With his schedule currently wrapped around post-production on his next film, Anthony DiBlasi was hard pressed for time to talk about Cassadaga with us. Thankfully we were able to steal him away for 10 minutes in the middle of a weekday. So, while on break from my job, I parked myself next to a dumpster outback for a quick phone call with the director.
DIABOLIQUE: Anthony, thanks for talking to us. I know time is short so I will just jump right into it.
ANTHONY DIBLASI: Sounds great.
DIABOLIQUE: You have worked on a few adaptations of Clive Barker’s stories in the past, and he was also the producer on your first film, Dread. How much of an influence, if any, did he have on Cassadaga?
DIBLASI: Well, after Dread I had the opportunity to do Cassadaga with a different group of producers, and I jumped on board. I tried to keep in touch with the guys I worked with on Dread and Midnight Meat Train, and after I finished the first cut I had them all watch it so I could get their feedback. I still do that today on things I work on. It’s funny, I think the score to Cassadaga ended up being very Danny Elfman, Nightbreedish in a way, and I kind of like that throwback. I wanted a very classical score and I used this Italian composer named Dan Donadi. I think it turned out very homage-y to Clive. I don’t know if I had intended for that to happen at first, but in hindsight, I think I may have done it subconsciously.
DIABOLIQUE: Dread was a film that examined a very human element of horror. What was it that interested you in getting involved in a more supernatural concept with Cassadaga?
DIBLASI: It’s funny, I like making movies that deal more with psychology rather than the supernatural, but a lot of the movies I enjoy watching tend to be supernatural. I think I was really looking to do something that could homage a film like The Changling. Cassadaga had elements that were obviously a bit darker than that, but I wanted something that was very grand in both scope and feel. It could tell an emotional story, but also have this added serial killer element. So, it was something I really wanted to do, but what I think was the most fascinating part was that Cassadaga is a real place in Florida where we filmed on location. It was a great opportunity to make the movie where it is set, which is also considered the psychic capital of America. It added an element to the film that I felt was quite important.
DIABOLIQUE: Well, with that answer I guess I can skip the question of whether you prefer a more realistic or supernatural horror film.
DIBLASI: [Laughs] With Missionary, which is the movie I made after Cassadaga with the same producers, I went back to my roots. That film is more along the lines of a guy on a misguided path with an added psychological problem. I’m always kind of drawn to the idea of the loner and looking into the psychology of human behavior.
DIABOLIQUE: While we’re on the topic of Missionary, the film has already been in festivals in both Canada and the UK. Any chance I can guilt you into an exclusive announcement on some sort of a US premiere?
DIBLASI: Well, we just made the announcement about a deal with The Orchard and Shock Till You Drop. It’s going to be one of four in a new slate of films they’re releasing together. I’m not sure when the date is yet, whether it’s near Christmas, next year, or whatever, but they’re the same company that holds the Canadian rights to it as well.
DIABOLIQUE: No festival round for it here then?
DIBLASI: Missionary premiered at Fantasia Fest and also played Fright Fest in London, so that was really it. We took kind of a sideways route with it, but I think it will get in front of people pretty soon.
DIABOLIQUE: To wrap up our short interview, what are you able to tell us about the stuff you’re working on now?
DIBLASI: I’m in post-production right now on a film called Paymon, which is kind of a demonic ghost story that takes place in a police station. It’s very low-key and very suspenseful as it follows one woman in a police station overnight. It’s kind of a real-time story, and I’m very excited about it. I co-wrote this one with Scott Poiley, who was the producer and writer on Cassadaga. We both wrote it, he produced and I directed and I really think it’s going to be a good one. That won’t be finished up until probably January and I’ll probably start doing the festivals with it then.
Cassadaga will be available on DVD Dec. 31st, but is currently on VOD. Keep a look out for both Missionary and Paymon as they make their US debuts sometime in the near future.