Fango correspondent Glen Baisley got some info from actor Pete Barker about a new horror film Barker just finished acting in, titled SEA OF DUST and co-starring a couple of genre veterans. “I play Chalmers, the sinister manservant,” Barker tells Fango. “My counterpart, Anna, the pleasant, nice maidservant, was played by Ingrid Pitt, the ‘Queen of Hammer Horror Films’ some 30 years ago. She was delighted to have been asked to appear in this movie, and two of the other actors were such types and hung on her every word. We also had Tom Savini as the prime villain.
“In one scene, I am seen bullwhipping Ingrid—properly coached by the stunt coordinator,” Barker continues. “I am then knocked unconscious by the hero and, in the next scene, he whips me with a cat o’ nine tails. I was flat on my face, and the stunt coordinator had trained the actor to keep his right shoulder somewhat retracted so as not to hit me. On the very last swing, however, he put everything into it and caught me with three of the leather straps. Since I was already screaming, only a few saw the actual contact, and then it was, ‘Oh my God, the old guy was hit!’ Other than the initial sting, however, there was no further pain, but I still retain the three stripes on my back—a virtual badge of honor.”
Lensed in the New York City area, SEA OF DUST, whose official website can be found here, was written and directed by Scott Bunt and is set at the turn of the 20th century. The site further describes the film as “a melding of Gothic horror conventions and social satire. The plot concerns the resurrection/manifestation of Prester John [Savini]—a mythical figure utilized by the Church to solicit human fodder for its crusades. This dark-willed personage, assisted by numerous mythological creatures, begins the work of creating a new religion, one celebrating pain and suffering. In essence, SEA OF DUST is a morality tale, [with] Prester John—an early symbol of power and control—representing the dangers of blind commitment to any ideology, religious or otherwise.” The cast also includes Troy Holland, Darby Totten, Edward X. Young, Bill Timoney, Sarah Dauber and Stuart (SILENCE OF THE LAMBS) Rudin.
“I have no idea where these young people got the money,” Barker adds, “but we had a full professional crew, and there was tremendous attention paid to color and the composition of the onscreen look.”