The Blaine Brothers discuss their gory and funny new ménage à trois…
IT WAS A LONG TIME COMING
Nina Forever is directed by the Blaine brothers, Ben and Chris – the awardwinning siblings who were behind a host of comedy shorts, including 2006’ s Hallo Panda. The brothers’ undead feature debut is about to land on DVD and Blu- ray, so the big question is: why did it take so long to make? “For ages we had this disconnect between our short comedies and our feature film scripts,” explains Chris. “People would say, ‘ I really like your short, what is it you want to do as a feature?’ ‘ Well, it’s this really serious thing about the banking crisis…’ They weren’t necessarily biting!”
AFTER LAUGHTER COMES TEARS
Although it’s being billed as a comedy, Nina Forever deals with some weighty subjects – notably grief and depression. The film sees Rob ( Cian Barry), a supermarket drone, begin dating co- worker Holly ( Abigail Hardingham). This is a big deal, given Rob lost his previous girlfriend Nina ( Fiona O’Shaughnessy) in a car accident, and we’re first introduced to him as he tries to commit suicide. The guy deserves a break, but every time he and Holly try to have sex, Nina’s bloody, broken revenant appears in the bed, questioning what he thinks he’s doing. “One of the things we like about the stuff we write is it’s always a little strange,” chuckles Ben. “So we really wanted to do something that was us.”
THERE’S BLOOD AND SEX
With that description in mind, it’s perhaps no surprise that the film
features enough sex and gore to please even the keenest Game Of Thrones fan. “It was completely organic,” says Ben. “Obviously you don’t make a film in which beautiful people are naked and not think, ‘ Well, at least somebody’s going to enjoy watching this!’ But that wasn’t why that happened.”
IT’S BEEN A HIT ON THE FESTIVAL CIRCUIT
Influenced by films as diverse as Let The Right One In and The Wrestler – heightened relationship dramas set in humdrum environments – the gore is really just a visual metaphor for the characters’ psychological messiness. Consequently, the Blaines were concerned about how it might be received by fandom. “We were worried about showing it to horror fans as it doesn’t follow the rules,” says Chris. “It’s not about being scared.” Despite that, the film went down a treat at festivals such as Fantasia in Montreal and FrightFest in London.
SHE’S DEAD AND ( NOT) LOVING IT
“Nina isn’t a monster,” says Chris of the film’s undead third wheel – “I’m not an ex,” she stresses at one point, insisting that her death “doesn’t mean we’re on a break”. It’s a brilliant, star- making turn by Fiona O’Shaughnessy – previously best known for playing Jessica Hyde in Utopia – who manages to make Nina sympathetic despite being, well, a zombie. “She’s often the opposition in a scene, but you never go, ‘ Oh god, here she comes…,’ says Chris. “You’re often on her side.”
Nina Forever is out on DVD/ Blu- ray on 22 Feb.