Fango got the scoop that Island Gateway Films producers Brian O’Toole and Eric Peter-Kaiser have started up a new horror banner called Black Gate Entertainment, planning a slate of horror films to be produced in the $500,000-$1 million range. First up is EVILUTION, which begins shooting May 23, followed by BASEMENT JACK, rolling in August; both were scripted by O’Toole, who previously penned the monster flick CEMETERY GATES and co-produced DOG SOLDIERS, and will lens in the LA area.
EVILUTION marks the directorial debut of editor Chris Conlee, whose credits include ABOMINABLE, BOO and the upcoming SIMON SAYS; “Chris’ understanding of what works to make a horror film scary is impressive,” O’Toole says. Peter-Kaiser will star as Captain Darren Hall, a military scientist who steals a contained alien intelligence from a government lab, only for it to get loose and infect the residents of an apartment building. “What I like about the role of Darren,” says Peter-Kaiser, “is that he is a sympathetic character, not unlike Dr. Frankenstein, whose intentions were good but, unfortunately, could not foresee the terrible evil that he was unleashing onto the world.” Also in the cast are Tim (LEPRECHAUN 4) Colceri, Sandra (THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA) Ramirez, Guillermo Diaz, Nathan Bexton, James (MAD COWGIRL) Duval, The Cult bassist Billy Morrison, GATES’ Peter Stickles, Kristin Novak and Noel (HOOD OF HORROR) Gugliemi.
In BASEMENT JACK, Peter-Kaiser plays a very different role: the titular villain, who sneaks into houses to watch happy families in hopes of relieving the trauma of his own abusive childhood, only to snap and slaughter them. “Jack Riley is a fascinating character,” the actor/producer says. “In his mind, the victim must fit the crime. If you look back at all the successful movie maniacs, their genesis came from some deep loss of innocence: As a child, Freddy Krueger was beaten by an alcoholic father; Jason Voorhees saw his overly protective mother beheaded; Michael Myers didn’t understand puberty and lashed out. My character was raised by a sadistic mother who used electricity as a way to discipline. Although there is never an excuse for murder, BASEMENT JACK tries to explain a bit of the madness by getting into the head of this tormented soul.”
This film will be directed by Michael Shelton, a visual FX artist on the likes of HOUSE ON HAUNTED HILL, THE EXORCISM OF EMILY ROSE and the soon-to-be-released BIG BAD WOLF and THE WIZARD OF GORE. “I worked with Michael on another feature,” O’Toole says, “and I was blown away by his artistry and ability to bring horrifying images to life. But beyond the magic he creates with his computer, Michael impressed me with his deep commitment to story and character. Each effect he does comes with its own tale, which reveals incredible talent.
“We are looking to develop films that have the ability to crawl up a spine and leave a neverending shiver,” O’Toole continues, speaking of Black Gate’s overall ambitions. At our current budgets, we may be limited to the old ‘one monster, one location’ rule, but I believe that financial restraint helps bring out the creativity in talented people.” We’ll keep you informed of the progress of these and the company’s other features; you can find out more at Island Gateway’s official site.