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I recently had the chance to visit the set of "Power Corps", a new Montreal made horror/sci-fi flick directed by Christian Viel (Samhain). The film stars Anderson Bradshaw (Bone Collector, Battlefield Earth, Gothika), Christian Tessier (Batttlefield Earth), Patrick Sabongui (Timeline) and Kevin Kelsall (Timeline) Adrien Morot and his “Maestro FX". I also had the chance to speak to director Christian Viel about his new bad boy and got mucho info about it. So read on and enjoy the on-set pics while you're at it (click on some of them to see them enlarged). This one look like fun times in a red bottle!

ARROW: Can you share the plot of Power Corps with us?

Viel: Power Corps is about a group of Galactic Marines that are sent against the Ma’hars, a race of aliens that live between dimensions. The Ma’hars are an aggressive, entrepreneurial race and they enslaved various civilizations throughout the centuries – including the various race of aliens that have been abducting humans for years.  The Ma’hars consider humans as a lesser race and they use them for food and/or to create bio-weapons. They found inspiration in our legends and created a whole bunch of zombies, werewolves, vampires, cyborgs, etc… And let’s not forget steel mites! Basically the whole movie is just an excuse to do all kinds of “creature” movies into one. I missed doing an action film, that’s what I have done the most in my career. Samhain had some action but I missed blowing things up!!!

A soldier takes Arrow hostage for writing yet another
childish and cuss-riddled review

ARROW: Did you write the screenplay?

Viel: Yes indeed, I wrote the screenplay with some story ideas from Anderson Bradshaw who plays Sharp in the film. The original “Marines in space” was his idea and I was attracted to the fact that we could do all kinds of sick shit with weird colored blood so they can’t fuck with my film with all their sickening and stupid ratings standards.

Gillian Leigh (Samhain) as Fooks

This Cyborg mean business!

Stunt performer Alan Chou and newcomer Natalia Chtchekotikhina as space zombies

ARROW: Looking around the set, I couldn’t help thinking "Aliens". Would you say that Cameron’s classic was an inspiration in terms of Power Corps' “look”?

Viel: Cameron is definitely an inspiration. For me as well as Anderson, who is a huge fan of Aliens and being a military man himself before his acting/stuntman days, he’s very fond of Aliens for its realistic portrayal of the marines. James Cameron wrote the definitive Marines in space movie.  Nothing can compare to that.  During our research, we saw a few, including a cheesy B-flick called Space Marines. Every single movie about Marines in space reminded us of Aliens. Try it, you'll see. Japanese mangas and anime was also a big inspiration in terms of the look. I don’t know if you saw the guy in the Komodo suit (the one with the huge 90 pounds gun!) but that was definitely manga inspired.

ARROW: What type of tone will the film sport? Campy? Dead serious? A bit of both?

Viel: I don’t take myself too seriously, so all my movies have some kind of sick humor in it. My work tends to be campy but with a serious tone through it. In the end, I try to make movies I’d like to watch, being a fan of the genre.  If I’m entertained, I believe others will. My cast and crew certainly was on this film!

Sylvania Morot as yet another undead

Patrick Sabongui (Timeline) as Gumms

Kyra Zagorsky as Trish

ARROW: What kind of gory fun and special effects can we expect from the film?

Viel: Well, expect zombies shooting, fancy X-ray shots that show you a bullet’s progression through zombie brain tissue, slimy tentacles, a sexy werewolf, lots of green goo (some of it landing in questionable places…) and a creepy as hell kid zombie played by Adrien Morot’s son, Kwan.  That kid was creepy man, it freaked me and the crew!  And he gets shot in the end.  Messily.

ARROW: What do you think will be the highlight of the movie in terms of action set pieces?

Viel: The steel mites attack will be a definite classic. We went through ten gallons of goo for it. The actors were soaked!!!  We had some really nifty flamethrower action courtesy of Cineffects and the scene is both funny and tense, a difficult combination to achieve.  I have also a certain affection for the werewolf scene and for a short but very effective tentacle attack that occurs towards the end.

Is that the ALIENS cast?

Seek and Destroy Leonard Maltin!

Ready, Aim, Fire!

ARROW: Does Power Corps have a distribution deal yet? If so, who’s putting it out there and when can we expect its release?

Viel: The movie has Canadian distribution at this point through a new label called Blood & Bullets Releasing.  The movie should be out by the fall. I don’t know about other territories yet, but there is a lot of interest from various distributors overseas.

ARROW: What’s next on your plate in terms of directorial gigs?

Viel: A creature of the Black Lagoon type film as yet untitled that we plan on shooting at the end of the summer.  Once again, Adrien Morot is involved and this time he’s even provided us with both the plot and the swamp!


ARROW: On another note, we all can’t wait to see it and I have to ask: when is "Samhain" being released in North America?

Viel: Man, I wish I could answer that question. Everybody asks it! Originally the plan was for an October 2002 release but that went down the tubes because ACTRA refused us the right to hire Mark Borchardt because he wasn’t union and it prevented it’s release because Borchardt was a condition in the distribution contract. 

When they finally backed down, it was December…  Therefore impossible to shoot his scenes because the rest was shot in May.  The producers kept saying we will shoot the scenes but now we’re almost in June and they haven’t shot it yet.  I also know they will need to shoot something because the ending is, well, not complete without that scene.  I know that they had a lot of interest from many people, including Artisan but it looks like Compass International will take it on. 

The Canadian distributor, Oasis, had some issue with the gory nature of the film (despite the fact that they had read the script and approved it), especially in regards to a certain scene involving a dead baby (which to their credit wasn’t in the script but was tacked on later because of a casting mishap related to a long story involving Chasey Lain that I cannot discuss in print but I’ll tell you in person if you ever ask!), and they are currently trying to re-edit my cut of the film. 

So far the only “public” showing of Samhain was at the Kingston Film festival.  We showed an unfinished (Re: no sound effects, just location sound) version of the  Jenna death scene and my personal favorite, the ass-ripping scene to a crowded theater in Kingston.  We got a very puzzled and very enthusiastic response.  A similar sneak peak at unedited footage was performed at a Fangoria convention to a very good, enthusiastic reaction too.  The powers that be just don’t get it.  They want gory and wild and salivate at all the dough they’ll make when they hear fan reactions then chicken out when the suits that buy the films freak on the gore!

ARROW: Is "Samhain: Part 2" still a feasible idea?

Viel: There is a script for Samhain 2 and 3 ready in my camp. Whether or not they get done is up to Warehouse Films, but I would say it’s unlikely.

Arrow and soldier dude say "laterz!"

I'd like to thank Christian for having me on set. Hopefully "Power Corps" won't take the "Samhain" highway when it comes to distribution and we'll not only get to see it...but hopefully also get to see it uncut. LET'S ROCK!

Crawl back to the The Arrow in the Head Homestead...

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