LEGLESSCORPSE: As the writer/director of Evangeline, how long did it take from the start of the writing process to the recent release?
KAREN LAM: I wrote the first draft in the spring of 2011. We were invited to the Network of Asian Fantastic Filmmakers (NAFF) genre market in Bucheon City, South Korea in the summer of 2012, and we shot the film in February of 2013. We premiered at the Monsters of Film Festival in Stockholm, Sweden in the fall of 2013, and now we’re finally premiering in the US. We did a world tour before ending back at home!
LC: Evangeline is a revenge film pollinated with a supernatural force. How did the concept of the story come about and was it hard meshing the two genre’s together?
KL: I first came up with the concept in my short film Doll Parts (2011) where we introduced Evangeline as a hitchhiker girl who is more than she appears. I tend to write stories that reflect my own head space, so given that I’m deeply superstitious, the supernatural world seems as real to me as the horror. It feels like a natural fit.
LC: There’s not many female directors that have taken on a revenge type horror films, do you think there is a specific reasoning for that? I mean being a female and having a female character raped (like in most revenge films) or cross paths with some brutal violence, do you think it is just too much for a female writer and or director to get into?
KL: Actually, I think female directors do take on rape and revenge: the Soska’s American Mary, for example. There’s just not enough female writer/directors working in the film industry, but from what I’ve seen of female-directed short horror films, it’s a pervasive theme. That said, there’s probably ways that we treat the rape, violence and revenge that is different from a male director’s perspective.
LC: How did you get involved with filmmaking? What was your path that let you to making Evangeline?
KL: I started in this industry as a lawyer — I was in finance and worked as a producer before starting to write and direct almost eight years ago. I have loved horror films — actually all genre-films — and horror literature for most of my life, so getting to create Evangeline is like a culmination of everything I love: J-horror, revenge films, samurai films and comics (specifically DC Vertigo titles.)
LC: You made another feature, Stained, which wasn’t a horror film per se, but a dark thriller. Do you intend to keep your films within the darker side of the genre’s?
KL: I can’t imagine working in anything other than genre: whether it’s horror, dark fantasy or science fiction. I like telling stories that have a heightened reality, and I like exploring the darker elements. Plus, dragons. If I ever have the budget, I want dragons.
LC: Now that the release of Evangeline is upon us, do you have any other projects coming up we can keep an eye out for?
KL: I wrote and directed a web series based on the Evangeline mythology called Mythos and it’s up on YouTube now (people can see it through my website www.karenlamfilms.com for the links). I’m currently rewriting two feature scripts, one’s a Lovecraftian horror film, the other is an apocalyptic road movie set in the 70s. And I’m currently directing my first documentary feature about a band, which turns into a creature feature. You didn’t expect the band to survive, did you?
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