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We’ve been hearing about the independent production SPIKE, a more horror-oriented variation on BEAUTY AND THE BEAST, for a few years now. And after appearing at assorted festivals (winning prizes at Shriekfest and the Edinburgh International Film Festival), the movie is finally set to receive its DVDebut this summer.
Maverick Entertainment will release SPIKE on its CreepFX label August 3, in a 16x9-enhanced widescreen transfer with Dolby Digital 5.1 sound. No significant special features will be included on the disc, which carries a retail price of $19.98. Written and directed by Robert Beaucage, SPIKE centers on the titular half-human critter (played by Edward Gusts), which forces a car containing four friends in the middle of the mountains. While terrorizing three of them, Spike takes a shine to one particular girl, played by Sarah Livingston Evans. “For years, I’ve wanted to take a fairy tale into the realm of horror,” Beaucage tells Fango. “You can’t get much more old-school than Cupid and Psyche, Hades and Persephone or Beauty and the Beast, as well as horror classics such as FRANKENSTEIN and THE HUNCHBACK OF NOTRE DAME, all of which inspired me. I also wanted to incorporate typical conventions of horror, but spin them in different and unexpected directions to keep the audience off-balance.”
And die-hard genre fans need not worry about the potential for the story to descend into TWILIGHT-esque romantic pap; the movie carries a more cynical attitude. “That derives from my own pessimistic outlook,” Beaucage notes. “If a real-life Beast fell in love with a Beauty in a modern world without magic or enchantments, the resultant events, for all parties concerned, would be nothing short of dreadful.”
Beaucage’s beast was created by makeup FX artist Jordu Schell, who was selected after the filmmaker visited a wide range of “effects artists with impressive talent,” Beaucage recalls. “The process of taking meetings with them in workshops filthy with monsters and gore was an absolute blast.” It was Schell’s proposed organic approach to the creature, forsaking CGI for more traditional techniques, which sold the writer/director. “Schell specializes in photorealism in building creature characters. I don’t want anyone thinking ‘monster suit’ while watching SPIKE; I want them to think, ‘What is that thing?’ ” You can find out more about the movie at its official website and MySpace page.
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