Kate Shenton Film Geek to Gimp


Kate Shenton Film Maker

Quite possibly the funniest short horror flick I will see this year is Kate Shenton’s Gimp and judging by the reaction of the audience at the London Horror Society and at the Whirled Cinema during Women in Horror Month I know I am not the only person who split their sides at this tale of a visit to the friendly neighbourhood dominatrix that goes horribly, horribly wrong.

We caught up with Kate and asked her what it was that got her into filmmaking?

‘I have always been a Film Geek and spent most my teenage years repeatedly watching Quentin Tarantino and Tim Burton films. However I didn’t get into making films until I started university and joined the filmmaking society. It was that I started to explore my filmmaking and directing to the point where nearly failed my degree (which was in politics off all things.) I basically knew from the first time I pressed record that this was what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. It became an obsession. After university I just started making films with whatever money I could find. Most of the work I’ve made was pretty much no-budget and pull together though begging, borrowing, stealing and good friends.

I have many influences. I grew up on the work of Quentin Tarantino and Tim Burton and they’ve definitely huge influences in my film work but I was also hugely inspired by Robert Rodriguez for his approach to filmmaking and Danny Boyle’s ability to switch genres but still maintain his unique style. Judy Taymor also inspired me just by how wonderfully wacky she can be.’
Having really enjoyed Gimp we naturally wanted to know where Kate got the idea from:

‘In all honesty I never really know where my ideas come from. They just appear in my head. Gimp happened because I’ve always been at terrible at waking up. I have to have several alarms on and I end up putting them all on snooze. Sometimes I wake in the morning and I feel like going mad from all the ring. It was then that I fought ‘What if this happen to gimp who was handcuffed radiator?’

It was a super fun to film. We shoot in two days but myself and Damian Lloyd-Davis did considerable work in advance to get the Charlie Chaplin feel right. There was lot of improvisation. Also the abundance of sex toys provided plenty of giggles and amusement onset.’
There is a very dark vein of humor running through Gimp so naturally we wanted to know how important this was to Kate:

‘I think comedy and horror go hand-in-hand. In my opinion very similar genres. There very reflective of our times and both are exploring the darkest elements of life. I don’t think I could ever make a horror film that didn’t have an element of comedy in it. In fact I would argue that my work is more dark comedy with a horror twist. I’m very passionate about comedy and I take making people laugh very, very seriously.

I think if you look at most horror films there is an element of comedy in them. Even films like Texas Chainsaw Massacre and Human Centipede Two have a wonderful dark humour to them. To me the genres go hand-in-hand.’
Kate’s latest movie is Send in the Clowns

Send in the Clowns is documentary about man who is one ambition in life. To dress as a scary clown and terrorise pedestrians. The short is now available online and it had festival screening at Fright Fest, BiFan and LSFF.

There is plenty happening in the future. I’ve just completed my second feature film Egomaniac which should be hitting the festival circuit very soon. I’m also working on my third feature films Bloody Burrito which is being produced by the wonderful Breakneck Film who I’m thoroughly enjoying working with. We should be filming beginning of next year and I’m super excited about it. It’s been my passion project for many years and I can’t believe it’s finally getting made.’

Exciting stuff, good luck with all of those Kate and thank you for talking to the Horror Hothouse.
Find out more about Kate and her films at her website