We’ve been talking about Harrison Smith’s latest film, Death House, for a while now; and finally we’re back with some fresh details and casting news.
From the Press Release:
The media has dubbed it “The Expendables of Horror,” but Death House director and writer Harrison Smith likens it more to the horror version of It’s A Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World.
Produced by Entertainment Factory LLC with producers Rick Finklestein and Steven Chase, the project sprouted from the mind of horror vet and icon, the late Gunnar Hansen. Hansen’s original story had floated around Hollywood since 2010 and was brought to Harrison Smith in Los Angeles last year.
“Gunnar had this eloquent horror story,” Smith remembers. “We met a number of times for face-to-face work sessions and then did the phone calls to refashion the script into a an action and horror vehicle.”
Death House is not a “who’s who” gimmick movie. It is not a film where such iconic actors as Kane Hodder and Tony Todd will reprise their onscreen alter egos as Jason and Candyman and go at it in some kind of “Avengers” or “Abbott and Costello” mashup. This is a whole new film with these actors playing all new characters.
Before we get to the IMDb rundown of horror vets, the production is excited to announced Cody Longo (Piranha 3D) and Cortney Palm as federal agents Jae Novak and Toria Boon.
A litany of horror veterans round out an acclaimed cast with many sharing the same screen for the first time, including the newly announced Tony Todd, Tiffany Shepis, Vincent Ward, Vernon Wells, Adrienne Barbeau, and Debbie Rochon along with the previously announced Robert Englund, Kane Hodder, Doug Bradley, Bill Moseley, Michael Berryman, Dee Wallace, Danny Trejo, Barbara Crampton, Ken Foree, Don Shanks, and Camille Keaton.
Almost every special effect will be practical and under the creation of Roy Knyrim’s SOTA FX. Some exclusive onset photos will be coming soon highlighting the effects artistry. Digital imagery will be there to supplement and augment, not take center stage. It will beautifully support the look and tone of this film.
The film will shoot this April in Philadelphia and Los Angeles. The horror world lost Gunnar November 2015, and his last wishes were for Death House and going into production as his last film. Gunnar will make a “cameo” in the film as well.
The Death House is the Area 51 of Evil… a subterranean government facility that holds humanity’s worst on nine levels. Hell, Dante’s ninth level, holds the Five Evils… the “dark stars” of Death House. These individuals are so heinous they can never walk among society again. They may also be supernatural.
Agents Toria Boon and Jae Novak have their own dark pasts, arriving at Death House to tour its levels and observe its denizens first-hand as well as the medical and mental experiments of Drs. Eileen Fletcher and Karen Redmane. Their depraved experiments date back to the Nazi doctors of WWII.
Prison cells are virtual reality holo decks that recreate prisoner environments before they were incarcerated. A special hallucinogenic gas keeps inmates under control. The victims are homeless, bused into Death House to play literal victims while killing habits are studied. The results are sick, but only a hint of what goes on here.
Hell literally breaks loose inside the facility when an EMP device detonates, killing all power and communication and… releasing every prisoner. Boon, Novak, and Fletcher are caught in a race against advancing prisoner hordes led by occultist Neo-Nazi Sieg. The monsters are freed, and they’re going down.
Boon and Novak’s fight through Death House turns into a house of horrors gauntlet; their only hope of escape is descending into Hell and enlisting the help of the Five Evils. Events culminate in a violent face-to-face standoff with absolute evil… only to find that they have traveled down a rabbit hole and through a looking glass. Black is white and white is black and the definitions of good and evil no longer apply.
Who are the monsters? Who will escape?