Greetings, all. Ambush Bug here with another AICN HORROR: ZOMBIES & SHARKS column. I had an opportunity to talk with director Kimble Rendall about his new film BAIT 3D, which has a premise that just reeks of fun. Always a sucker for shark horror, I couldn’t wait to talk about sharks and why the hell they are so damn scary with Kimble as well as talk about the new resurgence of horror coming out of the outback these days. Here’s what Mr. Rendall had to say…
BUG: Well, I’ve seen the posters for BAIT and it looks like a really fantastic film. I have not seen the film yet, but I do look forward to seeing it. I’m a huge fan of shark films. Can you explain to the readers what exactly this film is all about?
KIMBLE RENDALL (KR): The film follows a group of people on a beautiful day on the coast of Australia in a supermarket where there’s a robbery and then a tsunami hits the coast and the supermarket becomes flooded. So people have crawled up on the shelving and the building is collapsing and electrical wires are everywhere while the water is rising and they have to work out how to get out of this place. They’re trapped and then they realize there’s a shark in there.
BUG: (Laughs) Very cool. Well yeah, it seems like a very fun concept and you shot the film in 3D, is that correct?
KR: Yeah, that’s correct. It is a lot of fun. It’s a popcorn movie. It’s one of those old fashioned things where you go out to a movie and grab your girlfriend and she gets scared and grabs on to you and that was my approach. It’s not high brow, it’s just “have a good scare and a good laugh.” In the bottom of the supermarket is a car park and there’s people trapped there as well and there’s another shark in that area, so it’s in two areas, upstairs and downstairs.
BUG: Very cool. I know filing a shark film is kind of like filming an exorcism film where you’re always going to be compared to JAWS just like all exorcism films are compared to THE EXORCIST. What did you do to distinguish yourself from that film?
KR: JAWS was one of the films that inspired me to make BAIT or even movies. I knew it was going to get compared to it and there’s no way you can make a shark film better than JAWS, you know? Good luck, but it certainly was…Universal didn’t think that was going to work, but then people started waiting around the block and it became the first blockbuster. We handle our sharks differently and the difference is our film is in 3D now that technology has evolved. I tried to put the film into a 3D film not by having everything coming at you, but that said for a shark movie it was quite good, you could bring the sharks out and other things out. So I think that’s a major difference with our film.
BUG: I don’t know what it is about shark films, but it really hits me on a primal level. Last year I saw THE REEF, which is by another Australian filmmaker. I believe it was filmed in Australia as well, is that correct?
KR: Yeah, I believe it was.
BUG: I really enjoyed that one. I thought it was really great. You’re from Australia as well, correct?
KR: Yes, I’m from Sydney.
BUG: Is the fact that shark attacks are so common in your area the reason why there seems to be this resurgence of shark films in Australia?
KR: It’s part of our psyche. We are surrounded by water and every time you go for a swim you know “If I go out too far, I’ve got to remember there’s sharks out here.” You have to be really unlucky to be eaten by a shark, but it’s certainly part of our thought process and you know they are scary, so if you want to make a horror movie with an animal then a shark’s a pretty good start.
BUG: Definitely. You mentioned the things that you did to make sure that this 3D was used to the fullest of its potential, and instead of having stuff come at you at all times, what other things did you do to make sure that you could see that extra dimension and that extra depth in your film?
KR: With the 3D? The interesting thing is when you look at the screen it’s either positive or negative space, so with every shot you have to decide where you’re going to place the focus of the shot and how much of the 3D you are going to use, so I was always conscious to…if you push it too far you can get into danger and you can make people feel ill if you don’t get it right, so I was just conscious of trying to make it where you’re comfortable in the environment, but it’s meant to be full of horror and creepy, so there’s things floating in the water or you see snakes or jellyfish and you remind people that yes, this water had come from the ocean, even when you don’t see the sharks. So I think that enhanced the horror side of it. I think you need to use what was inside the water. Does that make sense?
BUG: Definitely. So what other films have you worked on in the past?
KR: I did a horror movie ten years about called CUT and then I’ve been working on second unit on big action movies like THE MATRIX sequels, I, ROBOT, CASANOVA, UNDERWORLD…a lot of American Hollywood summer movies I was doing visual effects for.
BUG: Did you put that knowhow to work in this film or did you have other people do the effects?
KR: Yeah, we had a visual effects supervisor, but with my background and…I love doing all of that stuff, so what was great about doing second unit on other films that you get from Hollywood filmmaking is the style, and then doing that in Australia and I brought the crews that worked on all of those films on to this film, so we got all of that expertise onto this. No one else in Australia knew how to do it, and since I had that kind of background…so it was good to have all of the experience from those other films.
BUG: It does seem like there’s an increase in horror from Australia recently. Is that a popular trend on Australia right now? I know it’s popular around the world, but it just seems like lately there have been some really good horror films from Australia.
KR: We do have a tradition of genre films, but in the last ten or fifteen years…we tend to do more genre films, because there’s a market for them and people like them and you can sell them. A lot of the other films you couldn’t sell from Australia. So the industry disappeared a little bit and then the dollar went up and people stopped coming, but you should check out a film called WAKE IN FRIGHT, which is directed by an Indian, but based on an Australian story. That was made about twenty five years ago and is one of my favorite movies, WAKE IN FRIGHT…
BUG: Really? I’ve heard about that. I have a screener and I’m about to watch it here within the next week or so, so I can’t wait to check it out now.
KR: Oh cool. Let me know what you think, because I think it’s great and then we’ve had a lot of genre horror movies over the years, but it’s gone away, so I’m bringing it back.
BUG: Great. As far as actors, who is in this film? Who do we have to look forward to see in this film? Were there any actors that have been in previous films?
KR: We have Xavier Samuel who was in TWILIGHT and Sharni Vinson who was in STEP UP 3D and has an action movie coming up and Julian McMahon from American TV and NIP/TUCK…then there’s Phoebe Tonkin who’s starting to get a profile here…
BUG: Very cool. Do you have any stories of them freaking out seeing these sharks? Was it practical or were they CGI sharks?
KR: Both. There were some practical, like big puppets and then there’s loads of CGI. Yeah, they did when we showed them the sharks and the first time they saw the sharks in the water felt like we had live animals on the set and in the water and so on “action” when the things started moving through the water everyone got really scared. So they all had a little freakout.
BUG: Well, I can’t wait to check this film out. It does seem like a really fun concept and I don’t have a 3D television, but I will imagine that it’s 3D. Is this going to have a theatrical release possibly? I know it’s coming out on video, but is there any chance of it touring in America, just to see the 3D in theaters?
KR: It’s really annoying, but it’s not having that. It’s a limited release and I think they have a deal with Tug where if you get a hundred people then they will bring it to your town, but I’m not sure how that’s going to work. I mean, unfortunately…every other country in the world is having a big summer release, like in China it’s going up on 2,000 screens.
BUG: Well, I think there are a lot of people that are getting 3D televisions these days, so I think they will still be able to enjoy the 3D effects of it.
KR: Yeah, and definitely it’ll be a different sort of distribution with Video On Demand and 3D, so yeah.
BUG: Very cool. Well, thank you very much for your time, I really appreciate it and I can’t wait to check out the film. It looks really cool.
KR: Well, thanks for your time. Cheers!
BUG: BAIT 3D is available this week on BluRay and DVD! After the trailer below, check out my review of the film!
New on DVD/BluRay this week!
BAIT 3DDirected by Kimble Rendall
Written by Russell Mulcahy & John Kim
Starring Xavier Samuel, Phoebe Tonkin, Sharni Vinson, Adrian Pang, Qi Yuwu, Alex Russell, Martin Sacks, Alice Parkinson, Lincoln Lewis, Damian Garvey, Cariba Heine, Richard Brancatisano, Dan Wyllie, & Julian McMahon
To see this film on the big screen in your town, click here!
Reviewed by Ambush Bug
Those of you who have read this AICN HORROR column should know that I have a deep dark fear of sharks. Whenever I see a shark or even sometimes people at play at the beach, I can’t help but feel the need to tuck up my legs and scream for all to head for the shore. Now, as I said in the interview above, shark films have a bit of a difficult task ahead of them. As with possession films always having to be compared to THE EXORCIST, it’s inevitable if you’ve got a shark in your film, comparisons to JAWS are going to happen. So I’m going to get it out of the way and say that no, BAIT 3D is not as good as JAWS.
But the thing is, despite the fact that it doesn’t blow Spielberg’s toothy monster out of the water, BAIT 3D is, in fact, a damn fun movie.
In a nutshell, an apropos title to this film would be SHARKS IN A SUPERMARKET & A PARKING GARAGE. Now before you guffaw so hard you choke, the ridiculous premise does actually make some kind of sense as a tsunami sweeps across a resort, flooding the entire area. And as we saw with the Japanese tsunami, all sorts of animal life gets swept up onto shore with the water, so the probability of sharks cruising the produce section is going to be a little more believable given that we first accept the ridiculous scenario. And I mean ridiculous in a good way. Ridiculous fun, that is.
Director Kimble Rendall isn’t trying to out-shark JAWS here. He’s just going for making a fun film, and for the most part he succeeds. The action moves quick, with a shark attack that has deep ramifications for our cast in the first few minutes of the film. After that is out of the way, we jump forward a bit in time to see how this attack has affected our couple Xavier Samuel and Phoebe Tonkin, who have broken apart after the death of her brother. In one of those freakish coincidences we as audience members are used to believing in this type of film, the couple along with a group of others become trapped in a flooded supermarket with a great white shark swimming around the aisles.
Kimble Rendall’s background is in effects, so you’d better believe this film has some convincing CGI and practical effects. The shark looks amazing and though the probability that a shark can leap into the air in eight feet of water might be a little much to take, seeing it do so is pretty awesome. Some of the shark attacks are quite gruesome, so we get to see plenty of gory feeding frenzies.
Did I mention that the action is also split between the supermarket and a parking garage below the store which is flooded as well? Well, now I did. And the shark in the garage is even bigger. As a few folks are trapped in their cars watching a massive shark swim around, the underwater viewpoint is something that made my toes flex.
But that’s just the way I am. Sharks scare the shit out of me.
BAIT 3D isn’t trying to be anything else than what it is: a fun popcorn movie with a pair of big ass fish with murder in their maws and plenty of people to chomp on. The 3D effects are nice in this shot in 3D film. No post production 3D here, and some of the scenes where the shark is slowly swimming toward the camera are the stuff of my darkest nightmares. The cast here is talented and sure to have some up and coming stars, plus Julian McMahon gets to chew the scenery a bit. But don’t expect high drama here. That’s not what this is all about. Do expect lots of thrills, and you won’t be disappointed with BAIT 3D.
See ya tomorrow with a film from and an interview with a genre legend, folks!
Ambush Bug is Mark L. Miller, original @$$Hole/wordslinger/reviewer/co-editor of AICN Comics for over ten years. He has written comics such as MUSCLES & FIGHTS, MUSCLES & FRIGHTS, VINCENT PRICE PRESENTS TINGLERS & WITCHFINDER GENERAL, THE DEATHSPORT GAMES, WONDERLAND ANNUAL 2010 & NANNY & HANK (soon to be made into a feature film from Uptown 6 Films). He is also a regular writer for FAMOUS MONSTERS OF FILMLAND & has co-written their first ever comic book LUNA: ORDER OF THE WEREWOLF (to be released in late 2012 as an 100-pg original graphic novel). Mark has just announced his new comic book miniseries GRIMM FAIRY TALES PRESENTS THE JUNGLE BOOK from Zenescope Entertainment to be released March-August 2012. Also look for Mark's exciting arc on GRIMM FAIRY TALES #76-80 which begins in August 2012.
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