We’re super stoked to announce a new Christmas horror anthology from Blood Moon Pictures, 13 Slays Till X-Mas. Learn all about this exciting anthology (with an insanely talented cast and crew!!!) down below including an exclusive interview with filmmaker P.J. Starks who goes into great detail about the project!
Synopsis for 13 Slays Till Xmas
On December 24th, five seemingly random men are invited to a dive bar by a mysterious e-mail. They decide to pass the time by resurrecting the old tradition of telling scary stories on Christmas Eve. As each take turns spinning yarns of yuletide terror it becomes evident, they may be harboring a dark and deadly secret.
PopHorror – Let’s start with the basics. How and why did you get involved with filmmaking?
P.J. Starks – Since I was a kid I was always interested in and fascinated with storytelling. As I got older, I transitioned naturally from writing to directing and then eventually began producing. Nothing is more satisfying than seeing something you’ve conceived become a reality from script to screen.
PopHorror – Favorite horror movie?
P.J. Starks – This is a loaded question. My favorites are The Fog, Return of the Living Dead, The Prowler, My Bloody Valentine, The Funhouse, Halloween, Friday the 13th: Part 4, The Hills Have Eyes, John Carpenter’s The Thing… to quote Captain America, “I could do this all day.”
PopHorror – Favorite movie of all time?
P.J. Starks – Anything with Tom Hanks. I could watch and cry about The Green Mile until the day I die. Hopefully, that’s not anytime soon.
PopHorror – Who are your biggest influences and inspirations?
P.J. Starks – Probably my biggest is Kevin Smith. Clerks is the film that made me realize there was a real chance to become a filmmaker. He’s also influenced my writing style. Even when I’m writing horror, I have a really hard time not injecting humor into the dialogue. I basically learn something from most films I watch so films in general influence and inspire me to do better.
PopHorror – You’re announcing a new project today 13 Slays Till X-Mas. Tell us about this project?
P.J. Starks – A group of men have been asked to a bar the night before Christmas by a mysterious email and as the night unfolds all hell breaks loose. That’s the basic concept and it’s an opportunity to do something different from Volumes of Blood. Those films were heavily steeped in Halloween and its mythology, so I wanted to go in a different direction with the new film. Obviously, Christmas is seen as the polar opposite of Halloween. There’s a wealth of horror that can be pulled from the holiday.
PopHorror – What inspired it?
P.J. Starks – I came up with the concept about three years ago, but it was shelved after we decided we needed to finish out VOB as a trilogy. Unfortunately, we’ve come full circle in that we weren’t acquiring the financing needed to make Devil’s Knight happen, so I approached Eric with the idea of going in a different direction with securing funds for VOB3 and in the meantime pull 13 Slays off the shelf. We’ve been secretly working on it since August of last year.
The project was inspired by the turn of the century tradition of telling ghost stories on Christmas Eve. I was reading about it and thought to myself, “I think there’s a movie idea there.” Being as I’m a lover of anthologies the overall concept materialized very quickly. What would be cooler than resurrecting a dead tradition, using Christmas as the backdrop and getting thirteen kickass indie filmmakers to work on the project together? After pulling it off the shelf and reaching out to various talent, the excitement for the concept was immediate. Of course, not everyone involved in the project today are the same ones who started with us back in August, however, the talent pool is very large and with this film the sky is the limit. Once again, I wanted to avoid grabbing up pre-produced material for the film. All the segments you’ll see in the final product were written, directed and produced specifically for 13 Slays which means all the content is original and that makes me very excited.
PopHorror – Who are the directors involved?
P.J. Starks – The lineup of directors is very eclectic and an even more talented group. We have Jed Brian who wrote and directed the shot-on-video horror film Unlisted Owner; actress Brittany Blanton who’s directed a few short films is coming to Owensboro to direct one of the segments I wrote which is very cool; John Mason who’s best known for co-creating the massive pop culture website “Comicbook.com” is on board; my producing partner Eric Huskisson is trying his hand at writing and directing a sequence; Alex Clark who is a good friend and our Director of Photography is directing one of the segments; Sean Blevins and Williams Capps, who both worked on VOB: Horror Stories, are directing and we’re excited to work with them again; John Hale who made the killer creature feature The Conduit is on the project and he’s also just a super down to earth and nice guy; Drew Marvick who is equally a super nice guy and creator of Pool Party Massacre is directing a segment; Carlos Omar De Leon who has worked on the anthology films For We Are Many and 10/31 Part 2 joined our team and has a very kickass idea; Blair Hoyle who has several films coming out including Five Wild Animals is writing and directing a sequence; I recently had the pleasure of meeting Pearry Teo who has come onto the project and produced some well-known films like Cloud Atlas and Day of the Dead: Bloodline as well as directed genre fair such as Necromentia and The Assent; and lastly I’m stepping back into the role of director for the wrap around segment. As you can see the film has an extremely well-rounded lot of talented artists and that’s barely scraping the surface everyone working on 13 Slays in front of and behind the camera.
PopHorror – When do you plan on releasing it?
P.J. Starks – Right now, we’re looking at a brief festival run starting in June or July with a wide holiday release in December of 2020.
PopHorror – What’s your goal for this project?
P.J. Starks – I have many goals for the project. Working alongside and collaborating with new talent or old friends has become something I truly enjoy and 13 Slays gives me that opportunity. After talking about making a film for the better part of 2.5 years I felt that it was time to make something to reaffirm everyone’s faith that Blood Moon Pictures can produce a fun and quality film. In some ways, it was selfishly a way to prove my abilities as a producer and creator. Not necessarily to those who support us but to me. I was tired of all the talk and felt it was necessary for my own personal mental well-being to get on set again.
PopHorror – Any other details about this project that you’re excited about?
P.J. Starks – I’m most excited about the project in general. This was nothing more than a concept on a sheet of paper before everyone involved started getting behind the idea to make it something tangible. We’re just getting started but I still cannot thank them enough. I’ve already made some awesome new friends along the way during this process and truly cannot wait to see the finished film.
ABOUT THE PROJECT:
Blood Moon Pictures brings you their newest anthology of fear from writer/producer P.J. Starks, the creator of Volumes of Blood, and producer Eric Huskisson (The Confession of Fred Krueger, VOB: Horror Stories). 13 Slays is thirteen Christmas themed stories of merry mayhem from directors Brittany Blanton (Seasons Greetings 2), Sean Blevins (Trick or Treat), Jed Brian (Unlisted Owner), William Capps (After the Slasher), Alex Clark, John Hale (The Conduit), Blair Hoyle (Five Wild Animals), Carlos Omar De Leon (For We Are Many), Drew Marvick (Pool Party Massacre), John Mason (Sleep Tight), Eric Huskisson, P.J. Starks (Volumes of Blood) and Pearry Teo (The Assent, Necromentia).
13 Slays has an exciting ensemble cast including Barbie Clark (VOB: Horror Stories), Jason Crowe (Trespassing), Kevin Roach (The Bad Man), Peter Anthony (Friday the 13th: Vengeance), Ryan Matthew Ziegler (Butcher the Bakers), David McMahon (10/31 Part 2), Sonya Delormier (Wicked Ones), Joshua Mark Robinson (10/31), Julie Streble (One Must Fall), Wes Bartlett (Hallows Eve), Steve Christopher (Satanic Panic), Torri Yates-Orr (Tell Me A Story), Nathan Tymoshuk (Potpourri), Lauren Argo (Bagged & Bored), RJ Campbell (The Men Who Built America), Kaylee Williams (Mrs. Claus), Gerrimy Keiffer (VOB: Horror Stories), Michael Merchant (House Shark), Luciana Faulhaber (Iron Man 3), Greg Harpold (Mindhunter) and many more.
13 Slays Till X-Mas has a holiday cornucopia of incredible talent attached including cinematography from Zane Hershberger (The Barn Part 2), Derek Huey (Teacher Shortage), Peter Leininger (Fun Size Horror: Vol. One), Ellie Drews (Femalien: Cosmic Crush), Christopher C. Pearson (Harsh Times); practical special effects from Cassandra Baker (Angel), Cody Ruch (Slaughter Drive), Jill Pugh (Displacement), Matt Goodlett (Loss Prevention), Tom Devlin (Club Dread), Robert Kern III (Puppet Master X: Axis Rising), Austyn Jessie Cuccia (Slice); and an original score from Rocky Gray (10/31 franchise).
Plus, there’s a handful of amazing producers attached to this project including executive producers Tori Danielle Romero (PopHorror) and Kelli R. Marchman Mcneely (Horror Fuel). See the poster for more!
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