When we recently reviewed The Taking of Deborah Logan, we decided to dive a little deeper to find out a little more behind the movie and its instant underground success. Well it was a stretch, and I will henceforth refer to it as amazing and appreciated, but we reached out to Director Adam Robitel to see if we could gain a little insight into the film. He immediately obliged. Here’s a short interview with Adam where he discusses the research process, a few insider facts, and what’s to come. Enjoy!
RB: Firstly, thank you very much for making the time for us. I know your time is valuable so we will keep it brief. This movie is horribly terrifying, and much of that is a direct result of exposing people to the destruction of Alzheimer’s. I have experienced it firsthand, as I’m sure many have. Were you apprehensive about building a story from something so tender and personal?
AR: I was very mindful of this and I too have family members who have succumbed to the disease-- so it was a real concern.
I did a lot of research and really wanted to paint the initial stages in a truthful and respectful light. It is part of what makes the story so haunting -- watching this dignified woman lose all that she was.
That being said, horror has always been a means of catharsis for me and I see the disease in the film acting metaphorically for possession and I was very adamant that by the end, the film would obviously go into the realm of the fantastic. In this way, I hope it delivers on the "escape valve" of entertainment but also starts a real conversation.
RB: No rhyme or reason, I’m always curious…how long did the film take to shoot? Also, where in North Carolina was it filmed? (Huge fans of the details over here)
AR: We shot in Charlotte and the film took twenty days to complete. I love North Carolina and would go back there in a heart beat. Great crews and great city.
RB: Is it more gratifying that this movie has gained so much attention from fans’ word of mouth rather than by most conventional methods?
AR: You know, we were initially crushed when we didn't go theatrical. I think that's still the El Dorado for all filmmakers-- but the paradigm truly is changing.
We were among some great company this year and yes, there is something incredibly vindicating about fans responding to the film and it growing by its own volition. That end shot went viral on Tumblr as an animated GIF and was shared like 400k times in one week or something insane! Had we made this film a big studio film, it would have been invariably watered down. In retrospect, my co-writer Gavin Heffernan and I had total autonomy to make the film we wanted to make!
RB: No doubt your resume covers an array of genres. Was horror always a favorite growing up? I know it’s cliché, but can you throw out a few films that really influenced you and gave you inspiration to act and direct?
AR: Horror is definitely something I gravitate towards. I grew up on crazy-as-hell ghost stories (my grandmother's house was possessed by a talking board for a period of seven years in the seventies, a long story, best told over copious libations)... I grew up in Boston, where things are just older... I had mad respect for Edgard Allan Poe and Gothic literature. In terms of other films, I love so many -- from Harold and Maude, to anything Bruce Lee or Ang Lee... (The Ice Storm)... Luc Besson's The Big Blue really wowed me when I was a kid and I wanted to be a marine biologist. I was class clown so comedy also appeals to me. I love any genre with a well told story and compelling characters. I will say though, the pacing has to be there... if a story plods, you'll lose me and my ADD addled mind, really really quick.
RB: Lastly, I know the Cropsey project has already received a lot of attention. I saw the 2009 documentary and was instantly mortified. Can you give a quick rundown of the urban legend for our readers?
AR: Well the documentary actually appropriated a much older urban legend for its own benefit, the Rand murders on Staten Island had nothing to do with the original folklore.
I'll paraphrase from the http://cropseylegend.com/urban-legends website: The name CROPSEY is most commonly heard being whispered around the campfires of boy scouts, or in bunk beds of Sleepaway campers, up and down the Hudson Valley. It is the tale of the CROPSEY MANIAC, and it has been around for longer than anyone can remember, scaring children, parents, and anyone else in between, for more than a century. It is a classic urban legend, a cautionary tale pervasive in both our oral traditions and mass media. And for some, it seems so rooted in our collective consciousness, that it must to hold some a grain of truth, if not more.
The most common tale is that of the crazed Judge or Doctor, disfigured in a camp prank gone wrong, who stalks the woods with an axe looking to exact his revenge on young campers.
RB: I think it speaks volumes that fans want to know about more than just the movie itself, so again…thank you for taking time to shed some light on a few random questions for us. We are inexplicably gracious.
The Taking of Deborah Logan will absolutely take you on a dark journey, witnessing firsthand the destruction and terror of one woman’s inner demons. A series of strange events builds with suspense and horrific fright, leading to an absolute jaw-dropping climax.
The movie can be found on a number of streaming and VOD platforms and is available to purchase online through various sources. Basically, it’s everywhere. No surprise there. If you are a fan of horror and you HAVEN’T seen this film yet, it’s time to get your life together and re-prioritize.
You can check out trailers, movie posters, and reviews here on our site. You can also follow Adam @AdamRobitel and Gavin Heffernan (co-writer) @GavinHeffernan