SEQUENCE BREAK Director Graham Skipper Chats with Cinepunx

Graham Skipper’s directorial debut is up on Shudder now! If you aren’t sure whether you should check it out, trust me when I tell you you that it’s a great and goopy blend of body horror and techno-horror. Our very own Nick Spacek covered the film last week, so you don’t need to take my word for it.

I had the chance to catch up with Graham over the weekend to chat about the film and what else he’s up to:

Hey Graham, I feel like we’re old friends now. Talking about your film on my podcast a few months ago was a blast and I’m really excited to tell the world more about the release of your directorial debut, Sequence Break. Before we dive into that, let’s start with you. Who’s Graham Skipper and where might folks know you from?

Graham Skipper is a horror nerd from Texas that has been lucky enough to find a career making horror movies! I’ve been primarily an actor in films such as Almost Human, The Mind’s Eye, and Beyond the Gates and I also got to play Herbert West in Stuart Gordon’s stage adaptation of Re-Animator: The Musical.

When I last spoke with you, we were chatting about some of your influences, notably Ken Russell’s Altered States and David Cronenberg’s Videodrome. Do you see these two films and the artists behind them as major influences to your work and love of horror as a whole, or most specifically to Sequence Break? What about these films do you love so much?

I’ve always been most fascinated by movies that surprise me. Those examples are two films that I remember just being so blown away by when I first saw them, and no matter how many times you watch them, new stuff jumps out at you. Any film that plays with form, or shows you things you’ve never seen before, or surprises you somehow, I’m drawn to.

Before working on this film, you’d been acting in the indie horror films for a little bit now. A few of the films that jump to mind for me force me to peg you as an 80s horror guy. Is it intentional that you’ve been in some films that pay major homage to the 80s of do you think that’s just a coincidence

I certainly am drawn to the 80s because I grew up during that time period, but I think that the fact that I’ve been in films with an 80s feel to them is more due to the fact that people are making movies with an 80s feel to them. We’re definitely in a kind of resurgence of those kinds of movies, so it’s more of just being an indie horror actor right now means that you’ll eventually be in a movie like that.

One of those films, Beyond the Gates, had you paired up with Chase Williamson, who consequently was one of the leads in Sequence Break. How do you guys know each other and did you always have him in mind once you began working on Sequence Break?

Chase and I have been friends for some time, especially following Beyond The Gates, so when I wrote the role of Oz he was the first person to jump into my head. He’s such a natural actor and I knew that he could mentally go to the bizarre places Oz has to, while keeping the character grounded in honesty.

How about his co-star, Fabianne Therese, what drew you to her to star opposite Chase?

I’ve been a big fan of Fabi’s work for years, so I was thrilled when Chase recommended her to come in and read. She and Chase are good friends in real life and their chemistry together was instantly easy and palpable — she also was able to take Tess and make her really rooted and real, a strong force in Oz’s life who was unafraid to go after what she wants. She really brought such complexity and honesty to Tess — we were lucky to have her.

As the writer and director, how difficult was the process for you? Do you think you prefer one to the other?

I loved it! It was certainly difficult, but intensely rewarding. It’s a marathon, so as long as you’re prepared to go the distance, it’s totally worth it.

Before I move into the requisite “what is next for Graham” question, I want to highlight another film that just dropped that features you in one of my favorite cameo roles this year, Ryûhei Kitamura’s Downrange, which will be appearing alongside Sequence Break as a Shudder exclusive when your film drops in the next few days. What drew you to that project and how’d you get involved?

Well, I’m a huge fan of Ryuhei Kitamura, and through random luck I ended up meeting him through a mutual friend a couple years ago. We got together a few times and became friends, and then when he was prepping Downrange he reached out to ask if I wanted to be in it! I was honored and of course jumped at the opportunity. I’m so happy I got to work with him. He’s a master.

Awesome stuff. So, here’s that one I hinted at a minute ago… what’s next? More acting? More directing? Anything set to hit the festival circuits, theaters, or VOD in the coming months?

You mentioned Downrange, and on the festival circuit right now there’s All the Creatures Were Stirring and Dementia Part 2… I also appear in the Monster Squad documentary Wolfman’s Got Nards. There are a few other things in the pipeline that I can’t talk about quite yet, but stay tuned!

It has been an honor to catch up briefly. I can’t wait till I can have you on the podcast again, we truly had a blast talking goopy body horror coupled with spiritual and ethical issues last time, maybe next time we can tackle something different but equally fascinating. Before I let you go, tell the readers how they can follow you and what you’re up to.

Thanks! I had a blast with you too! I’d love to come back anytime. Readers can find me on Twitter at @GrahamSkipper, or my website is www.GrahamSkipper.com. Come say hi!

Thanks again, any last words?

Thank YOU! Can’t wait for everyone to check out Sequence Break!

Check out Sequence Break on Shudder and if you’re interested in hearing Graham’s epsiode of Grindhouse Messiah, you can play it below:

Justin Harlan

Justin Harlan

Justin is not punk enough for Liam, nor does he have good enough taste in film for Liam. He's working on the latter, but not really the former. He runs The Farsighted and also writes over Cinapse and Rock on Philly. Don't dream it, be it.
Justin Harlan
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