This writer caught up with prolific horror screenwriter Patrick Melton (the man behind such frightful fare – along with cohort Marcus Dunstan – as the Feast series, Saw IV through 3D and The Collector) and now co-author of the novel Black Light last night to pick his brain on the latter as well as to gather his thoughts on his co-penned scripts Piranha 3DD and The Collection (the latter the sequel to the 2009 Liddell Entertainment release The Collector).
“The Collection is coming along very nicely,” said the thirty-six year-old Illinois transplant of post-production. “We just picked up a couple of shots here in LA and are working them into the new edit. The film is a tight little horror flick that expands the universe a bit and sheds more light on ‘The Collector’, our masked killer. For the first film we saw the killer out in the world, but for this one we’re mainly trapped in his house of horrors. We pick up about two weeks after the last one ended, with poor Arkin still in the box, of course. Some people assumed that Arkin died at the end of the last one, but he’s still alive, and he’s going to continue to cause trouble for ‘The Collector’ on very unfamiliar territory this time. It’s a fun little game of cat-and-mouse set in this creepy location with deadly traps around every corner.”
Regarding the intended release date of the Liddell Entertainment flick (which stars Josh Stewart, who returns to reprise his role of ‘Arkin’, Emma Fitzpatrick, Lee Tergesen, and Christopher McDonald, with effects by Gary Tunnicliffe), Melton said with a smile, “Barring an Academy Awards qualifying run at the end of the year, I think we’ll probably hit theaters some time in 2012.”
“With Halloween approaching, it is a little strange not to have a Saw film opening,” reflected the writer of his long-standing association with that horror series, “but we do have a supernatural horror novel titled Black Light coming out in October and Piranha 3DD coming out around Thanksgiving so those will have to substitute for no Jigsaw.”
Set to be published by Mulholland Books on October 13th in trade paperback and eBook, Black Light (according to the novel’s PR) revolves around Buck Callahan, a private investigator whose unique gifts place him in demand for those looking for quick solutions to supernatural problems. Fast approaching his forties, Buck is obsessed with the long departed spirits of his mother and father, who were killed when he was a child. He has no memory of the event and has been using his Gift to look deep into the ‘Blacklight’ for years in a desperate attempt to contact them and solve the mystery of his forgotten past. But lately, the voices are growing dimmer, until Buck gets a call from a reclusive billionaire and finds himself plunged headfirst into the biggest and most harrowing case of his career – one that will either reveal the shocking secrets of his life, or end it forever.
“Our novel is very serious and scary like Saw,” mused Melton of the supernatural-noir tome, which he co-wrote with Dunstan and Stephen Romano, and which he’ll be signing with Dunstan at LA’s own horror bookstore Dark Delicacies (3512 W. Magnolia Blvd., Burbank, CA) on October 18th at 7pm.
On Piranha 3DD, a film directed by Feast series captain John Gulager, which stars Katrina Bowden, Christopher Lloyd, Danielle Panabaker and Ving Rhames (which releases wide on November 23), “It’s the polar opposite in tone from Black Light. Just the other day I watched the latest edit, and it’s insane – blood, boobs, and piranhas galore. It’s in the same playful tone as the first film, picking up about a year later at a water park down-stream. I was hoping Dimension Films would have the trailer play before (the currently running) Apollo 18, but it wasn’t ready in time. The trailer is so much fun, and I can’t wait for everyone to see it. Considering it has ‘DD’ in the title, it’s pretty much exactly what you’d expect: a wild and crazy ride best watched with friends and served with a cocktail.”
As for the future of the Saw series, “There are always rumblings with something as successful as those films,” Melton concluded, “but I haven’t heard anything concrete yet. Either way, I don’t think we’d be involved.”
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