ComingSoon Editor-in-Chief Tyler Treese spoke to #AMFAD: All My Friends Are Dead director Marcus Dunstan and star Jade Pettyjohn about the seven deadly sins-themed slasher movie. In the movie, “a group of college friends rent an Airbnb for the biggest music festival of the year. A weekend of partying quickly takes a turn, as the group is murdered one by one, according to their sin.”

Also featuring Jojo Siwa, the horror movie is set to make its world premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival on Saturday, June 8, at the Village East by Angelika. Additional screenings will occur on June 10 and June 11 at the AMC 19th St. East 6.

Tyler Treese: Marcus, before I get to an actual question, how am I supposed to say this title aloud? Do I say hashtag? I’m not hip enough for this.

Marcus Dunstan: Speaking of that, it would be called All My Friends Are Dead, but full disclosure to keep us legal and distinct amongst other titles that are close to All My Friends Are Dead, the result was #AMFAD: All My Friends Are Dead with a colon even. There’s so much adornment. It’s All My Friends Are Dead. That’s what it is. But please, if anyone types it in, hopefully, it’ll lead to us. Our full title must be #AMFAD: All My Friends Are Dead, but there you go. I think the twist on that, with the hashtag, which has now been changed into knives, so it’s a “slashtag.” Yeah. Run with it. That might help us out.

On a more serious note, but not much more serious, Marcus, you have a knife dildo in this. That is one of the funniest things I’ve seen in a horror film.

Dunstan: Thank you, and bless you. That was a reaction reshoot, and I’ll tell you why. That death was originally a curling iron, and right after we were shooting and posting, a movie came out where their signature image was death by curling iron. So, yeah, that couldn’t be; we needed to one-up the ante. So we did. And bless his heart, actor Julian Haig came back and was game. There was a lot to just go with it. I mean, some folks would’ve thrown up their hands like, “I don’t get it,” but bless his heart, he kind of trusted the tone that was ever-evolving as we were trying to find shock, humor, horror, and courtesy of Jade Pettyjohn, heart in this.

Jade, this is such a fun movie. There’s such a great vibe about it all throughout. So what was kind of the big selling point to get you on board?

Jade Pettyjohn: There were a few things. I’m a huge fan of Marcus, so the idea of working with him was really incredible. So that was one of the first things that drew me in. But I also love the kind of horror films that are equally as shocking and gory as they are funny. I think using humor to sort of disarm an audience for shock and gore is actually really fun. So when I read the script, I was like, this candy-coated horror film is really incredible.

Particularly with Sarah, my character, she’s so interesting and so nuanced, and she really is like this final girl in a way that I don’t think a lot of people have seen before. So I was just totally enamored with that, and the idea of playing that kind of character was so interesting to me. It’s very different from anything I’ve done before. So the whole thing was super, super appealing.

Marcus Dunstan & Jade Pettyjohn Talk Tribeca Slasher #AMFAD: All My Friends Are Dead
(Photo Credit: Cineverse)

Jade, you get to have really quite the full horror experience with #AMFAD: All My Friends Are Dead. You have blood splattered on you, you’re screaming your heart out. There are chase sequences. How is it really getting to go all out and just run the full gamut of horror sequences here?

Pettyjohn: This was the perfect film to dip my toes into the horror genre because you are really not dipping your toes at all. You’re jumping into the deep end, and it was honestly so much fun. I was really surprised at how fun filming such a horror-based film would be, but it was great. I mean, we had a great cast. Obviously, Marcus is incredible, and I learned a lot. I learned a lot about fake blood and how to get it off. I learned how to scream without totally ripping my vocal cords to shreds. Hot tip, if you ever have fake blood on you and you need to get it off very quickly, men’s shaving cream is the key. Little tip I learned along the way.

But yeah, it was just so fun. I mean, it was truly just a fun project to do, and it really leans into the sort of the escapism element of filmmaking, I think, because it’s so heightened, and you really get lost into this whole world and story and the practical effects and all of it was just such a blast to film.

Marcus, it’s so exciting that you get to premiere this at Tribeca, which has such a great history. So what does that kind of mean for you to be adding to that history and be a part of this film festival?

Dunstan: It’s an honor, and we, this is a, a victory of many firsts, but also a testament to a lot of lifelong friendships. To adapt the first script by Josh [Sims] and Jessica [Sarah Flaum]. To work for the first time with Jade, and yet Jade is the youngest old pro I’ve ever met, There was just a calm confidence in the face of inevitable chaos with anything. Jade, you’re our bedrock. That was great. Any tone could fly into the performance of Sarah, and we knew we had a smooth landing. We had a great takeoff because that was a constant flowing epicenter. You could always cut to Jade, and okay, now we know where we are. We have our lighthouse.

And then now I think Tribeca. I want a special shout-out to Brad Miska, one of our producers. He got us out there. He got us into the hands to consider it. I’ve never been; I don’t know if any of our cast and crew have ever been to this. It’s such an honor. My goodness, we’ve got a sold-out night one in a theater. So the silver screen, we’re gonna turn it red. We were hoping we could get to a movie theater, so we went in and bet on it. We shot it to play big, we acted so it would be big, and we wanted it to feel huge. So it feels like we got a hug from the movieverse, and we’re gonna let it rip.

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