Deadsight has been getting some well deserved buzz lately. That’s an accomplishment in itself, but even more impressive is that Deadsight is a zombie film. I’ve seen the current sentiment regarding zombie films. It ran the gambit from brilliantly hidden social commentary, to die hard fans saying they were done the sub-genre completely. It’s understandable. Romero engineered the master template from B movie to elevated horror before anyone felt the need to assign a specific term to it. Then some really intelligent ones, some really funny ones, and some really dumb ones followed, but all had a place and some sort of following. That’s how it should be.
Unfortunately, adding zombies to a film became kind of like the Hamburger Helper of cinema. All this just happened to make anyone that filmed and released a zombie movie thereafter kind of ballsy. They really had to believe in it. The skepticism that over saturation created made it difficult waters to navigate. Making an indie horror film is difficult enough, but making an indie zombie film now requires a lot of faith in good writing and film making. Deadsight believed in its story and the actors believed in the hook that two people who should’ve been the first to die might last longer with each other.
I recently had a chance to catch up Adam Seybold, who plays Ben. Ben is the guy who wakes up blind and handcuffed to a gurney in an ambulance. His only hope is a sighted, but extremely pregnant police officer. He lends some insight into how he ended up playing a blind guy teamed up with a pregnant cop against hordes of the undead in rural Canada.
PH: How did you end getting the role in Deadsight?
AS: It all came through my association with John Geddes. A friend of mine mentioned that John and I might hit it off, and we did. He cast me in several films of his including Hellmouth, Ejecta, and Exit Humanity. That was my gateway into the world of Canadian Horror films.
PH: Glad you mentioned Canadian Horror. It has become a sort of underground legend. Cronenberg put it on the map, but guys like american filmmaker Bob Clark had Canadian ties to their films. It’s always been a very powerful but modest force in horror. What’s your take from the inside?
AS: There’s always been an individualist spirit with Canadian filmmakers and it’s still very much there. Guys like Cronenberg were able to showcase that individualism on a larger scale. The drive to go out with a camera and bring to life an idea you are passionate about has always been a hallmark of Canadian cinema. That drive also permeates into raising the funding either from government, private, or even personal means.
PH: Deadsight is a zombie flick, I’m pretty sure of that. There is a difference between an infection movie and a zombie movie, and it’s definitely a point of debate that’s right up there with running zombies. In Deadsight, they die before they come back.
AS: You’re right. They do die before coming back. So I guess it is a full fledged zombie film. One thing I think is interesting is how Deadsight handles how the plague started. It can be so different from film to film, and like you said, that is what defines it as how it fits into the genre.
PH: You’re co-star Liv Collins was also a writer on the film. She plays the pregnant cop. I’ve always wondered this. Like the original Dawn of the Dead, pregnancy was a significant plot point. Maybe adding to the urgency of the situation or new life still springing up even when the dead are overtaking the living?
AS: I’ve got a really simple answer for that one. She just happened to be pregnant at the time. I was very impressed at how she made it through a long and difficult shoot. It would have been difficult for anyone.
PH: When anyone who is sighted playing someone who is visually impaired, I always try to find a flaw in the performance. I didn’t here.
AS: That’s awesome! Thank you! I tried to do the gauze pads over the eyes through the whole shoot, but I made it to lunch on the first day. It became more of how I should move for someone who couldn’t see. That became a challenge because it had a range from just trying to find their way around to how they would react to fighting off a zombie.
PH: Did it take more out of you than a conventional role? There were times when you were swinging an axe. It would be extremely hard not to break character and look where you were swinging it.
AS: Underneath the gauze pads, I was also wearing contact lenses. That made my vision cloudy. The axes and the sledgehammers were all props, but the handles could still hurt someone. I did accidentally hit someone. Thankfully no one was seriously hurt. That did add to the stress of it all. Making it believable, but not hurting anyone in the process.
PH: Why a zombie film? Could you tell me about the development process?
AS: I really wasn’t too involved with the initial process, but I can say that vulnerability is the central theme. A woman who is pregnant, a visually impaired person, and how they could make it. Everything else was built around that.
PH: Last question. You are also a writer. Could you tell me about your upcoming project, Under Duress? I’ve heard it’s about Americans finding trouble abroad.
AS: Yeah. It’s about a group of friends headed to Mexico for a destination wedding. They are kidnapped and forced to do a series of escalating crimes. It’s kind of like The Hangover meets Narcos. I would classify it more as a thriller than horror, but it’s still going to be a lot of fun.
Many thanks to Adam Seybold! Deadsight is out now in select theaters, VOD and Digital HD. Be sure to check out the trailer below.