From the wilds of New Jersey comes a madman who’s found the perfect place to hide out, in the independent fright feature A PLACE IN HELL. We’ve got some exclusive photos and words with the movie’s writer/director.
Notable as one of the screen’s only African-American slashers, A PLACE IN HELL’s Harrison Graves (Atif Lanier) has his roots in real life. “The film’s genesis began when Sonny Velozzi of Don’t Go There Productions approached me about making a film together,” David Boorboor (pictured right), who scripted and helmed HELL, tells Fango. “He set up a meeting with his friend, producer Ed Cuffe, who brought Mike Reuten into the meeting, where we had an hour-long conversation about JAWS. So Cufflink Productions would finance a film I would write and direct; the only caveat was that it must be a horror movie. No problem, because I’ve been a huge fan of the genre for as long as I can remember. I’ve always been fascinated by movies about serial killers, from HALLOWEEN to THE SILENCE OF THE LAMBS, and began researching such murderers in my area. I came across African-American necrophiliac Harrison Graham, and began to study his backstory.”
Graham, the so-called “Corpse Collector” who murdered and violated seven women in Philadelphia, became the inspiration for Graves, who violently preys on a group of college students in the midst of shooting a horror flick for a class project. Now Boorboor needed an appropriate setting for the bloodshed, and found it around the same time the project was launched. “Mario Cerrito, another local filmmaker, had approached Sonny about a script he was working on and a place he wanted to shoot it,” Boorboor recalls; that location was the Night of Terror haunted attraction at Creamy Acres Farms in Mullica Hill, NJ. “ ’This place is like a Hollywood backlot for horror,’ one of my characters says, and that’s what I felt to the core of my being. When I scouted the place, I knew in my guts that it was where we had to make this film. All I had to do was drink moonshine with the owner, Ron Armbruster, and convince him that this would be a good deal for him; he was kind and generous and allowed us to shoot there for a very nominal fee.”
A PLACE IN HELL’s cast also includes Noree Victoria, Brandon Essig (1st photo below), Caroline Elizabeth, Brooke Storms (2nd photo), Danny Donnelly (3rd photo), Krista Robelle (4th photo with Lanier) and BUCKAROO BANZAI’s Lewis Smith (5th photo with Victoria) as a detective nursing a longtime obsession with catching the maniac. “Lewis and Noree are both friends of mine, and worked for a very reasonable amount to get the picture made,” Boorboor says. The makeup FX were created by Josh Turi, who has worked on features big and small as well as TV shows like DAREDEVIL and ORANGE IS THE NEW BLACK, and the film also employed the services of “death coach” Heather Drew, who made sure the onscreen demises rang true. You can see the movie’s trailer below the photos and visit the official website and Facebook page.