Luis Castro and Celia Williams
Keith Claxton directing Luis Castro
left: Celia Williams made up by Ian Brown,
right: David McGillivray, Celia Williams, Hannah Eccleston outside Karnart, the main location,
bottom: Celia Williams, David McGillivray getting hammered after the "Frightfest" premiere
Mrs Davenport is met at Lisbon airport and taken to a disused veterinary hospital. But for what purpose?
UK, 2005. Pathétique Films in association with Eduardo Barreto. Produced by David McGillivray and Eduardo Barreto.
Directed by Keith Claxton.
sc: David McGillivray. ph: Sam Hardy.
make-up: Ian Brown, Hannah Eccleston. sd rec: Godfrey Kirby. ed: Chuck Cartmel. music: Dominic Glynn. asst dir: Gary White. on-line ed: Bryan Farrar. sd. design: Steve Rogers. colourist: Lesley Russell. prod asst: Felix Lopes dos Santos. camera asst: Jose Antonio Santos. dolly operators: João Manuel, João Almeida. camera mount sup: João Pessoa. Lisbon Airport liaison: Vera Borrego, Filipe Antolin-Teixeira.
cast: Celia Williams (Mrs Davenport), Luis Castro (Jose), Emily Kirkpatrick (Chauffeuse).
Colour. 19 mins
Shot at Espaço Karnart and on location in Lisbon, Portugal,
March 9-13, 2005.
This interview reveals the ending
"The basic premise of this one - an encounter between a airline passenger and one of those people who hold up signs at arrivals - was an idea I had for a TV pilot, written in 1995 but never shot. The rest of the film came about because of a crazy Portuguese artist, Vel Z, who was living in my house in London. After he went back to Lisbon, he invited me to stay with him and his partner, actor-director Luis Castro. I was very impressed that they were squatting in a disused veterinary hospital, which they were turning into a theatre. Vel also introduced me to the equally crazy Portuguese director, Eduardo Barreto. I was in a couple of his plays. In one of them, All for Nothing, I played opposite the marvellous Celia Williams. So now I had my cast and a location.

In the original script, Jose killed Mrs Davenport! Keith changed that and added the "romantic" scene by the river. Eduardo went to Lisbon ahead of the rest of us and set everything up, including permission to film at Lisbon Airport. I've been very lucky with co-producers. Without them, I'd never have been able to film out of London. I'd written all these scenes in a car, but I didn't know how they were going to be shot. How do you get the crew in a moving car? As it turned out, Celia and Luis spent much of the time driving alone - just them and a camera on a mount, going backwards and forwards over the Vasco da Gama bridge.

The highlight for us all was the bloodbath at the end of the film. It could only be shot once because we didn't have time to re-make Luis' prosthetic and I'm not sure whether anyone really knew if it was going to work. It was all shot in one take, with Keith telling [cameraman] Sam Hardy to zoom in and out and Luis to choke and to die. I knew it was OK when I saw this huge pool of blood spreading out underneath Luis' head. I went to collect the burgers for lunch feeling like Herschell Gordon Lewis.

Thanks to Alan Jones, Mrs D premiered at "Frightfest" at the Odeon West End in August. It was something of a thrill - my first film in London's West End for 25 years or more. Fortunately it supported Day of the Dead 2, which was so terrible that it made Mrs D look extremely good. I got completely blotto and, when I was plonked in front of a camera by the Horror Channel, I'm ashamed to say I slurred one of my replies. Luis didn't come over for the screening. He contacted me about a week beforehand and wanted me to send him his air fare. I said no. He hasn't spoken to me since. It's a shame. He's got a great, villainous face and I'd love to work with him again."