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One of the cool things about Frightfest 2012 was being able to mingle with fans and invited guests alike. But there's more than just the invited guests to offer something of interest (as our HorrorTalk TV Frightfest Special proves, with off-the-cuff chats with Storage 24 director Johannes Roberts and demented Dutch director Tom Six of Human Centipede fame). This particular film was something I picked up a flyer for at Frightfest 2011 and always meant to follow up, but alas time slipped away as usual. Lucky then that the guys behind The Shadow of Death had completed their film and were in attendance handing out nifty little film quote stickers to the passing crowd. Determined not to let this British independent horror slip by after another festival, I dropped director Gav 'Chuckie' Steel a line to find out more. Here's what he told me:
"I have been watching horror films since I was a child and have always wanted to be part of creating films that, as a true fan of the genre, I would enjoy watching. I always loved FX and thought I would get into that side of film making, but as I grew older I started writing music and DJing hip hop and using horror films as inspiration for my new found musical passion. I then decided to write scores for horror films and ended up writing my own film instead! What started out as a 26 page script with a few friends and a camcorder at the odd weekend turned into a much larger scale project, More people came on board. I still shot with a camcorder (Panasonic SD60) but this was now an HD camera. I wrote, shot, directed, edited and scored the film myself, but of course I had a small very dedicated cast and crew with me to do all the other roles. My friend Mark Kelly came on to do (in camera, no CGI) FX and funnily enough he started working on making zombies for Brad Pitt's new film World War Z through the week and then was spending weekends working with us, he learned a massive amount from all of this and I think the FX stand out in the film.
There were a few challenges, I had no budget (the whole film was made for less than a holiday), no time (I have a full time night job and look after my two kids in the day times) and no film school knowledge (although I do know horror!). I'm really proud of 'Shadow' and hope it inspires other people to get an HD camcorder pick it up and make a movie.
This film is very personal to my Crew, Cast and I and we are very pleased to let it out in to the world and we hope we can go on to work with other projects. We have a zombie comedy scripted and three other horror comedies being written at the moment and would love to be able to carry on making films as Deadbolt Films.
Shadow of Death is my first feature film and I loved every part of creating this and I hope horror fans will enjoy it, I have filled the film with nods to other films, actually I would be surprised if anyone can spot them all."
What do you say, horror fans? Do you accept the challenge? Check out the trailer below and see what you think.
Set in an English woodland countryside, Debra and her best friends Jamie and Nancy pick up Dan, Nancey's ex, to go out to the woods to score some weed. Unknown to them a killer who resembles death is cleansing the countryside. With a wannabe policeman and an assortment of the public out for some fresh air, the woods are no place to go down today. In the vein of The Evil Dead and Bad Taste, The Shadow of Death is a 81 minute Horror comedy throw back to the 70s and 80s backwoods slasher genre pictures, in keeping with those films but incorporating new styles and ideas to the medium.
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