The first release from the new Frightfest Features DVD label is to be Federico Zampaglione’s Shadow, a film I first saw at their festival in 2009. Without spoiling too much, I can honestly say that this one builds to a rather unexpected conclusion, with a final scene that changed the way I saw every last second that had gone before.
Suddenly, as it hit home just how political the film had been all along, my appreciation of it doubled.
Before we go on, here’s the freshly minted UK trailer:
Back in 2009, I had an e-mail exchange with Federico Zampaglione, the director. We conversed about the film, his other career in music, and about horror films in general. What follows comes directly from his e-mails to me, and is reproduced with his permission.
Sometimes, while I’m watching a horror film I’m able to predict the whole story after five minutes. That is exactly what I tried to avoid with SHADOW.
Regarding the structure of the film, what I did, is creating something where you can’t tell where the story is leading you. I really wanted to let the audience feeling disoriented, not giving them too many references, so that’s why I changed the perspective of the story in so many different ways.
Without any doubt, I strongly wanted to give a political message with my film and I’m pleased that people after the screening were debating that. Someone loved it, someone else hated it. That’s great! However I’m aware that delivering a political message in a horror movie is uncommon and a bit weird but at the same time it can make people think about what happens around them, every day.
I showed a lot of violence and pain in the film, but I didn’t want to do it for nothing. There are enough movies doing that.
Obviously I’m honoured and flattered because of the attention I’ve received, but at the end of the day, I’m just a horror fan more than everything else, and I’m trying to give my little contribution to get Italy back in the horror field. This is a terrible moment for the genre in Italy. The industry there really doesn’t care about horror features, which is terribly sad because in the past we have had a great tradition.
I found Nuot Arqint, the guy who plays the villain, surfing on the internet. I was immediately captivated by his intense and creepy figure, and when I met him in person I thought he was even more powerful and perfect for the role. Anyway we worked a lot together, in order to give the right development to his character. While we where shooting on set, he was completely focused in what he was doing, at the point he was never cold,despite he was acting quite naked with a temperature of three degrees below zero!!
I’m a very good friend of Dario Argento, Lamberto Bava and Ruggero Deodato. They are my masters and I truly love them. They gave me a lot of support and precious advice. I feel myself lucky to have such great masters and friends. However, I would love to keep working in the horror genre. I already have a couple of interesting projects – both really scary!
The Frightfest experience was one of the more exciting of my life. I had a lot of fun, and I lost myself in its incredible and magical atmosphere. It was the first time I showed SHADOW to a real audience and it was such a huge audience! I’ll never forget that moment.
Shadow will be released on DVD in the UK on May 23rd.