Writer-director Larry Fessenden’s filmography is full of monsters, from the bloodsuckers of his 1995 vampire tale Habit to the giant fish found in 2013’s Beneath. Now, with Depraved (out Sept. 13), Fessenden is tackling one of the greatest fictional creatures of them all: Frankenstein’s monster.
“Depraved is a modern take on the Frankenstein story,” the filmmaker tells EW. “I grew up loving the old movies and the [Boris] Karloff interpretation. It’s part of my bloodstream, and my upbringing, and so I made this modern telling. It involves a soldier from the Iraq war trying to right all the wrongs that happened on the battlefield. He uses his genius to sew a man together and bring him to life. But the element that I added was the character Polidori, which is a reference of course to the world of Mary Shelley. The Polidori character in mine is sort of a character from our modern times, an opportunist who works in the pharmaceutical industry, and it’s a way to update the story further.”
The film stars David Call as the Frankenstein character, Henry; Blair Witch Project actor Joshua Leonard as Polidori; and Alex Breaux as the “monster,” Adam.
“I saw an article in The New York Times featuring Alex,” says the Manhattan-based Fessenden. “He had been in a play right down the street called Red Speedo, and the things they were saying about the physicality of the role — he played a swimmer — and also the photograph of his physique just inspired me. I had him audition, and he was fantastic. Like so many people, he wasn’t particularly invested in the Frankenstein story, but he really found a way in. It took a couple of years to find the financing and to figure out what budget level of movie it was going to be. He stuck through all the iterations, and I’m so pleased that he stayed with the project.”
IFC Midnight is releasing Depraved, Sept. 13.
Exclusively watch the trailer for Depraved above, and see the film’s new poster below.