Interviews: Director Patrick O’Bell Talks About The Indie Horror Film The Blessed Ones

An isolated cult prepare for the prophesied apocalypse in Patrick O’Bell’s frightening The Blessed Ones, now available on Amazon Prime from Wild Eye Releasing. An isolated cult hiding in a desert enclave prepare for an prophesied apocalypse, led by a charismatic Jim Jones-like leader. As the end of the world allegedly approaches, he binds them all to a suicide pact, in hopes of transcending earth for a new life in paradise. Two dissenters flee through the vast desert wasteland on the eve of the ceremony, hunted by the cult’s enforcer – who will stop at nothing to insure that they keep their part of the bargain. 

We had the chance to speak with director Patrick O’Bell about the film.

TMS: First off, can you provide us with a little bit of background information. Did you always want to be involved in filmmaking? What type of training or schooling did you have? 

PO: I studied Photography and Acting in College at UCLA and took some film courses. My first paying gigs were as PA and eventually to a Cinematographer on several small projects. 

TMS: Did you have a lot of support when you decided to get into filmmaking? 

PO: I had a Industry friend who was my mentor and showed me the ropes and helped me develop my craft. 

TMS: What’s up with The Blessed Ones? Where can people see it? And what do you want them to know about the movie? 

PO: It's on Amazon Prime and most of the PPV outlets. You can purchase the DVD at most chains like Wallmart or Best Buy. 

TMS: What was the inspiration behind this story? Did you do much research on cults?

PO: I was inspired by a documentary I saw on the Heaven's Gate cult, and then I researched other cults like Waco. 

TMS: Do you have a favorite apocalypse/post-apocalyptic movie? 

PO: Road Warrior and then A Boy And His Dog.

TMS: How long of a shoot was it? 

PO: It took around 2 years to shoot.

TMS: How were the main actors selected? 

PO: Actually that was mostly through my producing partner, Andy Gates. He has several contacts. 

TMS: In terms of directing choices, anyone that you try to emulate? Or ones that have influenced you? 

PO: Well for this particular film, I would say David Lynch and Alejandro Jodorowosky. I also admire Ben Wheatley and several of the classic filmmakers of the 1970's like Billy Friedkin, Coppola, Scorcese, ect... 

TMS: Low budget film productions have been historically known for being difficult and demanding. How was this production on the cast and crew? Any challenges or funny stories? 

PO: Well while filming at the compound, there was this giant Tortoise that kept knocking over the film equipment. It would just show up as we filmed a scene. The owner also had a large hog and other exotic critters and would rent out a small part of the compound to do some fetish photography while we filming. It was weird. 

TMS: If you had a choice to remake a genre movie, what movie would you like to remake?

PO: I wouldn't mind doing a gothic Edgar Allan Poe horror film remake of Murders in the Rue Morgue or Masque of the Red Death.

TMS: Can you tell us anything about the other projects that you are working on or planning on working on? Or, anything else that you would like to plug?

PO: I'm currently working on Departer. It's a slasher Horror film that I'm very excited about.