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Last Updated: Monday, 22 May 2006, 17:48 GMT 18:48 UK
On the trail of Lesbian Vampire Killers
By Darren Waters
BBC News entertainment reporter in Cannes

Promotional poster for Lesbian Vampire Killers (AV Pictures)
The movie is set in Wales where filiming will begin this autumn
BBC News website readers voted for Lesbian Vampire Killers as the film in Cannes they wanted to know more about. We pick up the trail.

Two young men decide to escape their problems and head to Wales for a weekend in a small village.

They arrive to find a coach-load of Swedish females and a cursed hamlet under the spell of vampires of a specific sexual persuasion.

Welcome to Lesbian Vampire Killers, a comedy horror film project from British firm AV Pictures.

Currently, Lesbian Vampire Killers is little more than a series of glossy posters and a tag-line straight from the Carry On tradition: "Two no-hopers. A Cursed Village. One hell of a night!"

Sitting on his balcony in Cannes, AV Pictures managing director Vic Bateman says: "It's a great poster."

Audience expectations

Acting talent is still being put together, but Mr Bateman promises surprises. He says the film has already done deals in Europe, with America and the UK expected to follow.

Producer Bateman has a career in film-making going back 38 years, including The Krays, Staggered and DVD hit Dog Soldiers.

The film market is bulging at the seams with titles, but Mr Bateman says he is confident that AV Pictures knows what the audience wants.

"We keep telling our directors: 'Make films for an audience not for yourself'.

Vic Bateman
Producer Vic Bateman has worked in film for 38 years

"I've always done horror movies and the script is always the most important part.

"The audience has got to relate to the film. If the monster is chasing the girl, you have got to care about the woman.

"When they see a title like Lesbian Vampire Killers, they will want to see that."

AV prides itself on hiring new talent. Mr Bateman believes the UK Film Council is not doing enough to nurture new faces in the commercial sector.

"I think they should help more first time directors rather than the greats like Loach," he says.

Dog Soldiers director Neil Marshall went on to direct big budget fare like The Descent.

On demand

Fledgling director Phil Claydon will direct Lesbian Vampire Killers and the pair are already talking about a subsequent movie, Joshua Breed.

He describes Lesbian Vampire Killers as a comedy horror, with the style of a classic Hammer movie.

"It will have you laughing and screaming in the auditorium," he promises.

Mr Bateman believes too many films are being made around the world but he says AV Pictures stays profitable by understanding the market.

There is always an emerging market for horror... everybody at some point likes to be scared
Vic Bateman, AV Pictures

"There is too much rubbish out there," he says.

"But you have got to feed the machine. In the future people will see films wherever, whenever.

"They are going to need content. You are going to have to cover streaming and video on demand."

"I class horror, in a funny way, with Disney," he says.

"There is always an emerging market for horror. You will get your classic horror fans but everybody at some point likes to be scared."

So be afraid, be very afraid: the Lesbian Vampire Killers are coming.

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