Featured image: Frank as Frank and Zed as Zed in Frank & Zed, currently playing at the Fantasia Film Festival. (Courtesy of Puppetcore.)
Back at last October’s first edition of the Nightstream Film Festival, I was able to watch the wild puppet horror film Frank & Zed, written and directed by Portland filmmaker Jesse Blanchard. I loved it a lot as a love letter to the horror genre and monster movies, and I loved seeing all the effort that went into a puppet film of nature, especially with the climactic Orgy of Blood.
I spoke with Jesse at that festival, but as our conversation came at the very end of the festival, we thought it best to hold the conversation for either its release (On Demand or what have you), or its next big festival stop. It’s now playing at the Fantasia Film Festival – available On Demand through Wednesday, August 25 – and I’m super excited to unveil our conversation.
The film, by the way, is about a Frankenstein’s Monster and a zombie (the titular Frank & Zed) who are the centre of each other’s world in a fascinating co-dependent friendship, relying on each other for survival. They’re completely fine going about their days on the edge of town in an isolated tower, until a power-hungry magistrate tricks the villagers into attacking their castle, fulfilling the prophecy of the (super fun) Orgy of Blood. (My review of the film out of Nightstream can be found here.)
In our conversation, we definitely touch on elements of the Orgy of Blood, a bit about how he gets these puppets to work and move around on set. Jesse also talks about how he spent seven years of his life on this project and what went into it, and finally having the film premiere. As well, he also shows off the puppets of Frank & Zed, as well as some of the barbershop quartet characters.
It’s a fun conversation which you can find right above in its YouTube form, or listen to it directly below in its audio form (and you can also download it here). I hope you’d consider checking out this treat of a film where you can find tickets here. One last plug, as you can check out Jesse’s future projects at his website Puppetcore by going here.
*Podcast music courtesy of bensound.com