EDWARD LEE'S HEADER HEADS FOR THE SCREEN
FANGORIA writer/literary specialist Thomas Deja reports in with news of an adaptation of one of the genre?s more extreme writers:
When you?re producing a horror film, you expect protests of disbelief from many fronts: community and religious leaders, film critics, producers. But when the author who wrote the novella a film is based on expresses disbelief?that?s saying something.
? ?There?s no way they can do this,? I thought,? claims Edward Lee, the hardcore horror maven whose novella HEADER is being prepped for the big screen. ?I felt the movie would be banned, and the producers would get thrown in jail. Either that or they were out of their friggin? minds.?
If you possess any familiarity with the source material, Lee?s disbelief is understandable. The author is known for his blackly comic tales filled with over-the-top grue and politically incorrect tableaux, and HEADER is arguably the crown jewel of his career. The tale of a cop investigating a particularly messy form of backwoods revenge involving a sexual insult achieved through the use of power tools, it would not seem tailor-made for filming.
?People tend to think that prose writers always deliberately craft their work for film,? Lee elaborates, ?to make it more adaptable and attractive to potential movie producers structurally, conceptually, etc. But this definitely was not the case with HEADER. My goal was to write a backwoods murder mystery with a police procedural element and take it way, way over the top on the gross-o-meter.?
To Lee?s surprise, HEADER, which was directed by Archibald Flancranstin, produced by Michael Anthony and scripted by Michael E. Kennedy, has proven to be an exceptionally faithful version of his tale. ?I thought for sure that the story would be so altered, and all the most explicit scenes cut. It would be impossible to film the gory moments as I wrote them. But when I saw the makeup appliances the FX crew had made, I almost screamed. The stuff looked so real, it actually disturbed me. I did a cameo scene with one of the murder victims, and I had nightmares later.?
Indeed, the prosthetics crew quickly won Lee over on the shoot. ?I didn?t get to see any dailies, but all day long the producer and makeup effects guys were telling me that everything was going great,? says the author (pictured on set). ? ?Wait?ll you see the head-shot we did yesterday,? someone said. So then the makeup technician showed me a 15-second clip that she?d shot on her personal digital camera. I couldn?t believe the quality of the work. It looked to me like the character got shot in the head for real.?
The film will finish postproduction in April. No release date has been set, but the producers promise to let Fango know whenever there?s any news. So we'll keep you posted.
Courtesy of Fangoria