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Lesbian Vampire Killers: The Mathew Horne Interview

  Is there a straight man-funny man dynamic between the pair of you [James Corden and Mathew Horne]?

Yes, although there’s a certain dynamic set up whereby, I don’t quite know how to put it really as I don’t quite know what it is, but I think I’m funny in a different ways to James’s funny. That’s all I can tell you. I have quite a bit of slapstick so it’s not as simple as one of us does that, and one does witty banter. It’s funny in different ways. It’s more clown-straight man but more blurred. I haven’t seen enough of it in action, haven’t watched it enough of us to analyse it that much; I don’t know what it is yet, so it’s still evolving. And when we do our sketch show it will evolve even more and I think by the end of that, I’ll probably know exactly what it is and I’ll be able to put it in good media sound bites for you! At the moment it’s ‘A clown and a straight man, and some blurring!’

How does your relationship work in this film?

It’s about a relationship between two men and, comedically, it’s about their vernacular, the type of banter that one has with a good friend. As you say it’s about dialogue and there’s slapstick, which is also intrinsically involved in the gore and the effects. It feels like it has a little of a sitcom feel, a bit of silent film, and a bit of classic buddy movie there.

And a bust up with your girl friend prompts your character’s adventure?

Yeah. She dumps me. She’s a super mega bitch. She dumps me because she’s having an affair with somebody else and as soon as she dumps me she finds out the guy she’s having the affair with is married and she comes back after me. An equally hard woman has sacked James from his job, so we decide to go off hiking together. My ex comes to get me back. She wants to resolve everything just as I’m trying to do something positive in life by going away and having a good time with my mate. She comes back but she ends up dead. She gets a double whammy.

Amazingly, this is not the first lesbian vampire film…

Yeah, there’s something called The Hunger and a film about lesbian kickboxers. Heard of that? Yep, there are lesbian vampire kickboxers.

Is horror close to your heart? Because you’re establishing yourself as a comic actor…

I would like to continue to see myself as a comic actor. Thank you. You can put that in. Journalists always ask ‘Do you want to do different things?’ But I’m more than happy to do what I’m doing. I absolutely love what I can just about do, and it can embody other things such as horror. I studied film at University and a big part of that study was to examine their meanings and whatnot, particularly the feminist angle.

As a student of film, do you think people try to read too much into the genre of horror film?

I think so, at times, but horror’s a great one for that. There are very set rules for about what things mean and it is all quite funny. As long as you don’t take it too seriously, it can enlighten and it’s interesting and can inspire you and open your mind to certain things. So I’ve always had a healthy interest in horror, not just from my study at college but from a young age.

Do you have favourite horror film?

My favourite horror film is The Birds. You could argue that it’s not a horror film. From my study of and reading of horror films, it’s about a fear that comes from ‘The Wilderness’. It’s got this humanity and that film embodies all the things I like about horror films, tension, fright, suspense and all that stuff.

Have any of your friends given you stick about the title? There’s an angry bunch of lesbians petitioning your film on their website…

I think that was inevitable and the simple argument for them is that — and I don’t take them too seriously, maybe I should — it can also be read as a feminist text movie, because they are strong women. We are dumped and ditched by strong women and we were attacked by strong women and these are strong women who can destroy men and want to destroy mankind! So the flip side of it is that it is a feminist text. All my female friends and all of my friends just burst out laughing when they hear the title. I think it’s a really exciting title and think it makes people want to see it.

The naysayers say that it panders to the male fantasy. Well, it probably panders to the lesbian fantasy too, right?

Of course it panders to the male fantasy but it is done with tongue in cheek, so to speak and it also panders to the lesbian fantasy of course. And even straight girls often much prefer looking at other girls, strangely enough, than to other men, so they’ll be fine as well. All sectors are dealt with!

Do you think people will compare Lesbian Vampire Killers to any other British comedy-horror films?

I think it’s going to be inevitably compared to Shaun of The Dead, because it’s the personality involved, the relationship at the core of it, and the fact that’s it got some blood in it. It’s not really like that film. It has much more of a teen heart than Shaun and the Dead. That was a brilliant comedy horror movie and that’s the genre it was, romzomcom, that’s inspired the sound-biting!

Are comedy and horror difficult to splice together?

Totally. As an actor, it’s very difficult to know where to pitch it in certain scenes: if you are being attacked by a vampire, yes. As an actor, you think that’s a scary, frightening thing. My life is in danger, but also you want to make people laugh, so it’s about how to make that feel funny, and that’s what’s really exciting about this job. Because you can come on set every day and try stuff out, try different ways of doing it. If people laugh then that’s probably the response you go for.

Do you and James have a specific working style together?

Without a doubt, when we’ve down time, that’s how it works with us. There’s no point sitting at home and writing sketches and emailing them to each other. You just have to hang out. It sounds like an excuse, just hanging out, but it really is not, and this is why we are able to do this film really. Strictly speaking, we should be in an office writing our sketch show but if we are working together, it’s the best environment, because not only do you get to interact with each other and create new ideas, we can also test them out on people around us. If some people on the crew laugh it’s in, as far as we are concerned. We make each other laugh and if one other person laughs and gets it, it’s in.

Lesbian Vampire Killers is out March 20th.
Author: Graeme Clark

 

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Last Updated: 18 March, 2006