Trapped under a dark spell, Gretel assembles a coven of witches that terrorizes the town until Hansel finds the courage to fight his sister and the sinister forces that control her.
The Asylum’s veteran writer Jose Prendes, was challenged to ramp up the excitement and thrills and write a sequel to their original Hansel & Gretel (also written by Prendes). Prendes succeeded at a solid script and it was up to director Ben Demaree to bring the action alive. Demaree has a highly regarded and endless B Movie resume. He has been involved with numerous Asylum films, but also worked on many other including, Jersey Shore Shark Attack, Camel Spiders, No Saints for Sinners, and Dangerous Company, just to name a few. In addition he’s been the cinematographer for almost fifty films in total. We had the opportunity to ask Ben about filming Hansel Vs. Gretel and his directing experiences.
Hansel Vs. Gretel is Ben’s second feature film he directed. What did he learn or take from directing his first film Apocalypse Pompeii?
“Apocalypse Pompeii was a logistically challenging film. We went to a country, Bulgaria, that we had never filmed in before and we didn’t know anybody there. Many of the crew members we ended up hiring were very experienced but barely spoke English. Also we only had a short 12 days to film it, with complicated stunt work including cork bombs, body burns, cars on fire, etc. Thankfully it all came together and we bonded with the crew, got everything shot, and I had a blast directing stars like John Rhys-Davies and Adrian Paul.”
“So when it came time to film Hansel vs Gretel, even though it also had a challenging 12 day schedule with a ton of locations and only one camera, I knew we could get it done without question. It made it easier for me to focus on the creative side of things and to make the film as great as possible. Plus I was very fortunate to have a crew I have worked with before numerous times. So communication was a lot easier and everybody was able to do their best work. The shoot was super smooth, everybody had a lot of fun working together, and we ended up with a cool film that I think people will enjoy. “
How did directing Apocalypse Pompeii after working with The Asylum for a decade come about?
“I had been doing 2nd unit directing for other companies for a while and I had spoken with the heads at Asylum about wanting to direct one of their films. We have a great relationship as I am a cinematographer on a number of their films, including the Sharknado franchise. So it just became an issue of finding the right project. One day I got a call from them saying “We have an action film shooting in Bulgaria and need a DP, but more importantly we need a director. Do you want to do it?” Travel, action, directing? I immediately said yes.”
All of Ben’s credentials and fun stuff can be found on his website http://www.bendemareedp.com
Of course no matter how good the script and directing is you need to have a talented Hansel and Gretel to make the film work and Brent Lydic as Hansel and Lili Baross as Gretel were just right for the roles. Considering his performance in The Asylum’s original Hansel & Gretel it was only fitting that Brent Lydic was brought back for the sequel. Brent who loves the challenges and the pacing of the short shooting schedules shares his summary of the film and his role.
“In this version of the Hansel and Gretel story, Hansel has left home and focused on ridding the world of evil witches, while Gretel has taken over Liliths gingerbread bakery. This is a sequel to Asylums Hansel and Gretel (2013) but could easily stand on its own. Hansel has come a long way from the whiney slacker in the first film, morphing into somewhat of badass killing witches for a living. In the end Hansel is confronted with the truth that maybe Gretel is not all she says she is and has to face certain demons their past. All in all this movie was a lot of fun to shoot with a great Director (Ben Demaree) and solid cast and crew. Hope people get a chance to check it out and enjoy all its B-Movie glory!”
Check out Brent’s impressive resume and all the specifics on his website. http://www.brentlydic.com
In the near future expect to see actress/model Lili Baross in many more films. Her role as Gretel was a diverse and fun one as she explains, “I play Gretel, Hansel’s sister. Gretel is definitely a trickster and knows how to get what she wants. Throughout the film she shows you how manipulative she can be and if she is willing to put her loved ones in danger to get what she wants or if outside forces are manipulating her for an even bigger purpose. “ Lili also states that “It was so much fun playing Gretel and tap into a character that has a lot of levels, you just never know she is your best friend or your worst nightmare.”
Want to see more great information, pics, and videos of Lili, go to her website. http://www.lilibaross.com
Hansel Vs. Gretel is now available on DVD. http://amzn.com/B00OHLR6KU
For additional information go to The Asylum’s webpage for Hansel Vs. Gretel http://www.theasylum.cc/product.php?id=263
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