Horror Movie: A Low Budget Nightmare is a ‘
fly on the wall’ style feature documentary
that follows actor / filmmaker Craig Anderson's attempt to make a super-low-budget horror feature, about an aborted foetus that seeks
revenge on its family.
Tired of playing roles like the 'diabetes patient'
or the 'weird friend’ on Australian TV he sets his sights on a career upgrade. but it is not long
before things go wildly off the rails and his big dream turns into a nightmare.
With the budget spiraling out of control, union
issues and even a circumcision to overcome,
we follow this hilarious, moving and nail-biting
roller-coaster journey from pre-production
to the very end.
Horror Movie: A Low Budget Nightmare is
ultimately an underdog story about putting everything on the line to follow a dream.
Join Craig as you cheer him on from the
sidelines to succeed while simultaneously covering your eyes and bracing for impact.
BEHIND THE DOCO
'Life Imitating Art'
The production journeys of making both Horror Movie: A Low Budget Nightmare and the feature film it documents Red Christmas were not dissimilar in many ways. The nature of getting an ‘open ended' story like this funded, meant that almost three-quarters of the documentary was shot before any funding was ever received. This created some logistical challenges for documentary filmmaker Gary Doust who not only directed and produced, but also needed opperate the camera and sound to keep the production rolling.
Gary had known the film’s key subject Craig Anderson for some years before embarking on the documentary. They first met at a local film festival where both their short films were screening, but it wasn’t until a few years later they became good friends during a TV production Gary was directing called Next Stop Hollywood, 6 part observational series which featured Craig as one of the actors attempting to 'make it' in LA.
During many nights catching up over burgers ,Craig would brainstorm his unconventional plans to make his first feature Red Christmas. As ‘hilarious' and ‘scary' as some of those plans where, documentary filmmaker Gary Doust almost passed on capturing the making of Red Christmas, because he'd already been down that road with his first feature documentary Making Venus, a five year journey that captured disastrous attempt to make another low budget film The Venus Factory that left the producers over a million dollars in debt.
Fifteen years on a lot had changed in the new fast-paced, digital world of film making where platforms like Netflix, Amazon and Hulu have quickly taken over the world.
Through Craig’s journey making his film, Horror Movie: A Low Budget Nightmare became an opportunity to pick up where Making Venus left off to capture the many new challenges independent filmmakers now face to make and sell their films in a very competitive market.
It's Christmas in Australia as Diane, played by the Dee Wallace, brings together her estranged family for a chaotic holiday gathering. A 20 year old decision literally comes back to haunt her when the ghost of Christmas past comes knocking at her door and is invited inside the family estate. Festivities quickly turn blood red, when the stranger is revealed to be Cletus, Diane's aborted fetus, all grown up, very much alive and ready to terrorize his long lost mother. Diane must face her past and explain the hideous truth that is trying to kill them all, especially to Jerry, her Down Syndrome son, before it's too late.
Behind the story
From its inception it took Craig Anderson a couple of years to write the final script he shot for Red Christmas.
At first he wrote a screwball horror; a foetus who attacks its mother (think Larry Cohen, Frank Henenlotter, or early Peter Jackson). But after many stilted redrafts and viewing of many documentaries on the subject the tone shifted.
He did a lot of research both academically and in person with women of all ages and backgrounds who had varying experiences and opinions on abortion.
Abortion is a subject that hasn't been explored widely in horror film, despite the genre’s ability to tackle challenging subjects.
Red Christmas is available to view in North America
on Netflix, and is available for purchaser on DVD
and Bluray via Amazon.