Midnight Madness Blog

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- 2007


The director of 2006 Midnight Madness’ S&Man, JT Petty returns to Toronto this year and to Midnight to screen his latest film; the horror-western, The Burrowers.  JT agreed to let me ask him some questions for the blog.  Here they are with his answers.


JW = Jeff Wright (that’s me)
JTP = JT Petty


JW- The Burrowers is as much a western as it is a horror film.  At any point while writing or editing, did you consider making it seem like they actually were after Indians until the full reveal of the creatures?


JTP- There were some ideas early on about having a Dusk Till Dawn-style shift in gears midway through, but I don’t think that works when you’re dealing with a completely original monster.  In Dusk Till Dawn, you can say “Holy shit, it’s vampires,” and everybody knows exactly the rules and mythology of that creature.  I wanted to aim at more of an Alien kind of feel, where characters are trying to deal with a new situation, putting together piece-by-piece exactly how fucked they are.


There's only one Clancy Brown, and that's all there can be.


JW- Clancy Brown is sort of the John Wayne of your movie.  Can you talk a bit about how amazing Clancy Brown it?


JTP- Clancy Brown kills the Brain Bug.  I’d find Clancy Brown some mornings drinking his orange juice in front of a fresh pile of ears.


JW- This is your second time in only three years having a film in Midnight Madness.  S&Man was screened in 2006 and now again this year with The Burrowers.  S&Man was one of my favourite films at TIFF that year but it still hasn't been released.  Any news on that?  You should maybe send Clancy over to the home of whoever's to blame and have him strongly suggest that they do the right thing.


JTP- All the producers on S&Man have gone into hiding, for fear of threats far better than any I could invent.  I think all the legal wrangling necessary is finally getting within range, and hopefully it’ll be out in the world soon.


JW- In addition to making films, you write children's books (and video games).  Who's the better writer?  You, Madonna, Jamie Lee Curtis, Gloria Estefan, or J.K. Rowling?


JTP- I’d have to say Madonna.  I remember when I was six and that old guy who lived behind the Rite-Aid would read to me from her Sex book.  Was actually where I discovered a key cast member for The Burrowers.



JW- Any plans to adapt one of your books into a film in the near future?


JTP- I’m just now polishing up the script on an adaptation of Clemency Pogue: Fairy Killer for the Jim Henson company.  And I had a short story called Grapefruit Spoons published, that’s being worked into the Faces of Death remake.


JW- Is there anything to end the interview that you want people to know about The Burrowers?  Maybe the horrible things you'll do to the next person who calls it a Tremors knock-off before they've seen it?


JTP- Nah, every once in a while I try to get worked up enough to get mad at nerds.  But it’s in a nerd’s nature to be mean, and they are, after all, my people. Monsters are cool and the Old West was terrifying; I’m actually baffled that there aren’t more horror/westerns around for people to accuse me of ripping-off.


JW- I'm really looking forward to the screening.  I think that the film's going to surprise a lot of people in a really excellent way.  Thanks for answering my questions.  See ya soon!



Great interview Jeff! As someone lucky enough to already have seen this, I gotta say... it's fantastic! And, of course, Clancy Brown is the man!
Comment By DirtyRobot At 03/09/2021 3:57 PM
Great interview, can't wait for the film.
Comment By GORE At 03/09/2021 5:00 PM
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