PLASTIC SURGEON TO MAKE FIRST VAMPIRE
The Canadian Press reports:
B.C. actor Andrew Jackson will play a 13th-century Viking warrior in a new take on the vampire myth being created by Los Angeles plastic-surgeon- turned-director Jason Todd Ipson.
``(Jackson's) going to be playing one of the supporting characters _ the primary barbarian coming back from being abroad,'' Ipson said of his film The First Vampire.
The Jackson-commanded longship returns to Sweden to find ``the people are drained of blood, they're dying,'' Ipson said. He comes home and dies with his wife as their child is carried off by a vampire.
``The audience is in store for a whole bunch of surprises, a lot of twists with regard to the whole vampire legend,'' Jackson said. ``This is not classic horror. When people watch it, they're going to look upon vampirism as a very real condition.''
Vampirism, also known as Gunther's disease or congenital erythropoietic porphyria, is a rare condition in which sufferers become hairy and disfigured and, owing to extreme photosensitivity, tend to avoid sunlight.
Ipson won't say who's being courted to play the leads but hinted there are some ``big British stars'' involved. The film is being produced by Beverly Hills-based Asgaard Entertainment.
He said the kernel of the film's idea came in his first year of medical school in Utah. He worked on a genetic project involving vampirism, the first outbreak of which he says occurred in Scandinavia and reappeared 200 years later in Romania.
The film is ``about the times in Sweden where religion and science were splitting,'' and it's a science-based physician and not a clergyman who takes on the vampire, Ipson said.
``That is one of the underlying themes as this village has to deal with this vampire. We set out after it and wind up in a whole city or whole world of vampires that are up on the northern border of Sweden and Finland.''
Jackson, the son of a Canadian Forces padre once based at CFB Petawawa, said Ipson is ``very interested in going after the historical accuracy. If people feel they're going to be watching a horror film they're in for a big surprise.''
The First Vampire was originally a short film funded through U.S.-based Sloan Foundation. The group funds films that are scientifically relevant, Ipson said.
``The reason I left surgery was because of education,Ipson said. ``I love teaching. By crossing over into entertainment . . . you have the biggest classrooms in the world.''
Production is tentatively set to start in February in Norway and later in another European country yet to be determined.
Courtesy of Canadian Press