A Chat with Survival Thriller Parasites’ Writer/Director Chad Ferrin

When I saw Parasites, I must admit going in, I began watching the movie with the assumption that giant parasitic creatures would be eating flesh or something equally as...

When I saw Parasites, I must admit going in, I began watching the movie with the assumption that giant parasitic creatures would be eating flesh or something equally as gross. But wow, I was so far off the mark!

Parasites turned out to be a survival thriller, on the streets of LA’s Skid Row area. But that being said, it wasn’t just a monster chasing after someone, there was also some serious social commentary going on within the film. The official plot description is simple: “Three friends find themselves lost on Skid Row and are captured by an angry homeless gang”.  Not a good plan for a group of college boys, in a super nice car, to get lost in a bad neighborhood, after being rude to a homeless guy. But, I’m not going to review the movie again- I liked it a lot, and if you are interested you can read my review here. For me the movie was very raw and powerful, has some great characters, enough gore for a horror fiend like me and some relevant social commentary.

Since I liked the film, I was excited to get a chance to talk to Writer/Director Chad Ferrin, find out a little about him and how the film Parasites came to be.

Los Angeles Zombie Girl: Hi Chad, thanks for talking to me. What made you want to go into film making?

Chad Ferrin: “Growing up in a small Midwestern town, I always felt I didn’t quite fit in, so I’d escape through film. Seeing The Thing, Quest For Fire, Popeye, Nine to Five, and The Empire Strikes Back on the big screen really lit a fuse inside me. Then when my dad brought home a Betamax with Taxi Driver and Saturn 3 my cinematic world exploded. I’d watch 3-5 movies a day. Being transported to all the different worlds that flashed across that small TV screen sealed my fate.”

LAZG: What was the first Horror film you worked on?

CF: “I was a production assistant for pick-up shots on Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers.”

LAZG: Can you tell me about some of the films you did before Parasites?

CF: “I sold my house to make my first feature, Unspeakable, and then my beloved 1968 ½ Ford Mustang to fund The Ghouls. I hope I don’t have to sell a kidney to make the next one!”

LAZG: What made you decide to do Parasites?

CF: “It’s my spin on one of my favorite films, Cornell Wilde’s The Naked Prey, which is based on the amazing true story of John Colter’s escape from Blackfeet Indians. I took my fee from directing The Chair and rolled it into Parasites. “

LAZG: Did you realize what an impact the story would make socially when you first started it?

CF: “I thought it might, but not to the extent that it has. Love it or hate it, as long as it has people talking, that is what’s important.”

LAZG: Did you intend to go for the gritty on location look in Los Angeles? Or was that decision based on budget?

CF: “A little of both. The budget constraints helped give it a frantic energy, combine that with some sleazy locations and that gritty look is nailed.”

LAZG: Did you shoot on the streets at night without permits, guerrilla style?

CF: “No, we had permits. Not that it really mattered, ironically, as the police rarely set foot in the areas we shot in.”

LAZG: What is your favorite horror film?

CF: “John Carpenter’s THE THING.”

LAZG: What filmmakers have influenced you?

CF: “Stanley Kubrick, Robert Aldrich, Sam Fuller, Orson Welles, Sam Peckinpah, Mario Bava, Alfred Hitchcock, Robert Bresson, William Friedkin, Val Lewton, John Carpenter, Howard Hawks,  John Ford,  Cornel Wilde, David Lean, John Huston, Budd Boetticher, Anthony Mann and George Romero to name a few.”

LAZG: Can you tell me about any upcoming projects?

CF: “I hope to make “Horse” this year. It is vengeance/siege/chase/masculinity/morality packed into one hell of an action-driven western about a lone gunfighter seeking vengeance upon the men who murdered his horse.”

LAZG: Wow! That sounds exciting. Keep me updated! Anything else you can tell me, about you?

CF: “I have never owned a cell phone. Hate ’em!”

LAZG: No Cell Phone? AHHHH! LOL! Do you have any advice for new filmmakers?

CF: “Stay to true to yourself.”

Thank you so much Chad!

So, to sum up my take on the film: Parasites is a raw, powerful movie with a strong socially relevant commentary. If you get a chance to see it, I recommend that you do. Keep an eye out for Chad’s other films, Unspeakable, The Ghouls and his upcoming film Horse.

More info on where Parasites will be playing next can be found on their Facebook Page





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