Elijah Wood loves horror movies. He’s only been involved in a few to date though, including The Faculty and next year’s Maniac redo (pictured right). All of that is about to change. Wood has partnered with Daniel Noah and Josh C. Waller to form an indie company called The Woodshed. It’s focus will be genre films, specifically horror efforts. I’ll let Elijah himself elaborate…
“I’ve been a fan of horror and genre cinema in general since I was a child and have become increasingly passionate about the idea of there being a space in which horror films that take their subject matter and characters seriously could be produced,” he said. “What was born out of a conversation of our mutual love for the genre and what we felt was lacking in a broad sense, especially from the U.S. market, became The Woodshed.”
The company is currently co-directing the Nightmare City festival in L.A. with The Cinefamily, which has been premiering new films and running a ton of repertory screenings (including a bunch of Video Nasties!)…as well as other events…all this month. As fantastic as that festival sounds (I’m stuck here in WV and therefore cannot attend), it’s the production side of this business venture where things start to get really interesting…
– Curse The Darkness, a socio-political zombie film scripted by Brandon Maurice Williams to shoot in February in Florida in partnership with Cinipix Films. Building on the research of anthropologist Wade Davis, the film takes a grounded approach to Haitian zombie practices to tackle immigration issues. Lawrence Inglee is also a co-producer.
– Henley, a feature transfer of the 2012 Sundance short written by Clay McLeod Chapman and Craig Macneill. Macneill will direct and Noah Greenberg is producer as well as cinematographer. The film is described as an intimate portrait of a 9-year-old sociopath as he first discovers his taste for killing.
– The Ivan Ford-scripted Harrow, to be directed by Keith Fulton and Lou Pepe (Lost In La Mancha, Brothers Of The Head) chronicles an unlikely friendship between an earnest female doctor and a shady photojournalist as they become trapped together in a town that has been quarantined as it experiences a number of disturbing paranormal events.
– The Peter Charles Melman-scripted It Was Cruel, to be helmed by Shadow Of The Vampire‘s E. Elias Merhige. The film uses the horror genre to confront the spiritual corruption that many Jews were forced to accept in order to survive World War II.
Future Woodshed fare will include collaborations with filmmakers including Alex de la Iglesia (The Last Circus), Nimrod Antal (Predators), Panos Cosmatos (Beyond The Black Rainbow), and vid helmer Ace Norton.
Those were the projects that the company announced earlier this month. They have since added two more: Toad Road and A Girl Walks Home At Night. The first is an acquisition and premieres today in L.A. The film focuses on a supernatural event along the titular New Jersey stretch that, according to legend, is a gateway to Hell. Toad Road has drawn comparisons to the works of Gus Van Sant and Larry Clark and seems to have been very well received at the Fantasia Film Festival. Sounds like it could be a winner, no?
That’s not the really fun one that. That honor is held by the aforementioned project with a very giallo-esque title: A Girl Walks Home At Night, an Iranian western about vampires that will mark the feature debut of writer/director Ana Lily Amirpour. The film is described as a love story set in a fictitious Iranian ghost town reeking of death and loneliness, where a strange and jaded population is haunted by a lonesome vampire who preys upon the city’s most depraved denizens.
An Iranian vampire western not weird enough for you? What if it were filmed in black & white? And had a spaghetti western-inspired soundtrack? And was in Farsi? As a friend of mine said when I told him about it, “That’s too insane not to be great.”. He’s right. Even if it turns out to be a trainwreck, that concept is just way too ballsy and nuts to not still be a thousand times more watchable than most films that hit the silver screen. This is the kind of nutball idea that most studios and production companies wouldn’t touch with a 10-foot pole, let alone consider funding. I don’t know about the rest of you, but A Girl Walks Home At Night just landed on my “Most Anticipated Films For 2013” list.
And as for you, Mr. Wood? Kudos to you, good sir! Championing interesting horror projects and bringing them to the masses…be they acquisitions or original productions…is a beyond noble endeavor that doesn’t happen as often as it should these days. You just keep on keepin’ on with the craziness and we’ll be there to show our support any way we can.