Director – Fred Vogel (The Redsin Tower, August Underground)
Starring – Damien A. Maruscak (Flatwoods, Maskhead), Diane Franklin (Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure, Amityville II: The Possession), and Grainger Hines (The Ballad of Buster Scruggs, The A-Team)
Release Date – 2018
Rating – 3.5/5
Fred Vogel has a fanbase unlike any other in the indie horror community. His August Underground trilogy really hit among the extreme horror crowd. He is a very talented filmmaker and effects artist but I’m not really a fan of his AU films. However, The Redsin Tower is an underrated horror masterpiece. It’s absolutely brilliant and bleak. I fucking love it and the fact that most fans overlook it for the AU films is a damn shame. A few years ago Fred announced that he was directing a new film titled The Final Interview. He was up front about the film telling fans that it was not a horror flick but something much different.
When artwork for the film hit the internet I became very interested in this release and wanted to check it out. Sometime passed and at the tail end of 2020 Fred announced that the film was available to purchase. For a steep $50 you could get the film on blu and DVD along with the soundtrack and a few promotional items. I couldn’t justify spending that much just for a blu and was going to wait for a standard release but after seeing several horror fans praise this one I went ahead and pulled the trigger.
**spoiler Alert** The film is set in 1983 and serial killer Darius Tidman (Maruscak) who is scheduled to be executed later that night. Reporter Oliver Ross (Hines) has been granted access to the prison for a live interview before he is executed. However, as the interview progresses Ross becomes unsettled when they break for commercials revealing his inner demons to the mass murderer. Eventually he reveals how unfaithful and mean he truly is but the worst is still in store for the veteran journalist. **Spoiler Alert**
The Final Interview was not a bad movie. In fact, it was a damn fine piece cinema. Honestly, I really enjoyed it. However, as much as I liked it I still found several things I wish they would have done differently. My complaints aside, I still enjoyed it.
The acting in this one is some of the best acting I had seen in years. Damien A. Maruscak is great as the mass murderer awaiting his execution. He’s very calm, level headed but still has that sense of danger about himself. The casting was perfect wit hthis one. Grainger Hines was absolutely brilliant as Oliver Ross. He was absolutely brilliant as the older reporter who lets his personal life get in the way of his real job. His performance was so genuine and well grounded. The supporting cast is solid as well but they don’t take up as much screen as these two actors. Vogel and company did an amazing job with the casting here.
The story for this one could have went so many different ways. The way it goes is still a fun watch BUT there was so many other possibilities that could have made it an unforgettable film. In 2013 director Chris LaMartina released WNUF Halloween Special which was made to look like an old 80’s television broadcast with faux commercials included. LaMartina even went the extra mile to make it look like it was recorded onto VHS to really sell the film to the viewer. When I heard that The Final Interview was set in 1983 and followed a television reporter doing a live interview with a notorious serial killer I just assumed that it was going to be similar to WNUF. Sadly, it wasn’t. It was more of a traditional drama thriller which worked but I do feel like it was a missed opportunity. With that being said, the film does sneak in an old commercial so that makes me think that this may have been the idea at the beginning but was abandoned sometime during production.
Finally, the film does have one death scene and they really make it count. The film’s focus is the characters and how they interact with one another but the one death we do get is extremely bloody and violent. The effects for this death are pretty minimal due to the way it was filmed but it was very enjoyable. Overall, The Final Interview is a very well made and put together dark drama. The cast is extremely talented and the film really works. The movie didn’t go the way I was hoping for but it’s still an entertaining watch. Check it out.