Night Drive is an entertaining locally made horror film. It provides the viewer with gore, action and some decent performances from its actors. An ex-cop joins a group of tourists on a night drive safari but he becomes embroiled in something "worse than dying", according to the film.
Screenforum SA's Alistair Anderson (AA) met with the film's producer, Susana Kennedy (SK), soon after the nationwide release of its DVD.
AA: What is it that you want audiences to take from the film?
SK: Night Drive is a multi-layered film. Distributors and audiences argue as they attempt to lock it into a single genre but, honestly, it has elements of thriller, horror and action.
It is also layered in the way that although it is primarily geared towards keeping everyone at the edge of their seats with action packed pure thrill seeking entertainment, it also has a deeper message.
A few years ago our director read an article about a farmer who had found human body parts stacked up in an abandoned farm house on his property.
Police investigations revealed that the poachers up along the boarders of SA where no longer only hunting for animal parts but were also hunting for human body parts.
Night Drive is the fictional story of a group of tourists who go on a night drive and their worst nightmare is realised as they encounter a group of such poachers.
So, although the film is geared towards thrill seeking entertainment, it also brings awareness to a very scary, very relevant and horrific reality; that people are being poached like animals for their body parts.
AA: How does the film fight human poaching then?
SK: The reality is that there is not enough being done specifically to target the fight against poaching for human body parts or the fight against poaching. The Night Drive team supports the fight against poaching and we have even produced adverts in support of the fight against poaching. We believe that awareness needs to be raised and more needs to be done.
AA: What could you have done better in making the film?
SK: As filmmakers there are always things you wish you had done differently. Night Drive has been an incredible learning curve and so of course there are many things I wish I had done differently. But all in all I am very proud of Night Drive. I was very blessed to work with an incredible team: two excellent producers and an incredible director, cast and crew.
AA: What aspect of the film are you really proud of?
SK: The whole thing, I think Night Drive is a film worthy of international attention and it is already proving itself on international screens.
AA: Are you happy with the film’s box office performance? How has the film fared overseas? In which territories has it been picked up and why?
SK: In terms of its genre, from a South African context, it has done more or less what it was estimated to do, but our aim with Night Drive was always to make it travel and it has already begun its international tour in Germany, Japan and the Middle East. Our international sales agents have been very excited about the film and we are currently in negotiations with various states in the American regions, in European countries and in Australia.
AA: What film project are you working on now and when is it due for release?
SK: I am currently editing a film, which I’m hoping to release by the end of the year, finishing the first solid draft of my next film and have several other projects at different stages of development, but as they are ready I will certainly keep you posted.
Verdict: It is not a brilliant horror movie but it is fun, pop corn fare and the film makers do manage to portray a genuinely felt message.
Night Drive is now available on DVD countrywide.