Fango spoke recently to Ellen Sandweiss, the EVIL DEAD star who recently relaunched her acting career in Dante Tomaselli’s SATAN’S PLAYGROUND, and she revealed she has another new chiller on the way. ”It’s called THE DREAD, and it’s a great horror movie,” she tells Fango. “It takes place in a mental institution that’s decrepit and being closed down, and I play Diane Benson, a very bitchy hospital administrator. I’m always pointing pencils at people, and I won’t give it away, but that’s a foreshadowing of how I die—because of course, like every other movie I’m in, I die in this one. We filmed in this great location in Kalamazoo, Michigan; it’s actually an old Western Michigan University building that is completely falling apart, and is about to be torn down. So it had perfect scary hallways and basements with drippy pipes—perfect to be used for an old mental facility.”
The plot centers on Alex, a catatonic adult patient in the hospital. “When he was a child—and this is done in flashbacks—he somehow was possessed by this monstrous force that was brought on by playing video games, and he murdered his parents,” Sandweiss explains. “After that, he went into the institution and his sister was adopted by another family. His sister, who is now grown up, finds out that she was adopted and that she had this brother, and comes back to look for him. At the same time, they’re trying out new therapies to get him un-catatonic; they try a video game and it brings out all the evil in him again, and everybody starts dying one by one.”
THE DREAD was directed by Michael (EDGE OF HONOR) Spence, and produced by Spence, David O’Malley (co-scripter of THE BOOGENS and director of the biker film EASY WHEELS, co-scripted by Sam and Ivan Raimi) and Michael (THE HIDDEN) Meltzer for their new Safe Harbor Productions. Sandweiss reveals that one of her old co-conspirators is also involved. “Tom Sullivan [creator of the stop-motion and Necronomicon for EVIL DEAD] is playing a role in this movie as a doctor, and he also designed the monster. So that’s very cool.” Plans are for THE DREAD to be released in early 2006.