Entertainment, Reviews, Theatre, Film & TV|March 28, 2011 2:04 pm

Will you go on the Night Drive?

Night Drive: Not for sissies

We’re not sure if you’ve managed to see it yet, but we happened to catch a behind-the-scenes EPK of the film Night Drive the other day.

Generally we dig horror films but there is a certain type we tend to go for, and it borders more on the thriller style than the general ‘Saw 73’ gore-fest. After watching the first few scenes of the EPK, we were ready to start running from the screen, but curiosity kept us sitting there a little longer… And by the end of the excerpt, we were pretty much convinced that we would greatly regret not watching this film. (Even though, we have to admit, it looks KAK scary!)

Here is why!

The quality of South African film-making is improving so fast, it’s unbelievable! The most fascinating aspect of this film is that it was filmed entirely using a stills camera! (A world-first, we may add!). Director of photography, Trevor Calverley pretty-much pioneered this cool style of filming and the crew literally had to design certain equipment to use with the cameras. The resulting style is gritty but crystal clear and extremely personal. The small size of the cameras allowed them to get into places larger cameras just wouldn’t fit.

We also really liked the concept behind the storyline -- realistic enough to make you genuinely scared and still relevant in an African context: A group of tourists go out on a game drive in a private game farm and soon find that the animals aren’t the most dangerous thing out there.

Christopher Beasley: the star

The cast includes a few daytime drama favourites, like Christopher Beasley, Corinne Du Toit, Greg Melvill-Smith and Yule Masiteng, all of whom seem to rise to the big-screen challenges.

Reviews of the film, which was released in early March, have been both favourable and negative. While some have praised the slick and artistic camera-work, others have slated it, calling it nausea-inducing.

Interestingly, some critics felt that the film’s storyline could bring about negative connotations for the South African tourism industry and perpetuated certain stereotypes that tourists may have about the country.

We can sort of see their point, however, those people who watch horror films do tend to take into account the fact that the film has been made with the intention of scaring and shocking, rather than reflecting any real truths.

Trevor Calverley

Justin Head, writer and director of Night Drive, says the timing of the film is ideal. “A convincing thriller always has its roots in reality and judging by current news reports, Night Drive couldn’t be more relevant. Poaching and the illicit trade in animal parts, rhinos in particular, are once again in the media. Night Drive goes one step further by looking at what happens when a poacher turns into a murderer and begins to trade in people both dead and alive. I believe the film will linger in people’s minds long after they’ve watched it.”

Executive producers, The Film Factory, felt it was a natural choice for Justin Head to write and direct Night Drive. He is known for his passion for Africa and the bush, having studied nature conservation after school. He has also travelled extensively through Africa, spending time in Gabarone, Blantyre and Dar es Salaam.

So, there you have it, we will reserve further judgment until we have managed to actually see th film for ourselves, but we’re glad to see South African film branching out from the traditional ‘African-drama’ or slapstick moulds. It’s important that we start to express ourselves in new ways, even if some people don’t understand or like them!

Watch the EPK here:

Vampire Francois

Meanwhile, we also happened to notice the adverts on MK this weekend, for the up-coming vampire horror film, Bloedsuiers. In a completely unprecedented move, the makers of this film are using MK to ask the viewers for sponsorship to help finish their project. A brilliant plan if ever we saw one! (We can’t help but wonder what they are paying for the ads though?)

Still, a very smart move, considering the MK viewers will buy/watch/pay to see absolutely ANYTHING that has Francois van Coke in any capacity. Francois van Coke acting as a vampire…it’s like mud for piggies!Click here to make a donation and see your favourite Afrikaans rockers kicking ass and taking names in a vampire thriller.

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