The Internet seems the perfect platform these days for any burgeoning indie anthology show so when we got wind of the upcoming web series Horror Hotel, we just had to take a look at what its rooms have to offer. Here’s your key… step on in…
A family affair since inception, Horror Hotel is the brainchild of award-winning costume designer and independent filmmaker Ricky Hess, produced in turn by him and Debbie and Al Hess. Said to be influenced by the likes of classics “The Twilight Zone” and “Alfred Hitchcock Presents,” Horror Hotel offers short slices of horror, thrills, suspense, comedy, and drama in a 12- to 20-minute per episode format.
Horror Hotel is set to take off with a world premiere on September 26th at Porter Sanford Arts Center, 3181 Rainbow Drive, Decatur, Georgia.
About the series, Ricky says, “We work not only with seasoned industry film professionals, including Grammy and Emmy Award-winning artists in the area, but with film students and recent graduates from local colleges. These students need quality projects and experience with other professionals. Horror Hotel is a great outlet for them. Moving forward, we are looking for sponsorships and distribution so we can continue making the series.”
Besides her duties as producer on the show, Debbie Hess also designs the sets for the titular business on each episode, stating: “People are impressed with the atmosphere we created for Horror Hotel and always want to know how we make our paint ‘peel’ and look so creepy. It’s the number one question we get from visitors, cast, and crew. Rick’s working knowledge with latex allows us to create the realistic look. We paint the walls in blotches and then paint latex over that; then we simply peel the latex back. The paint sticks to it and produces that eerie effect. We also use a lot of antiques to give the rooms a horror chic, sorta old European hotel look. Al Hess makes the custom designed hotel furniture and lots of amazing props like the Houdini’s Hand box for our pilot episode ‘Houdini’s Hand,’ a unique self-inflating alien radio for the retro black and white episode ‘Invader,’ and most recently a very clever guillotine inspired mirror for our episode ‘Guillotine.’ He is even constructing a miniature outside hotel model for use in some nighttime establishing shots for some of the episodes. It seems he is up to the challenge of whatever we might need and is a very gifted carpenter in addition to writing to date our intriguing episodes.”
The first season of Horror Hotel is set to feature six episodes, the details on which you can read below, courtesy of the press release:
“Houdini’s Hand” – Two burglars steal the mummified hand of a famous magician and find out what it means to come up a little “short-handed”. This is the pilot episode and was co-produced by Errol Sadler of Atlanta’s own Supremacy Films (Blackhats, Curveball movie) and directed by Brandon “2Mill” Thaxton, also of Supremacy Films. Starring Atlanta actors Tony Folden, Montrel Miller, James Edward Thomas, and Mike Bend, “Houdini’s Hand” also has a podcast that will be available for portable listening recorded by Henry Howard, a founding partner with the Atlanta Radio Theatre Company.
“Bookworm” – A psychotic woman will do anything to get ahold of her favorite author’s unpublished work. The Hitchcock inspired episode stars Elle Trapkin as the wacky “Margaret Tally” and Hugh Higgins as the seedy book dealer “George Spoetzl,” “Bookworm” was experimental in that it was filmed in living black and white. All the actors dressed in gray, black, or white; and the set was designed accordingly. Colorist Nick Anderson with Cinevation Media helped to create the final vivid black and white effect in post-production and final video editing. Cinematographer Donovan Henneberg-Verity and the talented DP crew including Ben Lambeth executed fabulous Hitchcock-like point of view shots. Directed by Ricky Hess.
“Invader” – When residents at the Horror Hotel become suspicious of alien activity, a sci-fi writer becomes the target. This is a retro sci-fi episode with a Ray Bradbury style in black and white. Atlanta actor Troy Halverson plays “Joe Wood,” the secretive local hotel resident; Susan Moss is the paranoid “Helen Kravitz”; James Edward Thomas plays sci-fi writer “Rodney Silvers”; Jerry Irwin is lovable kook “Gerald Boyd”; and Darien Johnson rounds out the cast as “Mikey Bone,” a trigger-happy member of the posse. Once again Donovan Henneberg-Verity and Ben Lambeth headed up the DP department with assistance from Nick Anderson from Cinevation Media for DIT and coloring to make the black and white footage pop. Directed by Kyle Kukshtel.
“Tilt” – An android and her abusive owner plot to kidnap and sell a well known computer hacker to a less than desirable group. A sci-fi tale in a scrambled time frame that includes characters ranging from a future android to World War II soldiers. With Marie Barker as the perky android “Skinny”; her owner, “Merle,” is played by Johnny Harvill; and computer hacker “Saul Kaplan” is played by Ronnie Mathew with World War II Nazis portrayed by Nathan DeRussy and Tanner Gould. Directed by Ricky Hess with Director of Photography Torey Haas of MonsterBuster Entertainment.
“Guillotine” – Beauty has a price when a pageant contestant gets ahold of a charm cut from Marie Antoinette’s guillotine. It features Stephanie Stevens, Ann Marie Gideon, and James Edward Thomas. Brandon Thaxton is the director, and Bruce Lane is the Director of Photography.
“Tesla’s Tooth” – A gangster comes into possession of an electronic tooth invented by Nikola Tesla that can read minds. He brings it to an electronics wizard who is working out of the hotel to have him retrofit it into his mouth to give him the edge in a high stakes poker game. The tooth has powers he never imagined. Featuring Ted Parker and Neil Ramsay with Darien Johnson and Matt Rogers. Directed by Ricky Hess.
For more details on the upcoming launch plus episode trailers, behind-the-scenes info, and even a streaming podcast adaptation of the pilot episode, check out the official Horror Hotel website, and don’t forget to “like” Horror Hotel on Facebook and follow @horrorhotel123 on Twitter.
Got news? Click here to submit it!
Unpack your bags and stay awhile in the comments section below!