Apr 16
Emilia Dead 7, News

It’s gunslingers versus zombies in Syfy’s latest TV movie, DEAD 7. Conceived and starring Backstreet Boys’ Nick Carter – and produced by Asylum – the project takes place in a post-apocalyptic Western world plagued by Apocalypta (Debra Wilson) and her zombie army. It’s up to Jack to assemble a rag-tag group of outlaws to take her down. Along with Carter, the film stars fellow Backstreet Boys members A.J. McLean and Howie Dorough, ‘NSYNC’s Joey Fatone, 98 Degrees’ Jeff Timmons and O-Town’s Erik-Michael Estrada.

With DEAD 7 premiering tonight on Syfy, Carter spoke to SHOCK about his love of zombies, the movie’s genesis, comprising a boy band cast and the gore factor.

SHOCK: What about zombies intrigues you, while freaking other people out?

Carter: First of all, I have been watching zombie movies since I was young with NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD and EVIL DEAD. I love zombie movies. I enjoy the fact that it is something that is still unexplained. It is a mystery to be a zombie. It fascinates us because it’s unsolved. For me, I’m attracted to all sorts of different movies from vampire movies to horror and slasher movies. I love all the dark material. Zombies is just one of them I like, so I wanted to experiment with that.

SHOCK: This is a labor of love for you. Where did the concept for DEAD 7 originate and how has it evolved over the years?

Carter: It started eight or nine years ago when I wrote a screenplay called Dead West. I had this idea to do a hybrid zombie-Western movie because I was a big fan of the old spaghetti Westerns as well. Those are two of my favorite genres. I wrote that screenplay because I wanted to act in Hollywood. I couldn’t do it because I was always on tour with the Backstreet Boys and always working. I was like, “I need to create something that I can act in, that I can do in my time frame.” That’s when I wrote the script.

Obviously it took a long time because there were a lot of things that happened in between. I had a crowd funding that I had done because I wrote two other screenplays. I wrote this one movie called Evil Blessing, which was sort of a family-slasher flick. Then I had this other movie called Flesh and Blood. I put Dead West on the backburner because I knew I had something special with it, but I wanted to see if I could top it. That’s when I did this crowd funding with Indiegogo and I took the script Evil Blessing and moved forward with it. I hired a director and things were moving forward.

The campaign was actually a huge success and proved that there were a lot of fans interested in me doing something. Unfortunately, my director passed away and he was holding all the cards. He was handling the campaign and the producers. He was taking care of the short film that we were going to take to investors to make this movie. I was left with this big responsibility and all of a sudden, I got an opportunity to take a breath and rethink things. That’s when I went back to my screenplay Dead West. I took that screenplay to Asylum and they really liked it. They helped me tweak it a bit. We came up with DEAD 7 and the rest is history.

SHOCK: Introduce us to your character Jack and what motivates him to save the day.

Carter: Jack is sort of the lone wolf cowboy that has gone off on his own into this post-apocalyptic world. He’s needed again by his brother, Billy (Timmons), and Daisy (Carrie Keagan). He comes back and helps lead the DEAD 7 team on this mission to finally take out Apocalypta. Jack doesn’t say much, but he’s weathered. He has a lot of history with this town, and Apocalypta, and his experience comes in handy.

SHOCK: Jack is a badass gunslinger. How did you prepare for this role?

Carter: It’s interesting because I watched so many Clint Eastwood movies when I was a little kid. I just loved cowboy movies. I channeled him as much as I could. To prepare for the role, I even changed my voice. I tend to have a high voice. I altered it so it was deeper. Jack is very dark and had a lot of hurt in his life. I even studied with a coach. Instead of saying a lot in the film, I focused on having my expressions and actions speak more than anything else. That was even more difficult and harder than to say a line. That’s what I really focused on.

SHOCK: DEAD 7’s cast is composed of various boy band members. Was that always the game plan or how did that come about?

Carter: For me, when I wrote Dead West, I had certain people in mind. I’m sure that’s what happens in Hollywood. You write a script and have someone in mind. Originally, I didn’t want it to be an all boy band cast. I wanted it to be some boy bands and some legitimate actors, not to say we’re not legitimate, but working actors. I remember I wanted Billy to be played by Jesse McCartney. I was trying really hard to get Jesse, but he didn’t want to do it. That’s when we ended up with Jeff and Jeff turned out to be even better. Long story short, I wanted this cast of some actors, some sports figures and maybe A.J. from the band, myself and Joey. But, when I came to Asylum and presented the idea to them, they said, “Well, why not just go with the whole boy band cast?” It really was their idea as well. It opened my mind to something different.

SHOCK: Zombie films are full of blood, guts and violence. What was your approach to those elements?

Carter: That’s the one thing people love about zombies. You can do anything you want to them. They are not alive. The good thing with Asylum is they were like, “We are going to make this an action movie that is taken seriously and we’re going to go for it.” They have a lot of experience in great special effects and makeup work. We achieved it by having a good team with the goal of not holding back. That’s what we wanted to do.

SHOCK: When you were bringing this project together, were there certain filmmakers that influenced you?

Carter: I’ve definitely been influenced by Tarantino. It’s so hard. Clive Barker. John Carpenter. I love the B-movies and miss the B-movies. Some of them are so special to me. People are always trying to do the big business and have these blockbusters. But, certain directors that you don’t necessarily remember made these B-movies and they became cult classics. They were special to me. As far as the directors that influenced me, I have such a wide range that it’s hard to pinpoint just one or two.

SHOCK: A.J.’s demented character, Johnny, had a Rob Zombie vibe to him.

Carter: Actually, Rob is a huge inspiration or me as well. In a lot of ways, Rob had to pave his own path. You start some place and sometimes you have to make do with what you have. I love how he was a musician and came from that side of the industry and said, “To hell with it. I’m going to do whatever I want to do.” That’s the same mindset that I have. “I’m going to do what I want to do and if people like it, then that’s good. If they don’t, they don’t have to watch it.” If you have that mentality, you have no fear to do what you want to do. You don’t have to over analyze.

SHOCK: At the end of the day, this is your vision. How happy are you with the final product?

Carter: I’m happy that what I envisioned turned into pretty much exactly how I conceived it. That’s a credit to Asylum. They paid attention to the ideas and the direction and they applied it. They helped from the production side to make it come to life

SHOCK: Asylum turned SHARKNADO into a cult hit – with sequels. If they come calling for more DEAD 7, have you given any thought on how to continue Jack’s adventures?

Carter: I don’t know (laughter). I wanted to make a movie. If people like it and they want more…The one thing I’m good at is creating. I never considered myself the greatest actor, but I have one hell of an imagination. If people enjoy DEAD 7 enough, I’ll go back to the drawing board and write up another story.

Source: ShockTillYouDrop.com