Brotherhood of Blood Panel Report
Fangoria Weekend of Horrors
June 2, 2006
Though Vicky wasn’t able to attend (she was still in Vancouver finishing filming on her upcoming Lifetime movie Her Fatal Flaw), going to Fangoria was far from a bust. The panel was well worth the trip to the convention. Point of fact, we wouldn’t have missed it for the world! The biggest treat was the raw footage the directors brought along to show as a preview. It was the first look at Brotherhood of Blood anywhere by anyone outside of the people involved with making the film. We have to stress again that this was raw footage; no ADR, no color adjustment, no film effects, no special effects, no music, and only a rough edit. Just bare-bones footage that had hardly begun going through any kind of post-production. After a bit of an intro by actors Sid Haig and Jason Connery, and directors Michael Roesch and Peter Scheerer, the house lights dimmed and the preview was cued up. It started with a music video-type trailer, and that alone was enough to nearly make us jump out of our seats, it was SO AWESOME! Vicky was in nearly all the clips, kickin butt, toting weapons, and just looking generally badass. When the trailer was over, we thought that was the end of it. But surprise, surprise, there were a few scenes for us to watch as well! One had Vicky’s character, Carrie, torturing a vampire (Stanis, played by Ken Foree), straddling him to hold him down while her vampire hunter partner ripped one of his teeth out! Our other favorite was the one where Carrie is being held captive by Pashek (played by Sid Haig). She’s tied to a chair, and he’s right in her face, commenting to his vampire cohorts that she’s afraid, that she doesn’t know anything and is therefore useless…ending in his order for them to "cut her". Can’t wait to see how the rest of that scene plays out! In all the scenes Vicky portrayed Carrie in her signature solid style, and we loved every second of it. Seriously, Vicky looked amazing, this movie looks amazing, and this is all an impression from unfinished footage! We only wish that we had the preview to show to you, because we know that all of you would be going as crazy as we are after seeing it.
Now to tell you a little more about the movie, based on the info given at the panel. Brotherhood of Blood is Michael Roesch and Peter Scheerer’s first film as directors (they also wrote the film). Both Sid Haig and Jason Connery commented that they were surprised how smoothly things went considering that neither had worked on a film with two directors before. They also made a point of saying how well Michael and Peter worked together, very smoothly, and that if there was a problem they always talked it out and worked through it nicely rather than having a bunch of blow-up arguments. Michael and Peter were also very accommodating to their actors – Sid had a very short window in which to shoot his scenes in the film (he was only on set for maybe one day) because of other commitments on his schedule, and they structured his shooting so that not only could it be done quickly, but so that everything got done pretty much in sequence so that he could keep some continuity with his character.
Brotherhood of Blood is basically about the vampire hunters vs. the vampires, but Peter Scheerer put a lot of emphasis on the fact that they were trying very hard to make a movie that is not another Blade. The plot revolves around the dynamic between the vampires and the hunters and another force that is a mystery to both sides, and the story has a lot that makes it very different from all the other vampire movies that have been made over the years. Peter said that they are trying to show different things than anyone has ever seen in a vampire movie before – this movie is not about being bitten, or all the mysticism that usually surrounds vampires. Michael and Peter are doing their own, new take on the genre, wanting to show what it would be like if vampires lived with us ‘in our neighborhood’. There are a lot of interesting things about their concept. The vampire hunters have clans, like gangs, co-existing with the vampires. Being a vampire hunter is as common a job as being a bus driver, and they don’t make a lot of money doing it. In most films the vampire hunters are looked at as the heroes – in Brotherhood the hunters are living off the proceeds of what they are stealing from the vampires. There’s not such a big difference between the hunters and the vampires at all – both sides are pretty amoral.
The format of the storytelling is interesting as well. Peter Scheerer talked about how they work with using different time layers, and how they used that to structure the movies in chapters. The point of view jumps between the different layers – back in time to get more information about what is happening, then forward again to what’s happening in the present. It gives the film elements of The Usual Suspects according to actor Jason Connery (playing vampire hunter Keaton). Actors and agents who have seen the script and/or watched some of the rough cuts of the movie have said it also brings to mind movies like Resevoir Dogs, Memento, and City of God. The movie was shot on one soundstage with multiple sets – most of the action takes place indoors, giving the movie a very close, claustrophobic feel.
Brotherhood was Sid Haig’s first time playing a vampire. His character Pashek is somewhere in the neighborhood of 1000 years old. He’s been around for a long time. He’s also scared, running for his life and trying to survive, something being made very difficult by the vampire hunters. What he’s afraid of is at the core of what the mystery force is and what is happening to vampires and hunters alike. Sid said that making the movie was a unique experience, and that the level of craft that the rest of the cast showed during production was "amazing". He really enjoyed the experience, and said about the movie, "I think you’re going to be very, very happy with this one." We think so, too, Sid.
According to Michael and Peter, post-production on Brotherhood will be completed in September, with a maybe major cities theatrical release not long afterwards. A DVD will follow not long after that. Both of the directors talked about how hard they have worked to make it to LA (both hail from Germany) and make movies. If their hard work is any indication, Brotherhood of Blood is going to be a darned good film; at the very least it has the makings of a true cult classic (echoes of Fright Night’s success anyone?). Judging by the potential this movie showed in just the preview, maybe, just maybe, it will be something more.
For more information on Brotherhood of Blood, including a scene excerpt, visit the Brotherhood thread at The Feral Sisterhood.