Jim Towns' Violent and Challenging End Times is Not a Mockbuster
On this episode of Castle Talk, Jason chats with director Jim Towns, whose new zombie film End Times debuts this summer from The Asylum.
On this episode of Castle Talk, Jason chats with director Jim Towns, whose new zombie film End Times debuts this summer from The Asylum. Towns also wrote the film; some may know him as the host of the classic-horror-focused Borgo Pass Podcast. On the podcast, Towns focuses on classics and films emerging from the beginning of the horror genre, particularly the Universal horrors of the 30s and 40s. But his own films are decidedly contemporary action and survival horror.
In End Times, a zombie apocalypse has wiped out most of the population, and the film concerns itself with the survival of two people: grieving father Freddie (Craig Starke) and partying student Claire (Jamie Bernadette), who hasn't had to think of anything seriously before everything fell apart. The places the film goes with their attempts to survive are often surprising and genuinely shocking. (Note to the wary: this film should probably contain a content warning for sexual violence. A scene early on is never titillating, but it is harrowing and stomach-churning, with a brave performance from Bernadette.)
The Asylum is famously known for releasing modestly-budgeted films that are similar to other films (the term is Mockbusters), but what critics tend to forget is that these movies aren't made by accident or cynically (not all of them, anyway). You can hide real questions about humanity in a low-budget film as much as possible in a big-budget one, maybe more of them. This is not to suggest that End Times is overly deep, but that if you go in expecting a sassy or ironic time, you'll be disappointed: this is straight, though sundrenched, survival horror.
In the chat, Towns talks about how his approach to writing has changed over the years and interesting details about what it takes to keep cast and crew safe in a practical set.
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