In the coming weeks, we will be filling the blog with Artist Spotlights comprised of footage from the 2019 Horrible Imaginings Film Festival. Return often to hear more from these strong creatives about their processes and more!
A stillborn baby girl is brought back to life by a morgue attendant using electro-kinetic power. On her 16th birthday she escapes her captor and sets out to find her birth mother, leaving a trail of destruction behind her.
It was a crowd-pleasing Saturday night film at Horrible Imaginings Film Festival 2019. We sat down with director Julian Richards to talk dark fairy tales, nostalgia, and the filmmaking process. We are also very pleased to share the news that award-winning Horrible Imaginings Film Festival selection REBORN has been acquired by Vertical Entertainment for US distribution! and will be released on VOD on September 17th via Apple TV/iTunes, Amazon Video, VUDU, Google Play, Microsoft Movies & TV, Sony Playstation, FandangoNow.
By sheer coincidence, I read the children’s book Are You My Mother? to my baby girl just before watching Reborn, and was stunned by the connections. The desperate search for a mother figure is something so primal that it can be found in a cartoon baby duckling, and also in a homicidal electro-kinetic young woman in a wild metahorror film. Barbara Crampton plays the mother in this case, and she does so with the signature energy that we have enjoyed from Crampton with pleasantly greater frequency in the last few years. That her character is attempting to stage a comeback (in this case for director Peter Bogdanovich, who makes a strange cameo) adds to the “meta” nature of the story.
Relative newcomer Kayleigh Gilbert is the duckling in question, imbued with electro powers from a Frankensteinesque resuscitating lighting strike when she was stillborn, and subsequently held captive by a sleazy Chaz Bono. It is hard to fault her adolescent madness when she escapes his clutches and goes on her search for mommy dearest. “Hijinks ensue” could be the best description for the fast-paced entertainment that follows. Bring the popcorn, but remember to stay grounded!
Julian Richards has been at the forefront of genre filmmaking for the last two decades. His first job out of film school in 1993 was adapting the novel Calling All Monsters for Steven Spielberg’s Amblin Entertainment. Although it never got made, it spurred him on to make his debut feature Darklands, which won the 1996 Melies D’Argent for Best European Fantasy Film, sparking a revival in British horror films that continues to this day. In 2002 he directed big budget conspiracy thriller Silent Cry and used his fee from that film to fund The Last Horror Movie, which was theatrically released in the US by Fangoria and won several awards including a second Melies D’Argent for Best European Fantasy Film.
In 2006 Richards recouped the money he invested in The Last Horror Movie and used it to finance coming-of-age thriller Summer Scars which won two BAFTA Cymru awards and received a UK theatrical release through the ICA. In 2012 the success of his films caught the attention of Hollywood producer Robert Weinbach who invited Richards to Portland, Oregon to direct psychological horror Shiver starring Danielle Harris, John Jarratt and Casper Van Dien. His international career continued to flourish when, in 2017, he took the helm on Daddy’s Girl starring Jemma Dallender and Costas Mandylor and Reborn starring Barbara Crampton, Kayleigh Gilbert, Michael Pare and Chaz Bono.
Interview by Jay Kay
Video by Shane Churchman
Line Producer: Sterling Anno
Editing and Subtitles by: Miguel Rodriguez