Newspaper article Sunshine Coast Daily (Maroochydore, Australia)

Upside-Down Horror

Newspaper article Sunshine Coast Daily (Maroochydore, Australia)

Upside-Down Horror

Article excerpt

AT its heart, Igor is a story of hope and how the most unlikely people can change the world.

For screenwriter Chris McKenna, it all began with a simple idea.

A lifelong fan of horror films, he set out to create a riff on Frankenstein and other evil scientist films by flipping that world upside down: turn the slurring, hunchbacked lab assistant into a genius, the evil genius into a fraud, the evil monster into a sweetheart, the brain-in-a-jar to an idiot, and so on.

"I got stuck on this notion of a dark, stormy Transylvania-like universe and wanted to explore that setting," McKenna said.

"Then I found myself wondering about Igor (there's one in every evil scientist film ever made): who is he and where did he come from? What's his story?"

For director Tony Leondis, McKenna's slightly twisted take on a classic tale immediately intrigued him and sparked visions of creating a film with a look that was completely unique.

Also a life-long fan of horror films, as well as of film noir and German expressionism, Leondis envisioned a world of gothic romanticism that was creepy but accessible and populated with characters and plot points reminiscent of classic gothic novels - the curse on a village, the downtrodden servant turned hero, the innocent girl - all realised with a very strong visual take and wrapped in a modern-day allegory with generous amounts of humour.

"From the first time I read Chris's script, I just loved everything about it," Leondis said. "We have the same off-beat, sardonic humour and I was fascinated with the idea of exploring this world and its characters and bringing a unique perspective and look to it."

To bring the audience into that world and allow them to really connect to the story and its characters, Leondis wanted to give them an entirely new vision of mad scientists and evil inventions, as well as bring in a few subtle parallels and references to current issues.

"My goal was to take familiar monster motifs and rearrange them in a surprisingly fun way to evoke the memories that people have of classic monster movies," he said. …

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