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Posts Tagged ‘Paulo Costanzo’

Exclusive Interview – Toby Wilkins, director of Splinter

Posted by LiveFor on June 24, 2009

Splinter is an excellent horror movie. Creepy, scary and even though it only had a small budget it looks like it cost a lot more. It has a great creature knocking off a cast who act their socks off. It also leaves you pondering what caused the creature and a few well placed shots and comments mean you can have great discussions afterwards.

The highlight for me was the creature itself. At first you think it is a straight forward zombie kind of thing, but then things grow, mutate, stretch and crawl. Before you know it you are watching something rather different to the usual creature feature.

Trapped in an isolated gas station by a voracious Splinter parasite that
transforms its still living victims into deadly hosts, a young couple and an
escaped convict must find a way to work together to survive this primal

It stars Shea Whigham, Paulo Costanzo (Road Trip), Jill Wagner (who would make a great Wonder Woman), Rachel Kerbs, Charles Baker and Laurel Whitsett. Small cast, small set, big horror.

I really recommend the film (check out the review) and I was lucky enough to have a chance to ask the directer, Toby Wilkins, a few questions. It was a quick little interview via Twitter.

Describe Splinter to those who have not yet seen it

It’s a fast paced, gory indie horror film. My homage to the creature features and contained siege horror that I loved as a kid

The design and movement of the creature is creepy and quite unique. How did it develop?

The creature idea had been in my head for ages. Bringing it to life practically took many talented SFX artist and physical performers

How did you get into the film business?

I started in design, doing titles for films and some vfx, but always directing my own stuff on the side. I guess it was just will power.

What was the first film you ever watched?

I have no idea. In England we had just three TV channels, and the BBC would show great old movies, no ads, and I couldn’t get enough.

If you were going to be killed by any movie villain or monster who or what would it be? What would your last words be?

It would have to huge, like maybe the creature from The Host, and I would take it with me, with a cheesy quip like “Eat This!”

What will you do differently when making your next feature?

Hopefully I will get more time to shoot and rehearse, so far every film I have done has been on a pretty insane shooting schedule

Did the low budget help or hinder the feel of the film?

I think the film fit the budget well. A contained setting, very few characters, and we kep the energy high shooting as fast as we did.

What advice can you give to any new filmmakers filming this?

Just get out there and make films, shorts, whatever. Lots of them. Learn as much as you can from each, and then move on to the next.

What are your favourite films and what films are you most looking forward to seeing this year?

Alien, Blade Runner, 28 Days Later, The Game, 2001, The Ring, The Shining, Time Bandits, Inglourious Basterds, Where the Wild Things Are.

What are you working on next?

I’m not ready to announce anything just yet.

Thanks for your time Toby.

Check out Toby’s blog and follow him on Twitter.


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Splinter, 2008- Movie Review and Trailer. Beware those small slivers of wood!

Posted by LiveFor on September 26, 2008

Director: Toby Wilkins
Shea Whigham, Paulo Costanzo, Jill Wagner
Score: 8/10
This review by

First off its safe to say this review will not spoil the movie. So fear not my horror munching friends. This review is safe to read. Toby Wilkins Splinter is coming to Theatres October 31st and I had a chance to checkout a very early screener of the film. Toby Wilkins is also directing Grudge 3 that has some fans groaning and in the past worked on the Grudge Short films that were put out as part of a viral marketing campaign. So with Splinter this is our first chance to see what Toby can REALLY do.

First a bit of a background rant. In modern mainstream horror it is full of cliches, bad acting, and cgi out the wazoo. Three things that will pretty much ruin a horror movie for the die hard horror fans who expect and want more The flip side is you also have an entire generation of fans who are into horror to see things get bloody…. really bloody. Folks who like to see bodies getting ripped in half, limbs torn off, heads blown off and all that jazz. So the horror demographic is a diverse one. Gore hounds as well as people like myself who like their gore but also want some originality and intelligence in the film as well.

Mainstream horror as a whole has gotten lazy which is why most of us have to watch horror on DVD as its the only place to get a good quality FIX for our need for terror. The nice thing about Splinter is it pulls both those things off quite well. Gorey, intelligent and all around… bad ass. Think FEAST bad ass minus the comedy angle because this is a balls out blood bath and there is nothing funny about it. Although you might like me laugh that ackward laugh in a few scenes where bodies are bent in directions they shouldnt go and you get some sick bone cracking and screaming happening. Yes kids.. its sick.

The really vague overview I will give you is its about a group of people who end up trapped in a building and being ‘hunted’ by a monster/creature that is bent on having them for supper. It has a unique blend of 3 main characters who really work well together and are not your typical cliche, the hot chick, the tough guy, and the jock. You do get the hot chick, and you do get the tough guy, but in place of a jock we get a biology PHD student and a whole lot more intelligence. The characters are well thought out and interesting with a dialogue that actually makes sense in a horror movie. You dont see any cliche scares in this puppy and no, Jill Wagner who plays the fantastic female lead doesnt play the mindless tart who eats it. Smart characters and smart writing combined with a really cool monster done primarily with practical FX is what makes this movie a keeper.

The monster in Splinter is genius and again you have to watch to see. I dont intend to spoil it. Its not your typical monster and its also not some over the top insane creation that you have a hard time connecting with or having it scare the crap out of you. I take issue with movies that try to do a new and creative creature and fall flat or worse yet lack any sort of ingenuity to even go that far and just do the typical ‘man with an axe’ crap. The monster in splinter is definitely NOT your cliche formula monster and the first 30 minutes of the movie I spent trying to figure out exactly what the f*ck it was. But in a good way. Its bloody, its distinct and as pointed out earlier… its bad ass.

The film which is getting a theatrical run through Mangolia has outstanding production values. This is despite the fact it was shot on a relatively small budget in comparsion to a lot of other big budget horror films. There is no skimping to the viewers eye on how the film looks. The overall feel and appeal of the film is top bar the whole way. If your looking for a horror movie that not only has some serious bite but has some intelligent writing and interesting characters Splinter is for you. I have to say that this is a definite go see when it hits theatres.


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