Interview done by Michael Wilkerson
MW: Please introduce yourself?
SC: I’m Sean Cain. Writer/Director of Silent Night, Zombie Night and the upcoming film with Jason (“Clerks 2”, “Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back”) Mewes, “Breath of Hate.”
MW: How did Silent Night, Zombie Night become a reality?
SC: I had wanted to do another movie for a while after my first film, “Naked Beneath the Water” came out in 2008. Luckily, I met Wes Laurie who was writing horror reviews for a website and interviewed me soon after the DVD was released. Although I didn’t know it at the time his “interviews” served a two-fold purpose because he also wanted to make a movie. The only difference was that he had some money. He told me later that I was the only one who was ready to pull the trigger. Everyone else was talk, talk, talk.
MW: Do you feel Silent Night, Zombie Night came out the way you wanted to?
SC: There were some things I wanted to do to enhance the scope of the universe we created. A bigger ending, some more action in the beginning, but I had to cut back due to the budget. However, I am quite pleased with the result anyway. Unlike a Hollywood type film there wasn’t anyone over my shoulder telling me it needed to be more this way or that way. I had full creative control. So, if it sucks then it’s all my fault!
MW: Tell the readers about Silent Night, Zombie Night?
SC: The film is like 28 Days Later meets Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. It’s about two guys who start out pissed off at each other and ready to go their separate ways, but are thrown back together after the zombie apocalypse happens. There’s also a love triangle because the one guy’s wife joins them who the other guy has been secretly in love with for years. It’s like a Lifetime movie with a bunch of machete choppin’, gun slingin’ action! The perfect date night flick for you and the little lady!
MW: What made you decide to do a horror film?
SC: Well, I always liked horror/sci-fi stuff like zombie movies, but I didn’t grow up on slasher stuff like Friday the 13th. In fact, I didn’t watch that stuff until I was in my 30’s. I think horror was a genre that I could do at a low budget and still have people interested in. As far as I’m concerned the zombie part is what I call the ‘shiny box.’ A film could be zombies, samurai warriors, cowboys or whichever. It’s about the story I want to tell within that ‘box’ which is important to me. So, while “Silent Night, Zombie Night” seems like some goofball movie about a killer zombie Santa there’s a lot more going on. Don’t get me wrong, I love to be able to scare folks and have lots of action, but it’s the story and characters that mean the most to me. If that happens to take place within a horror setting then all the better.
MW: Give me a story from the set of Silent Night, Zombie Night?
SC: The craziest moment from the film would be when we were overrun by actual L.A.P.D. cops. We were on the street and our heroes are racing back to the house as their comrades are under attack from those naughty little zombies. So, Jack Forcinito and Andy Hopper are running around with shotguns and I guess some neighbor thought gangbangers were up to no good. I’m in the house getting ready and suddenly I hear this helicopter loudspeaker say, “Get on the sidewalk and put your hands on your head.” Well, this being Los Angeles I wasn’t too concerned because there are helicopters flying all over all the time. My first thought was, ‘Great! Gangbangers are running around and going to cause us problems!’ Well, as soon as I go outside I see my whole cast and crew lined up on the sidewalk. The helicopter overhead and three cop cars come racing up. Luckily we had our permits and the police quickly realized, after seeing the zombies, we were making a movie.
MW: What would you like to say in closing?
SC: If you like zombie films or films in general that do more than just kill a bunch of cookie cutter teenagers then I think you’ll enjoy “Silent Night, Zombie Night.” And even better, you can watch it with your girlfriend! Time after time I’ve lent screener copies to lady friends of mine and they all say the same thing, “At first I didn’t want to watch some crappy zombie film, but you had me crying by the end!” Thank god for sappy females!!