West and Schaffer Are In The Doghouse

Earlier this year, Dogwitch creator Dan Schaffer and Razorblade Smile director Jake West teamed up for Brit horror flick Doghouse. We talked to them to find out more about the indie movie that satirizes British lad culture.

io9 caught up with West and Schaffer at the Groucho Club in London's Soho, to chat out about the genesis of the idea of placing a gang of guys in a small village in the English countryside where the women in the aren't quite right…


So how did Doghouse gestate?

DAN SCHAFFER; The real genesis for Doghouse was because I'd been getting a lot of hassle for writing female lead characters all the time especially from my Hollywood contacts. They kept saying to me ‘we don't want to sell these female leads, write something with a male lead' and I kept telling them ‘I don't want to do that' because I like strong women. But while I was sitting there with my girlfriend, who was ill at the time with a stomach bug; she looked like a zombie! She basically dared me to try and write something with guys so I said I could only do it if I really ripped the piss out of them and did it as a satire. So I was sitting there thinking ‘You look kind of freaky, you'd make a good villain.' She suggested: ‘Why don't you do a girls vs guys kind of thing?'

How did you get involved with it, Jake?

JAKE WEST: I met Dan through a journalist who interviewed me for [earlier movie] Evil Aliens. She was a friend of Dan's and she told me that I would love his comic Dogwitch. So she gave me copies of that series and it clicked with me immediately. In fact, Dan wrote a screenplay for Dogwitch first but I told him that, to do it justice, we would need between 10 and 12 million pounds so if he could come up with something less ambitious that would cost less to shoot, I would direct it. So he wrote Doghouse.

Dan, were you ever worried that the audience would miss the point you're trying to make with Doghouse?

DS: If your audience misses the irony or takes this film at face value as a celebration of laddism, then what they're going to see is the opposite of what it's really about, so yes it was a concern.

Doghouse is out on DVD in the UK now and may get a US theatrical release in 2010. Jake West also runs boutique DVD label Nucleus Films with Marc Morris: www.nucleusfilms.co.uk