one he did, and from the very beginning it was obvious Anstey wasn't setting out to make just another el cheapo Aussie genre flick."The final draft of the script was really ambitious, requiring a large variety of locations. I really wanted the film to feel epic and cinematic. Or as epic as the budget would allow."

"Principle photography ran for 26 days and nights during winter. We spent 10 nights shooting exteriors in Ballarat, which made for a challenging but adventurous time for the cast and crew. When you're working in a forest in the middle of nowhere, at night and during winter, you really can't help but get into the spirit of it all! Generally speaking, making these types of films is a hoot. Who wouldn't want to spend their nights walking around creepy old houses, exploring abandoned mine shafts, getting covered in blood or dealing with hundreds of cockroaches? These things are fun things to do!"

Damned By Dawn Cast and CrewNow, over two years after principal photography ended and with work on a whopping 400 plus visual effects shots completed, what can audiences expect from Damned By Dawn when it is unleashed on the public? And more specifically, will we actually be creeped out by a fairy from Irish folklore? "The success of our interpretation of the Banshee character is a combination of four key ingredients; Seth Justus's conceptual design, the artistry of Justin Dix's make up, Bridget Neval's portrayal and Tristan Meredith's sound design. These four elements result in a truly terrifying and unique character. I couldn't be happier!" And what about the things we love most here at Digital Retribution - blood and gore? "It's not an all out wall to wall gore fest, but having said that we don't skimp on the 'ol Kensington Gore when it's required. I guess I would describe the film as having the atmosphere & mood of a Hammer, the gore & feeling of a Fulci and sprinkled with tiny bits of Raimi thrown in for good measure".

Damned By Dawn stars Renee Willner, Bridget Neval, Dawn Klingberg, Danny Alder, and Peter Stratford with special make up effects by Justin Dix (Storm Warning, Dying Breed), and is on track to be completed next week. The film should be making its world premiere in Melbourne in the coming months (possibly June) and has already been invited to screen at more than one international film festival.

Keep your eye on these pages for more Damned By Dawn goodness in the coming weeks, but until then you can check out the atmospheric trailer below and find out more by visiting the official site.

Damned By Dawn Trailer Video
Damned By Dawn Image Gallery Click to enlarge
Damned By Dawn Damned By Dawn Damned By Dawn
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External Links
Official site - www.damnedbydawnmovie.com
Facebook - www.facebook.com/pages/Damned-By-Dawn/54776961825
Related stories - Damned By Dawn Trailer

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