Former FANGORIA scribe and longtime pal Tim Sullivan sure is on a roll. His 2001 MANIACS (which he co-wrote and directed) screens on Friday at Hollywood’s Screamfest prior to its Lions Gate debut, while SNOOP DOGG’S HOOD OF HORROR (which he co-produced and co-wrote) recently wrapped in downtown LA. Next week Sullivan steps behind the camera again for DRIFTWOOD.
DRIFTWOOD stars Ricky Ullman, Talan (LAGUNA BEACH) Torriero, Russell (RULES OF ATTRACTION) Simms, MANIACS’ Lin Shaye (“She’s my good luck charm,” Sullivan says) and DEVIL’S REJECTS/HOOD OF HORROR tough guy Diamond Dallas Page. As previously noted, DRIFTWOOD, which Sullivan co-wrote with HOOD/MANIACS partner Chris Kobin, concerns a teenage attitude-adjustment facility haunted by the ghost of a kid once murdered there. “These ‘Scared Straight’ camps have sprung up all over the U.S. ever since Columbine,” Sullivan tells Fango. “They are horrible places, but a good setting for a horror film. So I pitched the idea to Dark Horse Indie, executive producer Mike [ALIEN VS. PREDATOR] Richardson’s new company, and the film got set up there in record time. They loved the script.”
Fans should expect a different kind of horror movie than Sullivan’s blood-drenched previous directorial effort. “DRIFTWOOD is more subdued, more like SESSION 9 or THE DEVIL’S BACKBONE,” he says. “It’s character-driven and not a gorefest. In the story, Ricky plays a troubled kid who gets thrown into this hellish place. His character is having a tough time adjusting to life after his rock star brother, played by Russell Simms, overdoses. Ricky has all this guilt, and his trauma connects him with the ghost at the troubled youth facility. Our hero then clashes with the evil warden [Page] and Talan, one of the guards who beats on the kids. Connor Ross, who was just on SURFACE, plays the ghost.”
The filmmakers are already garnering a great deal of attention for the hot young cast who signed up. “This time I’m getting just as many calls from Teen People as from FANGORIA to cover the film, as the actors come from all these popular TV shows on Disney Channel and MTV,” Sullivan says.
Sullivan and company will be lensing at, appropriately, an abandoned juvenile correction facility 30 minutes north of LA. His old New Jersey buddy Vincent (HOOD OF HORROR) Guastini will be tackling DRIFTWOOD’s makeup FX. The director had to pinch himself after he hired another key crew member. “Bud Smith will be editing DRIFTWOOD,” Sullivan reveals. “He edited THE EXORCIST, my favorite horror film of all time. He also cut CAT PEOPLE, DARKMAN and TO LIVE AND DIE IN L.A., so this is a dream come true for me to be working with him. Bud will also direct my 2nd unit, like he did for William Friedkin on a few of his films [SORCERER, C.A.T. SQUAD]. He really loves our script.”
Sullivan will introduce his DRIFTWOOD cast at Screamfest’s 2001 MANIACS red carpet premiere this Friday, October 21, at 9:30 p.m. Tickets are available here.