FANGORIA – America’s Horror Magazine
Report on ‘Acolytes’ by Michael Helms
ACOLYTES (see more pics below) just wrapped after six weeks of shooting in and around the coastal town of Redcliff in Queensland, Australia.
Described by director/co-writer Jon Hewitt (whose credits include BLOODLUST and REDBALL) as “Dario Argento meets TWIN PEAKS,” ACOLYTES spins the story of three teens who become involved in the blackmailing of a murderer that ends up producing dire results for all concerned. The movie marks the big-screen debuts of young actors Seb Gregory, Hanna Mangan-Lawrence and Josh Payne, and stars Joel Edgerton as Ian Wright, an apparently buttoned-down suburbanite whose buttons you really don’t want to push (just like his chrome skull door-lock buttons, which you don’t want pushed if you’re sitting in the muscle car they belong to). Edgerton played Owen Lars in STAR WARS EPISODEs II and III, and more recently had a small role in SMOKIN’ ACES.
Besides its youthful stars, another first for ACOLYTES is that it was shot using the Viper HD system in the film-out position, thus joining a very small, elite group also including David Fincher’s ZODIAC. ACOLYTES is also the initial produced feature screenplay from the writing team of Shayne Armstrong and Shane Krause, two Queensland boys who began developing this script in the early ’90s. They claim that a number of its scenes were based on real-life events, but shy away from talking specifics. Both are excited about this break into the business, and are horror enthusiasts with several other genre scripts in development; expect more news on forthcoming projects by the two Shanes soon.
While ACOLYTES does have Australian distribution from Palace, which contributed to its nearly $4-million Australian budget and have a chain of cinemas across the country that will guarantee it theatrical play, no international release deals have been announced yet. Keep your eyes on this site for further updates and look for more on ACOLYTES in Fango’s pages as well. —Michael Helms