Appearing most recently in Amazon’s comedic drama Mozart in the Jungle and David Lynch’s Twin Peaks—in which she played herself—Monica Bellucci delighted in the opportunity to play a “real baddie” for the first time in her career, in TIFF-premiering genre-bender Nekrotronic. The second feature from Australia’s Kiah Roache-Turner—co-written by the director’s brother, Tristan—the sci-fi/horror pic stars Bellucci, Tess Haubrich, Caroline Ford and Ben O’Toole, following the Italian actress’s queen of the underworld and the band of demon-hunting Nekromancers out to bring her down.
Conjured up by artists with an interest in worldbuilding and genre films with a strong, specific voice, Nekromancer is indebted to the classics—Ghostbusters, Blade Runner, Evil Dead and Pulp Fiction, to name just a few. “This is kind of our homage to all of that,” Kiah explained, sitting down at Deadline’s Toronto Studio this morning with his brother, along with stars Bellucci, Haubrich and Ford. “We just love crazy films where people run around with shotguns and blow each other’s heads off.”
The kind of cinematic mayhem Roache-Turner describes was of equal interest to his actors, who embraced the pic’s approach to gender, with its action centered on a group of strong female characters. “It’s awesome because we’re the tough ones; we’re the ones who do all the killing and all the usual man stuff,” Ford told Deadline. “I love this film because it’s really flipped the gender roles, and we’re the ones teaching the men what to do.”
While the Roache-Turner brothers continue to express interest in variations on the end-of-days yarn, they also continue to approach their cinematic efforts as a true family affair. “Our first film, we shot about 30 percent of it in our mom’s backyard, in her garage. We weren’t able to use her garage on this one, but it’s always been a family thing,” Kiah said. “Our mom got involved in the catering in our first film; our brother comes in, he’s a lawyer, so he does a lot of legal stuff.”
With mom’s garage left behind on this latest project, what does the Roache-Turner matriarch think of Nekrotronic? “She loves it,” Tristan shared. “She absolutely loves it.”
For more from our conversation with the Nekrotronic team, click above.