It was a film called – believe it or not! – ‘’Deer of the Living Dead’’ that kickstarted talented filmmaker Brett Mullen’s career. It was only up from there for the writer, director, cinematographer, editor, based in Greensboro, North Carolina, who would make his professional directorial debut with the video short ‘’Dead of the Night’’ in 2009, following it up with the feature ‘’Bombshell Bloodbath’’ (2014). Mullen’s latest film, inarguably his most accomplished, is the stylish and unforgettable dance spookfest ‘’Bloody Ballet’’, which gets a home video release in November.

Brett discussed his Movies, career, and more via an exclusive interview on November 5, 2018,.

Editing, ideas, and projects

Meagan Meehan (MM): What inspired you to become a filmmaker, Brett?

Brett Mullen (BM): I had accidentally found myself becoming a filmmaker after discovering my father’s old VHS camera and creating my first “Feature Film” called “Deer of the Living Dead” with my action figures. I took the film school route and followed my love of creating horror films.

MM: What was the big break and was there a certain project that did so well it convinced you to push on?

BM: I wouldn’t say I’ve experienced a true big break although each film is a significant step in the right directions. When I created my REAL first feature called “Bombshell Bloodbath”, I had no expectations for it, but it did very well.

I suppose that gave me the motivation to start working on more projects.

MM: How did you come up the idea for “Bloody Ballet”?

BM: Bloody Ballet came from my love of the early Italian Giallo films of directions like Sergio Martino and obviously, Dario Argento. You’ll discover after watching this film that it is not a duplicate of these great films but small influences mixed with my own style.

MM: Did the “Bloody Ballet” script change much over the course of drafts?

BM: Indeed. Half way through the filming of “Bloody Ballet,” Matt Cloude, who was the co-director and co-writer left the film to work on finishing his other project “Night of the Living Dead: Genesis.” There were modifications made to the second half of the film.

MM: How would you describe the tone of “Bloody Ballet” and how did you have to leave anything in the editing room?

BM: It looks like a painting and sounds like a New Wave album. It’s quite a beautiful film. Not really. Mostly everything is in the film, give or take a few scenes.

Reviews, releases, and advice

MM: How much do reviews and a US release mean to you?

BM: I know some people recommend never looking at reviews, but I enjoy it. Especially if I’ve entertained someone who really loves horror films. Opinions really matter from those who you think “get it.” The US is a huge market, so obviously it means a great deal, but it’s really about just getting it to as many fans of classic gore films as possible.

MM: I imagine you’re a fan of Suspiria and are looking forward to the remake?

BM: Oh Hell Yea! It’s obviously a favorite film of mine, but I really admired the new approach Luca Guadagnino took. Some stunning visuals as well!

MM: What’s next for you over the next ten years and what advice can you offer to newcomers?

BM: I’m working on a few ideas. Probably another Giallo film. What I want to do is acquire the rights to Bob Clark’s “Children Shouldn’t Play With Dead Things” and direct the crap out of it. That was such an amazing film. In ten years, I want to reside in a massive castle made of dragon bones with a moat of blood surrounding the perimeter! Advice: do proper preproduction and don’t rush.

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