DIRECTOR: PJ STARKS
PRODUCER: RODNEY NEWTON
(These Guys Also Take Credit For Writers/Creative Team/Etc.)
Here’s a synopsis from the Official Website:
Days before the annual opening of Slaughter on Second Street, Owensboro’s premiere haunted attraction, a tragedy befalls one of their own. Despite pleas from the manager, Buck Masters, the attraction is shut down until the mystery is solved. In his frustration, Buck devises a plan to get the haunt back on its feet and make some extra money while he’s at it. Playing on the rumors that the attraction may in fact be haunted, Buck brings in a rag-tag group of paranormal investigators to prove the rumors true. The investigator’s arrival is met with the feeling that something isn’t right, but it’s just another job…Or so they think! An unfriendly encounter with the building’s maintenance man, Mr. Jenkins, makes the team realize that the history of the building is far darker than they could have ever imagined and they may actually be visiting one of Owensboro’s most haunted sites. Locked in overnight, along with Buck, they begin their investigation which becomes interrupted when three volunteers appear from the dressing room amidst their goodbyes for the season they had worked so hard on. As the night goes on, the volunteers begin falling victim to fatal accidents that may or may not be supernatural. It is then that the investigators must solve the mystery of Slaughter on Second Street. One by one, the ghost hunters are preyed upon by malicious forces and must rely on each other if they are to survive the night. Who will live to see morning and who will perish before the true secrets of Slaughter on Second Street are uncovered?
Alrighty, so, what did I think? Well, first of all, it’s much MUCH better than that shitfest Stockholm Syndrome, but that doesn’t really do it justice (because I could take a shit, film it, and put it out on DVD and that’d be a better film). The reason I bothered to put the two in the same sentence is that they’re both examples of independent horror filmmaking. Unlike ‘SS’, however, I really liked Hallows Eve.
First with the bad: Of course, given the “out of pocket” financing, there are going to be particular technical problems, sound, lighting, stage actors, etc. But hell, I mean, the actors were working for free from what I understand, and given that, they didn’t do that bad of a job. There were particular moments that actually stood out as far as acting talent goes. I loved hearing the southern inflection from time to time (as I’m a southerner myself, and all these actors today just try to cover it up. FLY THAT SOUTHERN FLAG, ASSHOLES. Wait…that might come off as racist. Meh, fuck it.). If you can get past some of the Technical flaws, however, and sit back, pop some popcorn, drink a guiness, and relax, you’ll experience what I experienced.
HERE’S A BIT OF INFORMATION FROM PJ STARKS ABOUT THE MAKING OF THE FILM:
In Aug of 2007 we went to a film fest and watched a low budget film that we were less than satisfied with, but ultimately the film had garnered some amount of success & accolades from hitting up other festivals. Rodney Newton (Producer) & I work at a non-profit tv station here in Owensboro KY & had been wanting to do a film together for a long while and decided it was time to put our head together and create a project that would eventually become Hallows Eve. Our motivation was simple, we believe that we have an amazig talent pool in our community and using all local resources we wanted to bring artists together from all walks of lifes an backgrounds to be apart of something unique. Johnny Depp is not the only real actor that was born here and we felt it was time they got their chance to prove it. So with that in mind we began to process of recruiting individuals from around our area to help out in our endeavor. The budget for the film came directly out of mine & Rodney’s pocket; all cast and crew were volunteering their time and efforts to help bring the project to fruition. We had someone compose an original score as well as had 8 original songs created by 8 local bands in the area, all donated to project. We had an 8 month pre-production process, shot the film over 2 months and then spent the next 2 editing the film. We premiered Hallows Eve on October 31st 2008 to a full house that was also a benefit where all proceeds were donated to a non-profit organization. Essentially our goal was to amass an army of likeminded individuals from FX to costuming to sound and so forth to help bring our vision to life. The project may have started with us but it ended with a lot of dedicated and passionate souls who without their help this could not have been possible.
This movie was just a fun little horror/mystery romp. If you don’t notice right away, I’m going to give away the obvious connections to Scooby Doo. All the characters are there (Scooby was a black guy named Doobie), and “Scooby and Shaggy” are smokin’ weed all the time (as we ALL know they did in the cartoon, baking out the Mystery Machine). Fred, Velma, and, uh…the Hot one. They were all there. But imagine if Scooby Doo was on ACID! This film delivered on the gore, let me tell you. A chick’s nose gets ripped off, guts hangin’ out, hatchet to the crotch, WHAMMY! HA! just to name a few. And the story was a pretty damn decent little mystery (even though I called it), however it’s left sort of open ended where you could draw your own conclusions towards the end. There was even a “And I would’ve Gotten Away With It Too” speech. I got Owen from THE BACKWOODS HORRORSHOW to watch it with me and he also said it was a pretty decent little film. I’m not sure about when or where you’ll be able to buy this flick, but I’d suggest you SUPPORT INDEPENDENT HORROR and check this one out. KEEP AMERICA STRONG, WATCH (INDEPENDENT) HORROR MOVIES!!
I’d like to see what these guys could do in the future with a higher budget. There’s definitely a spark of talent there I’d like to see become a flame of independent horror greatness.