Neil Marshall

Dog Soldiers

Interviewed by Jason Korsner

Where did you get the inspiration for this film?

I wanted to make a werewolf movie, a soldier movie, and a film set in Scotland. I've been to Scotland on holiday for years and I was inspired by the possibility of something 'other' living in the forest. I'm also a huge fan of werewolf films, although I've never been totally satisfied with any. I wanted to make one with lots of terrifying werewolves, without worrying too much about the psychological issues. I'm also into war films. My Dad was in the army and I probably would've ended up following him if I hadn't gone into film.

You manage to bring a lot of humour to the film without it undermining the horror.

The characters have to treat the situations seriously, as it's a military operation, even if it does have an absurd, horrific, fantasy edge to it. The soldiers have to fall back on humour to keep going. Sean Pertwee was particularly funny. He took the script and ran with it. With some scenes I was just trying to achieve a level of insanity, to see how far I could push it.

Kevin McKidd also worked well as the hero.

Kevin was totally bowled over that we offered him this, as he normally plays serious parts. His agent said, "You don't want to do anything daft like a werewolf movie", but he said he quite fancied it as it could be fun, so his attitude was just perfect from the start. He was a dream to work with, like Sean.

With werewolves, soldiers, and Scotland out of your system, what is your next project?

It's going to be a post-Arthurian medieval heist movie, which is much bigger and more ambitious, but I want to use a lot of the same actors again and make it over here.