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My Day of Violence with Darren Ward and Beyond Fury Print E-mail
Written by Jay Creepy   
Tuesday, 27 November 2018
My Day of Violence with Darren Ward and Beyond Fury by Jay Creepy


My Day of Violence with Darren Ward and Beyond Fury

 “Jay, why you moving about? You're dead!”

Thus spoke director Darren Ward in a rather bewildered tone just after I have been repeatedly brutally stabbed by half of a bottle courtesy of film anti-hero, Walker, in Darren's upcoming epic, Beyond Fury. Not realising, since I was in a lot of discomfort, that actor Nick had moved away, my arms were still raised fighting. As I heard those amusing words, my limbs flopped down into the dirt. Just an incredible display of death twitches I suppose.

Yes, that was just one of the many comical and sometimes stressful moments as I spent a few hours in the company of the Beyond Fury crew and gathered actors approximately 200 plus miles from my home city. I was in the mind of Milsom, a silent but extremely violent man who happens to be one of head bad guy (played by the legendary Giovanni Lombardo Raddice) Ivan Lenzivitch's go to fellas who owes Ivan a favour, and will guarantee getting the job done when killing Walker. Milsom comes quite near to doing this, but, well, I won't spoil things.

My Day of Violence with Darren Ward and Beyond FuryIn fact, when it comes to describing the filming of certain scenes, I will remain vague in parts because there are a vast number of thrills awaiting fans of gory gangster flicks. Darren sat me down and showed me a few minutes here and there whilst I gazed around his office/outhouse unaware of his movie collectables. What I was witness to far surpasses his prior works, and in fact goes beyond (ho-ho) almost every guns 'n' gangs flick made in the UK. Tortures, hackings, guttings, rapes, bullets everywhere -- the list goes on into infinity. It is in effect a grand opus of mutilations.

It had taken me many hours to reach my destination and included my second ever trip on the London Underground. I took a few geeky photographs of the tunnels recalling many horror films, and being that I am a huge fan of The Kinks and Ray Davies, I bagged a pointless to many, but beautiful to some, snap of the Waterloo wall plaque. All the way I was a mixture of nerves and excitement. I've played quick roles before (in Matt Shaw's Monster and an upcoming Domiziano Cristopharo flick, as well as appeared in a documentary about Shaye St. John creator, Eric Fournier) but Milsom was to be a different beast altogether. Two scenes of absolute menace and violence. Love it!

Okay look, I adore the crime flicks from the golden Italian cinema era, and I love British gangster flicks, so try and imagine your humble writer and reviewer being given the chance to be a total bad ass who dies in a gory and painful way. Fuck! I was gonna die in a crime movie by Darren Ward, the man behind Sudden Fury (see review here) and A Day of Violence (see review here)! Not in scenes but sharing a film with many cult names from yesteryear’s age of brutal nasties, etcetera. Come on, in one scene, Giovanni actually says my character's name! The bloke who I grew up watching in Cannibal Apocalypse, City of the Living Dead, Cannibal Ferox, and House on the Edge of the Park speaks of Milsom.

On a personal level, Milsom is my late Grandfather's surname, the man who guided me through a lot of my life who I miss deeply and using his name is a wonderful tribute to someone who meant so much to me – though my Grandfather was a very gentle chap, nothing like the man in Beyond Fury – saying that, he served for a while in WW2 and claimed not to remember much of it, so you never know. He would have chuckled, said something like “It's all rubbish” but would have smiled ear to ear.

My Day of Violence with Darren Ward and Beyond FuryI arrived in Southampton and dragged my bags around for a shop in second hand DVD, book, and CD stores before grabbing an hour long bus journey to my hotel. The next day Darren had said he'd collect me with my Milsom luggage (in fact, including two jackets for choice of image, jeans, gloves, t shirts, and boots, I think Milsom had more packed than I had!) then take me to his house which was situated nearby.

One restless night later (courtesy of the room upstairs and the fact I couldn't get comfy, adding a mention that I had eaten some bad food which I had kicked up a fuss about in the restaurant across the road) the next day arrived quickly. Mid-afternoon, Darren arrived and we chatted about films in general, Beyond Fury, plus my accent.

Shaking hands with the FX man who was sat working on a fake arm which, upon contact with a machete was due to split, making way for loads of gore via tubes attached to a fire extinguisher (yeah, it's like that!) In fact, once I had bitten back the green monsters at Darren's collectables and autographs, etcetera, we sat down to watch a few scenes. As I stated before, this goes far beyond anything but I will state on record here and now, Darren Ward has made an epic of the genre that deserves applause and salutes.

I recorded some of our discussions together which I will soon piece together for a second interview (the first is here back in 2016) but for now I'll concentrate on the sights and sounds of the 9th of November, 2018. After the three of us had packed his car, we headed off to the location which turned out to be an awesome museum site based nearby which is simply a huge old brick factory. So much potential. As a matter of fact, I was told later by sound man, Mike, that they had filmed there many times already. We all heaved the many bags and props into the large kitchen area then waited for everyone to show up. Soon enough our sound guy, cinematographer, photographer plus her mate, and a couple of actors including Walker himself arrived – I won't forget Darren's Dad who helped out throughout the evening and was a real trooper.

Suddenly the sky opened as night fell, rain monsoon like hurled down and did not stop! Well, so what? Umbrella over the camera, Darren and his team filmed a graphic throat cutting which I watched being prepared as I made everyone coffees. Time to change into my Milsom gear and spend a bit of time in the toilets glaring at myself in a mirror vanishing into Milsom's head. After that a lot of my good humour and my jokes were gone, I was Milsom (even as Stoney in Monster, I stood alone for a long time quiet because I became him. Don't ask about my nude blood soaked clown for Domiziano!)

My Day of Violence with Darren Ward and Beyond FuryBy this time the gravel and soil outside was a mass of cold mud. Milsom and Walker have to fight. It's not a long scene but, as Darren's Pops told me, he likes to get many angles. I liked Darren for the fact he was open to suggestion, even from me (he'd asked my opinion about a scene in the movie earlier back at his home) as I chose a spot for our battle which had a wonderful dim lit wall behind. Approximately forty minutes in the rain as we angled, tried different things, practised, and more. Poor Milsom (meaning me) spent a lot of the time laid out in the mud and stones as the rain continued to punish us all. It was a cold November and it was the evening, pitch black, yeah man I loved every moment! I had a big bloke straddling me and jabbing a bottle into my throat. It was amazing!

The bottle was fake, of course. After we toyed with it I said it should just be rammed full force to look real. Yeah, that hurt. For one attempt, to get past my jacket collar, Nick (Walker) crushed my head to the side into the sharp gravel stones. In fact I caught part of a real headbutt as we battled. Luckily it wasn't a total cranium slug into my forehead but it was fun all the same. We laughed about it. I must have taken my backwards dive to the ground more than seven times, in fact I probably died as many times while Darren bagged more and more shots. He decided to include the shadows on the wall as well which will probably add a great film noir tribute.

Darren is a perfectionist with a vision, I can definitely say that. He must have his shots even if Mother Nature rebels against us all. After a few more close-ups of Walker and Milsom in varied moments, I had to slip a boot off for Darren to mutilate. I laughed to myself as my sock ended up soaked. The things I put up with.

The photographer lady, Shannon, snapped a couple of shots of my bloodied face, then we headed back to the kitchen which was by now filled to overflow with extras for the next scene. Actor Chris St. Omar had arrived with around fifteen of his mates pumped up to be gunmen (all of them helping themselves to food). The table was covered in weapons – fake of course. Lots of fooling about. Had to be, testosterone, males, and firearms – hell yeah!

The first time they all meet me I'm dripping with blood which the FX man wiped off my face and neck. “A day in the life,” I told everyone. “I just cut myself shaving a bit, lads.” We were all on another level by now. Darren addressed the crowd and told everyone what he needed, with the added instruction that nobody could look into the camera. I changed out of my wet gear and into my standby Milsom clothes.

At least Milsom's second scene was indoors as he stands beside Richie (Chris St. Omar) accompanied by a massive gang of mean blokes who all grab their guns and set off to hunt Walker. Then Richie talks to my character and I leave. That's it, job's a good 'un, apart from Darren's obsessive endless takes from angle after angle. I didn't mind, I was watching, listening, and learning. 

My Day of Violence with Darren Ward and Beyond FuryThree more scenes to go as the night continued ever later. Volunteers were required to die as they are shot from above and have to fall gracelessly into the dirt and water. Six out of the fifteen agreed, slightly reluctantly, mind you, due to their clothes. Me? Milsom was a done and dusted character by now, but I wanted to hang around (not just because Darren had promised me a lift to the hotel later).

A few takes to get the men dying just at the correct time and the right way. Darren imitated a gun so they knew when to collapse. Take three had me and the two photographers laughing because one fella began his walk whilst still on his phone explaining to whoever was at the other end he was about to be shot. In fact that bloke needs his own movie. He was in his own world enjoying himself as much as I was. He spent ages telling stories (mainly to the girls on set) and getting everyone together for group shots. Of course, this man went all out to die.

Up I went along the steel walkways above with the crew after our extras had departed the set. Walker shoots downwards. A simple and tiny part in the grand scale of things, but Darren had his ways of increasing the time, and then panicking looking at his watch! The banter around us all started to tail off as the night chills proper hit home. As it were, up on those steel walkways we would witness a graphic and truly blood bathing spectacle.

My Day of Violence with Darren Ward and Beyond FuryFX man, Beau had spent a long time preparing a fake arm ready to fall open and gush artery sprays of moist crimson ala Shogun Assassin! He ran off all excited to collect his gear from the kitchen. Walker and Richie at first have a quick fight, punches and body throws while Darren and his team chewed up the action from many angles and close ups, then it was time for a character to lose an arm.

Meanwhile, something had exploded in Darren's car and the interior was simply a mass of caked blood particles. This caused much laughter and comparisons to the infamous Pulp Fiction scene. Well back to business, he'd worry later. Positioning and the direction of the machete was vital, not many chances to get this one right.

Attempt one was fun, extreme Japanese spray cannons everywhere and especially the actor's face as he screamed. However, it was decided he should hold his stump (“It's like you're just waving it about saying, oh look at this everyone!”), plus the blood just wasn't thick enough. Baby wipes all over his face quick whilst Beau set up again. Take two was a masterpiece. I must say, he can certainly scream a long time without taking a breath. Afterwards I threw him a towel as he gobbed out loads of fake blood. Wrap up that part with a few detail scenes here and there, then I took a stroll with Darren to his car. Dripping red and chilling to see within, we sighed and produced our towels and wipes. “Where's the body been dumped?” I asked. Mike called over, “Don't worry, the Wolf is on his way!”

The two of us cleaned it up and I got to keep the blood soaked script pages of my scenes which happened to be on the seat. Yes! With their being an hour prep time before someone has his head chain sawed to bits, Darren suggested he drive me to the hotel. Inside I was a bit gutted I was to miss this next bit, but I felt I'd be putting him out if I stayed way past midnight then expected a lift so I nodded.

Back at the hotel I grabbed some snacks and had a chat with a movie buff chap at reception further into the night. He was totally overjoyed at what I had just been doing. Not so star struck mind you, only last year they'd had the cast of Doctor Who staying whilst filming nearby. So a bit part playing Northern lad was hardly going to impress him too much. He he he he.

What I learnt by talking to Darren in depth is that the indie scene has changed so much over the years. Once upon a time he would be able to raise money quicker, nowadays in the age of mobile phone movies, the oversaturated market has deemed it far more of an uphill struggle, no matter if your prior movies were hits. Beyond Fury has taken him four years from its original beginning and commitment. The end is near however, and Beyond Fury has its grand release next year. 

Here's the official page for all updates:

My script pages, splattered with blood sits framed upon my wall as I type this up :-)



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