This morning's Horror Highlights takes our readers to Hell Town, as Daily Dead did a Q&A with Steve Balderson, the co-writer/co-director of the film. Also: production details and an official poster for The Recall and UK release details for Blackburn.
Daily Dead's Q&A with co-writer/co-director of Hell Town, Steve Balderson: "Debbie Rochon (Model Hunger, Return to Nuke ‘Em High, The Theater Bizarre) headlines as the hostess of the three surviving episodes of “Hell Town”, following the melodramatic, small-town and potentially short-lived lives of Krysten Day, Amanda Deibert, Owen Lawless, Ben Windholz, Jennifer Grace, and Balderson muse Pleasant Gehman.
Hell Town follows the melodramatic antics of high school seniors clashing over love, sex, and betrayal. In the middle of all the everyday drama of one-sided infatuations, backstabbing bitchiness, bottled-up sexuality, sibling rivalry and general small-town angst, the Letter Jacket Killer is killing students in a variety of sadistic ways. As the body count rises and the blood pools closer to home, it becomes clear that one of our main characters is the killer. Everyone, from the prom queen and shirtless jock to the nosey geek and the super bitch, are all suspects in the carnage.”
Thanks for taking the time to answer some questions for us, Steve. How and when did you come up with the story for your new film, Hell Town?
Steve Balderson: I was in the mood to revisit the campiness and insanity in my first film, Pep Squad, and around that time I met co-director Elizabeth Spear in Texas. She suggested we do a horror film, and I thought, let’s combine these things and make a soap opera horror film!
Where did filming take place and what did that environment add aesthetically and atmospherically to Hell Town?
Steve Balderson: Hell Town was filmed in my small hometown called Wamego, in Kansas. Wamego has that Hell vibe we were going for.
What was your experience working with Debbie Rochon, who plays herself in the movie?
Steve Balderson: Debbie is a total pro—a great actress and a good friend. We’ve known of each other for 20 years, but only met recently and really hit it off. I’m thrilled to have worked with her and can’t wait until we work together again. On my birthday this year, in January, we were filming her scenes, and that was the best birthday present ever.
What was your shooting schedule like on this film?
Steve Balderson: We filmed every day with no days off for three weeks.
What was the most challenging scene to shoot?
Steve Balderson: The glory hole scene—and the scene where one of the crazier characters murders herself. Because of the way she does it (stabbing herself), we had to shoot each stab one at a time, and then break for special effects makeup and then shoot the next stab, and so on. It was fun, but a technical challenge.
Was there any memorable improvisation on set?
Steve Balderson: Loads of it. I always like to invite actors to be free with their experience and if something strikes them, to go for it. We can always edit it and take it out if it doesn’t work. On Hell Town everyone had a ball playing those parts.
When you look back at your time on set, is there a particularly funny or memorable moment that stands out?
Steve Balderson: Each day was hysterically funny. With all the horror in Hell Town, there is an amazing amount of hilariously campy and over-the-top moments. Filming those, it was always almost entirely impossible not to laugh in the middle of a take.
Are there any films (horror or otherwise) that influenced or inspired you while making Hell Town?
Steve Balderson: I’d say we combined the soap opera insanity of Passions with the bitchy dialogue of Dynasty and the classic horror of films like Sleepaway Camp.
Is this a world you would be interested in returning to in a potential sequel?
Steve Balderson: ABSOLUTELY! It would be a total dream to do another Hell Town and also maybe even an actual Hell Town TV Series.
With Hell Town coming out on VOD on August 23rd from Gravitas Ventures, what projects do you have on deck that you can tease, and where can our readers find you on social media?
Steve Balderson: Elvis Lives! will air on Mark Cuban’s AXS TV on Aug 16th at 9:00 p.m. EST. And the art film El Ganzo opens theatrically in LA at the Arena Cinema on September 9th. My Instagram is @dikenga and twitter @sbalderson
The Recall Begins Principal Photography: Press Release: "LOS ANGELES, August 4, 2016 – Minds Eye Entertainment, in association with Bridgegate Pictures and VMI Worldwide, proudly announce that principal photography for the sci-fi, action, thriller, THE RECALL, has commenced in British Columbia, Canada. Mauro Borrelli (The Ghostmaker) directs a screenplay by Reggie Keyohara III (Send In The Clowns) and Sam Acton. THE RECALL stars RJ Mitte (“Breaking Bad”), Jedidiah Goodacre (Descendants), Niko Pepaj (“Awkward”), Laura Maria Bilgeri (Toby Goes to Camp), Hannah Rose May (“Ballers”) and Wesley Snipes (Blade, The Expendables 3, Chi-raq) as “The Hunter.” Kevin Dewalt, CEO of Minds Eye Entertainment, made the announcement today.
“I am thrilled to collaborate with the team from Bridgegate Pictures and VMI Worldwide to bring the script THE RECALL to life,” said Dewalt. “We couldn’t be more proud to work with a young cast and the talented Wesley Snipes to create a film that sci-fi audiences will be excited to see.”
In THE RECALL, when five friends vacation at a remote lake house, they expect nothing less than a good time, unaware that planet Earth is under an alien invasion and mass-abduction.
Borelli, who is a former collaborator of Director Tim Burton and the film illustrator for blockbuster films such as Pirates of the Caribbean and Captain America, capitalizes on his experience as a top “visual” artist to bring THE RECALL to life on the big screen.
THE RECALL will also be shot for the new Barco Escape three-screen, panoramic theatrical format, which fully surrounds audiences and offers the ultimate immersive cinema experience. Portions of the films will also be shot in Virtual Reality.
Minds Eye International has North American distribution rights to THE RECALL, while VMI Worldwide has international rights. THE RECALL will be produced by Kevin Dewalt (Forsaken, The Tall Man) and Danielle Masters (Forsaken, Wolfcop), and will be executive produced by Guy Griffithe (WTF: World Thumbwrestling Federation, School Spirits), Andre Relis (War Pigs, The Perfect Weapon), Frank White (The Tall Man, Faces In The Crowd), and Isabella Ragona (Forsaken, Stranded). THE RECALL is the first film of a six-picture production slate announced by the companies at the 2016 Cannes Film Festival."
Blackburn UK Release Details: Press Release: "Vancouver, B.C., August 3rd, 2016: 3 Brane Entertainment is pleased to announce that their horror film Blackburn will see more territories. Already slated for a North American release, this terrifying title will be distributed in the United Kingdom, on September 5th, 2016; Matchbox Films will handle the release. The film stars Lochlyn Munro (Poker Night), Jen and Sylvia Soska (American Mary), Sarah Lind (Wolf Cop), Emilie Ullerup (A Little Bit Zombie), and Calum Worthy. Developed from a script by Nastasha Baron, the film has been directed by Lauro Chartrand. A preview of the film’s multi-territory launch is available here.
The UK poster and synopsis reveal more of the Blackburn Asylum. Long since closed, its former residents roam the local woods. A forest fire and rockslide have forced more of these dangerous characters into the nearby town. And, five friends must find shelter, before they become targets of these monsters. Can they just survive the night?
In the UK, the film has been rated 15+. Also, the new poster hosts a unique tagline: “some ghost stories are real.” But, these ghosts are worse than anything supernatural. These terrors will be set upon the masses on September 5th, on DVD. This dark, horror story is not to be missed!
The official Synopsis: A forest fire and rock-slide trap five bickering college friends in a small Alaskan ghost town with a horrifying history. When they seek refuge inside the torched ruins of Blackburn Asylum, they must fight to survive as the angry inhabitants slaughter the friends one-by-one.
More details at Matchbox Films: http://www.matchboxfilms.co.uk/
Available for pre-orders, at Amazon: http://amzn.to/2aw5NdE
A fan page for the film: https://www.facebook.com/blackburnhorror/
On Twitter: https://twitter.com/BlackburnAsylum"