New Hal Masonberg Interview on THE PLAGUE: DIRECTOR’S CUT


Below is a new interview with me about an old film I did. Back in 2005, I wrote & directed my first feature film. It was 8 years in the making and from the moment I signed over the script, the film started being systematically undermined (i.e. destroyed) by producers who turned out to be some of the least ethical, most abusive and destructive individuals I have ever come in contact with. Eek! Sounds horrible, right? It was. But most such challenges come with silver linings and life-changing lessons. This experience was no exception.

The heart and soul of the film was eroded months before shooting ever began. By the end, the film was cut together from frame one without my involvement and turned into a film I and the creative team had to publicly denounce.

The film was released as CLIVE BARKER’S THE PLAGUE (it was not based on any of Clive Barker’s work). The thought of people watching that cut causes me deep pain. I would prefer no one watch it. Ever. My cut of the film, on the other hand, exists in a rough cut only, though I am happy to make that version privately available to anyone interested in seeing it. Simply message me. Yes, even my version is highly compromised (listen to the interview below for graphic details on exactly how), but it at least comes closer to the intended vision and, I hope, maintains some of its unique attributes, social commentary and cinematic qualities, not to mention narrative structure (which was completely altered in the Barker cut). I would daresay the two versions of the film don’t even exist in the same genre.

THE PLAGUE was never intended to be a “masterpiece of cinema” but as an homage to the B-movie sci-fi/horror flicks of my youth (60’s-70’s). I wish the film we set out to make had been allowed to come to fruition. Alas, my (as yet unreleased) cut is as close as we will ever get.

Thanks to the incredible guys at 4th Times The Charm for taking an interest in the film and in me. Their response to my version of the film was such a bright spot in my year. They helped me heal- just a little bit more – the deep wound that is THE PLAGUE.

I genuinely had a blast doing this interview. I hope you enjoy it at least half as much as I did. :)

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