A bloodthirsty vengeance 700 years in the making...a European castle...the stage is set for a weekend that changes everything in cult indie film Night of the Templar. 700 years after being betrayed by his brethren, a merciless knight resurrects to fulfil his vow and bestow a bloodthirsty revenge upon his enemies' reanimated sprits.
The stage is set for retribution as an eclectic group is lured to a secluded European Castle under the guise of a promised "fantasy getaway weekend." As they read from an obscure storybook, a nefarious tale of avarice is re-enacted for their entertainment. However, they are unaware that they are the cursed and have been gathered for their own personal and befitting executions.
This edgy whirlwind stars Norman Reedus (The Walking Dead), David Carradine (Kill Bill vol. 1&2), Udo Kier (Blade) and Billy Drago (Pale Rider) and was written and directed by Paul Sampson who also appears as Jake McAllister, the anti-hero events co-ordinator.
Paul Sampson, writer, director, potential secret agent and performer of stage and screen (not to mention holder of multiple library cards) very kindly took time to chat about Night of the Templar with us.
You were responsible for every final creative decision on Night of the Templar and wore many ‘hats’: writer, actor, director, producer (not to mention making some of the shields!). Why did you do this?
I had no choice, I had to do it myself … no one answered any of my ads posted on Craigslist...seriously, I guess I wanted it done right, and if you want something done right … well, you know the old adage. But it’s the same as asking someone why do they climb Mount Everest or run marathons … it’s a challenge, a life experience worth experiencing? Or perhaps is just plain insanity?
There’s such an eclectic range of characters in Night of the Templar, with an incredible cast breathing life into them. How did you go about the casting process and bringing such incredible talent on board?
I hand-picked every character (or rather actor in the film), right down to the background performers … and the horses! I utilized predominately all stage actors for the medieval aspect of the film. And for the modern day portion, I called upon all my bizarre and crazy actor friends… I’m sorry, I meant to say all my ‘eclectic’ and ‘eccentric’ actor friends to fill the roles. That was easy in a sense because they all trusted me as an artist, so they knew what I was doing was something very original and special … and that I would make them look good while doing it.
This is your directorial debut. What mindset and skills did you bring from being in front of the camera to your role as director?
Exactly that, I utilized what I knew and just went for it. To be honest, the directing, like acting, was very natural for me. Everything creative came extremely easy to me. However, the producing side of it wasn’t fun. I didn’t like that part of the equation.
What inspired you to write and direct this time-hopping tale of treachery?
For the love of God, I have no idea. I was researching Jack the Ripper and the Whitechapel murders of jolly ol’ London, and it lead me to the Freemasons, which led me to the Knights Templar….and well, that and a twisted tale of loyalty, passion, deceit, betrayal and revenge later you have “Night of the Templar” … did I mention it was available to stream on iTunes? … just making sure! (hahahahaha)
What did you learn through making Night of the Templar that you’ll bring to your next film (as a director, actor and/or producer)?
As an actor, I will never be a pain in the ass on set ever again …unless, of course, they forget to prepare my bacon crispy (lol). As a director, do what I did and make sure to have final say in all creative matters, it makes a difference; no one will care more than you should. As a producer, without a doubt, let someone else be in charge of paying back the money (hahahaha).
What’s next for Paul Sampson?
I’m going to grab some Thai Food.
Official Night of the Templar Website: http://www.nightofthetemplar.com