Being a horror fan, talking to Leigh Whannell and Angus Sampson is a bit of a nerd out. Getting to stand there and shoot the proverbial shit with Specs and Tucker, Whannell of course penning movies like Insidious and Saw himself, was pretty awesome – but our creative team wasn’t in Austin, Texas for this year’s South by Southwest festival to discuss upcoming horror.
Getting away from Whannell’s typical genre pieces, and pushing Angus into the leading man limelight, our dynamic duo were there promoting their new Australian crime thriller The Mule. Nope, this isn’t a movie about a terrifying burro of sorts, but instead a narcotic nightmare full of constipation – strap in.
Sampson plays Ray Jenkins, a hesitant drug mule busted as he’s only moments away from freedom. After being handed over to detectives Croft (Hugo Weaving) and Paris (Ewen Leslie), Ray is forced to sit around with a belly currently doubling as a druggie time bomb – something that doesn’t seem too far away from Whannell’s writing style. Personally, I thought the film was a sometimes disgusting yet incredibly punch thriller that does its best not to glorify drug trafficking while remaining extremely raw – a successful and unique bit of cinema that’s worth plenty of praise.
Meeting up with Angus and Leigh at South by Southwest after screening their new film, the two opened up about what it was like to film their latest passion project. I obviously had to ask Angus about the numerous scenes showing Ray Jenkins swallowing condoms filled with drugs, seeing how movie magic pulled the act off, but we also talked about several other aspects, like filming internationally, keeping with period tones, and the choice to utilize a very new-wave soundtrack. Oh, and I couldn’t help myself – I had to sneak a few Insidious: Chapter 3 questions in there as well.
Unfortunately, The Mule does not yet have a release date, but when one is announced we’ll be sure to let you know!