Kiah and Tristan Roache-Turner, the brothers behind action-horror Wyrmwood, are back at it again, and, if you like “possessed people, shotguns and blowing demons away with high-powered plasma rifles”, then Nekrotronic is the film for you.
When the project was first conceived, it was originally about these “crazy scientists who created a ‘resonator engine’” that amplifies the electrical message coming from ghosts, making them visible to everyone. From there, Kiah and Tristan developed it into what would become Nekrotronic, which Tristan describes as “3D printing demons, and blasting them back to hell with ghost powered weaponry”.
“Tristan and I grew up watching the same films; Alien, Evil Dead 2, Big Trouble in Little China, all the John Carpenter stuff, early Peter Jackson,” Kiah told Supanova. ”You sort of mix all that up in a bucket and you get a fantasy horror concoction.”
The brothers also grew up reading William Gibson, developing a sort of obsession with cyberpunk as well as doing the “nerdy thing” like playing Dungeons and Dragons.
The premise of Nekrotronic is that demons can use the internet and phones to possess people. But don’t worry – the Roache-Turner brothers aren’t here to preach to you about getting off your mobile phone.
“Sure, Tristan loves the idea that phones are kind of stealing our souls, metaphorically speaking. Why not make a literal interpretation of that in a science-fiction context?” Kiah tells, going on to explain that message is buried under insane weaponry (“Shotguns are the main priority”).
Tristan adds: “Most of the film is just random, cool stuff that we came up with and sort of jammed in there along the way”.
“That’s one of the reasons we have so much crazy stuff going on in there”.
Nekrotronic stars Monica Bellucci and Australian royalty, David Wenham.
“It was awesome but a bit of a surreal experience,” Tristan says. “David came in for a couple of table reads during pre-production. And he was just doing all the voices of all of the characters, from all his films that I loved watching growing up. It was really surreal to start with but then he just totally put us at ease by being a total legend of a human being”.
Kiah adds: “It is intimidating working with people who are so famous and so legendary for what they do. They were both intimidating for different reasons.”
“With David, it’s kind of like working with an Australian Robert Deniro because he is that good, so when I moved up cautiously to give him direction it was always running through my head: ‘Don’t mess this up, Kiah. Say the right words, don’t be an idiot!’ And thank god I mostly got that right… I think.”
“With Monica Bellucci, it was intimidating simply because she’s Monica Bellucci! It’s like trying to talk to Sophia Loren or Humphrey Bogart. She’ll be saying things to you and all your brain is thinking is, ‘That’s Monica Bellucci.’”
The Roache-Turner brothers’ first film, Wyrmwood, was made independently through their own production company, Guerilla Films. This is their first film working in a big studio system.
“It was very different,” Tristan notes. “As in, we had a proper budget to work with and there were a lot of people who were just really experienced, coming straight off the back of projects like Ridley Scott’s Alien series and Aquaman.”
“You still get to set and it’s rush, rush, rush to get things done. You’re still running out of time, and everyone’s still saying there’s not enough money to get this and that.”
It helps to have a filmmaking partner that you’re so close with.
“I love the dude, he’s a champion and I’m super proud of all the work he puts out,” Tristan says of his brother.
“He’s really, really skilled, so for me, it’s just a blessing to be able to work with him every single day.”
“The great thing about being brothers is that all the really bad fights you’re going to have with someone, we had in the early ‘90s. So we’re not gonna fight. And the other great thing about working with your brother is that if you’re working with someone you know, no matter what happens, 100% they’ve got your back and you love them. It’s always going to work out in the end.”
Nekrotronic will screen around the country this weekend, with the Roache-Turner brothers appearing for a post-film Q&A session in select states. You can find dates and ticketing info via FilmInk.
For a sneak peek of Nekrotronic, you can download the VR game for free right now on Steam.