Director Matthew (DEAD & BREAKFAST) Leutwyler is deep into production on his upcoming sophomore genre effort UNEARTHED. Fango had the fortunate chance to venture on down to Hollywood to sit in with editor Shawna Callahan and Leutwyler as they tweaked selected scenes from the film its helmer hopes to land on the Toronto Film Festival schedule. “It’s going to be tight to meet the submissions deadline,” he says with a confident smirk, fully aware that this means putting in a helluva lot more hours and making sure the visual FX are up to snuff and completed on time. “We’ve looked at a lot of the genre festivals, but Toronto’s the one we’re hoping to be at.”
And that’s not the only deadline looming over his head. At the time of Fango’s visit, Leutwyler is contemplating what to show the Weekend of Horrors crowd during the UNEARTHED panel with stars Luke Goss, M.C. Gainey and Emmanuelle Vaugier that’s scheduled for 4:10 p.m. this Saturday at the Burbank event.
To perhaps utilize Fango in the decision process and gauge this writer’s reaction, the director has Callahan punch up a few sequences on the Avid, the first being a moment in which Vaugier’s Sheriff Annie discovers a traffic-halting tractor-trailer wreck on a desert highway. There she discovers what appears to be a slimy, crablike appendage—an ambiguous omen of the humans-vs.-otherworldly-being struggle to come. The setpiece also allows a first look at Goss, his face inked with what appear to be tribal tattoos—with the sun at his back, it’s hard to be sure—and watching Annie from atop a nearby cliff.
Next up, Leutwyler bombards Fango with the monstrous goods that reveal his beastie—designed by MIMIC’s TyRuben Ellingson—in high-velocity slaughter mode. Agile and adroit in its movements, this…thing, as it’s revealed, has a few surprises up its sleeve which we won’t divulge here. As the final scene comes to an end, Fango spies a milk crate sitting by the door. Unashamed to peer closer, we make a discovery of our own: the source of Annie’s alien finding—except this ain’t just any crab leg, it’s the whole crab, obviously not of this Earth and one of the many practical FX creations used in the film. Put the bib, seafood cracker and warm butter on standby; this is one crustacean you don’t want to nibble on.
Judging by its parts, UNEARTHED appears to be a slick, good ol’ fashioned ’80s-inspired creature feature. It’s far and away a much larger production in terms of scope than Leutwyler’s knee-slapping zom-com DEAD & BREAKFAST, as evidenced by Ross Richardson’s rich photography. Expect more UNEARTHED coverage to come, and if you’re in the LA area, come see what Leutwyler brings along to Fango’s Weekend of Horrors on Saturday!
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