Hallowe’en Projects…Part 2Regan Macaulay
During 2002, and prior, Kev and I watched a lot of content on two particular fresh new specialty channels – SCREAM (Corus Entertainment) and Drive-In Classics, as well as the more established SPACE. We were hooked on watching many, many obscure B-movies and I learned more about an unusual filmmaker: Edward D. Wood Jr. Kevin was (and is) a Tim Burton fan as well, so we ended up taking in Burton’s funny and fascinating movie Ed Wood, based on the life and (very bad) films of this singular B-movie filmmaker who lacked all talent for movie making, but he sure as hell did not let that stop him. We went on to watch the films Ed Wood had made, including Plan 9 From Outer Space, which marked the peak of his career, and Bride of the Monster, which did not. Wood’s movies, as well as a slew of other so-terrible-they’re-watchable films viewed on the aforementioned specialty channels were the multiple sparks that started a fire that burned out of control to the point where our very silly “B-movie on purpose” was made.
Fittingly, the first short film version of the film (Terror from the Sky!) aired on SCREAM, SPACE, and Drive-In Classics as an interstitial for a couple of years (as did The Scary Bitch Project). The full feature film ran on SPACE and Drive-In Classics, premiering on January 8th, 2005, and airing periodically until the end of August 2007. Our film had made a home on the very channels that had inspired it in the first place.
We had to do a few practical effects as well. There is a two-headed monster in the film, so we had to add a second head that was also a puppet and animatronic device to one of our actors’ shoulders. This was to be a cat’s head, so Kevin sculpted over a semi-robotic toy dog head he’d cannibalized (heh – cannibalized) to make the face more catlike, painted the skin grey, added mechanically retractable cat shaped ears made of latex gloves (so the creature could flatten his ears), and then I glued on cat hair I’d gathered and saved from cats that had been groomed (shaved, like a lion cut) at the clinic where we were shooting. Sometimes the cat head was propped up via a paper towel stand strapped to Kyle McKeown’s shoulder (the actor portraying Boolashacka…or at least, most of Boolashacka, minus the extra head), other times I had to work the puppet by hand from behind Kyle. One of the shoots involving Boolashacka…either the penultimate or final shoot, I’m not sure…May 8th, 2004, was VERY COLD, in addition to being rainy. Not just rainy, actually, it would hail on us from time to time, too. Nevertheless, Kyle plowed through, along with most of the rest of the cast and a hefty crowd of extras (most of whom ended up with short lines, so technically they were a little more than extras). That was also the day Johnny, who was shooting for us, crawled into the trunk of the car we were using and recorded a good deal of footage of Boolashacka running behind the car as it drove off down the Esplanade.
You can buy Space Zombies: 13 Months of Brain-Spinning Mayhem! on DVD (and when you do, you also get The Scary Bitch Project, included as a special feature!) from my SquareUp online shop, as well as from me directly at up-coming events to be announced (I hope there’s a Fan Expo or Toronto Comicon in our future)!
You can buy or rent Space Zombies on iTunes as well!