Earlier this week I had the opportunity to talk with Christie Palmer of BCRS Productions about Iconic Films upcoming release the 13th Sign. We talked about movies, upcoming projects, and what it was like to work with Ohio legend Mushroomhead. Now before we get into the interview let me give you a little back story about the company, and storyline for 13th Sign.
The plot of the movie
Twelve individuals who think they are competing for a million dollars on a New Reality TV Show are drugged, beaten, trapped and chained in a chamber room far below the earth buried under the ashes of a slaughterhouse that burned to the ground in the 1930’s. When the chamber doors open, the twelve contestants are soon faced with their worst fears when they realize that they have not just been kidnapped but that they are being used in the Devils Ritual held by his Fallen Angels, the Guardians Waylon Reavis and Jeff Hatrix who brutally torture and dismember their victims one by one, using their bodies to create an Alter for the Devil to open the gates and unleash hell on earth by the date 12-21-2012
BCRS Productions LLC was established in October 2010 in Detroit Michigan during the film industry boom in the state. At this same time, two things were making headlines in the news, the fact that the Mayan Indians predicted the end of the world was coming in December 21st 2012 and that astrologers announced that there were now 13 Signs in the Zodiac instead of just 12. With these two concepts in mind, producers came up with combining the two ideas and creating a horror film based around a reality show about the end of the world. At this point, producer Christie Palmer called in her friends from the band Mushroomhead, lead singers Waylon Reavis and Jeff Hatrix, to play the Iconic roles in the film to torture and kill the victims. BCRS Productions wanted to not only create a new concept for a horror film but also create the world which this film took place when they had all of the sets built in their studio. The production company created an underground world of chamber rooms with huge metal doors, bloody surgeon rooms, hallways and even alter rooms. Every location (other than the police scenes) were created in studio to bring this movie to life and give it a unique feeling of truly being captured, tortured and used in the Devil's ritual in the underground world.
Let me start off by asking...What were some of your favorite horror movies growing up?
I personally LOVE the original Texas Chainsaw Massacre and believe it or not I loved the 2003 version of the film as well. It was the actor R. Lee Ermey who played Sheriff Hoyt who did it for me. His character in the film was someone that worries me on every road trip I take! Also films like The Shinning, Salem's Lot, The Exorcist, Friday the 13th, Nightmare on Elm Street and Evil Dead. I love the classic slasher film and the iconic characters like Jason and Freddy but the films that left me psychologically messed up would have to be the Shinning and the Exorcist.
What was it like working working with Waylon Reavis & Jeff Hatrix from Mushroomhead?
Working with Waylon and Jeff was an amazing experience because they live these characters every day on stage. They were very professional but at the same time a lot of fun. I loved their ability to bring out true fear in the other actors by keeping their distance from them when they first got on set and their first encounter with them was when they walked into the scene for the first time twitching screaming in their faces. You could literally hear the fear in the other actor's voices as they delivered their lines because I think they truly felt intimidated by these guys.
Did they get all Aretha Franklin on the set?
They actually were a lot of fun to be on set with, you will be able to see them behind the scenes on the DVD extra bonus section. Jeff Hatrix stayed in character every moment he was on set, which scared the hell out of everyone. The funny thing about it is he is the nicest guy you will ever meet but by looking at him you would never think so. And Waylon is a southern gentlemen who made everyone laugh the second the cameras stopped rolling.
Any wild crazy moments on the set you care to tell... Goat slaughtering, chicken be-headings, anything?
The only really weird thing that happened on set involved Jeff Hatrix - while we were in the studio filming we would take photo's of Jeff and there would always be Orbs surrounding him. You wouldn't even have to take the picture....just hold up the camera and you could see them flying around him like crazy. People kept saying it was dirt in the air, but what was weird was if any other actor got into the frame the orbs would go away. They only showed up when Jeff was the one in the shot.
From what I could tell from your movie it shares a theme reminiscent of Saw. How does it differ from others in this sub-genre?
The people who have seen the film so far have said it reminds them of a later Saw or Hostel. I would agree with that as far as the blood and guts go based on the amount of blood we used while filming. What separates us from other films in the sub-genre would be the concept of the end of the world based on the Mayan's predictions of 2012 while incorporating characters like Waylon and Jeff. They bring the bands theatrical presents from stage to the film, Waylon is the character who draws you in close enough for Jeff to hack off your face.
If you could kick any Director in the nut-sac for a movie you hated. Who would it be, and what is the movie?
Well I do not want to insult Director Victor Salva for Jeepers Creepers because I did like the movie BUT I have to say I was a little disappointed in the end when we actually see the killer. It is just my own personal opinion that he was much more threatening with the distant shots of him. I stopped being freaked out once I saw who he was and it left me not wanting to watch part 2.
So how many theaters is 13th Sign slated for?
The film has currently been requested in 36 states and 12 other countries. We are slowly putting the tour together and so far we look like we are going to be hitting 10 theaters as of right now. This number will grow with the demand of the film by fans. Our plan is hitting Cleveland on June 21st, Columbus June 28th and working our way into Kentucky, Indiana, Michigan and St. Louis MO. We will be adding more dates and locations soon!
Getting back to your horror roots. What was the first movie to make you check to see if you shit your pants?
Well the very first movie to make me check my pants had to be Salem's Lot, only because my older brother forced me to watch it at age 6!
Really it is a toss up between Texas Chainsaw Massacre, The Shining and the Exorcist because they are freaked me out for different reasons. One of my biggest fears is to be driving in the middle of no where and be kidnapped by hillbillies, kept in their basement forever and becoming their weird gimp who lives in a cage (or hung on a hook like Texas chainsaw Massacre). Although The Shining scared the crap out of me because they did not have to use hardly any killing or blood scenes (other than the hallway) to scare people, it was all about the tension in that movie. And not to mention those freaky ass little girls! And the Exorcist is just too much....I love it so much but I find it still difficult to watch because I'm afraid that if I watch it then that shit is going to end up happening to me!
So can you tell us about any upcoming projects from Iconic Films?
We are working on another horror film with Waylon, Jeff and some other iconic figures from past horror films. We can't talk too much about it yet but we think the fans will love it. Shooting has not begun yet we are still in the early stages of putting it together.
What can Fans expect from this movie?
For horror film fans they should expect blood, guts and some great killing scenes. For Mushroomhead fans they can expect to see Waylon Reavis and Jeff Hatrix's on stage characters finally coming to life on the big screen to dismember, torture and kill reality show contestants. We picked reality show contestants to kill because we are so sick of all the shows and what people are willing to do today for fame. So when they die in some cases its a relief.