The newest, most promising husband and wife team of producers — especially for the horror genre, are Michael Biehn and Jennifer Blanc [of BlancBeihn Productions] — and we were lucky enough to catch up with them in the final days of shooting on their upcoming psychological thriller, Treachery.
by Staci Layne Wilson
Michael Biehn and Jennifer Blanc are quite the item. The two of them met on the set of a horror film, worked together on the critically acclaimed post apocalyptic ensemble piece The Divide, plus co-produced the directorial debut of genre icon Danielle Harris' Among Friends, and are just now wrapping yet another successful collaboration with Treachery. It's a family affair, both figuratively and literally -- the couple stars in the film which was shot in their house, and it's about foul family dynamics which arc out over just one day (a wedding day, at that!).
Treachery costars Sarah Butler (who was so good in the remake of I Spit on Your Grave) as the center of the drama, a wicked, wily young beauty who brings chaos to an already stressful nuptial nest. Which brings me to my first question for Jennifer, and that was: What's it like to shoot a whole movie in your own abode? "Never again!" she laughed. But she and writer-director Travis Romero watched Roman Polanski's film version of Carnage together, and were inspired by the challenge of making a dialogue-driven thriller. It seemed the Beihn bungalow would be perfect (and fit their budget). It was, but the couple had to move to a nearby hotel while shooting to preserve their sanity.
While it's hard to pinpoint exactly what the film will be, Jennifer says, "Suspense drama..? When it comes to a climax, it's after a slow burn, like Alfred Hitchcock. Like Rope, where the whole idea of having two people talking at a table with everybody else is watching, but not everybody knows what's under the table. And that's kind of Travis this theory that the audience knows what's going on, but the characters don't."
When it comes to playing characters with nuance and a bit of danger showing around the edges, Michael has few peers. His approach to playing there sorts of people is to not go for the mustache-twirl. "I don't think I'm a dangerous person," he says. "I think I'm an immoral character who is very wealthy is the male and therefore thinks that he can do what he wants; mostly when it comes to women. I think you get a lot of examples in today's society of powerful men like Schwarzenegger. Or like Spitzer and John Edwards. The list just goes on; I play a character like that. The guy who's got a lot of money and because he has a lot of power. People kind of let things slide, and he just does whatever he wants and takes whatever he wants.
"The reason why I like the character is that I think there are a lot of men around like him. We're living with them every day, and we take them for granted. And we take sort of hideous sexual betrayals these days as just kind of commonplace. I've always been interested in the fact that men will do anything. If they have enough power and they have enough money, they will put themselves in a very precarious situation for women and for sex."
We can all explore the hideous, sex-driven treason early next year, when Treachery is released. For now, go to the official website: http://treacherythemovie.com/