Sticky rivers of beer and pop; ghoulish make-up; excited horror fans getting to work with the genius mind behind one of the 80s most beloved creature flicks. You don’t come across those ingredients everyday – so when it comes along, you jump on that spongy beast with enthusiasm!
Indeed, after twenty some years away from the horror film making field, Douglas McKeown, director of the chewy, beloved Deadly Spawn, set upon Chicago this October, with a cinematic vengeance. In a matter of days, he and a bevy of local talent (including amazing DP and film editor Jayme Joyce) created a fun, short terror film (ZADD) with a pertinent social message attached to boot!Eager participants (including artist Mitch O’Connell and his infant son, Double Page Spread’s Wendi Freeman, Chateau Grrr’s Chad Hawks and myself) gathered at the historic Portage Theater, one Thursday, for an afternoon of intense mayhem. We were all playing ghouls who had been run over by an extremely dangerous drunk driver. Once some minimal grey face make-up was applied (often by McKeown himself), we lumbered into the theater. Soon we were all hovering behind the seats in the theaters, trying to ignore the calcified remains of beverages that had dried on the floors and were now sticking to our hands. After appropriately scaring our murderer, an action that McKeown directed with knowing insistence and humor, we washed our deadliness off in the theater’s tiny sink and soon adjourned to a local parking lot. There, we enacted our death scenarios. Let’s just say, anyone who ever had a fantasy involving James Brolin and 70s cult masterpiece The Car slept soundly that night.
After a day and a half of consistent editing and some voiceover magic, ZADD premiered at The Massacre 2014 on Saturday, October 18th, before a rare screening of Deadly Spawn. With a solid premise, a surprise cameo appearance from Ari Lehman from Friday the 13th and a ghoulish sense of 50s monster movie dread, this little flick proves that McKeown hasn’t lost any movie making magic.
Be sure to keep up with McKeown at: https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Deadly-Spawns-director-Douglas-McKeown and, while you’re at it, urge him to procure an online release for ZADD as soon as possible.
Until the next time- SWEET love and pink GRUE, Big Gay Horror Fan!