Fango learned during its recent Burbank, CA Weekend of Horrors that brothers John and Spencer Gray (the production team behind director Ethan Dettenmaier’s upcoming horror film SIN-JIN SMYTH) are set to tackle the horror project JOB (named for the biblical Book), a film which has already become “the source of much debate and controversy among certain religious groups in the Los Angeles area” (according to the film’s official press release). John Gray, who co-wrote and will direct the movie, provided Fango with an update on the subversive slasher he hopes to have in theaters October 31, 2007.
To be produced by the independent production outfit Snapkick Productions (based on the Warner Hollywood lot), JOB revolves around the gruesome disappearance of several priests who run a summer camp for boys. Joining him on the production are SIN-JIN SMYTH producers Lota Hadley and Travis Dultz, with actor Lee (KATIEBIRD*CERTIFIABLE CRAZY PERSON) Perkins already signed on. Snapkick is presently in talks with actors Bill (THE DEVIL’S REJECTS) Moseley and Michael (FURNACE) Paré to star. “We are also talking to some other big genre favorites,” Gray says, [and horror] fans are going to be extremely pleased.”
To create the film’s grue, the production has acquired FX talent in the form of Duke Cullen of Make-Up and Monsters (the group behind the JEEPERS CREEPERS films), who will push the gore quotient to “the extreme,” according to Gray. “The kills are pretty crazy; I hope to have audiences squirming in their seats.”
Gray aims to capture the spirit of a bygone era (“This will be very reminiscent of the slasher film that is no more; imagine FRIDAY THE 13th, HALLOWEEN and Dario Argento all rolled into one,” he says), and is refusing outside pressure to soften the subject matter. “We plan to keep this one dark,” he says, “and true to form for the fans of the horror genre!” Judging from the promo art, Gray clearly intends to live up to both goals, given the Michael Myers-esque mask and butcher knife uncomfortably juxtaposed with ecclesiastical dress. Regarding his murderous character’s none-too-subtle religious symbolism, he says, “The image of Job was created to make a huge impact, without saying much. The idea is to convey the message that JOB [the film] will be just as eerie and frightening as his image. The barbed-wire crown of thorns and the priest’s collar are blatantly symbolic of the greatest religious icon of all time. Do I need mention his name?”
Given such strong thematic undertones, one would surmise that the director had a strict religious upbringing. Gray says he falls somewhere in between: “My mother was very spiritual and my father was more of a ‘Holy Blood, Holy Grail’ type of guy. I got into the church in my teens, quite heavily as a matter of fact—until my pastor told me I’d go to hell for making horror films. I never went back.”
As for the film’s setting, Gray says, “That is hard to talk about without spoiling the film. I really love the imagery: old brick buildings, lots of stained glass, flowing robes. The visual potential is extraordinary. I’m just trying to tell a scary story that has a deeper meaning and that will truly affect people and cause them to be introspective and to seek further. If that happens, that’s a great thing, and hopefully some groups will face the truth about issues that are not being dealt with. JOB addresses these issues and will bring certain things out in the open once and for all. A lot of people will be vindicated by this film’s message. Hopefully, that will translate into the horror community.”
Keep an eye on the film’s official site here (at present it’s simply a splash page, but the director promises more info soon), and stay tuned to Fango for further developments.