Posted by: Peter Hall
Not long ago I was given the opportunity to bounce a few questions off of James Caviezel, the star of Jamie Blanks’ LONG WEEKEND remake NATURE’S GRAVE. It’s only a few queries for the man, mainly his general attitude towards making genre films and his approach to working in a remake, but I think he gives some interesting answers. I particularly like how he doesn’t care if a film is niche so long as it has a strong script.
What is it about niche genre projects like Outlander or Nature’s Grave that interests you most? Is it an area you’ll continue to go back to often?
I never think of them as niche movies, just strong scripts that ultimately make a statement that I’m proud to help put forward. I actually thought of Outlander as a bigger action picture, rather than as a niche movie. However, I liked the idea that a stranger from another planet and another era finds himself in a position to try to help defend a clan, first from other warring clans and then from an alien that he was responsible for bringing into their world.
Before coming aboard Nature’s Grave were you familiar with the 1978 version of the film?
I rarely see a film that I know I am about to do, but in this case, the director and producers sent it and strongly suggested I take a look at it. I was shocked that I hadn’t heard of it before, once I saw it. It feels like it was years ahead of its time, in its respect for nature, and yet I realize that there have always been perceptive people around – we just don’t tend to hear them.
Posted by: Peter Hall
These are some expanded thoughts from this mini-review at HorrorSquad.
I haven’t seen LONG WEEKEND
, Colin Eggleston’s original 1974 Ozploitation film about a couple who venture into the wild for a few days only to discover that Mother Nature’s creatures great and small don’t take kindly to their intrusion, so I can’t speak as to how different Jamie Blanks’ update on the film is. However, I imagine it can’t be too different considering the screenwriter Everett De Roche
can be found over at IMDb stating
, “I wrote both the original and the remake, and yes, Director Jamie Blanks insisted on a verbatim version, although I was able to insert a few more spooky bits.” Now that begs the question of whether or not a near verbatim remake was necessary at all. Again, I can’t attest since I haven’t seen the original for comparison, but what Blanks delivers is an interesting enough diversion from typical stories of this ilk.
I don’t think NATURE’S GRAVE, as LONG WEEKEND has been retitled by Screen Media Films for distribution in the States, is as engaging as Blanks and Roche’s last collaboration, STORM WARNING, but it’s a likeable adult take on the nature-gone-amuck subgenre. This isn’t some Syfy Saturday premiere of all animals versus all humans, it’s a scaled story of a couple going through a severe rough patch in their relationship that happen to be assaulted by eagles and ants and mysterious shadows in the water. James Caviezel and Claudia Karvan are both good in it and there is a palpable air of dread to the entire thing that I admired more on a second go, after I was no longer expecting all animals versus all humans.