Body At Brighton Rock, shot in California’s San Jacinto Mountains over 9 days, is a low budget thriller that was a\ blast to watch. Wendy (Karina Fontes) is a state park employee who must survive the night in the wilderness after discovering a corpse. Below is some quotes/audio from my interview with the film’s writer/director/producer Roxanne Benjamin.
One of Body at Brighton Rock’s biggest gambles was the casting of relative unknown Karina Fontes, and though she previously worked with Benjamin in the horror anthology feature Southbound, this marks her biggest role to date.
“(Karina) has a very kind of delicateness to her and not naivete, but she’s very good at showing her real emotion very nakedly onscreen in a way that I think some actors are not able to do because you always kind of see that they’re acting,” said Benjamin. “Or even when they’re inhabiting a role you can see the choices that they’re making and she is somewhat of a natural on how she acts onscreen. So I wrote the character with her in mind.”
Another strong aspect behind the feature lies in the overall look at atmosphere. Though the movie is low budget, the actual look of the film is memorable, as setting a film amidst Mother Nature can automatically enhance its visual scope. That being said, Benjamin had a distinct vision behind the feature’s compositions.
“It’s funny because I’m a child of the ’80s but the movies I grew up on were 70s movies – horror movies and other kinds of movies,” said Benjamin, who actually broke her back while shooting the film. “So my aesthetic very much falls more into that palette visually. I’m a big fan of the kind of technicolor or more poppy film grain looks of 70s movies and 70s TV. Really, Lassie was a really big visual inspiration for this movie. Weirdly enough, that’s kind of where more of my visual interests lie rather than the neon gloss of the ’80s that I feel a lot of low budget genre (films) tends to go for and these heavy synths. That’s not really what interests me.”
During our phoner, I also asked Benjamin to briefly discuss one of her favorite films. Here’s audio of Roxanne Benjamin discussing her love for the Peter Weir (Witness, Fearless) feature Picnic At Hanging Rock:
Body at Brighton Rock is now playing in theaters and is available On Demand.
My full audio interview with Roxanne Benjamin, where she discusses writing the screenplay for a Night of the Comet remake as well as the knockout ending of Body at Brighton Rock, is available to Patreon members of CinemAddicts (the spoilers are placed at the end of the discussion).