Furor: Rage of the Innocent
I blogged this first part on LiveJournal many years ago…
At the weekend – I drove 60 odd miles into Mansfield with the solid intention of being early for the first night shoot on Furor.
“What’s a Furor?” I hear you cry.
Furor is a hard-hitting, take no shit, give no compromise, independent action/horror movie. It’s the story of a brutal loss of innocence, revenge and retribution featuring amazing martial arts and bloody mayhem. The faces on the screen are going to be familiar to any fans of UK martial arts and action and they include Rob Ho, Zara Pythian and Rob Comrie. Some of the nicest (and toughest) people you could ever hope to meet.
Filming across the UK (Bristol, Mansfield, Glasgow) and featuring Fight Choreography by George and Mandy from the Total Combat Team this is a hot, highly anticipated project. So where do I fit into this? I met Zara and writer/director Vic Marke on “Summer of the Massacre” and after reading the script (and banging my head against the wall) I was drafted in to provide the FX for the film.
And DAMN are there some bloody, nasty, horrible (justly deserved) deaths in this film. Most of those are yet to come as we continue filming, but we sure did have fun Saturday night.
I arrived (complete with FOUR different types of blood) just in time to retire to the pub for a meal (how’s THAT for good timing?). Meeting the cast and crew was cool. Some I knew from other projects and some I knew from the internet (Rob Comrie is BLOODY HUGE in real life!). After a short break we retired to the location; an abandoned warehouse that would provide the setting for the films bloody finale!
They were running three cameras (one for a “behind the scenes” feature), had dolly tracks down and the fight co-ordinators on hand (and DAMN were THEY good!!!). It was amazing to watch a fight being filmed and I was really impressed by the professionalism and sheer stamina of Rob Ho and Zara and they performed the same fluid fight moves again and again and again! As the night wore on they NEVER flagged, giving it 100% and then some.
Having seen some of the playback from the fight it’s brutal, vicious, nasty and bloody. A truly triumphant finale for the feature. We wrapped at just after 4 AM Sunday morning! Got home at 5:30, crawled onto the sofa to “sleep” and spent the day looking like a zombie. It was worth it though, I lacerated feet, broke a nose, beat someone up, gouged some eyes and then…nah…watch the movie when it’s finished to see what I used all that blood for!!
(beat THAT for an evenings entertainment! lol))
Highlights from that first night included Rob Ho eating KFC with his intestines hanging in his lap. Poor Rob ended up having his eyes gouged out, getting disembowelled on a samurai sword and being hung from the rafters! The cool thing was that I’d agreed to play the role of DC Steve Dench in the film and that gave me the opportunity to act opposite my own make-up FX work. I had a delightful conversation with Natalie Cellino about how I made mint flavoured blood. She thought I said “meat” and was grossed out when I started tasting it! We ran a great scene brandishing Desert Eagle handguns and doing dialogue in front of Rob’s hanging corpse.
Another day in Mansfield had me dismembering an actor and tearing his lips off. One of my running jokes during Furor was that whenever I was on the phone talking to Vic the director I sounded like some kind of hitman. I kept giving rundowns of who I was going to kill next and how I was going to do it. All good, creative fun but it must have been damn weird for anyone that overheard me.
One of the nicest things about the film were the talented martial artist working on the project. We had another champion kickboxer in the shape of Lee Charles, MMA professional Scott Clist and the brilliant George Johnson as fight choreographer. George was a joy to watch as he walked the actors through the intricate fight routines and yet another example of how humble some of the best martial artist are. The KCFM fights were brutal and on a par with anything in a big budget action flick.
I had another great opportunity to act in front of my FX work when we Killed Lee Charles character. Poor lee spent a few miserable hours in the cold, wearing just his boxers, covered in blood. I nailed him to a barn, put a crown of barbed wire on his head and flayed his chest open. The ribcage was a custom piece I made and when it was dressed with blood it looked awesome on screen. Poor lee spent a few miserable hours in the cold, wearing just his boxers, covered in blood. Another scene we shot in Mansfield had my character brining a prisoner in for questioning. He gets out of hand and I hit him a few times with my baton. During the one take I slipped and sort of accidentally hit the poor actor. – oopsie!
This part of the shoot was just the warm up though; the best and more complicated scenes were still to come. We were heading to Bristol and then Glasgow as the trail of blood and bodies covered the country…
In Part Five: Blood, bodies and broken bones