In 2007, I sold a script called TRANCE – my take on a Night of the Demons type of horror party, one that was set at a rave, cause at the time, I was knee deep in the scene and they were trendy. The film was shot that same year (starring Dominique Swain, Brea Grant and Jeremy London) and then POUF… nothing. Been trying to see it ever since.
Over the years TV Spots and Trailers surfaced, the film got brief VOD releases (under the title Blood Rave) that I missed and I heard lots of “BTS stories” that may have had to do as to why the film was never properly released. Well, my wait is over as it’s now on Amazon Prime (WATCH IT HERE). I was told they changed my script considerably and if go by the trailer – they had a lower budget then what I was told or the money didn’t wind up on screen (i don’t think it looks very good to be honest). But no matter – after 12 years, I can finally see what they did with one of my babies. So overlong unfinished business is about to be closed.
Writer/Director/Producer Eric Red and I have been working on our no-holds-barred action/horror movie NO MAN’S RIDGE for a while now and 2019 will be the year!
We’ve managed to raise some financing and we now aim to launch a crowdfunding campaign in mid 2019 to gap the missing funds and make the ultimate Bigfoot movie!
Here’s our crew so far! Producer and Special Makeup Effects Supervisor: Robert Kurtzman (The Haunting of Hill House and From Dusk Till Dawn). – Producer and Special Makeup Effects Designer: Steve Johnson (Ghostbusters, Bad Moon). John Fallon (The Shelter, Heretic) and Meredith Red also Produce while Berge Garabedian is Executive Producer on the picture.
And the cast at this stage is: Actor/Stuntman Nick Principe (Laid to Rest series) Actor and Martial Arts expert Marc Natoli (The Proposal) as Jack and John Fallon (SAW II) as Ray.
The Synopsis: A helicopter soars over the forests in the remote Wyoming wilderness of No Man’s Ridge area. Inside are five heavily armed and formidable hunters all dressed in militarized camouflage fatigues and face paint. They have state-of-the-art high-powered rifles, heavy caliber handguns, crossbows and hunting gear. The extreme hunters are there to bag a Bigfoot— the ultimate hunt for the ultimate trophy. The hunters wear hat cams with compact high-resolution HD cameras to record the hunt. They also have gun cams for their rifle barrels, bow cams and portable trail cameras to put on trees. In the far reaches of the wilds, the people are dropped from the hovering chopper by cable into deep forest, fifty miles from civilization. When the five hunters see an actual giant Bigfoot walking through the woods a half-mile away, it seems like the creature doesn’t have a chance—but it’s the other way around.
If there’s one thing that I learned via making The Shelter is that a film stays with you for a long time when you’re the director and head producer on it. The flick was released at the end of 2016 and here I am still talking about it!
The elevated horror film WOODLAND GREY is now in Production in Montreal, Canada. Award Winning director Adam Reider (Remain Calm) helms the picture from a screenplay written by Reider and Jesse Toufexis.
The film stars Jenny Raven (Jack Ryan), Ryan Blakely (The Expanse) and screen icon Art Hindle (Black Christmas). It is produced by Francesco Giannini (The Flare), Tamara Dupuis (Marjorie) and yours truly.
Synopsis: When an older man living alone in the woods saves the life of a young woman, they are forced to coexist. Chaos ensues when the woman makes a terrifying discovery in the woods behind the man’s home and unleashes something truly haunting.
My directorial debut starring Michael Pare which the L.A. TIMES called “remarkably ambitious” and “a concise genre piece that doubles as a heavily metaphorical character sketch”, had previously been released on DVD and VOD in the United States, and was also sold in various countries around the world.
Since The Shelter’s domestic release, we’ve done all that we could in terms of the classic route of finding distribution internationally. And although we did have some success (Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Netherlands, South Africa, Sweden South East Asia, Canada) we’ve come to the conclusion that the best move to make at this final stage is to end on this different avenue.
I’m happy that everybody will finally be able to watch this unique, odd and very personal film. And for me, this marks the end of my 4 years journey with this picture. So there’s something to celebrate and be proud of right there! Thanks to all who have supported me and the film over the years!
It has been a very rewarding experience, one that changed who I am and that re-sparked and enriched by spirituality. I’m a better man and filmmaker for it and will bring all of that into my next film HERETIC. Peace and God bless! John
“Can almost be labeled as a faith-based thriller. But with the subjects of infidelity, alcoholism, suicide coupled with open sex scenes, violence, and touches of horror, this unusual mix with its strength in faith delivers a taboo of sorts to a non-secular audience. ” – The Movie Guys
With Christmas upon us, and this being most likely my last The Shelter related piece on this Blog (locking some outstanding territories aside, the adventure is pretty much done), I figured this was an ideal time to address the Christianity inspired elements of the picture.
Much of the self-loathing, anger and selfishness that I had in my 20’s tagged with my Catholic upbringing and my rocky relationship with it back then went into the writing of The Shelter. That is why it is such a personal film for me. Although I have since conquered those demons and I am now in a place of peace, I re-visited that time frame to pen the film.
Now the movie was marketed to the horror crowd for the most part upon its release, with good reasons. It’s a bleak ride and the genre elements are there, and yes, many have gotten something out of it no matter their beliefs (except for the random person who felt preached to – you do a film about demons, all good, you explore the flip side – you’re preaching – go figure).
But I do think that people of Faith should see it too, even those who don’t normally like genre films (it’s now free on Amazon Prime) hence the main reason that I am writing this blog entry. Granted the movie is rough in places and it’s definitely not a “family movie” (don’t show the kids), but I think if you’re Christian, you should give it a try as its themes and its message should resonate with you. To give you an idea The Shelter is akin to Book of Job from the Old Testament. That was one parallel that I was going for (you can learn more background on the ins and outs of the film via the Audio Commentary on the DVD).
In closing, I’ve recently come the realization that The Shelter was basically my “message in a bottle” to the world. My intent was to move, stimulate and make the viewer think and I was so blessed to have Michael Pare in the lead to help me convey that. To be honest, the most rewarding reaction that came out of making the film has been the people that reached out to me after seeing it in person or online to let me know how it moved them or urged them to look at themselves, look at their Faith or at their past mistakes. It touched me that the film touched others. All I needed.
Here are some quotes from some of The Shelter reviews that tapped into the Christianity laced meat of the film. Click the links to read the reviews! And if you do wind up seeing it because of this Blog entry, I truly hope that it stirs you one way or another. And if you hate it, that is okay too. Merry Christmas!
“Like Book of Job from the bible, Thomas is tested through supernatural signs that lead him to an emotional place in his heart he’s learnt to hide from. It’s an uncomfortable watch as real become unreal, but because it’s what Thomas desires he goes with the flow. And then the faucet of all that he wanted is turned off. ” – Britflick
“The Shelter swirls Christianity and Silent Hill-levels of guilt to torment its protagonist, and Fallon’s strong visual style combines with a very strong turn from Pare to good effect.” – Sci Fi Now
“The neon lights become the power of Christ and his need to beg forgiveness jostles with memories that aren’t allowed to fade.” – Starbust Magazine
“The film’s religious undertones remain apparent but they never feel overly preachy and, surprisingly and cleverly, draw out whatever spirituality we believe in, making Fallon’s intentions feel relevant to us in our own particular way.” – Scream Horror Mag
“There are a lot of religious references, as well as dreamy sequences bathed in light, where we are not quite sure whether to believe what we are seeing, or if it is merely a product of Thomas’ mind.” – Movieramblings
“The beauty of Fallon’s cinematic Lament Configuration is that through extensive use of religious iconography and flashbacks that offer suggestions as to how Thomas found himself in this predicament, there are multiple conclusions that the viewer may come to, and with Fallon wisely refusing to offer his own explanation of the film’s meaning it enables the viewer to take their own unique experience with them.” – This is Horror
“Filled to the rafters with religious iconography; statues of Jesus Christ, copies of the Bible and crucifixes of ever schism, are littered everywhere you care to look. The talismans represent Thomas’ need forgiveness, but he’s a stubborn man.” – The Hollywood News
“Blending elements of spirituality, horror and redemption within the faith based storytelling, you see a very complete film in THE SHELTER.” – Tom Holland Terror Time.
“God’s not explicitly mentioned, but even a lapsed Catholic or staunch atheist will get the feeling going into the final act and after the credits roll that someone, not of this world, can and will put you out of your misery… if you’ve given up.” – Britflick
“The Shelter is Bad Lieutenant meets The Last Temptation of Christ” – Julien Dunand (Producer/We Blew It)
Hey all, I’m happy to report that my company Bruise Productions Inc. just re-optioned the screenplay for Eric Red’s No Man’s Ridge and we’re going back on the attack. It’s a brilliant script that does what so many have failed at doing: making Bigfoot scary again.
Of course Eric Red is the iconic writer/director behind horror classics such as THE HITCHER, BODY PARTS, BAD MOON and 100 FEET.
We also have Robert Kurtzman, co-founder of Award Winning Effects house KNB (From Dusk Till Dawn, Texas Chainsaw 3D) attached to execute the SFX. See the design of our Big Boy below.
No Man’s Ridge is about:
A helicopter soars over the forests in the remote Wyoming wilderness of No Man’s Ridge area. Inside are five heavily armed and formidable hunters all dressed in militarized camouflage fatigues and face paint. They have state of the art high-powered rifles, heavy caliber handguns, crossbows and hunting gear. The extreme hunters are there to bag a Bigfoot— the ultimate hunt for the ultimate trophy. The hunters wear hat cams with compact high-resolution HD cameras to record the hunt. They also have gun cams for their rifle barrels, bow cams and portable trail cameras to put on trees. In the far reaches of the wilds, the people are dropped from the hovering chopper by cable into deep forest, fifty miles from civilization. When the five hunters see an actual giant BIGFOOT walking through the woods a half-mile away, it seems like the creature doesn’t have a chance—but it’s the other way around.
I will be at the FRONTIERES MARKET, under my Bruise Productions banner from July 20 to July 24 trying to find the missing pieces for three of my upcoming film projects. To book a meeting with me, e-mail me at email@example.com. Scroll down for the 3 synopsis. Screenplay, mood boards and presentations (with first money and varied attachments listed) available upon requests.
Apocalypse Now by way of Vikings!
Synopsis: 1149. William and Roland, two Templars, are on their way back home after losing the second Crusade. Both men are dealing with the weight of the war and of having failed God quite differently. Roland is repentant, attempting to correct his wrongs via good deeds and kindness, while William justifies his harshness by claiming that every hardship is a test and part of “God’s will”. As if the increasing divide between the two men wasn’t enough, they also have to face a slew of deadly obstacles on their journey through a civil war torn England while being chased by a mysterious assassin with an agenda of his own. The sudden presence of Anna, a bewitching woman, on their path eventually brings the palpable tension to a boil.
John Wick meets La Femme Nikita!
Synopsis: At 16 years old, Eva was kidnapped, drugged and forced to sell herself by sex traffickers. 10 years later, after a life of all too frequent physical and psychological abuse, a now 26 years old Eva is addicted to drugs and is completely dead inside. That’s until an encounter with a “John” goes violently wrong and sends her to the brink of death. Eva eventually recovers and for the first time in 10 years, she is free of her captors and the substances that had such a hold her. Once back in the world, she only has one thing on her mind: vengeance against those who robbed her of her life. And with the help of a mysterious stranger, she goes about attaining her retribution in harsh and brutal ways.
The Babadook meets Stephen King’s Misery!
Synopsis: When an older man living alone in the woods saves the life of a young woman, they are forced to coexist but chaos ensues when the woman makes a terrifying discovery in the cellar behind the man’s cabin.
In the year 2000, urged by best bud and JoBlo.com head honcho Berge Garabedian, I started a dinky little site called Arrow in Head under his JoBlo.com dome, thinking that only me and my mom would read it. And here we are 17 years later and the site is still one of the top horror sites on the net, kicking that ass! Who knew?!
On that, I just wanted to give you all a heads up, that Arrow in the Head has teamed up with PUFF i.e. the Philadelphia Unnamed Film Festival. We’ll be the go-to site for all of the updates on the Festival. Moreover, Managing Editor of AITH Eric Walkuski and myself (above) will be on hand in Philly to present the Opening Night film and receive the Legacy Award.
The Philadelphia Unnamed Film Festival is currently slated to take place on September 28th to October 1st at the Proscenium Theater at the Drake. PUFF 2017 is still currently accepting short and feature submissions through Withoutabox, Film Freeway, and FFLife through their official site HERE; submissions will close on August 18, 2017.by
I am happy to announce that I recently joined the Woodland Grey team as Producer. Solid and unique script, a talented director in Adam Reider (named as one of the top Montreal directors of 2017 by Cult Montreal) and two take no prisoners producers in Francesco Giannini and Christina Saliba.
We’re presently at the financing and casting stages (got some exciting names circling the project). More news as it comes in! Till then, check out the film’s FB page here.by