The House of Forbidden Secrets had it’s national premiere in Las Vegas, NV at the PollyGrind Film Festival on October 11th, 2013, where it won 6 awards, and has also been chosen for the South African Horror Festival this Spring, the Italian Fantafest in 2014, the British Raindance Film Fest for 2014 as well as the X-Fest with many more festivals to follow.
PRESS RELEASE: It was shot last Winter and Spring in Kansas City. The film stars many local actors and actresses to Kansas City, but also includes genre icons such as Lew Temple (Walking Dead, Unstoppable, Halloween 2, Devil’s Rejects), George Hardy (Troll 2), Dyanne Thorne and Howard Maurer (ILSA films), Allan Kayser (Night of the Creeps, Bubba from Mama’s Family), Ari Lehman (Jason from Friday the 13th) and Lloyd Kaufman from Troma Films (creator / actor from Toxic Avenger, Class of Nuke Em High, Poultrygeist). Among the local locations used were two Midwest haunted houses, The Beast and Macabre Cinema.
The director of the movie is underground Horror legend Todd Sheets. Todd had done over 15 films in Kansas City between 1989 and 2005. His syndicated radio show NIGHTWATCH became full time and Todd had stopped making films for years, but after nearly dying from a Heart Attack and spending over 4 weeks in a hospital, Todd gave a vow that if he survived, he would find a way to get back to film work, his true passion. While in the hospital Todd had quadruple bypass surgery and then a second Laparoscopic surgery was needed due to complications. Having never drank alcohol, smoked or done drugs, it was a true mystery to the doctors as to what exactly had happened and it turned out to be mostly a genetic issue. Within a year of the heart attack Todd had not only finished the script, but finished the shooting and had began the editing process on his first film in years. He decided if he was going to come back, he wanted to show all he had learned in the years in between and make a film that is stylish, creative and larger than life. Something he could really be proud of. Todd just won the “Lifetime Achievement Award” at the PollyGrind Film Festival in Las Vegas, NV. for his work on this film, for his contribution to low budget Horror cinema and for not only surviving, but coming back stronger than ever.
The film is in many ways an homage to the Horror films of the 70s and 80s, particularly the Italian Horror imports that would play Drive In Theaters and Grindhouses in America. The lighting, camera compositions and feel of the film are classic Horror yet still modern, Refreshing yet familiar, bringing that style of the masters such as Fulci, Carpenter and Argento to a new audience. Even the special effects and make-up is old school, 99% of the effects in the film are done practically, with no digital manipulation. There are a few visual effects that needed computer help, but very few, and only for things like Time Travel portals and such.
Having much loved icons like Dyanne Thorne, Lew Temple and George Hardy also give the film a familiar feel, with Dyanne winning an award as well at Pollygrind for her role of Madame Greta. It is an amazing performance, with subtle nods to her past while opening a new dimension for the actress to explore. A softer side even emerges as the film plays, showing that ILSA does indeed have a heart of gold behind those boots and whips! Lew Temple also won an award for his portrayal of Father Elias Solomon. Bringing multiple layers to a character that Horror fans will love and hate at the same time. It is truly a standout performance for Lew, known for his supporting roles in Hollywood blockbusters such as Lone Ranger while doing smaller indie films such as Waitress, Devil’s Rejects and Walking Dead. George Hardy is a cult favorite from Troll 2, and here brings Southern class and depth to his character, proving that he has learned much and continues to grow as an actor.
Music for House of Forbidden Secrets was created by a true icon of international Horror, Italian Maestro Fabio Frizzi who had created music for many of the late Lucio Fulci’s great films as well as dozens of others. He is currently touring Europe with a sold out symphonic show, “Frizzi 2 Fulci.” Additional music was created by Toshiyuki Hiraoka, an outstanding composer from Japan who has also worked in the film industry there, crafting great music for film and television. The soundtrack for House of Forbidden Secrets has been licensed for release all over Europe by BEAT Records in Rome and will also ship to all Asian countries and as an import in America.
House of Forbidden Secrets truly is a far reaching film. The cast and crew are extremely proud of the film and how many people are loving and supporting it. Using an international crew and filling the film with so many icons has truly helped expose this Kansas City made film to a large worldwide audience.