We return with another edition of the Indie Spotlight, highlighting recent independent horror news sent our way. Today's feature includes a trailer for Devil in My Ride, an announcement of The British Horror Film Festival lineup, details on Circus of the Dead, an excerpt from Ground Zero, Five Things You Need For the Zombie Apocalypse from Michael Garza, a Q&A with Rachel and Simon Light, and much more:
Devil in My Ride Trailer and Premiere Details: "Red Band Films, the specialty genre label of L.A. based production and finance company Unified Pictures, announced today that its debut feature “Devil in My Ride,” starring Sid Haig (“Kill Bill: Vol. 2,” “Jackie Brown,” “The Devil’s Rejects”), will make its much anticipated World Premiere at the Shriekfest International Film Festival, taking place October 3rd to 6th in Los Angeles.
“Devil in My Ride” is a horror comedy directed by Gary Michael Schultz from an original script he wrote with Mike Dozier. Starring alongside Sid Haig are Frank Zieger (“Conviction,” “Ocean of Pearls,” “Finding Preet”), Erin Breen (“Housekeeper,” “Rose White,” “Fate Accompli”), Llou Johnson (“Barbershop,” “Let’s Go to Prison,” “Normal”) and Joey Bicicchi (“Rudderless”). Sid Haig, along with Breen and Bicicchi will be in attendance at the premiere of the film on Sunday, Oct. 6th.
When Doreen becomes possessed by the devil on her wedding night, her groom Hank, and her rebellious brother Travis, put aside their differences to travel across country from Chicago to Las Vegas, in the hopes of finding a mythical street preacher who is said to be the last exorcist in America.
In addition to writing and directing duties, Schultz produced the film. Schultz also recently co-produced William H. Macy’s “Rudderless” as well as “Beautiful Now” starring Abigail Spencer."
BAZOMBIE! T-Shirt: T-Shirt Bordello has brought the living dead to The Big Bang Theory. We've included a look at their latest design below and you can learn more at:
The British Horror Film Festival Lineup Announced: "The British Horror Film Festival just announced their fantastic line-up for this year's brilliant genre festival! Features include the UK chiller "Entity" starring Dervla Kirwan, Charlotte Riley and Branko Tomovic directed by Steve Stone, Canadian thriller "Fortune Cookie Prophecies" starring Emily Alatalo directed by Henry Li and "In the House of Flies" from director Gabriel Carrer. The British Horror Film Festival is in its fourth year and will take place Friday 18th and Saturday 19th October 2013 at the glitzy Empire Cinema, Leicester Square in London.
Here is the full Official Selection:
- Fortune Cookie Prophecies, dir. Henry Li
- Spira, dir. John James Smith
- Tumbling After, dir. Nicholas Humphries
- Left Hand Billy in the Second Solution, dir. Gabriele Zuccarini
- 82, dir. Calum Macdiarmid
- Honey Moon Suite, dir. Zao Wang
- The Meeting, dir. Karen Lam
- Moment of Clarity, dir. James Fisher
- In the House of the Flies, dir. Gabriel Carrer
- Belly of the Wolf, dir. Mark Fisher
- Dia de los Muertos, dir. Gigi Saul Guerrero
- Vengeance Rhythm, dir. Christopher Ullens
- Sleep Now in the Fire, dir. Sean Pollaro & Elliot Pollaro
- Happy Birthday Mr. Zombie, dir. David Leclercq
- Lonely Hearts, dir. Leon Chambers
- Decapoda Shock, dir. Javier Chillon
- Lot254, dir. Toby Meakins
- Entity, dir. Steve Stone
The Festival will be followed by the Award ceremony and After Party on Saturday evening. This year, the festival awards are sponsored by Haunted: After Dark Digital Magazine. Working in collaboration to decide what awards we should present has been a great experience. This year the awards will be hosted by TV presenter and Horror Host Bunny Galore."
For more information on this event, or on screening times, visit: http://www.thefilmfestivalguild.com/#!bhff2013/cpyl
Circus of the Dead Details: "Actor Bill Oberst Jr. (Children of Sorrow) has recently wrapped a lead role as a necrophiliac clown in Circus of the Dead. Several early stills from the film have been released of Oberst Jr. and others, courtesy of director Billy Pon. The film’s story involves a deadly circus and a group of sadistic clowns; these clowns want to play some games, with those they have captured. Circus of the Dead also stars Parrish Randall (Gut Instincts), Brad Potts (Puppet Master X: Axis Rising), Chanel Ryan, Ryan Clapp, Rusty Edwards and Mike Williams. This title is currently in post-production.
Oberst Jr. describes Corn as "a homicidal serial rapist with a taste for necrophilia. His day job happens to be as a circus clown. He and his highly-disturbed fellow clowns use the circus as cover for some of the darkest and most graphic acts of violence I have ever seen in a script or on set." Circus of the Dead is full out gory horror! Oberst Jr. also promises brutality, from Corn: "the effects team, led by Marcus Koch and Matthew Ash, has been churning out corpses and body parts non-stop for the entire 5-week shoot.” This film will satisfy even the most experienced gorehounds.
Circus of the Dead will also shock fans, in just a few months. Oberst Jr. gives fans a behind-the-scenes account of the shoot “we've sawed off heads, hands and tongues; we have stripped the skin off a living man's face, drooled clown slime on multiple females in varying states of undress and I have chased a stark naked woman through a parking garage, with a real cattle prod!” Circus of the Dead charts new horror territory in 2014!"
To learn more about Circus of the Dead, visit: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2782232 or the film's Facebook page at: https://www.facebook.com/circusofthedeadmovie
First Details on Horror-Thriller, Two Faced: "Two Faced is the first project from the trio of director John Kearns Jr., writer Rollo Velasco, and actress/star Jacqui Holland. This chic blend of satire and horror is led by a star-making performance from Jacqui Holland as Jessica Janskowsky.
The story revolves around the lovely, gold digging Jessica, who is hell bent on marrying a wealthy man (played by Tim Parrish) and takes out anyone who stands in her way. She has ravaged one side of her face in a freakish accident and must get money to pay the shady underground plastic surgeon (played by horror legend Tony Todd).
Holland fills the character with such beauty, charm, menace and terror that the creation could prove to be one of the most enduring anti-heroes to come out in recent memory. Daniel Baldwin, Kristina Anapau and Antwon Tanner also star."
The film has a tentative release date for April 10, 2014, but that could be subject to change.
To learn more about this film, go to: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt3164064/?ref_=sr_2
The Other Dead #1 Release Details: "The Other Dead #1 will be released to all comic shops, Comixology, and the IDW app this coming Wednesday, September 25th. The riveting story of a Zombie Animal outbreak set in Louisiana during the next Hurricane Katrina, The Other Dead is an all-star collaboration between Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles co-creator Kevin Eastman, award-winning, best-selling writer Joshua Ortega (Gears of War), Minimates creator and Art Asylum founder Digger T. Mesch (Agent 88), rising star Qing Ping Mui (Warcraft), and acclaimed colorist Blond (DC and Marvel Comics).
The book will feature a special Subscription Variant cover by Kevin Eastman, which will be the first of a series of interlocking covers that will form one entire Zombie Animal masterpiece! The Other Dead #1 also features a 1:10 Incentive Cover by the legendary Dave Dorman, the same controversial President Obama cover that’s had the internet absolutely abuzz!"
For more information on the first issue of The Other Dead, visit the comic's Facebook at: http://www.facebook.com/TheOtherDead
Must Love Horror: "Must Love Horror is the story of Edgar, an avid horror film fanatic, who plans to spend Halloween night watching scary movies with his girlfriend when the gory, macabre worlds of the films he loves come crashing into reality.
Must Love Horror is currently in the beginning stages of pre-production and casting. A release is tentatively scheduled for early 2014.
Wonder Works Films, part of the producing team behind Sinister, is led by CEO and owner Joseph Bechor."
To stay up-to-date with the progress of this film, go to: http://facebook.com/mustlovehorror
Five Things You Need For the Zombie Apocalypse: "Michael W. Garza is a horror, science fiction, and fantasy enthusiast. He spends most of his time thinking up frightening, other-worldly, and fantastic events."
Five things you need for the zombie apocalypse.
"You may find yourself wondering how prepared you need to be when the dead start to rise from the grave. You've watched doomsday preppers and thought,"Why in the world would you stockpile all that stuff?" The truth is, when the undead are roaming your neighborhood it will be too late to start storing food for the winter. Do not fret, there are some helpful items you can take with you whether you're forced out into the streets to fend for yourself or you decide to barricade yourself inside and wait it out. We all know one way or another you’re going to encounter some walking corpses with a desire to relieve you of your brain matter. Survival hints can be found all around us including books, movies, and TV.
1) A towel (Hitchhikers guide to the galaxy) - Don't underestimate this mundane bathroom item. A towel will come in handy when you need a make shift pillow or blanket but more importantly it can act as medical support during the apocalypse. When your compatriot gets bit by a blood thirsty zombie and you have to cut his hand off at the wrist, he'll be glad you have your handy towel to act a quick tourniquet. And when a band of marauders comes to blow you head off and take your food, your trusty towel will make a fine bandage. I prefer the beach towel for obvious reasons but start stocking up now while you have the chance.
2) Hostess Sno-Balls (Zombieland) - Let's face it, unless you've growing crops in your backyard or storing bags of grain in your basement your diet is going to suffer when the dead walk the earth. There won't be time to count calories or care about how many carbs you're taking in. If you're starving, and you probably will be, you'll eat just about anything. So before you become part of a zombie buffet, you're going to want to devour any sugar covered snack you can find. Sno-Balls are compact and wrapped for easy transport, especially if you’re running from a lumbering mob of the dead. So the next time you pass a vending machine and you see that delicious treat, go ahead and buy two because you never know when you're going to need it.
3) A Louisville Slugger (Shawn of the dead - For clarification Shawn pulled a cricket bat out of the shed but if that movie was made in America we all know it would have been a Louisville Slugger.) - A good bat is just about the most reliable weapon you can have. It won’t run out of ammunition and it will never jam on you. You don't have to worry about it getting wet or dirty. One good swing can crack a skull open and brains and blood will wash right off leaving it like new. It’s a perfect gift for birthdays so add it to your list now.
4) A good map (I am legend - For those calling foul on this one, I'm referencing the movie, not the book.) - Once the first wave is over and you crawl out of whatever hole you hid yourself away in to survive, you'll have needs. If you've got your towel, you're snacks, and your bat it's time to consider the rest of your wants. Since you were probably part of the 99% that didn’t prep for the end of the human race you’re going to need to go out and scavenge. While I’m sure you liked your neighbors when they were alive, you won't care much for them as you systematically ransack their houses and bash their heads in to end their undead existence. Head bashing is hard work and you want to remember where you've looted and what new treasure-holding locations await.
5) Friends (The Walking Dead) – Face it, humans weren’t meant to go it alone. You may be the lone wolf when it comes to your daily video game playing, comic book reading existence but during the zombie apocalypse you won’t last long on your own. Chances are you have a limited skill set. Can you properly sew a shiv wound up along your midsection? Me neither. Your new friends will bring their own skills to the table and if you pick them correctly, they can drastically increase your chances of survival. Besides, when all else fails they can be used as flesh bait while you run away when the undead hordes attack."
To find out more about the author, Michael Garza, or where to purchase copies of his books, visit: www.mwgarza.com
Murder Eleven Premiere and Award Details: "Murder Eleven is a tale of a serial killer working in the streets of Atlantic City. This crime thriller and horror film had its World Premiere at the Down Beach Film Festival. Here, the film won three awards at this film festival (“Best Actress,” “Best Writer” and “Best Use of Atlantic City”). As well, the film centrally stars Jim Klock (Bitch Slap), Autumn Federici (The Blackout), Julienne Irons, Michael Mack and Richard Reid. Now, the film is set to release on DVD through distribution house Indican Pictures [on] October 22nd, 2013.
In the film’s story, Detectives Jesse (Reid) and Mayfield (Mack) are tasked with solving a brutal series of murders. A mysterious serial killer has stalked and captured ten women, from the streets of Atlantic City; each one has turned up dead. The killer’s next target is Katey (Federici), a desperately vulnerable prostitute and drug user. Katey was in the wrong place, at the wrong time. Now, Katey is in the hands of the killer and the detectives only have a few hours to find her, before her time runs out.
Murder Eleven was shot over twelve days in Atlantic City, New Jersey. The cast and crew mostly utilized night shoots, with much of the film shot during the witching hour."
For more information on Murder Eleven, go to: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Code-3-Films/189914581046389
First Details on TV Series, Acting Dead: "New information continues to surface about Acting Dead, an independent television series from award-winning New Media producers Brian Beacock and Susan Bernhardt. The latest update includes this synopsis: What if your acting career had taken a turn for the worse and your only option to get a role, to be cast in any number of the ever-growing zombie-based TV shows and movies was to actually become one? Acting Dead takes you into the afterlife of Tate and Alex, both struggling to get by living in their new skin, or what's left of it. But life doesn't slow down just because your heart stopped. Tate and Alex come to realize that even undead actors face the same problems as the living: staying in shape, part time jobs, getting a better agent, Hollywood mixers, blind dates, and self esteem issues. Add to those problems the occasional urge for brains and biting, zombie and ghost method acting teachers, and keeping their "decomposure", Tate and Alex discover that it's not so easy Acting Dead.
The Zombie series, set to begin filming next month, is raising additional production dollars through the crowd funding platform Indiegogo.
Besides leads Brian Beacock (McCracken Live!, NBC's The Rerun show) and Jillian Clare (Days of Our Lives, Miss Behave, upcoming feature thriller Project Blue Book), the show has attracted an impressive list of stars that continues to grow with recognizable faces from the big and small screen attached. The series is slated to begin production next month and will be shooting an eight episode first season with plans to initially air online. Funny, quirky and weird, Acting Dead has brains and an appetite for sarcasm and satire. Imagine Arrested Development meets Shawn of the Dead with an occasional shout out to Romero. It's fast paced and smart, and so ridiculous you're sure to have the time of your afterlife."
To learn more about the show, visit: http://igg.me/at/ad
'Alone' Haunting Attraction Details and Trailer Released: "Alone is one part interactive theater and one part psychological haunting where you become a part of your own nightmare. It's a thirty minute walkthrough experience, which each participant must do individually with no friend to cling to and with only a flashlight to hold. Unlike a traditional haunted house there is no gore, no chainsaws and no pretense that you might be killed by a deranged clown. It is only you, in the dark, with us. Each participant will move and be moved through darkened hallways and rooms, weaving below a fraternal order temple erected for the Odd Fellows in 1942. You will be dislocated, disoriented and disturbed. We are the dark. We are the space. We are the nightmare.
[The] experience begins Thursday evening, October 24th, 2013 and will run until the end of Halloween week on Saturday, November 3, 2013. [The location is] to be disclosed on a date closer to the event. The experience will be held in a former fraternal order temple built in 1924 in Downtown Los Angeles, just south of the 10 Freeway and just west of the 110 Freeway. The exact address will be emailed to each participant after ticket purchase. There is plenty of free parking in the area and near public transportation.
Tickets sales begin Friday, September 27th, 2013 at 10:00a.m."
For more information on Alone, or how to join the email list for pre-sale information, visit: http://thealoneexperience.com. To purchase tickets, visit: http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/441984
The Darling Clementines Production Details: "Fatality Films, owned and operated by Scott Spiegel and Andrea Albin, has announced its newest production, “The Darling Clementines”, a disturbing film written and directed by JimmyO Burril, the mind behind “The Chainsaw Sally Show”. The production is set to take place this fall in southern Mississippi.
Starring in this film includes such notables as April Burril (“The Chainsaw Sally Show”), Debbie Rochon (“Wrath of the Crows”), Lynn Lowry (“Cat People”) and Vernon Wells (“Mad Max 2: Road Warrior”).
The film centers around the Stevens family vacation, which is tragically cut short by three sisters, hell bent on taking the seed of the males to propagate the Clementine bloodline.
In the world of the Clementines, men are little more than swine, barely fit for breeding, and women of other blood are worth far less. The Stevens family will find themselves abducted, beaten and tortured physically, mentally and sexually as the Clementine sisters seek to break the men to their will and fill their fertile wombs."
To learn more, go to: www.facebook.com/thedarlingclementines
As Night Falls Trailer: "10-year old Amelia's parents have decided it's time for her to go to sleep permanently, leaving her broken body in a shallow grave. Fifty years later, Mommy and Daddy are back from Hell, intent on wreaking the same deadly discipline on anyone not in bed by sundown. Sisters Holly and Elizabeth are losing their minds, and their friends are losing their heads. Something evil has crashed the party, but no one knows what they are fighting. When the girls' brother, Charlie, arrives, he completes the family group and the kids start to find out what firm parenting really means.
Breaking Glass Pictures and Vicious Circle Films are proud to announce the November 12th DVD release of As Night Falls, featuring the resurrection of Hell of Fame scream queen Debbie Rochon as a mother with an axe to grind. Written and directed by Joe Davison, As Night Falls is a blood-splattered, shock-filled slasher that proves home is where the heart is and the lungs and the guts. The film stars Rochon, Deneen Melody ("The Playboy Club"), Lily Cardone, Grace Chapman, Raine Brown, Jeremy King, and Joe Davison."
House in the Alley US Release Date Announced: "Vietnamese box office champion, House in the Alley, is coming to US theaters on October 25, 2013.
House in the Alley is a psychological horror story about what happens after a young couple lose their baby and can’t deal with their grief.
Taking place in Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon), House in the Alley sets its drama amid the conflicts of everyday life in contemporary Vietnam.
Directed by Le van Kiet, the film stars one of Vietnam’s top female stars, Ngo Thanh Van, as Thao and Tran Bao Son as her husband Thanh."
For more information on House in the Alley, and to watch the trailer, visit: www.houseinthealley.com
Lovely Ghosts Etsy Store Details: "My wife and I have opened an Etsy store called Lovely Ghosts! It will feature vintage toys, books, horror items, glassware, you name it! It will also be the place to buy items of my personal design like pins, prints, t-shirts and the like! So come and check it out! Right now, I have some spooky 1″ glow-in-the-dark buttons I’ve designed! Come gets yours before I run out!"
To purchase items from Lovely Ghosts, visit: http://www.etsy.com/shop/lovelyghosts
An Excerpt From Ground Zero: A Zombie Apocalypse: "When the zombie apocalypse sweeps across the eastern states of America, Jack Cutter is the man least likely to last beyond the first few minutes. Dealing with the recent tragic deaths of his wife and child, Cutter is forced into a desperate struggle for survival - and for redemption. Everything Cutter came to expect from life is torn away and turned upside down so that all he has left is his instinct and a sense of fate that compels him on his journey.
The action is frantic and terrifying as Cutter slowly discovers the cost of staying alive is dealing with his guilt and accepting responsibility he can never be prepared for.
'Ground Zero: A Zombie Apocalypse' is a real story with real characters that readers will cheer on until the final shocking twist."
"They came from the buildings. They came from the shadows into the glaring warm sunlight – and they came at a run.
The street suddenly filled with the demented wail of hundreds of undead voices, clamoring and screeching in hideous fury. Cutter turned back for the open doors of the building and ran.
More dark shapes came from his left, moving to intercept him. They spilled onto the sidewalk and burst towards him, their arms and legs flailing as they closed on their prey.
Cutter crashed back through the doors and leaped the barricade. He dropped to his knees and flicked the lighter, focusing all his attention on the task. It wouldn’t light.
He heard the sound, like a storm surging closer. He glanced up and the glass façade of the building was suddenly enveloped in shadow as the undead filled the sidewalk.
He flicked the lighter again – and a table and sofa erupted into flames with a sudden ‘whoosh!’
Cutter didn’t pause. He scrambled to his feet and threw himself at the stairs. Behind him he could hear the crackling sound of the fire as it leaped across the entrance. He could feel the intense heat on his back. And he could hear the sudden sounds of glass smashing and the shrieks of the zombies as they spilled into the foyer and were confronted with a solid wall of flame.
He snatched up the bottle of thinners and took the stairs two- at-a-time. The noise behind him rose to a crescendo. He reached the top of the stairwell and glanced over his shoulder.
The zombies were surging into the foyer, moving like a dark wave. The press of their momentum was impossible to stop, forcing the first ones through the doorway onto the wall of flames. Their clothes and hair caught alight and they spun and flailed their wretched burning bodies in wild confusion. Some fell into the barricade and became part of the erupting blaze. Other crashed through and staggered like fiery torches into the ransacked ground floor apartments. The whole foyer became filled with flame – and still the press of the demented filled the sidewalk beyond.
Then they saw Cutter through the fire and billowing smoke – and a hundred undead voices suddenly shrieked with malevolent fury. They hurled themselves at the flames, driven by insane madness, and the barricade blew apart in an explosion of shattering timbers and burning embers.
Cutter leaped the final steps onto the landing and splashed lighter fluid over the sofa that he and Samantha had prepared. The fabric burst into sudden flames and he heaved at it with his foot until it reached the point of balance, and began to slide down the stairwell.
He turned and ran.
The whole apartment block was going up in flames, and the heat rising up from the foyer was intense. Paint began to blister on the walls and he heard pounding footsteps behind him, sounding like the maddened beat of a thousand drums. He pushed himself on, driven by fear and panic. The footsteps came closer, became louder, and when he reached the second story landing he turned to see one of the undead staring up at him from the bottom of the stairs. The thing was hideously deformed. Once it had been a man, but now it was a disfigured wraith. It was naked, its body blackened and festering with running sores and open wounds. Its head was grotesquely swollen, and the fire had burned away its hair and eyelids and lips so that all that remained was smoldering melted skin. It hissed at Cutter, and then suddenly vomited thick black bile. Cutter stared in horror. The sickly sweet stench of burning flesh swept over him, mingled with the fetid odor of rotting corruption. Cutter drew the Glock and fired."
To purchase this novel, head over to Amazon US or to Amazon UK. For information on the author, visit: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Nicholas-Ryan/157780851079055?ref=hl
Rock Band Vs. Vampires Halloween Party and Fundraiser: "London (UK) based rock band Hats Off Gentlemen It’s Adequate will be hosting a Rock Band Vs. Vampires Halloween special gig/party/fundraiser at London’s legendary Fiddler’s Elbow on Thursday, October 31, 2013 (7:30-11p.m.).
Featuring music by rock band Hats Off Gentlemen It’s Adequate (featured in the forthcoming independent comedy-horror film Rock Band Vs Vampires), Guy Barnes, Resonance, and other special guests, and short comedy-horror films between acts. It should be a fun, friendly Halloween party/gig.
Profits to be donated to the Rock Band Vs. Vampires crowd-funding scheme (raising money to help make this self-produced independent low-budget comedy-horror feature film).
Jeremiah Winterford, an old-school vampire, has had his mansion burned down and most of his clan killed by a rival. He is persuaded by his PA to move temporarily to Camden, the heart of the London music scene, to turn new acolytes.
Sorcerer's Tower, a local unsuccessful proggy rock band find themselves invited to headline at the re-opening night of Angelfish, a Camden venue now under new management.
We’ve now got a team of about 120 volunteers, and are about to start filming this month.
Our cast includes:
Dani Thompson (the star of many horror films, and well known to the readers of British lads’ mags as a leading model), Loren Peta, Guy Barnes, Faye Sewell, Jake Rundle, Paul Law Beaumont, Frankie May, Dean Kilby, Chris Smith, Hatice Moran, Kasey Sfetsios, Amy Jaxon, Holly Boeva, Ashley Brown, Ami Lloyd, Lila Hurst, Vauxhall Jermaine, Alex Hardman, Siegfrid Calizio, Taliesyn Mitchell, Clara-Jade Stevens, Paloma Marisal, Giles Spencer, as well as celebrity cameos including Giles Brandreth.
Hats Off Gentlemen It’s Adequate’s singer/songwriter/guitarist Malcolm Galloway is the writer and director, and will be writing the film music. Music from Hats Off Gentlemen It’s Adequate’s debut album ‘Invisible’ will be featured in the film. Our locations include legendary London music venues The Underworld (Camden) and The Underbelly (Hoxton)."
To find out more on this event, visit: https://www.facebook.com/events/197262327121585/. For more information on Rock Band Vs. Vampires, go to: www.facebook.com/rockbandvsvampires
Horror Channel UK Interviews the Makers of Crawl: "Australian brothers Paul China and his [brother] Benjamin, received rave reviews for their debut feature film, Crawl, for which they have been compared to the Cohen Brothers. On the eve of the film receiving its much deserved UK TV premiere on the Horror Channel, Paul China gives us some insight into the making of the film.
Crawl is broadcast on Saturday October 5, 11pm.
Have you always been a fan of horror movies?
I am equally frightened and fascinated with them – ever since I saw John Carpenter’s ‘Halloween’ as a child. Despite the fact that the horror genre is so popular and lucrative with cinemagoers, it is still sadly overlooked by some, and considered a low form of entertainment. A shocking notion, really, given some of the greatest films ever created can be labelled as horror – be it ‘The Texas Chainsaw Massacre’, ‘Jaws’, ‘Alien’, ‘The Shining’, ‘Psycho’ or ‘Rosemary’s Baby’.
Where did the inspiration for Crawl come from?
It was based on another script my brother, Benjamin, and I had written, a dark noir thriller titled ‘Howl’, which was set in East Texas. The finance for that project sadly fell through at the last minute, as is often the case in independent filmmaking, so we decided to make a different film, a suspense thriller, on a lower budget in Australia (where we were living at the time) – one that was influenced by Roman Polanski’s earlier films (particularly ‘Repulsion’ and ‘The Tenant’). Thus, ‘Crawl’ was born.
Did you have actors in mind when you were writing it?
We had one actor in mind: George Shevtsov. We had seen him audition for another film we were trying to get off the ground, some years earlier, and he had left such a unique impression. When it came to casting the role of the ominous, mysterious Stranger in ‘Crawl’, he was our first and only choice. He truly is a remarkable actor, one of Australia’s best. His facial features alone are incredible, as is his striking screen presence. I could quite easily watch him read a phone book, truth be told.
Was it a difficult film to pitch and did you have much budget?
Fortunately, we did not have too much difficulty, in spite of our limited budget. We were making a suspense-thriller that was both entertaining and intelligent, a film that at numerous times features no dialogue or score. It was drenched in tension and rich atmosphere. That was key. We had planned the film very carefully – from the costume to the soundtrack to the camera work. Our cast, crew and financiers had the upmost faith in what Benjamin and I were aiming to create, despite the fact it was our first feature film.
What was your first day on set like?
Exciting, mostly. There were some nerves, obviously, but more than anything I simply wanted to roll up my sleeves and get to work. It took many hard years to get to the point of making my own film, and I consider myself fortunate to be able to do something that I absolutely love. We had unexpected troubles on that first day – heavy rain, equipment failure, etc – but I relished the challenge. The bat was in my hand, so to speak, and I was eager to swing.
Crawl is your first feature, was there a point that you’d thought you’d taken on too much or were out of your depth?
Never. Even during the sleepless nights and unexpected grey hairs. As a film director, especially one who writes, you have to be certain of what you are doing. If you do not believe in yourself, and the story you aim to tell, your crew and cast certainly won’t. For us, my brother and I, story-telling is our one true passion. Our first love. Everything else is secondary.
It gained huge critical appreciation, has that added pressure to deliver even more for your next feature?
Fortunately, Benjamin and I have written numerous other scripts, set in different genres, so we are only keen to keep telling our stories. Our next feature is already in development and is progressing well, so we have zero complaints.
You must be pleased it’s getting shown on the Horror Channel?
Extremely. We are admirers of the channel, and are aware of its loyal viewers, so to have our TV debut play here is simply fantastic. We couldn’t be more thrilled, frankly.
So what are you working on at the moment?
A dramatic-thriller set in the U.S. titled ‘Sweet Virginia’."
Q&A with Ghost Removers Rachel and Simon Light
Can you tell us about your first experiences with the paranormal?
Simon: An attempted alien abduction at the age of seven on the Entrance, Central Coast, NSW - Australia. I was sleeping in my room and woke up lying on the front lawn. There was a UFO about 50 metres above me. It was like a flying disc with no roof and a man figure was trying to telepathically coax me in to the spacecraft. I began to yell back at the man. Suddenly it took off. I was left on the front lawn until my babysitter came out to get me.
Rachel: There is no main event that has stuck in my mind. I just always remember having strange things happen to me like the lights turning out when I was in my bedroom, or having a feeling of someone watching me. Then when I was 13 years I did a Ouija board with my girlfriends. A close friend of ours had passed away and we wanted to get in contact with them. The glass moved as we asked questions and we got answers. We repeatedly performed the seances until strange dark things were happening. We were told about the death of another friend coming and then about a bike accident that would happen involving another friend. Both of these events happened and then we stopped, but the paranormal experiences got weirder. My clothes began to go missing and pictures would fly off the walls in my bedroom. I would go to sleep petrified at night not knowing what to do.
What convinced you that there wasn't a non-paranormal explanation for the event(s) that you experienced?
Simon: Knowing what I know now confirms what I experienced was very real
Rachel: I asked my friends if they had strange things happen to them and all of them confirmed they did and when my clothes went missing my mum had no explanation for it. We used to laugh saying the ghost was wearing my clothes. I was waiting until one day when I would see the ghost wearing my clothes
How did the two of you first meet and what convinced you to become ghost removers together?
Rachel: Simon has been ghost removing for around 8 years. He started out in Port Macquarie when he first discovered he had a gift. Simon can recall seeing ghosts as a child, but never understood until he was attacked by entities during his massage therapy sessions. Simon had to learn how to protect himself. He ended up setting up a website and offering ghost removal as a service in his local area. Rachel is a TV writer/producer and she contacted Simon over the Internet because she was looking to produce a paranormal show in Australia. She needed talent for the show, so Googled ghost clearings and Simon popped up on her search. Rachel contacted Simon and then drove 4 hours to meet with him. After the initial meeting they then flew to Perth. Simon was going to perform an exorcism and Rachel called in a local paranormal team and filmed everything. After this Rachel and Simon fell in love and moved in with one another. We now offer ghost removal as a free service. Simon has even trained Rachel to remove ghosts.
Can you tell us about your process for removing a ghost from a particular location?
Rachel: Initially we ask the client about there experiences. We then go to the haunted location and perform a clearing. This mostly involves calling in God's light, candles and a diapeze crystal. Angels and Jesus are called for help and a number of prayers are repeated. We use our sensory perception to pick up where the ghost maybe hanging out. The ghost is then passed over. Often we come up against darker entities, so it can take a while. Simon also has a ghost box, which has a piece of rowan wood, oils, diapeze crystal, picture of Jesus and sage. After the ghost has gone we then sage the house, which removes any residual energy. Often the ghosts can be attached to the land or a person. This is where they get their energy source from. We find that we have to break curses, hexes or covenants to release the attachment.
How long have you been working together and how many ghosts have you successfully removed?
Rachel: Simon has worked for about 8 years on his own and then with me about a year. The total of ghosts removed are in hundreds. In the last three weeks we have removed close to 50 ghosts. All clearings are successful, apart from some of the demonic stuff. That can take a lot of work and in some instances it can require multiple people to do the job.
Of all your ghost removal experiences, is there a particular encounter that stands out?
Rachel: Yes the one when we went to Perth. This was a demonic possession and was very deep rooted. The lady had the possession for over 30 years. The whole family was cursed and it is an incredible story with some amazing footage caught on camera, but the demon (known as Thor) would not go. It tricked Simon that it had left, but it had not. This demon then disturbed Simon for three nights in a row, as we stayed in Perth. Simon refers to it as literally chasing us out of Perth. he recalls it being in the back of the car, as we drove to the airport. It then took Simon a lot of effort to get rid of it's energy. The demon lived with the lady for a while longer until Rachel put a ministry in touch with her, who managed to get rid of it. The actual exorcism was incredible. There is no explanation for what happened.
Would you say that all or any of these encounters can be dangerous for you or the people in the house? What do you do to protect yourselves and the people in the home?
Rachel: Definitely. Ghosts are negative energies and they need an energy source to exist. Most of them get their energy source from emotion (people or land). They can create all sorts of problems that include bad luck, arguments, break ups, sadness, depression, addictions - the list goes on. There are also a lot of darker energies around that are tricksters. They lie and tell people the are a passed relative or they imitate themselves as a dead loved one, but these entities tap in to people and their energy sources. They create living hell through nightmares, fear and anger. There are ghosts, demons, and negative energies with us all the time. As humans we need to learn how to raise our spiritual vibration so not to be attacked by these things. We always call in the God energy and Angels for protection. We wear a cross with Jesus on it around our necks and we pray and meditate to connect us to the higher source. We teach people about spirituality and we teach people how to meditate and find the Love. We encourage people to live in the Light not in the Dark. When people are under spiritual attack at home they can call out to cast them out of their home using Jesus' name. He is the only Ascended Master who can clear demon energy. We offer remote ghost clearings, which means we don't need to be in the house to do the clearing. We can do it over the phone.
How has your process evolved over time? What kind of technology are you using to help you remove ghosts?
Rachel: Yes for sure. Simon used to use Reiki energy, but after his demonic experience in Perth learnt that the only energy that removes ghosts is God energy and Jesus energy. There is no technology involved. Only Love and Belief is needed. Rachel uses an EMF detector to show when their is spirit energy around on the camera, but most times this is not needed, because we always catch paranormal evidence on camera in the day, such as orbs, white mist, black mist, growls etc.
After all of your years as ghost removers, do you feel you have a better understanding of the afterlife and these ghosts you are removing? What is your best explanation for what you're encountering? Why are they here in the first place?
Rachel: In our opinion there are generally three types of ghosts - earthbound spirits that missed the light when they died, demons, or spirits that have passed over and come back to visit loved ones at times of emotion, such as births, marriages, deaths. However, all spirits that hang around in locations and create havoc are there to be noticed and to cause trouble. They are frustrated, angry or confused. The demons are simply there to cause living Hell for people. They have been sent on a mission to destroy someones life and the more a demon creates havoc the higher up the rank it goes. Most demons hold ghosts as captive in locations. We believe there is a huge spiritual war happening in another dimension and everything that is happening on earth is a result of this. For example; earthquakes, war, natural disasters, famine etc. etc. are a result of the fight between good and evil. We are currently in turbulent times where the energy of the planet is raising and the dark cannot handle the new light coming in, so it can only exist through creating misery, anger and dividing humanity. Multiple people have come in to spiritual awareness and their is an enormous increase in the interest of the paranormal. This is because of the spiritual elevation of the planet. People are losing ego and becoming more aware of our dimensions and understanding there is more to the world than just the physical place we see, hear, feel, touch and smell. The only way the dark can react to this is through tapping in to the energy source of those people who vibrate on a lower frequency and causing negativity.
How many ghosts have you removed together? How can people reach you if they're interested in having you help them remove a ghost?
Rachel: We have removed nearly 100 ghosts and people can contact us at www.ghostremovalaustralia.com or Facebook www.facebook.com/theghostremovers or www.youtube.com/bigbubblemediatv