"Monsters" sets standard for guerrilla filmmaking

Mon Sep 20, 2010 3:25am EDT
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By Borys Kit

LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - Director Gareth Edwards' sci-fi pic "Monsters" is being hyped as this year's "District 9," which does the movie a disservice as it sets it up against an unrealistic standard.

Both belong to the category of "elevated genre," where horror, sci-fi and monster movie tropes are smartly used to tell a not-so usual story.

But the movies are leagues apart, beginning with the $15,000 budget for "Monsters," arguably the most amazing example of guerrilla filmmaking this year.

The movie screened toward the end of the Toronto International Film Festival, which wrapped Sunday, with Edwards and his two cast members on hand to talk about his film. Edwards, who wrote, directed, and shot the movie, is already on the Hollywood fast track, and is now collaborating with Timur Bekmambetov ("Wanted) on an untitled project.

"Monsters" is set in Mexico six years after a good chunk of the country has become overrun by a creature-creating bacteria brought about by a fallen space probe. Two Americans are forced to travel through this infected zone in order to get back in the U.S.

The germs for "Monsters" were planted when Edwards saw a couple of fisherman pulling out a net, chatting away, not even paying attention to what was in it. "It'd be funny if they pulled out a dead sea creature," he recalled thinking.

That led him to begin pondering the kind of world that would exist if monsters are a daily occurrence?

And while he initially wondered how to finance the film, he said, "If you have a commercial idea that is dirt cheap, you'll find people to give you money."   Continued...