Renegade Interview: Jeremiah Buckhalt, ‘Blood Widow’

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Blood WidowFilmmaker Jeremiah Buckhalt isn’t embarrassed to admit he’s more Trek than Freddy, but the chance to direct a traditional horror film like Blood Widow was too exciting an opportunity to pass on.

 

You’re a horror and science fiction fan from way back. Has it always been a dream to do your own genre flick like Blood Widow?

I certainly love the genre. I never imagined I would do a horror film, specifically a slasher film. I am more interested in science fiction horror. However, when the opportunity came to do a traditional horror film, I wanted to see what I could do with it. There’s plenty for me to sink my teeth into.

Growing up, who were your fave horror filmmakers? What were your fave horror flicks?

I love the original Halloween and Alien, the original My Bloody Valentine, Hellraiser, the Evil Dead series, and of course Jason and Freddy. I’ve always enjoyed Hitchcock as well. Carpenter was a huge influence on me because of The Thing, which is amazing—one of the best films of all time.

Blood Widow – such a great idea. Whose was it?

The idea and design for the killer was mine. Originally, she was a side character for another idea I had that wasn’t in the horror genre. When we decided to make a slasher, I saw an opportunity to use her as a main villain. I had shelved her for years, like so many of my drawings and sketches, and I was happy to revisit her. The look and style for her was there before anything else, but I didn’t have a name for her. Phil, our art director and one of our executives, came up with the name. We filled in the blanks when we decided to go with her as the centerpiece.

What classic fright-films was Blood Widow inspired by?

All of the old-school slashers from the ‘70s and ‘80s had an impact. The older slashers were made with a lot of integrity, real special effects, and not a whole lot of money. Halloween, Friday the 13th, A Nightmare on Elm Street, and others were instrumental in forming the feel. That’s what I grew up watching.

Blood Widow

This is your first major feature.  Was it a daunting experience or were you quite confident from start-to-end – having done so much work in TV?

I was confident, but that certainly didn’t keep it from almost killing me. I can honestly look back and say that I, as well as our crew, did everything humanly possible to make a good picture given what we had to work with. I’m satisfied that I held nothing back, and I certainly gave it my all—everybody did. We lost a few years of our lives in the amount of stress and exhaustion and tireless work every day for years in order to get the picture to this point. Being such a low-budget movie, we all had to wear a lot more hats. I’m glad we all lived through it.

You wore so many hats on this movie… is that usual for an indie horror film or do you simply like to juggle?

I think that’s pretty normal for a movie at our level. I don’t want to say that I enjoy juggling so much, but I like having some hand in a lot of areas. In this case, we had to juggle so much because there was literally no other way. I feel that some aspects of the movie, in my mind, are lacking are because I couldn’t focus on some minor things that I would have liked to have smoothed out. For example, some shots are not in the film that I initially wanted to do, and some moments that could have been expanded upon or contracted with a little more time. Overall, the movie is as good as it can possibly be. I’m very proud of it.

Have you and the writers discussed possibly doing a sequel?

Yes, we have. There is a treatment, and like The Blood Widow herself, it’s lurking in the shadows. What’s interesting about the treatment for the sequel is that most of it came to me while working on this one. I hope we are given the opportunity to work on more.

 

Blood Widow hits DVD, Redbox and VOD on June 3rd, 2014

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About the Author

Shawn S. Lealos
Shawn is a film critic with over 25 years of experience in print and online media. He is a member of the Oklahoma Film Critics Circle and loves everything from critically acclaimed movies to B-level action flicks.
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