By MICHAEL GINGOLD
With All Hallows’ Eve nearly upon us, indie filmmaker Chris LaMartina is planning a sequel to his popular 2013 movie WNUF HALLOWEEN SPECIAL. He gave us some exclusive words on the project, which is in the midst of a crowdfunding campaign.
WNUF HALLOWEEN SPECIAL is a found-footage feature framed as a VHS recording of a live show from 1987, in which a tabloid reporter and a group of paranormal investigators broadcast from the site of a brutal murder. It was done on a microbudget, and LaMartina is seeking $50,000 to make the follow-up bigger and better, with a GoFundMe campaign—offering onscreen roles and other perks—set up here.
“When we made the original,” LaMartina tells RUE MORGUE, “we thought it would go straight to DVD and no one would remember it. It was a project fueled by my own obsession, so I made it knowing no one would or could make something like it. When audiences found the movie and got just as excited to watch it as I was to make it, that was the best response I could have asked for.
“When I finished editing WNUF, it was never done,” he continues. “In my head, I’d created another universe where and how those characters ended up. This translated into a spoken-word vinyl album we put out in 2015 on Terror Vision Records, but it also planted the seeds for what I knew would one day be the sequel. That’s what we’re doing now. As someone who works in marketing and advertising full-time, I’m drawn to how history and culture change the way stories are told, and I’ve spent the last two years researching and developing the landscape of this new chapter. I want to get the era right, and I think fans of the original will have a blast with this one.”
Though he won’t go into detail about the plot and premise of the new movie, he hints, “Think Jerry Springer hosting an episode of SIGHTINGS.” He adds, “The format will still follow a television broadcast taped and traded on video, but the content itself will reflect how media changed in the mid-1990s. There was the popularity of trashy tabloid talk shows, the emergence of ‘reality’ content and some of the most extreme marketing to children we’ve ever seen. The horror components are featured through a number of different entities, including a cultural fascination that was prevalent throughout the ’90s in books, television, and movies. The majority of the main characters from the original will be in the sequel—even some you wouldn’t expect.”
LaMartina is going the crowdsourcing route, he says, to maintain autonomy over the project. “Horror movies fail when their makers are more interested in making a dollar than creating a piece of art. If my crowdsourcing campaign is any indicator, I think you know what bank I’m in. We could have gotten investors to make this movie. We didn’t. We’re doing this because we love this story, we want to see it continue and we want people who feel the same way to be involved. Do what you love with the people you love is my mantra when it comes to making movies. A few folks who produced WNUF back in 2012 will be involved, but if anyone reading this is interested, please drop me a line. It takes a village to make a DIY horror movie!”