Tuesday, September 06, 2016

Sean Kelly

Q&A: Producer Christopher Giroux and Co-Star Annette Wozniak on Bite

The Canadian body horror film Bite is released today on DVD and Blu-Ray by United Front Entertainment and Black Fawn Distribution. Last fall, I talked to producer Christopher Giroux and co-star Annette Wozniak before Bite's final public screening at the 2015 Blood in the Snow Film Festival. Of the subjects covered, there was quite about of discussion about Bite's infamous World Premiere at the 2015 Fantasia Film Festival. Enjoy.

How did the idea for Bite come about?
Christopher Giroux: I think Chad [Archibald] wanted to create something that was like a fun body horror film, but also is a little bit inspired by true events. He had a family member that traveled and stayed in the jungle for a bit and got a lot of bug bites. And she got bit by so many bugs; she didn’t know what they were. And it was kind of spawned from that idea of what if one of these bugs turns someone into a big creature.

There’s some obvious comparisons between this and David Cronenberg’s The Fly. Was that intentional or were you trying to make your own thing?
Christopher:  Obviously a lot of influence with The Fly and other body horror films; we wanted to come off and do something a little different and something a little fun.

[To Annette:] What’s your role in the film?
Annette Wozniak:  I’m the bad, bad best friend.

Oh Yeah.
Annette:  Oh yeah, it’s one of those catty kind of relationships that I have with our main girl Elma [Begovic], which is phenomenal. She’s phenomenal in this movie and she’s a phenomenal person too. It was just an interesting little dynamic between me, Elma, and Denise [Yuen], the good best friend.

I noticed that despite becoming a monster, Casey is the more sympathetic character and it’s the other characters that are more the real monster.
Christopher: Sure. I think it’s interesting, because Elma’s kind of our villain, in a sense, but the characters around her are actually more villainous in a sense. Not to spoil anything, but even her boyfriend has a couple weak moments that are not very nice and the mother-in-law is a real terror herself as well, so it is interesting that our main character is both our hero and our villain.

There was a very good performance in the role of Casey, especially the insect tics.
Christopher: Yeah, it was actually one of the things that, during the audition process, they had to kind of act bug like and have those movements and stuff like that and I think [Annette] and Elma auditioned together?

Annette: Yeah.

Christopher: So, it was interesting to see the movement and the head tics and things like that, so it’s fun.

One thing I would like to talk about is the premiere at Fantasia 2015.
Christopher: Sure

I covered Fantasia, but I left Montreal before Bite screened and I was reading on the internet how the ambulance was called and people were vomiting and stuff.
Christopher: Yeah, so two people got sick during the screening, one person threw up and the other person passed out, and it skyrocketed this weird backlash with the festival and things like that. It was great, because it really drove our move to the top for that month and we got a lot of press and festivals calling, so it was interesting.

I was reading that people were fainting in the first ten minutes and like the first ten minutes are not that bad.
Christopher. It was a little further in.

I would expect fainting when all those eggs start dropping.
Christopher: It was a big game of telephone, so what happened is that the first time we read it, it was one person threw up and the other person fainted. And then the next day another article came out and it was like three people fainted. And then in Germany it was like someone had cardiac arrest. They just built and built and built. But, it was one person fainted and one person vomited, almost 25-30 minutes in, and then they stepped outside and ambulances were called.

Annette: We couldn’t actually believe that happened. We were like “that’s a joke, someone’s pulling our leg.” But no, it was real, it wasn’t a publicity stunt.

It’s a story that can go along with the Blair Witch Project
Christopher: Yeah, it was interesting, because they had a call-in radio show, not with us included, and fans were calling in saying “Oh, that’s crazy” and other people were calling in saying they staged it and it was fake, but we 100% had no idea it happened until after we found out after the film ended.

Weren’t there bags handed out at the screening or something?
Christopher: There were barf bags handed out as a joke, but I guess the people really needed them.

Annette: We should have made them a little bigger.

Christopher: Yeah

Bite is now available on Blu-Ray, DVD, and VOD

Sean Kelly

About Sean Kelly -

Sean Patrick Kelly is a self-described ├╝ber-geek, who has been an avid film lover for all his life. He graduated from York University in 2010 with an honours B.A. in Cinema and Media Studies and he likes to believe he knows what he’s talking about when he writes about film (despite occasionally going on pointless rants).