Back on October 17, 2014 old friends reunited at the 15 Year Anniversary screening of Indie horror film IN THE WOODS. Director Lynn Drzick, leading man DJ Perry and I hadn’t seen each other for years, but the creative spark was immediately rekindled due to our shared love of film. Here’s a bit of our history . . .
In the ‘90s, based on the recommendation of a local bookstore owner who loved my vampire romances, ambitious young filmmaker Lynn Drzick approached me to write a novelization from the screenplay for his first motion picture IN THE WOODS so he could include it in a package to get financing for the film. This expanded into my first acting role as “Bar Extra”, a chance to write the ADR (dubbing) script, and to book signings complete with director, cast and props in New Age and Comic Book stores, and even at a haunted house. A total geekfest for this moveaholic! Many enthusiastic discussions later between Lynn, DJ and I, our collaboration spun into several other screenplays, one becoming SAVAGE which was optioned and produced by another Indie company.
No one expected IN THE WOODS to become the little film that wouldn’t die. From limited screenings to VHS to DVD, it went into rotation on the Chiller cable channel and was packaged with other Indie horror films. A drinking game was spawned from the mention of furry rodents. Foreign markets snapped it up. And now VOD (video-on-demand) and Blu-ray releases, complete with a commentary track recorded by Lynn, DJ and I in Lynn’s home theatre, are scheduled for this spring. And now there’s talk of a sequel . . .
So that naturally led to lunch with Lynn and talk of resurrecting IN THE WOODS, the novelization.
Hundreds of years ago their battle began . . .
In an age of knights and sorcery, a good king must raise a monster to protect his people from the demon unleashed by a dark-hearted enemy determined to claim his kingdom. But once called forth upon blood-drenched fields, can such evil ever be truly laid to rest?
To a present day community held hostage by fear, a serial killer will soon be the least of its worries after two off-duty firefighters enter a forest and find a grave. What they dig up isn’t a victim or family pet. When they race from the woods, they bring a timeless hell with them . . .
"Horror and mystery combine to delight readers with a work reminiscent of early King." -- The Mystery Zone
"Horror at its finest and most eerie!" -- Midwest Book Review
"Horror fans be on the look-out for this terrifyingly delicious novel!" -- Vampyres
IN THE WOODS is now available on Kindle and will expand to other formats and paperback this spring.
DJ Perry, now a successful leading man and producer (see my post of December 9, 2014 for more on DJ and a review of his film ASHES OF EDEN), knowing how much I enjoy a good jump scare, has sent me a sneak peek of his latest film DONORS which will also debut this spring.
Here’s my take on DONORS:
Donors is a tautly filmed locked door thriller that grabs you from the first claustrophobic minutes and doesn’t let go. The compelling cast of three and intimate tight shots that never reveal the whole picture quicken a sense of isolation and threat that keeps you guessing how seemingly separate pieces are going to come together as our party girl heroine (7th Heaven’s Niki Saletta)wakes to find herself a prisoner with only her cell phone to communicate. Unfortunately for her, she’s cried wolf one too many times for those she reaches out to, from her weary of her dramatics friends to jaded authorities, to believe her. Her escalating panic is cut between scenes of a radio talk show host (wonderfully portrayed by golden-voiced Russ Clark) whose call-in topic of kidnapping chillingly segues from ransom to much worse scenarios . Aside from a menacing masked figure (DJ Perry) moving about in a separate unidentified room, the rest of the players are disembodied voices, which pumps up the disconnect and tension.
In Donors, it’s the suggestion of what you don’t see that supplies the real scare. Though disappointed by the device that pulls the plot of Donors together (probably because I’m a writer), it didn’t lessen my overall edge-of-the-seat experience as a viewer and appreciation for the abrupt shock of the ending to this satisfying cautionary tale. Nicely done. - Bestselling paranormal romance and horror author, Nancy Gideon
So as you can see, the shivers around here aren’t just from the Michigan winter!
Happy viewing and Happy Reading. May the Fright be with you!