Right now has been a pretty golden time for genre outfit Scream Factory. The horror-specific sub-label division of Shout Factory is on the cusp of its 4 year anniversary and in that time, they’ve managed to put out stellar collector’s edition Blu-Rays of some of the most celebrated titles from “master of horror” directors John Carpenter, Tobe Hooper, Wes Craven, Clive Barker, Stuart Gordon and many more. As well as ’80s cult favorites, sci-fi classics and contemporary films like THE BABADOOK and BENEATH in partnership with IFC Midnight and Chiller Films. Now, they’re gearing up to release their first original production, FENDER BENDER!
The premise is pretty genius. What if you accidentally got in a minor fender bender with a complete stranger? The common thing to do would be to share your personal information with them so the insurance company can take care of the damages. But what if that person happens to be a sadistic serial killer that now has your home address? And that is all you need to know about the mysterious “Driver,” played by Bill Sage (WE ARE WHAT WE ARE).
While the movie will premiere exclusively on Chiller this June 3rd, Scream Factory hosted a special premiere screening of the film at the Cinefamily last Monday, May 23rd with the cast and crew in attendance. I was very humbled and honored to be asked to moderate the post-screening Q & A, so here are a few tidbits (and photos!) from the event!
– Writer/director Mark Pavia came up with the idea and story after being involved in a minor fender bender, himself. When his friend returned to the car and told him he’d given all his info to the other driver, Pavia curiously asked, “but what if he’s a serial killer?” And hence, the basic concept for FENDER BENDER was born. He completed the script in approximately 3 months.
– Scream Factory was looking to produce an original feature along with Chiller Films and both Pavia & the script were recommended by a Shout Factory employee who happened to be a huge fan of Mark’s first feature NIGHT FLIER. The company were completely supportive of his vision and he had complete creative control.
– The film shot in New Mexico where a lot of the actors were from, so fellow panelists and stars Harrison Sims and Kelsey Leos Montoya already knew each other when they were both cast.
– Mark was very specific about what he wanted from his horror-icon-in-the-making “The Driver.” Actor Bill Sage considered the suit he wore an extension of his car, which is also, in part, his weapon when stalking victims.
– The music for the film is very synth-based ’80s inspired and composed by NIGHT RUNNER, which consists of Alex Diosdado and Tabique Malévolo. Pavia found their music just by searching online and asked them to compose the score, which they were honored to do. This is their first film score and it works beautifully for the film.
– Despite filming a “horror” movie, the entire cast had a great time through out the shoot, with the exception of the occasional cold night covered in sticky fake blood. But Mark’s passion and positivity, which Sage described as “an over-enthusiastic 14 year old boy” was tremendously infectious and inspiring. They had a lot of laughs while making the movie, and continued to even through out this Q & A!
FENDER BENDER will premiere on Chiller Friday, June 3rd! Be sure to set your DVRs or tune in!
*All Photos by Jonathan Leibson/Getty Images for Shout! Factory