Death House is fast approaching, and it’s got the whole horror community, literally salivating at the prospect of what’s to come. There is so much ‘buzz’ and excitement surrounding this film, and this is for a multitude of reasons.
Plot: Two secret agents, are sent for an exclusive tour, inside a secret prison, known as ‘The Death House’, which houses the baddest, meanest, most villainous and dangerous criminals in the world. Whilst on their walk through of the prison, there is a complete power outage, that releases the ruthless army of inmates. For the two agents, the fight is on to get out, and get out alive. They’re pushed further down into the lower depths of the facility, where they learn of the worst of the housed in the ‘Death House’. They are a group of supernatural beings known as ‘The Five Evils’, and they are the only chance they have of survival.
Sounds awesome right? You don’t even know the half of it yet.
The first aspect we will look at in detail, is the whole background surrounding the lead up to making the film.
The original concept, and script for Death House, was written by ‘Gunnar Hansen’, who played the part of the legendary ‘Leatherface’, in the gore-fest, that is, of course, the original, and best, ‘The Texas Chainsaw Massacre’. Gunnar sadly passed away in 2015 after a long fight with cancer, but would leave us, with a whopper of a going away present. Prior to his passing, Gunnar had been working with Writer/Director ‘Harrison Smith’, who ultimately, would be charged with taking on the role of re-writing the script, and directing the movie ‘Death House’, in honour of the great Gunnar Hansen.
With a completed script, the set, and location had to be right, to bring this spectacular idea to life. The location that was chosen, for a large majority of the filming, was an abandoned prison in Philidelphia called Holmesberg Prison.
The massive facility in Holmesberg, was opened in 1896, and was in continuous use until its closure in 1995. It was the subject of controversy for many years due to wild experiments performed on inmates, which began in 1951, and ran for 20 years. The experiments on the inmates ranged from such things as dermatological and pharmaceutical tests, to biochemical weaponry. This link is to an article released in the Baltimore Sun Newspaper in 1998, and is a very well written, and detailed report, recounting the views and memories, of one man who worked closely with the prisoners. Please click and read to find out more.
Baltimore Sun Article About Experiments On Inmates
Part of the plot of the film, (and this isnt a spoiler) is about experiments and tests performed on the inmates, so you would have to agree, that location that has been picked, is the right one, for the spirit of the occasion.
Having Gunnar Hansen in the movie, is a stroke of genius, and a wonderful tribute, to a great man.
Next we’ll look at the cast of the film. This is where ‘Know Your Horror-101’ comes in handy. Think of the stars of every relevant horror film ever made, and they’re in this film. Here is the cast list:
I’m sure you’ll agree, that there is a fine blend of legends, fresh faces, and lovely ladies, that together, will make this movie incredible.
In a recent ‘Facebook Live’ Q&A session, with directer, Harrison Smith, listening to him talk about the film, elevated the excitement to a whole new level. His enthusiasm is infectious. It feels so good, that a movie like this, is being made by someone who really loves everything about the horror genre. There is so much respect for horror.
You can view the recent Q&A session right here:
The hugely anticipated trailer for Death House will get its first viewing at ‘Days Of The Dead’ convention at 3pm, on September 3rd.