When it comes to rising to a challenge, Jody Quigley is in a class by himself. Especially, when it comes to starring in his latest chilling supernatural thriller, Impuratus, a riveting psychological thriller that will frequently make the hairs stand up on the back of your neck.
The teaser for Impuratus has won several dozen film festival awards and the movie has won five awards; including those for Yurinko and Tom Sizemore.
Homicide Detective Clayton Douglas, (Tom Sizemore), is summoned to a remote mental hospital to witness the deathbed confession of a mysterious Civil War soldier, (Jody Quigley).
Recently retired from the police force, Detective Douglas, who has basically seen it all during his decades in law enforcement, travels through the wooded country road on his way home.
He has to decide whether to go home and finally be the husband and father he needs to be OR turn down the other road towards the insane asylum – towards the doctor that called him earlier in the day in a frantic tone before the line went dead.
Out in the vast emptiness sits the massive state hospital. He is quickly met by Dr. Heysinger, (Robert Miano), who tells him about the mysterious man in the basement who oddly enough asked for the detective by name. This disturbed man, Daniel Glassman, a Civil War soldier, wants to confess to something horrible, and he yearns to confess specifically to Detective Douglas.
Deep down in the bowels of the asylum, locked in a room is Daniel – a bloated, half-dead old man covered in scars and bruises. Already in the room is Sister Rose (Airen DeLaMater), who is present for medical aid and spiritual guidance.
As Dr. Heysinger breaks the sealed envelope and reads the strangely typed confession, we are transported back to 1862 and we see firsthand what unbelievable events took place. Not only will it shock everyone involved but it will have them questioning the very fabric of their faith and fighting for their lives.
Veteran character actor Tom Sizemore, best known for the films Heat, Natural Born Killers, Saving Private Ryan, and Black Hawk Down, called Jody “one of the rocks of the production because he had hours of make-up.”
He continued that Jody had the makeup applied without his shirt on because of the way they did the prosthetics. “It was difficult because of those prosthetics; we’d get really cold and he had a hard time talking sometimes. He relentlessly persevered. I would call him quietly relentless. I thoroughly enjoyed working with him.”
Director Michael Yurinko says that he was able to put more of his focus on other aspects of the film because he knew Jody had everything he needed to play Glassman. “As a director, I gave Jody lots of space in hopes it would help with the character’s sense of isolation; but I’m not sure he needed any of that. He knew this character and all the complexities.”
He adds that on the surface Jody seems very passive and easy-going, but among his gifts is that “he can bring the fire at the drop of a hat! His performance was simply amazing, especially the demonic sounds he was able to create throughout the film. We’re still not sure how he created all those sounds!”
Read on for an in-depth look at the making of Impuratus, the chilly weather, extensive prosthetics, and why everyone will be thrilled by this new horror film.
Why did you want to make the movie after you read the script?
Jody Quigley: I thought it was a good take on a thriller. I watch a lot of horror/thriller movies and they’re all the same slasher kind of thing. That’s been done over and over again, so I liked the idea that this one was more of a psychological thriller that gets into your head.
I appreciated the fact that it covers different time periods, it takes place during the Civil War, then it bounces forward to when this guy’s basically in his hundreds. So, it was cool seeing the way they were going to do a thriller/horror/timepiece all in one. I think everyone did a good job with that.
Just the challenge itself, playing the person that I am currently age-wise and then having to do all the prosthetic work and all that at the end. So, it was a challenge to play a range of characters’ ages, let’s say. So that was interesting and fun. I wouldn’t want to wear prosthetics again any time soon but it was worth it.
How long did it take to put on the prosthetics?
Generally, it usually took anywhere from two to two and a half hours. I would arrive on set around 6 a.m. So, by the time the cast was showing up for an 8:30 a.m. call time, I was pretty much done getting all the stuff put on.
It wasn’t fun. It was quite uncomfortable. It’s not that bad once it is all on, but just having to get all the stuff tacked and glued to your face. When it first goes on it’s cold and you’re cold because Pennhurst Asylum had no heating, so having all this cold stuff on your face just felt really icky. But once it had all dried and set, I’d wear it all day and I would forget at some point that I had it on. Let’s put it this way, it was enough to the point where I could deal with it.
How cold was it?
Oh gosh, well, Pennhurst is all cement, so in there, it was probably 30 to 32 degrees at best. I would say just above freezing. Fortunately, they had little portable heaters they brought in that we could plug into outlets there.
So, we were able to have smaller rooms off to the side where the cast could wait for them to set the scene, light the scene, and everything else, so we weren’t just standing in the freezing cold the entire time. It was definitely chilly. Being outside and barefoot was probably one of the most overwhelming experiences I’d say in addition to the prosthetics.
Had you met Tom Sizemore before making this movie?
No, it was my first time. He is a very down-to-earth, super nice guy. Not some Hollywood guy who is full of himself.
We would sit there and we would chat about life, He always came to set knowing his lines and he even gave his own two cents of, “Hey, maybe we’ll try it this way and see how it pans out.” So, he brought his [acting] chops to the table and he delivered. It was great working with him.
Had you seen a lot of Tom’s movies either before you worked with him, or have you seen some of them since the film shoot?
Absolutely. It’s been ages since I’ve seen some of them because he was really big in the late 80s/early 90s with all the movies he was in. He’s a solid actor and he knows what he’s doing. This acting game is a game, so you’re hot one minute and cold the next. I’m glad he was willing to do something that was on a smaller scale budget-wise because our movie really benefitted from his experience.
What are the pluses of working with your dad, producer Guy Quigley?
My dad is a great dude. He would show up to set, and he was just happy to see everyone doing their job, everyone getting along, and everything moving steadily as it should. He’s not one of those people who shows up and says, “What the hell’s going on with this? And why isn’t this done like this?”
He was very easygoing, in regard to how the movie was going. He would throw in his two cents here and there, but he was never one of those people that you hear about that show up to set and it’s all fire and brimstone. He would come a few times here and there to see how they were planning on building something or shooting a scene. But he wasn’t sticking around all day pointing fingers. He’s very good at letting things carry their course and waiting for the end result.
Who is your character, Daniel Glassman?
Daniel Glassman is a guy that was in the wrong place at the wrong time and had a pretty crap deal of luck dealt his way. I think he tried to deal with it the best he could. But it’s one of those things where it kind of makes any script spring from the page. When you think of anything in regards to the protagonist, usually a protagonist has a boatload of crap just thrown in his face and he has to deal with it.
That’s what makes the movie exciting. You can’t just have everything go your way. Who wants to see that? People like to see a struggle, and his struggle was physical and emotional. He had a lot to deal with; that’s for sure.
What are a few of your favorite thrillers or horror movies?
I like a lot of them, but the movie Seven is up there. I thought that was pretty clever. Honestly, I like the darker kind of stuff such as slasher films like the Halloween movies and stuff like that. Maybe not so much in some of the recent ones, but some of the early remakes are pretty good.
I’ve always been a fan of Texas Chainsaw Massacres. I know they take liberties with the story, but the fact that it’s based on an actual person that was doing that in the 70s, it still holds weight. Because you’re thinking, wow, this guy actually existed. He wasn’t just a fictional character; it’s crazy that he was this guy who was actually tearing people’s faces off. It’s a tough one to watch, but anything that has kids in a bad situation and they’re running for their lives, and how are they going to escape this place?
It’s sort of the running motif in most horror films, and it is the same thing with Friday the 13th, kids are at a camp, how do they get out? A lot of the ones that I like follow the same plotline. But I just think some of the Texas Chainsaw ones, especially the recent ones, were done pretty well.
Talk about filming in a former insane asylum.
It’s kind of surreal because I used to go with my buddy to the horror fest on Halloween. So, we would go and they would take each one of the areas and they would make it a theme, and you’d walk through it and people can jump out, grab you and scare you and stuff like that. And they did it really well, so it was really odd because I know some of the spaces and how the place is set up.
When I showed up there it was really odd just being in the people’s dressing room and seeing all the masks. Just being in the space that obviously is so creepy, to begin with, but when there’s literally no one else there except maybe 15 people is super, super creepy.
The actual cold itself was one of those things where it fueled you a little bit to a degree, you kind of get used to it and used that to your advantage. I would say that at least for me, it definitely added more than it hurt.
Do you have any creepy stories to share? Were there any things that you saw? Your co-star Airen DeLaMater told me a couple of crew stories.
Yeah, I know some of the crew might have seen some stuff, but I didn’t see anything disturbing. Because there were certain areas we weren’t allowed to go to, and I don’t think they knew off the bat. Because we were supposed to stay on the main level and they went to the third floor I think the one time.
And one of them had a camera or something and they said they felt that there was a presence of sort, the hair on the back of your neck standing up. But there was a couple of them and they all felt the same thing.
But just driving to and from that place is really eerie. You know you’re going somewhere that holds some sort of spirits to a degree because that whole drive it’s pitch black, there are no lights, there’s no nothing. The first time I went there I got lost. I had to turn around, call Michael and tell him I had no idea where I was, but I figured it out.
Please talk about the pride you have in it being a finished product.
I’m super stoked. I am super stoked to watch it now, especially after going to the recording studio and doing all the ADR for it, hearing it back, and having it. It’s like, “Wow, that sounds pretty good. It doesn’t even really sound like my voice, that’s odd.” And then hearing a guy doing some of the sounds that he was going to put in.
Why do you want everyone to see Impuratus?
It’s drastically different from the masses. A lot of these movies have too much gore and don’t really do enough to get in your head thriller-wise.
With Impuratus I appreciate that it’s kind of keeping you guessing what’s going on. You think you know but then you don’t. I like that whole puzzle mystery thing, aspect to it. While it does keep you on the edge of your seat and is creepy, it kind of plays more to the psychological side than it does just slasher slash kind of films.
I think people will get a rise out of that and the fact that it’s actually set in a real-time place, and I’ve never seen a Civil War thriller or psychological thriller before. So, I think Impuratus will stand out among others because it’s unique in that right.