This Day in Horror

10 August 2014

"Gory Graduation" to Begin Production in 2015


Way back when, say the late `90s or the early stages of the 21st
century, the IMDb was an unreliable film narrator of sorts; even moreso
than it is today (thankfully, the IMDb has tightened ship, as it were,
on user submissions). One such piece of film history that only true
die-hards of the slasher movie sub-genre may know about or, even
remember, is a little movie called Gory Graduation.

Starring Lesleh Donaldson (Curtains, Happy Birthday To Me) and a few
other memorable scream queens from the early `80s, a plot description
was non-existent as was any crew information. The film languished in
obscurity. So obscure was it, actually, that it never really existed.

Until now.

“I can remember spending years searching for any information on this
elusive title, being then as much of a slasher completist as I am today
and getting absolutely nowhere,” remarks Joseph Henson, director of Gory
Graduation. “I thought to myself, here is a film, with such a
provocative title, that NEEDS to be made.”

Of course, through the advent of social media, enough information was
finally unearthed to determine the film was nothing more than a fake
title stirred up by someone who, like Henson, probably wanted to make it
but never did. The title was eventually removed from the IMDb and that
was that. But boy, if you were active during the golden years of the
alt.horror newsgroup or the birth of now-infamous horror sites, you
remember the stir that was caused by this elusive title that was nothing
more than fakery.

Of course, Henson and cohort Nathan Johnson (who co-wrote and
co-directed The Night Before Easter with Henson) would promise
themselves time and time again they’d eventually make their very own
slasher one day (they are two of the biggest fans of the sub-genre
possible, even being half of the wildly popular all-slasher podcast, The
Hysteria Continues) even though they knew next to nothing about actual
film making. They finally got their chance to make their own slasher
with The Night Before Easter (2014), an exceptionally low-budget effort
shot on a Canon T3i with little else in the way of equipment or budget.
“The Night Before Easter, as clunky as it is, was a massive learning
experience for us. Since wrapping that movie, I’ve spent hours upon
hours, days upon days, and weeks turning into months soaking up
knowledge on film making. How to stage scenes, internal camera settings,
sound design, et al. We couldn’t afford to do a lot of things on The
Night Before Easter but we plan to take what we’ve learned from that
experience, on top of a much higher budget (a five figure budget we are
working on raising) and going from clunk to spunk, as it were,” notes
Henson.

“I’m proud of The Night Before Easter all things considered,” says
Henson, “…but with Gory Graduation, we really want to up the stakes
internally and externally – if The Night Before Easter was sub-Roger
Corman, we hope Gory Graduation will be sub-Argento in style, fluidity
and consistency.”

The plot concerns a graduation ceremony that becomes the stomping
grounds for a killer decked out in ceremonial robes. It is, at its core,
a no-nonsense slasher film with a massive bodycount and lots of gore,
nudity and, above all, likable characters.

Gory Graduation is currently being casted and Henson and Johnson are, on
top of scripting, raising a budget to purchase more equipment and to
hire a much larger cast/crew (including a few known names with whom
negotiations are underway).

“I feel that The Night Before Easter was a trial run, a get your feet
wet sort of thing. I had a rudimentary knowledge of editing and went in
knowing nothing else. Nathan and I were essentially two guys throwing
something together with little money and very few resources, but all
things considered, we think we made… Something. With Gory Graduation,
we’re going to erase the mistakes we made and triple the stuff that
worked,” Henson concludes.

You can follow Gory Graduation on Facebook:
https://www.facebook.com/Gory.Graduation and on Twitter:
https://twitter.com/GoryGraduation

The film is slated to begin production in 2015 and will see a release in
2016.

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