At Panic Fest in Kansas City, a wicked slice of horror-comedy has been ordered up in the form of an indie UK feature, When the Screaming Starts. The Scariest Things podcast crew immediately fell for this mockumentary about a Manson Family-style murder cult setting its roots in London. We were joined by the Director and Actor/Producers of the film to discuss the story of the “family” that slays together and doesn’t stay together (ahem!).
One of the great things about The Scariest Things is that we get the opportunity to catch some filmmakers on their way up the horror film ladder, and for whatever wonderful reason, it is usually the horror-comedy teams that we have had the opportunity to interview. We’ve been fortunate enough to have the teams from Murder Bury Win(2020), Shakespeare’s Shit Storm (2020), and Hawk and Rev Vampire Hunters (2020). This year, as the fates would have it, we were contacted by the production team from When the Screaming Starts, and long story short… we had a blast with this film.
Director Conor Boru, along with actors/producers Ed Hartland and Jared Rogers joined us by ZOOM for a fun discussion about making a horror movie during the pandemic, and how to do a DIY horror feature on a budget. This movie punches way above its weight class, and it does two things really well: The comedy bits made us laugh, and the horror bits made our toes curl.
When the Screaming Starts is the tale of a hard-luck documentarian, Norman (Rogers), who has found the subject of something he thinks could really put him on the map as an investigative journalist: a man who is on a mission to become a serial killer. The problem is, Aidan really isn’t cut out for it, so he and his girlfriend seek a community… a FAMILY… to help prosecute their murderous aims. Hilarity and awfulness ensue. We actually have TWO reviews of this film, one from Liz Williams for Panic Fest, and one that Joseph Perry did last year for Film Quest in 2021.
Perhaps the best part of talking with horror-comedy folks, is that the interviews always have us in stitches. This cast and crew have been forged together over years of working together from acting school, and as castmembers in other movies. Now, I’m not suggesting that they are in the Edgar Wright-Simon Pegg-Nick Frost level of synergy, but give them time. (That’s a very high bar.) But, watch this team develop, and we at The Scariest Things would love to see this team get a chance to develop more projects together as their clever timing, wit, and sensibilities are all in evidence with this debut production.
If you’re looking for some reasonable comps try these (This is pretty good company if you ask us):
Panic Fest is in Kansas City from April 28 to May 8, so get there if you can! For those of you who can’t get there, the festival has streaming options, and you can check out their site HERE.
And… check out the trailer right here as well!
Postscript: For those of you who finish listening to the podcast: Eric’s reference to Orson Welles is for his legendary tracking shot for the opening scene in Touch of Evil (1958). One day, Conor, perhaps you too will have a tracking shot that people reference seventy years later!