Dead Inferno: interview with director Brett Mullen

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– Hi Brett, What inspired you to become a filmmaker?

For me, being a filmmaker was always the path. My father was regularly filming my sister and I around the house with his VHS Camera and I would take it myself and create films with my toys. It didn’t take very long before I was shooting music videos and skateboard highlight videos.

– How did you come up the idea for Dead Inferno? Your movie combines zombies, experiments, mad doctors and many more. What are the films that inspired/influenced you? What do you think of the italian zombie movies?

First off, I LOVE the italian film movement of the 70’s-early 80’s. One of the first movies I ever fell in love with was Lucio Fulci’s “Zombi”. Though Dead Inferno has some influences of other films, it is heavily a love letter to Lucio Fulci’s zombie films including “The Beyond”.– What were the major problems and complications you had to face while shooting it?

A lack of budget was the hardest part. When you don’t have a large budget, it’s difficult to continue to hire crew and keep cast from taking other jobs. It started as a small crew and as footage started coming out, so many people came out to help get the movie made. It really turned from a micro budget film to a small independent very quickly.

– What can you say about the general atmosphere during the shoot and the cast and crew’s dedication for the project?

We were all friends for the most part making a backyard style zombie film. The sets were laid back and exciting. At any given point you could look into the yard and see a hand full of zombies sitting in chairs waiting for their scene. It was a beautiful thing. The cast and crew’s dedication was infectious. Especially those who worked either in the SFX department or those getting SFX done on them.

– What was your favorite part about Dead Inferno?

That is a tough question. I love so many parts of this film. I’d say my favorite part of Dead Inferno was probably the shotgun fight outside the shed where Cara blows the police to bits. Really depends on the mood. There are many wonderful scenes in this film.

– In your movies you pay homage to the great films of the past while still retaining your own style. In 2018 you directed the short film Belladonna (a tribute to Lucio Fulci) and the Giallo-style horror-thriller Bloody Ballet (aka Fantasma). What can you say about them?

I have a love for colors, light, composition and music. Belladonna and Fantasma are both beautiful films to look at. At the time of Dead Inferno I was on a zombie binge. However, over the past few years I’ve really been on a giallo binge like early Mario Bava, Dario Argento and Sergio Martino. Both Belladonna and Fantasma are dear to my heart. I will be excited to see how the next few films shape up.

– As a horror fan, what are some of your favorite films and directors?

28 Days Later – Danny Boyle
The Beyond – Lucio Fulci
Day of the Dead – George A. Romero
Children Shouldn’t Play with Dead Things – Bob Clark
The Thing – John Carpenter

– What are your future plans? What can we expect next from you?

I have a lot of projects in the development phase. It will be interesting to see what happens first. I have a remake in development that I can’t talk about, a script titled “RED CARPET REVEAL” which is a giallo and a script titled “KILLER BABES AND THE FRIGHTENING FILM FIASCO” which is a slasher film in the veins of “DEAD INFERNO”. LASTLY, I’ve been asked to act as Director of Photography on a handful of projects coming out over the next two years.


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