Interview With ‘Game of Death’ Directors Laurence “Baz” Morais Lagacé and Sebastien “Seb” Landry

After watching the gloriously gory and action packed film Game of Death, I couldn’t spread the news fast enough about how much I loved this film. So when the chance came for me to chat with Laurence “Baz” Morais Lagacé and Sebastien “Seb” Landry, the two French Canadian directors who made this amazing clusterfuck of a film and pick their brains on how they put it all together, I jumped at the chance. Read on to find out what these two had to say about the creation of Game of Death, special effects they used and what projects they have coming in the near future.
Director Laurence “Baz” Morais Lagacé

PopHorror: Where did the nickname Baz come from?

Laurence “Baz” Morais Lagacé: It’s from my teenage years. I used to do graffiti in Montreal and this name just stuck with me, for whatever reason.

PopHorror: So there still may be “Baz” tags somewhere on the Montreal streets? Nice! When did you realize that you wanted to be a filmmaker?

BazIt was in 2007. I used to do a webTV show called Voxpop Montreal for the website 33mag. We were covering Montreal’s nightlife and music scene, and at some point, I made friends with lots of local bands. Omnikrom were getting more and more popular and I told them I could do a music video for them. I did the music video for the song “Danse La Poutine” and completely fell in love with the concept of filmmaking as a whole. Its a collaborative art with so many levels and so difficul, but the reward of seeing it exist in the end has no price.
Sebastien “Seb” Landry: For as long as I can remember, I’ve always wanted to be a filmmaker. I grew up in a trailer park with not much to do. So I spent all of my free time in the video store, renting movies and playing video games. Then I got my first camera when I was 12. I was the only kid with a camcorder, so  I started making videos for the skateboarders and snowboarders in the city. Then I did weird, short films with my friends. Later on, I went to study cinema and independent video game design. 
Director Sebastien “Seb” Landry

PopHorror: Game of Death was the first feature film for both of you. Can you tell our readers a bit about the storyline?

Baz: Kill or be killed is the golden rule of the Game of Death, which sucks for seven decent-looking young friends who decide to play the game one sunny day. They quickly and gruesomely realize that if they don’t murder people, their heads will literally explode. Hence, they go on a killing spree, taking the lives of anyone they meet in their middle-of-nowhere town. The killer instinct in each of them bubbles to the surface as their search for victims unravels into chaos. Divided, terrified and confronted with their own mortality, their drive to survive blurs with their desire to win the game. Will they turn on each other? Jumanji meets Natural Born Killers… TheGame of Death will blow your mind.
 PopHorrorWhere did the idea come from for Game of Death?
Baz: We did a short called Caged in 2013 and it got the attention of some French producers from Rock Ze Line that asked us if we had another “gore movie for teenagers” in the bank. Seb and myself sat down to brainstorm for 2 weeks and came up with the concept of Game of Death. The influence of games and Jumanji came fast.
 PopHorrorHow did you guys meet?
Baz: We’ve been working together for the last 10 years. When I was doing some webTV stuff with 33mag, Seb was still living in Sept-Îles, but he was following what we where doing and wanted to be a part of it, so he came to Montreal and just started to work with us.

PopHorror: Sounds like it was meant to be! The game board design is fantastic! Where did you get the idea for that? Were you inspired by other board or video games?
Baz: We asked one of our friends who is a game designer to specifically design the board game. His name is Samuel Boucher and he just released his latest video game called GNOG. Go check it out!

PopHorror: What were some of the challenges you had while filming Game of Death?

Baz: Doing this whole movie in 18 days.
Seb: Yup.

PopHorror: I can imagine! That’s a tight schedule. What was your favorite scene to film?Baz: Wow, that’s hard. I think my favorite scene in the film is probably the moment Kenny’s head explodes and the music video sequence on the song “Tu ne sauras jamais” from Les B.B.

Seb: Kenny’s head and when Beth got shot. I find those moments really enjoyable. Also, there’s all the scenes with Winston, my English bulldog, but I guess this is more like a father proud of his son type of situation. (laughs)

PopHorror: Winston is your dog? Aw, I loved him! I felt so bad for him in that cone though. Do you have any funny stories from on set?

Baz: Catherine Saindon – she played Mary Ann in the movie – profoundly hated to be bloodied with the blood canon every morning. It became almost a phobia.
Sep: “The Pizza Hawt” song was all improvised by the actress. Every time we did a take, we asked her for a longer version of the song. It started from a 10 second jingle to a full minute and a half song. At the end, it was kind of crazy to hear her singing that crazy song that she invented, so we kept it. Everyone got stuck with it until the end of the shoot.
PopHorror: Yeah, that song just went on forever, didn’t it? I still catch myself singing it. One of my favorite aspects of the film were the slowly expanding head explosions. How did you do that?
Baz: This is the master work of Remy Couture who did prosthetics, the Blood Brothers who did on set effects and Alchemy 24 who did the video fx. We were really fortunate to be able to work with the best in Canada!
Seb: Remy created that really basic and effective system for the head to blow-up. So it basically was a mold of the head on top of the actor with a hidden straw and Remy was hidden and was blowing air like crazy. Every breath he took made the head grow a little more. 
PopHorror: That is so freaking awesome! I bet everyone is going to use that technique from now on. I loved the video game animations and references. What inspired that particular element?
Baz: I guess we did so many music videos… it just came naturally.
 
Seb: Yup, and played a lot of video games. (laughs)
PopHorror: What’s the deal with the manatee documentary?
Baz: I’m a big fan of manatees. I love those lovely creatures. They are in perfect contrast with everything the kids live in the film.

PopHorror: That makes perfect sense now that you’ve explained it. Game of Death is a horror thriller. Are you a fan of the horror genre? What’s your favorite horror movie?

Baz: That’s a really hard question. I love horror movies, but to say one my favorite is too hard. I’ll just say that the first movie I’d ever rented as a kid was Toxic Avenger. And I think I saw Child’s Play at around 8 years old … that was a mistake.
 
Seb: I really love horror movies, too. As a kid, I was fascinated by them. Now I think I just love all movies, as long as the story is good or that they try to push the boundaries, I’m fine with it. My favorite horror movie… That might be the toughest question. Every day I answer something else. I’d go with Scream and The Shining and Blair Witch ProjectScream because it was the first horror film I saw in the theater and it opened my view on the whole horror genre. Blair Witch Project for the stunt they created. It was a unique experience to see this movie for the first time and The Shining because it’s one of the best movies out there. 

PopHorror: I certainly can’t argue with you about The Shining. I get messages nearly every day from people, asking when they will be able to see this film. When will Game of Death be available to the public?

Baz: It will exist as an episodic version on the platform Blackpills around Halloween 2017. 

PopHorror: Do you have any upcoming projects that you can talk about?

Baz: We are working our third completely different script right now. Our plan is to shoot in 2018.

PopHorror: What are you afraid of? What scares you?

Baz: Another hard question. Lots of things, I guess, but I never let myself be afraid too much and still go forward. Nothing worse can happen than if you stay still and not move.

Seb: When I was a teenager, I was really afraid of ghosts. My friend’s sister was a goth and used to mess with us, playing Ouija and stuff. Now, I’m not really afraid of anything in particular.

PopHorror: Last but not least, what is your favorite Halloween candy?

Baz: I’m not a candy person.

Seb: Butterfinger chocolate bar!
PopHorror: Thanks again for the interview, guys! I can’t wait to chat again when your new movie comes out.
Don’t forget to check out Game of Death when it lands on the Blackpills platform this Halloween!

About Tracy Allen

As the co-owner and Editor-in-Chief of PopHorror.com, Tracy has learned a lot about independent horror films and the people who love them. Now an approved critic for Rotten Tomatoes, she hopes the masses will follow her reviews back to PopHorror and learn more about the creativity and uniqueness of indie horror movies.

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