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Director Mickey Reece Talks “Climate Of The Hunter” And “Agnes”

Writer-director Mickey Reece, known for his arthouse films such as Arrows of Outrageous Fortune, Mono, and more, sat down with us to discuss his new film Climate of the Hunter, out this month on VOD.

 

In the film, starring Ginger Gilmartin, Mary Buss, Ben Hall, and Jacob Ryan Snovel, “two sisters, Alma and Elizabeth, along with a dog who’s described as a “philosopher,” have come to Alma’s remote house to reconnect with Wesley after twenty years. Alma is recently divorced and Elizabeth is a workaholic in Washington, D.C., while Wesley lives in Paris dealing with a wife recently struck with a fatal disease. When the three come together for dinner it has all the makings of a lovely adult melodrama about loneliness, and the desire to connect and share our lives with someone… but we must add to the mix one otherworldly piece of information: Wesley could be a vampire.”

 

 

 

 

Horror Fuel: “Where did the idea come from for your movie Climate of the Hunter?”

 

Mickey Reece: “I think I just wanted to do something different than your usual vampire movie.”

 

Horror Fuel: “It is that, different, which is a very good thing.”

 

Mickey Reece: “I think that a lot of horror films – especially low budget horror films – are a lot of the time the same thing over and over again or you’re seeing a movie that is basically a movie you’ve already seen before.”

 

Horror Fuel: “Right.”

 

Mickey Reece: “The trick was to maximize the budget I had and create something no one has ever seen before so no one has anything to compare to. It, of course, was inspired by the movies of the 1970s vampire movies specifically the European vampire movies.

 

Horror Fuel: “I understand. Uniqueness in the genre is often hard to find these days. It’s definitely got that feel of the 70s. I felt a real Dark Shadows vibe from it too.”

 

Mickey Reece: Totally, Dark Shadows, very much so. Dark Shadows happened to be playing in a local theater around the time we wrote Climate and went and saw it. We already knew it would have that vibe to it.”

 

Horror Fuel: “When it came to casting the film, what made you choose these particular actors?”

 

Mickey Reece: “Those are the best actors in my community. I wrote the parts for them. So, I was presented with the location and knew the actors and that’s how it happened. I didn’t write it with hopes that I could get it made, I was going to make it either way regardless. I had the location and the cast so all I had to do is write the words for them to say.”

 

Horror Fuel: “That’s a different process than I usually hear, but then again, your films themselves are very different.”

 

Mickey Reece: I’ve made so many with no means and no money. But I’ve gotten a lot of practice out of it, and I’ve learned how to maximize what I have and sometimes that’s something you have to write around. Why write a script that you really love and then you go to make it and everything else falls short? I don’t think it’s anything new. Filmmaking at this level is the same story. You have to write around what you have access to. The biggest challenge is always money. Getting someone to invest and say, ‘Hey, I want to put money into this thing.”

 

Horror Fuel: “That makes sense. You mentioned that Climate of the Hunter was low budget, how low are we talking?”

 

Mickey Reece: “A hundred grand.”

 

Horror Fuel: “You definitely did a lot with what you had.”

 

Mickey Reece: “I decided to make it with half of that and spent the rest on making it look good and as cool as possible.”

 

Horror Fuel: “It does have a good look. ”

 

Mickey Reece: “Thank you, thank you. I owe that to my cinematographer Sam Calvin, makeup, special effects, wardrobe, and production design. We all pulled out all the stops to make it. I had a really good team with me.”

 

Horror Fuel: “When can our readers and other horror fans watch Climate of the Hunter?”

 

Mickey Reece: “Tuesday, January 12th.”

 

Horror Fuel: “Awesome! Are you excited to hear what viewers have to say?”

 

Mickey Reece: “You know, I didn’t necessarily create it with an audience in mind. It’s an “any press is good press” type of deal. There have been mostly favorable reviews but a few critics just don’t know what to make of it. That’s always rewarding to me [laughter]. If you make something that everyone just praises then you can get a little bit imposter syndrome. If you make something really bad you’re going to of course beat yourself up about it. I like where we are at. I can’t imagine when regular audiences, not critics, start watching it that they are going to like it but if they do, awesome.”

 

Horror Fuel: “I look at it like this, anyone can make a vampire movie, but it takes something special to make a unique one. That’s harder than most people think it is.”

 

Mickey Reece: “I’m at a level right now where there’s not a whole lot of risk to make something that’s going to be successful. It doesn’t matter right now what I do. There’s just not that much responsibility in the grand scheme of things, they’ve all been low budget. I’m enjoying the freedom right now to do what I want.”

 

Horror Fuel: “Freedom to do what you want while making a film is important.”

 

Mickey Reece: “Yeah, for sure.”

 

Horror Fuel: “I have to ask, where did the story in Climate of the Hunter about the priest come from?”

 

Mickey Reece: “That [laughter] came from co-writer John Selvidge’s mind. He basically helmed all of Wesley’s dialogue.”

 

Horror Fuel: “I was just curious, I caught me a bit off guard. If you had to use just three words to describe Climate of the Hunter what would they be?”

 

Mickey Reece: “If I had to describe Climate of the Hunter in Three words? Dracula, tampon, Nosferatu.”

 

Horror Fuel: That’s an interesting combination. You also have another one coming out, Agnes.”

 

Mickey Reece: “Yeah, it’s in the can. It will premiere sometime this year, don’t know where yet. I start shooting another one next month, Country Gold. I’m prepping it right now. I’m very excited about it.”

 

Horror Fuel: “Congrats on your new movies. You’ve been busy. What can you tell us about Agnes?”

 

Mickey Reece: “Let’s see, it’s about priests and nuns.”

 

Horror Fuel: “So religious horror? Is it about the supernatural?”

 

Mickey Reece: “I tell you what, it’s like Climate of the Hunter in that it has horror themes. It’s about an exorcism. I wouldn’t call it horror though. It’s in the vein of how Climate of the Hunter is about vampires. Climate of the Hunter is being labeled as a horror movie because it’s about a vampire, but it doesn’t necessarily have scares. It’s more of a character drama.”

 

Horror Fuel: “Oh, okay. I see what you’re saying, they are dramas that feature elements of horror.”

 

Mickey Reece: “Yes. And I wish I could share more, I just can’t right now.”

 

Horror Fuel: “We understand. We will be looking forward to seeing Agnes and Country Gold when they are released.”

 

 

While you wait to hear more about Agnes and Reece’s other films, be sure to follow Climate of the Hunter on Twitter for updates and more. Climate of the Hunter arrives on VOD January 12, 2021.

 

 

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