Interview: Escape from Cannibal Farm star David Lenik

David Lenik

Forget another Leatherface yarn, indie horror ‘Escape from Cannibal Farm’ looks set to steal the Sawyer families thunder when it’s released later this year.

We got the chance to chat to David Lenik who plays Toby in ‘Escape….’, here’s what he had to say –

Tell us about your character Toby Harver?

Toby was such great fun to play and one of my favourite roles to date. Toby is a member of the ill-fated Harver family who end up on the Cannibal Farm. He is the sarcastic, nerdy young brother who butts heads with several of the family members.

He’s a bit of a joker and constantly looking for ways to wind everyone up. However, underneath all this he has a heart of gold and steps up in a big way to save his family later on in the film, which will hopefully have the audience rooting for him.

What was your first reaction on reading the script?

I stayed up until 3am reading the whole script and couldn’t put it down. I was surprised by how many twists and turns the script had, never knowing where it was going to take you next, and quickly realising it wasn’t a typical run-of-the-mill slasher.

I loved how it was highly character driven with a truly imaginative plot , thanks to the great writing. Being a big horror fan myself, I really appreciated the nostalgic 1970’s backwoods style and instantly couldn’t wait to get started.

What films do you think EFCF models itself on?

The film has some strong influences from the golden age of 1970’s horror, noticeably ‘The Texas Chainsaw Massacre’ and ‘The Hills Have Eyes’ and from the trailer the horror community have suspected it is like a British version of Chainsaw Massacre, however, this is definitely not the case and as soon as the family get to the farm and things really hit the fan, it takes a far more complicated and unexpected turn into something that is both fresh and original.

Of course, the film intends to pay tribute to the Texas Chainsaw style (especially with the films antagonist, The Boy with the Melted Face’) but instead of being a copycat or a rehash it takes you into a new and surprisingly twisted direction.

Tell us about a typical day on set?

I had the time of my life on set, all of us became like a real family very quickly. For the first few days of filming before the family arrive at the farm and the real horror begins, we filmed the camper van and campfire scenes in the middle of nowhere in the beautiful English countryside in the height of summer, we almost forgot it was a ‘horror’ film we were making, and with nowhere to go we spent a lot of time together, always laughing about something.

But a typical day was sitting in the make-up chair getting slathered in blood, being thrown in a cage and perfecting my scream, with the fantastic locations really helping to get into character.

Is EFCF full of gory special effects?

 Yes. the film certainly delivers on the gore but rather than being a straight up gorefest it is used in a way that serves the characters. For example, Toby is supposed to be one of the more sympathetic characters, which makes it more effective when he has some pretty nasty things happen to him, that includes being sledgehammered and part of his face sawed off (among worse things, but can’t give away too much).

There were several days where I was drenched head to toe in blood or some sort of grotesque horror make-up, which just made the whole experience so much more fun.

When is the film set to be released?

The film is being released later this year in the US and Canada with the UK release to follow soon after. In the meantime I’m lucky enough to be on board for the Director’s next film, a bloody snowbound horror in the coming months. But I can’t wait for Escape from Cannibal Farm to be unleashed on the public!

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