Dread Center and yours truly caught up with filmmaker Greg Beville this week to get the lowdown on Blackstar Canyon, an indie horror feature currently in pre-production which he wrote and will direct. Read on for the first details.
“We plan on shooting mid-summer 2012 in Newhall, California, on the Red EPIC,” said Beville of the status of Blackstar Canyon, which is set to star Brian Krause, Tiny Lister, Tippi Hedren (The Birds) and Belinda Balaski (The Howling). “The cinematographer will be Ricardo Gale (Touching Home),” Beville continued, “and Ty Mitchell (“Andy” in John Carpenter’s The Fog) will serve as camera operator.”
Having previously scripted the upcoming feature The Night Watch for Electric Cobalt Entertainment – the production house behind Blackstar Canyon – Beville described the latter as “a cross between Darabont’s The Mist and Repo Man, where hillbilly werewolves meet Hindu mythology. My intent is to deliver a character-driven, R-rated drama that just happens to be a horror film with monsters in it.” (See the film’s full synopsis below.)
Beville’s script is based on true events that have occurred in the eponymous canyon and adjacent city, Silverado Canyon. In March of 2004 Beville went to the “haunted area” as a skeptic with the intent to shoot a demo reel for MTV, which at the time was casting a “ghost hunter” for a supernatural investigation series. Setting out to debunk the multitude of occult rumors (which included sightings of burnt midget creatures, strange bonfire rituals and disfigured ranchers) which emanated from the area, Beville quickly became a believer after having a shotgun held to his nose by a one-eyed rancher within minutes of exploring an abandoned farm.
Ryan Banfield has been tapped to provide the flick’s creatures and gore, and for the soundtrack Beville has already acquired tracks from actor Chris Mintz-Plasse (Kick-Ass) and his band The Young Rapscallions, as well as songs from Stellar Corpses, The Electric Prunes, Psychotic Aztecs, Water District and A Toast for Consequence.
Additionally, Electric Cobalt Entertainment plans for a full-color 64-page graphic novel to be released in conjunction with the Blackstar Canyon film, which will serve as a follow-up to Tales From Blackstar, the black and white prequel comic penciled and inked by storyboard artist Josh Alves, which will be given away by the producers at the upcoming Monsterpalooza, running April 13-15 at the Marriott Burbank Airport Hotel and Convention Center in Burbank, CA.
Blackstar Canyon is located in eastern Orange County, California, near the Santa Ana mountain range. During 1831–1875 hundreds of Native Americans were slaughtered by white landowners to make room for larger ranches. With the removal of the Gabrielino-Tongva tribe members, the new settlers prospered with silver and coals mining for a brief time until the deposits were used up completely.
In modern times the largely abandoned mining site is the source of many occult rumors.
This shadowy valley was also the destination for two young couples from Laguna Beach High during Spring Break 2006. Their goal was to spend the night in Blackstar Canyon and see who would survive the urban legend dangers that haunt the area. Tyler and Alissa soon learned the secret the remaining townsfolk were protecting in the center of the mineshafts of Blackstar Canyon.
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