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James Lee talks "Claypot"

Writer: Dzamira Dzafri


James Lee and the cast of "Claypot Curry Killers"

The film "Claypot Curry Killers" was twice censored by the Malaysian censorship board but it didn't stop well acclaimed Malaysian director James Lee from releasing it in our country! He opted for a release via Astro First for his cannibalistic horror feature film and talks to Cinema Online about his choice.

Cinema Online's interview with James Lee was conducted on 7 October at TGV 1 Utama.

Q: Why did you want to do a film like "Claypot Curry Killers"?
I don't mind saying this but, usually Malaysian films are not so great (laughs). If our films were compared with films made with big budgets like in Hollywood, it wouldn't be a fair contest! I wanted to do a film that could be up to par with some films in Hollywood and it became "Claypot Curry Killers".

Q: But the film was banned twice by the Malaysian censorship board. What made you choose a television release?
I chose to go with Astro First to release my film so the audience can experience the film without the scenes being cut out too much. I think it's good because I myself feel like it is a better outlet for this film.

Q: Does that mean you don't have too much confidence in trying to get a cinematic release?
I want this movie to not only be viewed in Malaysia, but the whole world. I can show this film in international theatres easier than if I wanted to show it in cinemas here. It's not that I don't have confidence in my film, it's just that I know Astro First Exclusive is a better way of releasing my film for audiences in Malaysia to watch.


Actress Debbie Goh and James Lee.

Q: Could you tell us how you developed your characters for "Claypot Curry Killers"?
I wrote the script with the characters in, but eventually I will pick and change the characters to fit the actors' traits and activities... But I'm not saying these actors are actually killers! (Laughs) I do like to cast actors in roles that I think they could play really well which is why I like to cast Jeff Chin as gay characters!

Q: So your characters in the film are different from what was written on the script?
Yes! The characters you see in film are different from what I wrote in my first script draft. The actors are the ones who make them who they are.

Q: What's the difference between the international version and the version that will be seen on Astro First?
The international version of "Claypot Curry Killers" will definitely have the full version with gore scenes and blood and violence. The one you will be seeing on Astro First won't have as much gore and the more squeamish types will be able to see it for the story. The market in Malaysia is very different from the international market, and they both tolerate different things, which is why there are two different versions.

Q: Thank you so much for talking with us, James!
No problem, Cinema Online!

Cinema Online, 18 October 2013


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