My old friend Dave Jeffery (who wrote the brilliant ‘Necropolis Rising’, which I review on Goodreads here) has added another string to his bow recently, branching out into scriptwriting and co-forming a production company called Venomous Little Man.
Having dabbled in (ultra-low-budget) films myself, I’m a big fan of independent films and the first from VLM is “Ascension”, a 31 minute slice of horror that started life as a story in Alt-Zombie from Hersham Horror Books. It’s starting a tour of the festivals now and the trailer looks brilliant.
But the latest project from the team is a short called “Six Feet Under”, which I’ve seen and really liked. It starts innocuously enough - a well dressed man (Mark Rathbone) comes home and greets his young daughter (Jaycie Braid) and wife (Carol Braid) - but then he climbs into the attic and things suddenly become a lot darker. Three people (Graham Woodward, Sofia Noreen and Laura Smith) are bound to the joists and our well-dressed man stands over them with a power saw.
Shot as a competition entry, the film was restricted to three minutes running time and director James Hart uses it well. We the viewer don’t know anything about the well-dressed man (except that he loves his wife and daughter and he’s called Footlocker in the very quick flash of credits) and there’s minimal dialogue (the victims say more than our protagonist), but the film builds a good atmosphere, with evocative, mostly hand-held camerawork from Gary Rogers, tight editing from Richard O’Connor and well done, minimally used effects work from Carl Braid (vfx) and Ben North (make-up). All in all, it’s good stuff and very impressive.
It’s entered for the “666 - Shortcuts To Hell” competition, run by the Horror Channel, where the challenge was to submit a short film based on a series of key restraints (all revolving around the number 6, naturally). The best 6 films, as selected by Frightfest, Movie Mogul and the Horror Channel, are to be broadcast on the channel in the run up to the Frightfest Festival (in August 2013), where they will be screened at Leicester Square before a discerning audience. The winning film will receive £6,666 cash, publicity and the opportunity to develop a horror short or feature film idea under mentorship from Movie Mogul, for a possible 2014 production.
So why not watch the short film (posted below) and then follow the link to YouTube and give it a like? Dave’s a good bloke, a great writer and Venomous Little Man Productions are putting out some good work. I'm certainly very interested to see what they could do with that kind of budget so I’m supporting them!
You can get to the YouTube page for this by clicking the logo on the film or by clicking this link.
And just in case you're interested, here's the "Ascension" trailer too!