Page last updated at 08:51 GMT, Thursday, 19 March 2009

Corden and Horne's horror show

Corden and Horne are joined by Paul McGann in the fight against the vampires

by Tim Masters
Entertainment reporter, BBC News

It's hard to escape Gavin and Stacey stars James Corden and Mathew Horne at the moment.

As well as a new BBC Three sketch show, Horne's West End role in Entertaining Mr Sloane, and Corden's turn on Comic Relief, the comedy duo star in the film Lesbian Vampire Killers.

Corden and Horne play two no-hopers who go on a hiking holiday and find themselves stuck in a village where the women have been enslaved by a vampire curse.

Early reviews have been lukewarm and the film has been the target of criticism from an internet campaign by a pro-lesbian group.

Horne told the BBC this week that the the film was "a lot less gratuitous than you might thinků it's like Confessions of a Window Cleaner, but in a forest with vampires".

MATHEW HORNE as Jimmy McLaren (left) with VERA FILATOVA as Eva
Horne (above) and Corden were cast before Gavin & Stacey became a TV hit
The film's 15-certificate is a clue as to the target audience. The publicity material promises "gags, girls and gore" - although most of the jokes revolve around swearing and a phallic sword handle.

There are horror film references galore, and it's obvious that the makers of Lesbian Vampire Killers would love to emulate the success of Shaun of the Dead.

Here, Corden and Horne discuss vampires, the influence of Shaun and the perils of over-exposure.

So is Lesbian Vampire Killers a comedy-horror or a horror-comedy?

Corden: It's a comedy-horror first and foremost.

Horne: And that's why we did it really, because we thought the script was really funny. And I think the horror comes second. It errs on the side of campery rather than true gore.

Was it as much fun to make as it looks like you're having on screen?

Corden: It was the most fun that either of us have had on the set. But it's hard work making a film like this - so much of it is so technical. And we'd spend a lot of time just sat around covered in goo.

There were points when you were into hour 10 of the day and then the director Phil Claydon would come in and pick you up just like a kid who'd had too many sweets.

It's been compared to Hammer meets Withnail and I. That must have been easier with Paul McGann (as a vicar vampire hunter) in the cast...

Corden: Paul McGann being around was one of the best things about it really. I got to do a lot of my scenes with him, and I got to wear a long coat so I started to feel like Withnail.

He had a really hard job on this film because he had to play it absolutely straight. We have to ask the audience the make a big leap of faith and he's a major part of that.

Horne: We shot it in a studio and we had these real trees put in to make the forest. McGann was all over them! He just loved them.

Inevitably there are going to be some comparisons with Shaun of the Dead. Was the success of Shaun something that you had in the back of your minds making this movie?

Horne: Not at all, because at heart this film is a teen flick. The teen horror is an American thing, and not something we really do in this country.

Corden: I can understand the comparison - it's a comedy-horror film, but I'd like to think our film stands on its own. I don't doubt for a second that the success of Shaun of the Dead helped this film get made.

What was the first vampire film you ever saw?

Both: The Lost Boys.

Horne: And I still don't know if I've seen a better one.

You were cast in this film before Gavin and Stacey became a hit on TV. Does your on-screen partnership still feel quite new?

Horne: James and I have only known each other about two-and-a-half years. I feel like it's an early stage of everything. The working partnership came second - out of the blue really - the friendship was always first.

Corden: Mat and I would love to continue working together for a long time - but I don't think we've got any aspirations to be Cannon and Ball! We're both keen to do things independently in the hope that that will strengthen the stuff we do together.

You two are absolutely everywhere are the moment. Are you planning any downtime?

Both: Not really.

Corden: It's a bit busy. The last thing we are going to do is complain about that. We are both aware of how lucky we are. We just hope the work's good enough and we don't get on people's nerves.

Lesbian Vampire Killers is out on 20 March.

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