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Exclusive news/poster: “HI-8” anthology to be followed by sequel “HI-DEATH”

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Last year’s omnibus feature HI-8 (pictured above) homaged vintage shot-on-video horrors, and now the format is getting an upgrade with the sequel HI-DEATH, currently in preproduction. We’ve got the exclusive info/comments and first look at a teaser poster.

Four of the directors from HI-8 are returning for the new movie: Brad Sykes (also encoring as executive producer with Josephina Sykes), Tim Ritter, Marcus Koch and Todd Sheets. New to the mix are Ryan Nicholson, the FX artist/filmmaker behind LIVE FEED, GUTTERBALLS, COLLAR and others, and Dustin Wayde Mills of THE PUPPET MONSTER MASSACRE, NIGHT OF THE TENTACLES and BATH SALT ZOMBIES. Although they’ll all be utilizing high-definition equipment this time, and given longer running times (between 10 and 15 minutes) to work with, the mission statement is the same: shooting on location with practical FX, bare-bones equipment packages and minimal crews.

In addition, Brad Sykes tells Fango, “HI-8 had a lighter tone, going for homage, campiness and laughs in many of the segments—which is great—but our goal this time around is to make a darker, more challenging and scarier film. Because the anthology market is so glutted nowadays, we knew this would have to stand out from the pack, much like HI-8 did when we first announced it. Ultimately, we found a nice middle ground by moving the franchise into the modern age and shooting on HD, but retaining the indie/DIY style of the first film.”

The Sykeses began considering a second feature early this year, due to the success of the original. “HI-8 was very well-received,” Brad says. “It’s still playing fests almost two years after its LA premiere, with a German premiere coming up May 1. We wanted to bring in some fresh blood to the sequel, so to speak, and they ended up being Ryan and Dustin. Ryan is a very accomplished filmmaker whose movies have a strong identity, and he had expressed interest in being part of a sequel, should we make one. Dustin’s work was newer to me, but he has a raw, experimental style I felt could really lend itself to this project. One of our other returning directors, Marcus Koch, was working with Dustin on another project around the same time we contacted him, so the timing was perfect.”

An official website and Facebook page for HI-DEATH will go live soon; stay tuned for updates.

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Michael Gingold
Michael Gingold has been a member of the FANGORIA team for the past three decades. After starting as a writer for the magazine in 1988, he came aboard as associate editor in 1990 and two years later moved up to managing editor. He now serves as editor-in-chief of the magazine while continuing to contribute numerous articles and reviews, as well as a contributing editor/writer for this website.
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