The Movie Waffler RAVERS Director Bernhard Pucher’s Top Five Horror Movie Influences | The Movie Waffler

RAVERS Director Bernhard Pucher’s Top Five Horror Movie Influences

ravers horror movie
Director Bernhard Pucher on the films that inspired his new horror movie.

Words by Bernhard Pucher

A group of clubbers descend on an abandoned warehouse for a night of twisted techno and hedonistic drug-taking, but the illegal rave takes a blood-stained turn for the worse when the whacked-out partygoers mutate into crazed lunatics after drinking a batch of contaminated energy drink. Caught in the middle of the slaughter is Becky (Georgia Hirst), a germaphobic journalist who must overcome her crippling-fear of gore and grime to make it out of the party alive…

To celebrate the release of Ravers, now available on Digital Download, director and DJ Bernhard Pucher spins his top five horror movie influences.

ravers poster

Shaun of the Dead (2004)
Shaun of the Dead
How much do I really have to say about this movie? It’s brilliant. Easily one of the best executed horror comedies of all time, which manages to be silly, funny, suspenseful, horrific, tragic and satirical all at once. You can tell it was made by people who deeply loved horror, and that love just oozes out of the screen. Let alone Edgar Wright’s brilliant direction. A virtuoso of transitions and king of visual jokes. But what inspired me the most about it, especially in the context of Ravers, is the sincerity. Our main characters, however comical and silly, are sincere at heart and their friendship means a lot to them. So when things get difficult and even tragic, we are right there with them, caring for them all the way. That was really important to me and I wanted to achieve that for my main character Becky as well.

The Fly (1986)
The Fly
Though The Fly wasn’t a direct inspiration for Ravers, it was certainly a direct inspiration to do as much as possible with practical effects… along with The Toxic Avenger. Doing practical FX well is so rewarding for filmmakers and fans alike, that it was really important for us during filming. The Fly of course is a brilliant example of FX done to perfection. Plus it’s a great story with incredible performances.

Dawn of the Dead (2004)
Dawn of the Dead
Ok, I’m going to get flack from some people for putting this film here instead of the Romero original. Yes, I know, the original is genius. No question. But come on, this is Zack Snyder directing a James Gunn film, before Snyder was Snyder and Gunn was Gunn. And you could see it in the writing and directing - two craftsmen who really knew their shit. The film is as good now as it was then, which is as true for the Romero version. I agree that Snyder’s version doesn’t have the social commentary or self-awareness the original has. But it is a genuinely fun zombie movie to watch. With great action, fun gore, good characters and an entertaining plot. Along with 28 Days Later this became one of the most influential films of the ‘zombie’ genre by giving the characters something new to do, just like Romero’s original did, and Shaun of the Dead did too.

Stranger Things (2016-2019)
Stranger Things
Stranger Things is not a movie yes. BUT, it aimed at something that I was trying to achieve with Ravers and pulled it off brilliantly. I wanted to take inspiration from my time as a raver and DJ and bring that into the narrative without being forceful or overbearing. It had to feel organic to the world and nobody should question it while watching it. Stranger Things did that brilliantly. It brought the '80s to life on screen without it getting in the way. Even more so, it brought being a kid in the '80s on-screen without forcing it. Plus the electronic music aspect was a great parallel. I love that show a lot and it happened to come out at just the right time and showed me how it’s done. Huge respect to the filmmakers for pulling it off.

The Blair Witch Project (1999)
The Blair Witch Project
Ok, it’s not a direct inspiration for Ravers, but it was a huge inspiration to me. I was 19 when that film came out. For me, it’s one of five movies from 1999 that I have tattooed on my right arm. It was very influential on my decision to become a filmmaker. The Blair Witch Project for the first time showed me that I can make a movie with very little, as long as my idea was good. I didn’t know about the difference between an indie film and a Hollywood film then. To me, they were all BIG movies that cost a lot of money. But then these guys made a movie that I really loved, and it cost a tiny fraction of those. It definitely flicked a switch in my brain. And yes, I was one of those people who initially questioned whether it was real footage or not. A lot of it had to do with how natural the actors were. It didn’t feel like a script. It really felt like they just captured it. And when I read later on how the directors cued the actors, I thought it was brilliant. I still love it to this day.

Ravers is on Digital Download now from Blue Finch Film Releasing.