10/1/05

Christopher Saint Exclusive Interview; Death Tunnel & Spooked

Death Tunnell's Christopher Saint Exclusive Interview: http://www.horror-movies.ca/horror_3984.html

Fed By : Meh, Wednesday Dec,31, Via: Source
Filed Under : Death Tunnell, Horror Interviews,

We had a chance to talk to Christopher Saint about his upcoming film "Death Tunnell" which is easily one of the most creepiest flicks we have heard about in awhile. So lets not waste time on introductions and jump right into the interview.

I just watched the trailer and I must say the movie looks fantastic. I have to say I have never been on my toes for an indie movie, but this one looks amazing. What was the film shot on because, it looks like 35-mm?

Thank you, everyone took great pride in the making of this epic horror film, they literally worked themselves to death. We shot twenty-one days solid in an actual sanatorium in Kentucky that has been abandoned for many years. After we arrived, they locked the gates behind us. No one checks in, no one checks out. The cast, crew and the Spooked. Locals lived and breathed the real horror story that took place in this five story haunted hospital.

Our intense and real FEAR brought this supernatural story and Sanatorium back to life! The film was shot on a customized tweaked HI-DEF 24P HD SONY CINE-ALTA camera rig, similar to Robert Rodriguez’s set up on, SIN CITY.

35-mm Panavision prime lenses with on-set paint boxes; over 80K of lighting were used to immortalize this monster of a building. We were armed and ready to shoot anything that moved. European Cinematographers, PHILIP ADRIAN BOOTH, ROBERTO CORREA and DP, MARCEL CABRERA along with the production design and the ART department, greatly influenced the film and helped to capture the true-grit you see on film.

What kind of movies are you watching? Judging from the trailer it looks like you guys have a taste for Asian cinema.

We are both very influenced by European and Asian films of the seventies as well as Salvador Dali, dark comic books and web cam girls.

What was the budget for this film?

Let's put it this way, it looks like it was made for 4 times the amount we spent. We went over the initial estimated budget, so hmmmmm let me think… When we got there we couldn’t leave, everyone felt strangely attached to this real life sanatorium.

It was important to us that we capture the truth; the cold and deathly feel that runs through your body if you dare walk down the long prison like halls. We couldn’t get enough of it. There was no way we were leaving till we shot the real Death Tunnel. Our Executive Producer Corky Taylor was an angel. He wanted us to do it right. Staying there cost us as we went over budget, but it was worth it; after all, there is only going to be one, “DEATH TUNNEL‿.

Where did you come up with the idea for this film?

Originally Co-Producer SHANE DAX TAYLOR (a native of Kentucky) had the idea. As a teen he had been dared to spend a night in the abandoned sanitarium. There were rumors of murders, missing people and of the course the fact that it was haunted by five ghosts. Shane brought the concept to Co-Producer CHRISTOPHER SAINT BOOTH and Director PHILIP ADRIAN BOOTH. (Aka the BOOTH BROTHERS). We all flew to Kentucky to check it out. It was unbelievable. It was like waking up from the scariest nightmare you’ve ever had and finding out it was real.

When we did our location scout and research there we found that the disease and devastation that took place was real. When we crawled back to Los Angeles, we decided to write a script that would be more than just frightening and full of raw fear. We wanted to include the emotional journey of the patients that were sent there to die. This place has a lot of misery and sadness within it’s walls; a tragic history. These elements were strong motives for the sanitarium to be haunted in the first place. The history of the sanitarium contains a sick truth and we were able to bring art to death that took place there. We strove to create a masterpiece of horror.

How did you get access to the Sanitarium?

Co-producer, Taylor contacted the owners and we all hit it if off instantly, funky hat, fur coats and all. We were not sure who scared whom more. Us, the rock and roll filmmakers or them the obsessed townsfolk that guarded this destroyed Sanitarium.


Did anything unusual happen while you guys were filming?

Many strange things happened; fully charged camera batteries were dead instantly; doors closed by themselves; we heard voices in the distance that didn’t belong to us, (the sound-man just loved that). Sounds that were not present in the shoot showed up on the sound masters when we began to edit the film and they were loud yet showed no presence or waveform of being there. The Director saw the ghost of a little girl on the third floor run through the hallway, the Producers saw SHADOW PEOPLE, ORBS and a terrifying entity in the DEATH TUNNEL, which we were able to capture with photos.

We were constantly walking through strange cold spots in the rooms. Sometimes we felt a spine tingling breeze but when would look outside the trees were still.

We even had a few people quit because they were too spooked to continue working in the Sanitarium.

I heard that the sanitarium might be torn down. Is it still there?

Yes, though most all of America’s Sanitariums have been marked for demolition or have been demolished. This beautiful one still stands, though new condo suburbs are being built all around it. Hope they enjoy their view, “a tomb with a view‿.


I’ve heard a sweet rumor that Lions Gate might be picking up the rights to “Death Tunnel‿. Is this true?

Yeah, they’re great, though many studios have offered distribution for the film to date. Currently we’re waiting to see who gives us the best plan for a US release and are awaiting contracts.

I’ve also heard that Paramount is involved in distributing this film to the European market, is it true and how are things going on that end?

We sold all major foreign rights in the first two days at AFM, We sold Japan in 5 minutes, and they wanted all rights. Everyone there treated us like rock stars. They told is we had an incredible horror picture, in the vein of Francis Ford Coppola’s epic, “Dracula‿.

I’ve read that during the shooting of this film that actual poltergeist (EVP’s) were recorded as well as shadowy figures and menacing faces of the past. Can you give us some more detail about what was actually recorded, as well as the shadowy figures? Also, what was your reaction when you first discovered this?

Three words, “OH MY GOD!‿ Our hearts dropped to the floor, did you hear that, rewinding the tape, and we played them over and over again. Sounds of screaming, breathing, voices mocking us, almost guiding us to find some hidden truth.

We were obviously there for a reason.


Will you be posting any of the actual EVP recordings or pictures on the films official site?

They have been left in the film’s final edit and are also in the opening titles. A lot of them are also posted and documented on many different paranormal web sites. We have been asked to speak at the International Ghost Convention in September on the haunted old cruise ship, the “Queen Mary‿. That should be interesting.

Death Tunnel is “Based on a true story about the haunting of the Waverly Hills Sanitarium.‿ For our readers, what is that story?

We can’t reveal the whole story because the plot line unveils it within the movie. But the film is based on the actual tragedies and sightings of five ghosts within the doomed walls of this diseased sanitarium built in 1910. An upscale college initiation goes bad and strands five girls in this haunted hospital.

Within the five floors these girls encounter the five ghosts of it’s tortured past. As the girls, one by one become infected; we soon uncover the shocking link that binds them. A 500-foot underground body chute, built to remove the dead bodies of its patients may be the only way out; they call this the Death Tunnel. Creepy but TRUE!


What can you tell us about the “Women of Death Tunnel‿ or as they are also known as “The 5 Girls.‿ ? On the official site, each of their picture spells out the word “DEATH‿ is this a foreshadowing of things to come?

Each girl has something hidden in their past lives that links them to this sick place, it wasn’t a coincidence they were all picked to spend the night in the “Scariest Place On Earth‿. The five girls awaken on the five separate floors of this five-story sanitarium.

They cannot see, for they have been bound in hoods. Once the hoods are removed, they are free to try and find their way out, though they are watched closely by cameras to make sure there is no cheating. They have only five hours to find their way out.

The girls are left dirty, cold and afraid clad only in retro nighties with the first letter of their name painted on the front of the nightie in blood. D is DEVON, E is ELIZABETH, and A is ASHLEY, T is TORI, H is for Heather.

What’s the gore level and scare factor for this film?

We went for the raw fear factor. The blood is the true color of infected blood, and there is plenty of it. The death scenes and the Body Collector Creature is original and twisted. I can see the creature as a horror-action toy I would want for Christmas.

Tell us about the “Body Chute‿ and how it was filming the climatic scene for Death Tunnel?

We spent 18 hours straight in that tunnel, no one could breathe, mutiny was in the air, we lost some of our crew, and they were scared beyond imagination. It was raining, three feet of mud, madness and mayhem.


The new “preview art‿ you just sent us looks really great. Can you tell us a little bit more on what looks to be the main antagonist in this film?

You have got to remember that our favorite film is Kubrick’s “ A Clockwork Orange‿. Death Tunnel plays with your head. This film is complete madness, it is not a teen- slasher film, or a boob fest, though it has its erotic scenes; it’s get right to the point in the jump scare factor.

The film colorizations are incredible to look at, though you may find yourself turning away due to the intense subject matters. This an “A‿ film in which the TRUE star is the Sanitarium and its tragic past.

To go along with the “5 Girls‿, the official site also mentions “5 Floors‿ and “5 Ghosts‿ Can you tell us a little about each?

There are Five Floors to the Sanitarium, Each one has it’s own creepy personality, and you can deeply feel it as you walk through this ex-quarantined structure. For example the Fourth Floor is the operating room, and the Fifth Floor is for the insane TB victims; with the morgue and draining room in the basement, where they would slit you open and drain all your infected blood out and hang you there to dry.

Each girl in stranded on a separate floor except the fifth floor, this is part of the mystery in the film. They have five hours to escape. The Five ghosts are based on real paranormal characters that locals have sighted. All the legends behind each character are true. For instance, the Dead Nurse had hung herself and swung in Room 502 for 12 hours in front of the patients before the shift change and the little girl with no eyes who plays ball on the third floor, for example. Really creep.

The imagery used to create the Death Tunnel site is really creepy and somewhat disturbing. Can you give us some insight into them?

Why thank you, disturbing is good! We had just come back from the SANITARIUM, and we felt somewhat affected or (infected)? For, as anyone that has been there can tell you, you can never forget the place when you leave. We used old real stills for the layout.

The voices come from the actual townsfolk; the locals that dared to spend the night there. The older man’s voice you hear had worked there as a gurney body pusher. He was incredible, recently he passed away, and we will miss him may he rest in peace.

The website represents the eerie allure and the initial creepiness. The movie expands on this taking us into a journey of morbid curiosity, revealing a humanistic face to face with death and the last hopes of a dying incurable!

Tell us about “Spooked‿: The Ghost of Waverly Hill Sanitarium Documentary DVD?

SPOOKED is a true documentary, a film journal of us, the filmmakers, making a horror movie in the real haunted sanitarium with real ghosts, real people and real terror. You can see and hear everything we have been talking about for yourself. Spooked is in post-production with a release date of October. You can check it out at: www.spooked.org.

Can we expect a SE DVD 2 Disc release of Death Tunnel, with the documentary included? Now that would be a sweet package.

Yes, it would be, you never know though, we have had extreme interest from distributors, and cable TV etc, for the exclusive story. It would be cool to share all this crazy messed up stuff with the world, we have to wait and see who will let us.


After “Death Tunnel‿, what’s next? What other projects can we look forward to?

First we need a little sleep! We have had many offers by the studios for our next film but we need to think that through. Sometimes studio film can lose the reality, impact and imagination. We are all about real emotion with no boundaries. To use a quote from Death Tunnel, “You make me sick, NO…. I make you sick!‿

For your last question, is there anything else you would like to add about the film or say to the readers of Horror-Movies.ca?

We would like to dedicate the film to the lost souls of the Waverly Hills Sanitarium, May you find your way home.


"An upscale college initiation party strands five girls in the "Scariest Place in the World". Within the five floors of an abandoned hospital built in 1910, haunted by five ghosts of it's tortured past.

As the girls, one by one become victims of it's tragic history, they soon uncover a shocking link they all may have to it's past. A 500 foot underground body chute, built to remove the dead bodies of it's patients.

With each door opens up a new terror, and each corridor leads to unimaginable horror, the only way out is through the Death Tunnel."

By Horror Movies Canada

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