A singer turned werewolf, and Alien on Stage. Two directors dig into their movie inspiration

·3 min read
A still from the horror film Bloodthirsty, left, and a backstage photo from the documentary Alien on Stage. (Photos submitted by CUFF - image credit)
A still from the horror film Bloodthirsty, left, and a backstage photo from the documentary Alien on Stage. (Photos submitted by CUFF - image credit)

The Calgary Underground Film Festival is taking the show online again this year as it kicks off Friday.

Airing films between April 23 and May 2, this is the second year the festival has gone online due to COVID-19 restrictions.

This year's films include a humorous documentary, Alien on Stage, and an Alberta-made horror film, Bloodthirsty.

The Homestretch's Doug Dirks chatted with the directors of both films this week about the making of these movies.

A group photo from the documentary Alien on Stage, showing at the Calgary Underground Film Festival this year.
A group photo from the documentary Alien on Stage, showing at the Calgary Underground Film Festival this year.(Photo submitted by CUFF)

Alien on Stage

The subject for the film Alien on Stage came to be because of a particularly fascinating movie poster shown to the film's co-director.

Lucy Harvey saw a picture of the poster her friend had taken and was "completely awestruck and mesmerized," she said Wednesday on The Homestretch.

The poster was advertising a local theatre troupe composed mainly of transit drivers, who were attempting to bring a theatrical version of the 1979 science fiction movie Alien to the stage of a county in southwest England.

Harvey was instantly intrigued, and eventually she and the friend made the four-hour trip to Dorset from London to see the show.

"[It] turned out to be the best thing we've ever seen," she said of the production. "The delivery was so deadpan but the props were somehow genius."

  • Listen to Lucy Harvey tell the whole story of her doc inspiration here:

She says that when she started filming, she wasn't sure what the whole thing would turn into, but the documentary "went from a fun thing to an incredible thing."

The film follows this troupe of amateur actors as they journey from performing at a stage in Dorset, where the audience turnout was she guesses about 20 people, to eventually performing at Leicester Square Theatre in London's West End.

"[The] aim of the documentary is just to share … with as many people as possible the joyful nature of the whole thing," said Harvey.

Bloodthirsty

Bloodthirsty is a new horror film co-written by Calgary's Wendy Hill-Tout and her daughter Lowell, who is a singer-songwriter.

It was filmed just outside of Edmonton and directed by Amelia Moses, based in Montreal, who joined The Homestretch on Thursday.

"What I was like initially drawn to was just kind of the core premise of this contrast between this horror creature imagery and someone writing this really beautiful album," Moses said.

Bloodthirsty is about a vegan indie singer, played by Lauren Beatty, who is working on new music at a studio in the woods and begins to have wolfish cravings for meat.

Moses describes the werewolf changes the lead undergoes as "an emotional extension of character, as well as her artistic journey."

"It's kind of looking at different things than werewolf films normally look at."

There is music throughout the movie, which "parallels" the main character's story arc, explains Moses.

Both films are available to stream on demand in Alberta only during CUFF, running from April 23 to May 2.

With files from The Homestretch.