Writer and actor extraordinaire, Dan Palmer joins me for a talk about his latest film; STALLED. Now, if you haven’t seen this British horror/comedy masterpiece yet, then I suggest you do so, sooner rather than later. Palmer plays a technician, called out to fix something in the ladies bathroom during a Christmas party, and well, also during the zombie apocalypse. He gets trapped in one of the stalls and makes numerous attempts to escape, whilst avoiding being eaten.
First off, how did you meet STALLED director Christian James? I know you both worked on FREAK OUT together.
Christian and I met a few years before at a, sorta, film school in Bournemouth. At the time it was one of the most prestigious in the country and it was kinda a big deal to get in. This was before the horror renaissance so I was getting snoooty looks for wearing my Texas Chainsaw T-shirt, but luckily CJ was of like mind. The average age of the course was 23 and we were both 16. Prodigies! So that was another reason we migrated towards one another.
Nice! So what inspired you to write the film? Why a toilet cubicle?
We’re by no means the first! Night of the Creeps, Deep Rising, Friday 13th; The New Beginning, the underrated Psycho III, Street Trash and of course Ghoulies all have really memorable crapper scenes. But I was surprised that no one had taken it one step further and attempted to set their entire film in the loo. But my original thought really stems from the universal vulnerability we feel when spending a penny. I am surprised it has taken so long for someone to make the leap from Psycho’s shower..
But there maybe an onslaught of bog-based B-movies now! I noticed there is a movie in production called ‘STALL’! Hahaa, good luck guys..
How was it shooting in such a small space?
For me it was fine. Kind of peaceful between takes; I could just sink back into the cubicle and stay way from the madness of a low-budget shoot. When it was time for the next set-up I could hide my Red Bull in the toilet bowl, rise back into shot and get back into zombie killing.
It was really Sashi Kissoon the DoP and Christian who were the ones facing the biggest challenge. I was simply playing a character stuck in that situation, they were the ones that had to make it look consistently interesting.
Haha sounds great for you! How do you feel about the film being compared to SHAUN OF THE DEAD, do you think of it in a good way?
One review actually said; I actually like this film but I am knocking a star off ‘cos they said it was liek Shaun and it isn’t!!!
Oh man, that’s not cool
Stalled is VERY different. Namely we had about a 1000th of the budget! Hahaha.. but also in tone. My character is intentionally flawed and quite unlikable at the outset, he is not the lovable dufus that Pegg’s character is.
That’s true. So when writing the film, who was your favourite character? Did it stay the same after watching the finished product?
Thats sounds awesome! Did you ever expect STALLED to gain such a positive reaction? Especially as it sold out three screenings at FrightFest.
Oh wow! Glad that didn’t happen
Most of the films you’ve been in and wrote for have huge elements of comedy, do you tend to watch more horror/comedies than other horror subgenres?
I love a Hostel or a Maniac when they come along but, yes I enjoy a horror/comedy too. I think it might just be a result of what I watched as a kid. Stuff like; Evil Dead II, Vamp, Gremlins, Night of the Creeps, Monster Squad and even the Freddy movies …they all had a hefty dose of humour.
So finally, whats next for you? Will you be working with Christian again soon?
Hopefully. We have a few things on the boil. Can’t go into specifics as yet but we have a couple of exciting things with the Stalled producers that maybe going ahead and other projects away from that camp, too. All with a horror element so there will be blood and boobs and bonkers-ness guaranteed no matter what we throw at ya next.
Yaaaay! Sounds good man. I don’t know many horror fans who’d turn down blood and boobs!
I know a few, that’s why I might have to donate a butt-shot!
Haha, now that i’ll be looking forward to!
Or you can order here: http://tinyurl.com/StallOrder or watch now on BLINKBOX and FilmFlex.