It’s that time of the year friends …when everyone trots out their horror films, carves the pumpkins and sprays the fake cobwebs every where. I did a film, of which I have no really fond memories, except that it me gave a trip to fascinating Hong Kong…I liked the Chinese people I met there, very much…not so much the rich ones, but the poor ones – such dignity. Our leading man, who also directed it, was a right poser (look it up in the Urban dictionary), who had “made it” in a popular TV series and fancied himself a wine connoisseur. More about that film another time. I remember he proudly showed us his wine cellar at his home, in Beverly Hills., full of fake cobwebs from a spray can …..get the picture!!! More about that film another time.
I digress …there is a Horror Film Festival here in Boise – today I went and watched two new friends win a Best short film prize for their film And the Zombie. Austin von Johnson was my leading man in About Andy….very good actor and his co-star Cary Judd was on camera on our film and takes beautiful still pictures…..both talented, both caring and passionate about the work. As I have said before, one of the pleasures of working locally is that that the care and the passion among the young film makers here in Boise, reminds me of how it was and can and should be working in this industry. And these two have taken the time to learn and understand their craft, not always so among the new ones. This industry is demanding and often cruel, but if you’re going to do it at least watch, study, learn and keep on learning. Just because you have all the fancy new equipment and have shot a couple of shorts, doesn’t mean you know what you’re doing. And those who who want to tell stories on film, learn and understand the meaning of story. The opportunities now for young film makers are enormous now with all the new technology and equipment. And there are so many more opportunities to get your work in front of the decision makers. And the demand for new productions is growing exponentially with the advent of streaming. ‘Aint life wonderful!
Horror films are fun to make and you often get a meaty character to play, largely because you’re playing beyond the realms of reality. One I did many years ago, is a favourite among the fans: The Hands of the Ripper. Unsurprisingly its popularity is largely linked to Jack the Ripper, the famous Whitechapel (London in the 1890’s) murderer, who murdered several prostitutes, ripping their stomachs open, leaving their entrails to spill out. He was never caught and suspects included a famous artist of the time and a Prince of the Royal Family. Our film was about his daughter, the best role, played by dear, now gone, Angharad Rees…. I played a rather boring, perfect woman – her last potential victim…but what made my character interesting, was that she was blind, which I found a challenge, plus I co-starred with a wonderful actor of the day: Eric Porter. Think you can still find it somewhere to watch for Halloween. We had a wonderful last scene in which I am being chased around the Whispering Gallery of St Paul’s Cathedral, by the young murderess. It’s a good Hammer horror film, directed by talented Peter Sasdy.
Last word – I nearly disgraced myself in my performance as Carmilla (the lesbian vampire), on national television, by being unable to be shut into the closed coffin at the end… the obliging set carpenter, cut some wooden slats for the lid to sit slightly above the coffin, so I had some daylight! Claustrophobia won out…And wonderful reliable crew as always there to help!!
If you want a bit of Horror for Halloween watch our films online here on my site – classic Gothic horror stories – New Chilling Taleshttps://janemerrow.com/new-chilling-tales
Till next time!
Interesting insights as ever Jane, and as for the coffin – well I only want to be shut in one ONCE! Keep up the good work xx Mike