Described as Last House on the Left meets Assault on Precinct 13, Night of the Bastard screens at Arrow Video Frightfest.
We caught up with writer/director Erik Boccia and producer/star London May to tell us more –
Tell us about the genesis of Night of the Bastard?
ERIK: In 2019, we released a horror-comedy short called “Brutal Realty, Inc.” about a black metal demon who escapes from hell with the intention of dominating the LA real estate market. After winning numerous awards and receiving loads of hype, we set out to make an even crazier, spastic, blood soaked feature length version. That’s when reality kicked in and we realized how expensive this was actually going to be. The idea was to place Brutal on the backburner and put everything we had into an action thriller that could be filmed off the grid in a remote desert location. At the time, I was reading a lot about the Manson murders. Tex Watson and co. had allegedly stabbed Sharon Tate 16 times, all while she was 8 ½ months pregnant. I thought about how completely insane you would have to be to commit such a vicious act… OR could they possibly have believed in doing something so heinous for reasons of a higher power? This idea planted the seed that gave birth to Bastard. From there, London and I crafted the story and enlisted screenwriters Chuck Foster and Christian Ackerman to create the screenplay. We assembled a small but mighty crew and a killer cast, drove out to the California desert, and spent 11 grueling nights (in the Summer heat) creating Night of the Bastard.
How did it feel being a producer but also starring in the film?
LONDON: I wouldn’t recommend it! But there’s more dirty jobs on a film set than at a garbage dump- and somebodies gotta do it!
Tell us about the role of Reed?
LONDON: Reed lives on both sides of good and evil. He’s a paranoid, antisocial desert rat who inadvertently puts in motion a tidal wave of violence that crushes everything in its wake. He’ll threaten to protect his homestead and independence at any cost, but can a one-man militia really step up when a show down of pure hell comes knocking? How many need to die?
What can you tell us about the plot?
“Disgruntled hermit Reed lives a solitary life in the desert. After chasing away a group of youths trying to party near his home, Reed’s peaceful life is violently upheaved when a group of savage cultists lay siege to his house. Forced to partner up with one of the partygoers, Reed and his newfound colleague must defend themselves into the night, all while long-buried and disturbing secrets are revealed to him as part of the cult’s evil plan.”
ERIK: On the surface, Night Of The Bastard is a home invasion by a malicious sex cult, but there’s much more depth to this plot. There is a pivotal opening scene which is a throwback to the satanic 70s, the unspoken trauma of Reed’s mysterious past, the uplifting relationship of him and his one and only companion – a turtle named Marlon, the threat posed to that sacred bond by opening his home to an injured young woman – Kiera, and a shocking twist that will undoubtedly leave audiences gasping.
Tell us about working with director Erik Boccio?
LONDON: He’s truly a sick individual and I love him to death! We both come from the underground punk and metal world so we both share the same DIY rebel spirit. Night Of The Bastard is our forth film in seven years and its always been a perfect union of our love for gory wickedness, nihilism, and sick humor.
Are you a fan of folk horror?
ERIK: I’ve always been fascinated by folk horror in film and literature alike. There is something to be said about finding gloom in tales passed down for centuries and a timelessness about adapting and retelling those stories. I am a fan of modern classics like Lamb, Midsommar, The Witch and of course trying to pay homage to the old gods as well. While juxtaposing the fabled cult element with isolation and the darkness of the high desert, Night of the Bastard was also inspired by 1970’s exploitation thrillers like The Last House on the Left, Assault on Precinct 13, and even The Texas Chain Saw Massacre – but those were just the bones. Will the cult truly summon the ancient demon Orobas, or is it all pure delusion? You’ll have to watch to find out!
Are you excited to be screening at Arrow Video FrightFest?
LONDON: FrightFest is legend and to have our international premiere in my namesake is personally a tremendous honor. Night Of The Bastard also has some curated UK ties that I’m extremely proud of too. Our movie poster was created by the legendary English artist Lex Ronald and our end credits theme song was written and performed by Charles Cave from my favorite UK band WHITE LIES. I’m very thankful that my British friends believed in me and the movie – and I’m very excited to give them some home town glory. I can’t wait to meet all our new mates at FrightFest but I will be disappointed if some crazy shit like the finale of American Werewolf in London doesn’t break out after the screening.