Turkish horror films are few and far between, but could BASKIN be about to break the mould? Originally conceived as a short film, this visually stunning gorefest has been the talk of the festival circuit everywhere it has been shown. Now it is the UK’s turn. Ahead of the screeningof BASKIN at FrightFest Glasgow, The Xtreme Entertainment Network asks director Can Evrenol a few pertinent questions…
Can you give us a brief history of the Turkish genre cinema and the must-see movies we should check out?
The awesome award-winning documentary “Remake, Remix, Rip-Off” is great for a brief history of Turkish movie genre madness. Must see movies: “Man Who Saves The World aka Turkish Star Wars”, “Tarkan vs Viking” and “Deathless Devil”, though be sure to have your fast forward button ready for that one. Oh and last but not least, “Dort Yanım Cehennem” whose english subttiles are done by Evrim Ersoy and I!
BASKIN is visually and narratively very ambitious for your first feature…
I guess it is a continuation of the same visual and narrative journey that I’ve been experimenting and progressing on through my short films. I’m learning as I go.
Lucio Fulci, HELLRAISER, ‘Hansel and Gretel’ … what were your other main inspirations for BASKIN?
Once Upon A Time in Anatolia, David Lynch, Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Frontieres, Calvaire, Only God Forgives and Twilight Zone to name but a few.
Ulas Pakkan’s electronic score really creates a fabulous mood. Was it always the idea to invoke an 80s vibe of creepy unease?
Yes it was actually. A mixture of that 80’s feel and modern dark synth in the footsteps of Trent Reznor, Clint Mansell and Cliff Martinez.
BASKIN begins as an arthouse shocker and then turns hardcore gore – you seem to favour genre collisions and shifts?
It was always my intention to make a movie that begins a as a European arthouse festival film, slow, controlled and orchestrated. But it later progresses into the mad world of surreal horror and a visual attack on the audience. That’s what I tried to experiment with BASKIN.
Alp Korfali’s cinematography is exceptional. Was the Nicolas Winding Refn vibe intentional?
Only God Forgives, Frontieres and I Saw The Devil were particularly the films that we studied together in terms of light.
Let’s talk frogs…how many did you use and why?
Frogs are doom bringers in mythology. In BASKIN, they lead the cops to their doom, in their nightmarish journey. They symbolise the film getting off it’s tracks. We used quite a few, although if I had the budget I’d love to have hundreds more…
Mehmet Abi cuts quite a strong impression as Father. Where did you find him and is he the new Michael Berryman?
I found Mehmet Abi’s headshot while randomly going through the old archives of a cast agency. I was just looking for a creepy looking extra for my short film, BASKIN (2013). I noticed him right away when I arrived at the set. He was the centre of attention. Yet everybody was looking at him from a distance. I went straight to him, casually introduced myself, and shook his hand.Turns out that he’s a car park attendant. No acting experience. He just enrolled at a cast agency 10 years ago and been waiting ever since!
That is quite a story – it was obviously meant to be..! Can Evrenol, thank you very much for your time.