Horror/comedy Clinger, which has been snaring great reviews since it did the festival rounds earlier this year, gets a theatrical release stateside shortly. We caught up with co-writer and director Michael Steves to learn how the project came together.
Michael, with only a month to go before Clinger hits theaters, we have to ask… how are your nerves?
I’m doing good! The movie premiered at Slamdance in January, so at this point I’ve heard and read every possible opinion on the film, so nothing about it makes me nervous anymore. I hope people have a great night at the theatre when they see Clinger.
The film is getting great reviews. Do you believe that the critical appraisal will ultimately lead to audiences will seek the film out?
I certainly hope so! The reviews have been hugely helpful in raising our profile. My hope is that in addition to genre fans, high school kids find “Clinger” because of the reviews and watch it at parties and sleepovers, the same way I watched my favourite midnight horror movies when I was that age.
Who do you think your audience is?
I think our audience is a combination of horror fans seeking something out of the ordinary, and teenagers looking for a rowdy, gory date movie. I imagine most of our audience will watch Clinger at midnight with friends, maybe with a beer or two in hand.
To the film, how did you find Vincent Martella and Jennifer Laporte?
Jennifer was doing plays in our hometown, Houston, TX – we knew her through family friends. As soon as we met her, we knew she was our lead. Vincent plays Phineas on the Disney channel show Phineas and Ferb and Greg (the white best friend) on Everybody Hates Chris, so we had been a fan of his work for a while.
Was it the plan to pad the supporting roles with familiar faces from the world of horror? If so, what was the motivation behind doing so?
Absolutely. I’ve been a fan of Debbie Rochon (Tromeo and Juliet, Terror Firmer) and Lisa Wilcox (Nightmare on Elm Street 4 & 5) for a long time, and co-producer Mel House brought them on. Besides being great actresses, I wanted to acknowledge the horror films that I loved in high school – the movies that inspired Clinger.
Those Clinger posters are great, and the teddy bear in the movie is – dare we say- to die for. Considered merchandising yet?
We will be selling demon teddy bears on e-bay. Don’t worry, they’re harmless… mostly.
If the film does well, will you consider a follow-up?
Perhaps a film in a similar vein, but not a sequel. My favourite thing about low budget, independent horror movies is that they can always be based on original ideas. I’ll leave the sequels and remakes to the studios!