The Malta Independent 17 August 2022, Wednesday

Not for the squeamish: Maltese horror film - Breeder - in cinemas as from 22 October

Wednesday, 8 October 2014, 14:16 Last update: about 9 years ago

After international recognition in 40 Horror Film Festivals, 2 awards and 4 nominees with the short film THE BREEDER, producer and director Patrick Vella has once again teamed up with Evolution Media to produce BREEDER, a full feature film for the cinema with a premiere in Malta later on this year.


Sandra, a private investigator on maternity leave is asked by Jennie, her assistant, to meet Olga, a Russian expat whose son is missing. Little do they know that they are to venture into one of the most sinister tales that a little Island like Malta has to tell.

Kurt, Olga's son, is not the only person missing. A man is breeding worms inside their bodies in the most atrocious way.

The film is not for the faint hearted and definitely not everybody's cup of tea. It does picture violent scenes at times, some nudity, strong language, disturbing action and of course, horror.

Outdoor locations

Malta has great outdoor locations that are still very accessible and one always comes across people that are ready to help you out no matter what. On the other hand noise pollution always poses a problem and one needs to be patient, or daring enough to work on post dubbing!

We have partly worked in a beautiful, intact and very well maintained underground wartime shelter, that now has electrical outlets making it easier for us to film without the hassle of using noisy generators. Naturally the high level of humidity did not help but the atmosphere was an incredible one for such genre!

Norbert Friggieri is already experimenting with colour correction and grading for this film to give it the right mood and enhance the spectacle.

Background actors

We took great care in choosing our background actors, what others would perhaps usually call 'extras'. We made it a point that these are not just there to fill in, but to actually enhance credibility.

Rehearsal process and shoot 

It all started in 2013, when the short film THE BREEDER was released by the same producers, filmed in a week and in post for another week. This short made it to 40 international festivals in the USA, Colombia, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Germany, Spain, Croatia, Poland, the Netherlands and Greece, amongst others.

An online critic in the USA suggested that this short film should go for feature. We took his advice and managed to pull a decent budget to make it possible. The shoot involved a two month pre-production period and a month of shooting and is now in post.

The actors were cast in early February, then followed a full month of rehearsals scheduled for the actors' character development. In March costumes, special effects, locations and continuous development of the script were the order of the day.

The actual shoot started on the 1st of April with a call at 07:45hrs, with a team of crew members and actors well prepared to embark on this journey.

The story is a fictitious one yet has some interesting realistic elements that the European Island of Malta goes through every year, such as bird hunting and illegal breeding of various species of animals. The film, although it has to be enjoyed for the genre it carries, can take us beyond the entertainment level and can highlight various issues to ponder on that Malta goes through every year (though not as 'in your face' and with the gore as pictured during the film). Breeding can turn out to be a lucrative business.

The pros and cons of locations

If one can find the right locations that fit in with the genre and story of the film then of course one has an authentic, realistic and a readymade set. We believe we have succeeded to find the right locations, however as with any pros, there are disadvantages that vary from sound pollution, weather impromptus, lack of electrical power points and health and safety, just to mention a few.

The actors: in order of appearance

The BREEDER, (played by Patrick Vella), a mysterious man that breeds worms inside human hosts in the most atrocious ways and sells them to pet shops as pet food.

Sandra, a private investigator currently on maternity leave, (Rebecca Paris). She is somehow coerced to go back to work and try to solve a gruesome mystery.

Jennie, Sandra's assistant (Naomi Said), a meticulous and very well informed young lady, who is pretty much bullied by Sandra. However as the story evolves, things change.

Olga, a Russian expat (Aleksandra Andrea) who desperately asks Sandra to help her find her missing son Kurt.

Kurt (Jurgen Manicolo) knocks on the wrong door, but when he realises it is already too late.

Kenneth, a hunter (Jonathan Azzopardi), friend and cousin of Marcus. Two close buddies that meet up to go hunting. Kenneth gets desperate when Marcus is missing.

Marcus (Roderick Castillo), Kenneth's cousin and friend, is kidnapped by the BREEDER, and from then on his life is in grave danger.

Nina, the BREEDER's daughter (Meliza Muscat). We know little about her as she does not speak, what we do realise is that the girl is scared and does what she does because her father forces her to kill.

Glen (John Peel). Marcus wakes up and finds another victim with him in a cell, Glen. Somehow they struggle and manage to escape together, even though Marcus is now in bad shape. Will they make it out of this hell hole?

Julia (Stephanie Sacco) and Antonio, a couple, who venture in the countryside for their weekly break on their bikes, but their bicycles go missing. They come across Kenneth who is out looking for his missing friend Marcus.

Antonio (Kyle Sammut), Julia's boyfriend, is happy go lucky but perhaps this time he needed to be more firm and mature in his decisions.

Freddie (Joe Pace) a pet shop owner, into an illicit breeding business of all kinds of reptiles. He buys worms from the BREEDER, but it seems like his present luck is ready to turn into his worst nightmare.

BREEDER tries to keep the tension flowing almost throughout the whole feature, and maintain a solid formula that we believe will make the audience feel tense, fearful and terrorised.



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