Clive Barker’s new Midnight Picture Show label has cast and is gearing up to shoot its first feature film effort, THE PLAGUE. The “really intense” (per Barker) horror flick will star DAWNSON’S CREEK’s James Van Der Beek, Ivana (USA Network’s FRANKENSTEIN) Milicevic and Brad (COOKERS) Hunt. Veteran scream star Dee Wallace Stone, best known for E.T., THE HOWLING, CUJO and THE HILLS HAVE EYES and recently busy in BOO, ABOMINABLE and DEAD END ROAD, will also be featured in the film. Shooting starts August 22 in Winnepeg, Canada under the direction of first-timer Hal Masonberg (a ’90s-era Full Moon production assistant), who co-wrote the script with Teal Minton. FX artist Patrick (Barker’s SAINT SINNER) Tatopoulos has contributed some designs, while other makeup gags on the four-week production will be handled by Paul (NIGHTBREED) Jones.
“All the children of the world under 8 years old fall into a coma,” co-producer Anthony di Blasi tells Fango of the film’s plot. “THE PLAGUE is essentially the story of the extinction of mankind. After 10 years, the children wake up and want to kill the world. The 10 years they were asleep served as an incubation period, where the children develop their powers. When they awake, the bloodshed begins. Basically, in this story, God cleans house.”
Van Der Beek plays Tom, an ex-con returning home after doing time for murder. Upon his release, he discovers his hometown gone mad, with children violently dispatching adults in a scenario echoing Narcisco Ibañez Serrador’s haunting 1975 Spanish chiller QUIEN PAREDO MATAR A UN NINO? (a.k.a. ISLAND OF THE DAMNED). “The movie has very dramatic undertones,” says di Blasi. “In our story, James has to face his inner demons, as well as those on the outside.”
Midnight Picture Show is producing THE PLAGUE with Armada Pictures International (PARANOIA 1.0) and D.H. Blair Pictures. Next up for Midnight will be an adaptation of Barker’s BOOKS OF BLOOD story “The Midnight Meat Train,” which Tatopoulos will direct for Lions Gate release. That New York City subway-set terror yarn will shoot this fall, possibly in Montreal. For an exclusive interview with Barker, see FANGORIA #247, on sale September 20, and catch the master of dark fantasy live at our East Coast FANGORIA Weekend of Horrors convention, to be held September 24-25 at the Meadowlands Crowne Plaza Hotel (2 Harmon Plaza, Secaucus, New Jersey). See www.creationent.com for ticket info.