By David Johanssen
Something big is creeping into Los Senderos this Halloween season. New Zealand director Ellory Elkayem will present an outdoor screening of his 2002 Warner Bro’s creature feature, “Eight Legged Freaks” starring Scarlett Johansson and David Arquette. Before the main event, Ellory will screen his award-winning short film that started it all, an homage to the black and white creature features of the 1950s, “Larger Than Life.” We recently sat down with Ellory to discuss his love of giant bugs and his new project:
David: Why did you decide to screen your movies here in San Miguel?
Ellory: I’m here developing a TV project called “Los Muralistas” and I recently went to an outdoor GIFF screening at Los Senderos. I was blown away by the venue and thought it would be a great place to do a Halloween screening. Fortunately, fellow kiwi and film buff, Francesca Fisher agreed and now it’s happening!
David: It’s a great Halloween film. Was “Eight Legged Freaks” originally a Halloween release?
Ellory: That was the original plan, but the studio decided to move it up to summer at the last minute. I always thought it was a perfect Halloween movie, so now I get to do it my way.
David: Alright, I have to ask, what was it like auditioning a young Scarlett Johansson for the role of the Sheriff’s daughter?
Ellory: Scarlett was already a very accomplished young actress. She’d worked with Robert Redford on “The Horse Whisperer” and had quite a few independent films under her belt. She was 16 when I cast her in the movie and was a natural in the audition. Very comfortable and relaxed around adults with a calmness and maturity beyond her years. She also had a playful side. During filming we had to cover her in spider webs and after the camera stopped rolling, she chased me around the set and put the webbing on me.
David: What was the craziest thing that happened during the filming?
Ellory: We were doing a night shoot where David’s stunt double had to ride a motorbike out of a tunnel with huge fire ball chasing him. It was real fire and the stunt double was wearing protective clothing, but the flames literally wrapped around his helmet and got inside. In the finished film, you can see him almost lose control of the bike.
Join us for a Halloween extravaganza on Friday, October 29, at 6:30pm. It’s a big outdoor space at la Playa en Los Senderos, but dress warm! Tickets available at the Biblioteca Gift Shop and at Los Senderos.