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Exclusive photos/comments: fright anthology “ABANDONED IN THE DARK,” with Kane Hodder

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Now available on DVD from production outfit Cover 3 Productions, ABANDONED IN THE DARK is an indie horror omnibus based on stories from the same-titled book by David Boyle. We’ve got some exclusive pics and words with the movie’s creator.

Written and directed by Mike Lordi, ABANDONED IN THE DARK translates four of the book’s 18 tales (“Close Call,” “Desperation,” “Friction” and “The Core”) to the screen, all dealing with human evil rather than monsters or supernatural threats. The production ball got rolling when Boyle contacted Lordi to inquire about the possibility of turning one of his works into a short film. “A few days later, I read all the stories and immediately came up with the idea of filming four of them as part of one feature-length movie. In the book, the tales are completely separate from each other, but my vision from the beginning was to have them be connected in subtle yet effective ways while also having them stand on their own. David was ecstatic about the idea and came on board.

“Some changes had to be made in the adaptation,” he continues, “since we were adding those story and character crossovers. There were also elements in the book that would not translate to the screen that had to be tweaked or omitted, and David was very supportive of those changes. I wanted ABANDONED to feel like old ALFRED HITCHCOCK PRESENTS or TWILIGHT ZONE episodes—a character-driven thriller with elements of horror. It was a chance to make a compelling anthology where the main characters are put in situations they’re not normally versed in. They are everyday people the viewer will be able to identify with, while wondering what they would do in these predicaments. It has dramatic, tense and frightening circumstances—everything you want in a horror film.”

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Lordi and his team, including producers Damian Mamane and Stephen R. Cafone, shot the movie last summer and had their first screening in November. One particular on-set thrill for the filmmaker was working with the erstwhile Jason Voorhees. “That was among the most memorable experiences I’ve had as a director,” he says. “We all know Kane from his famous characters behind a mask or makeup, but what some may not realize is that he also has a powerful and commanding voice. Mix that with his overall screen presence, and it makes for a very intriguing character. Kane is also very easy to work with. We would discuss the scene in detail before each take, and he was always very receptive if we wanted to try something different that wasn’t in the script. He was very respectful to me, the cast and crew.”

That didn’t stop the notorious prankster from having a bit of fun at their expense, though. “Kane’s first day on set, we had a lot of extras there. He walked in before his scene, and everyone just went quiet. Kane made a comment about that, and I told him it was because the extras were deathly afraid of him. So Kane proceeded to have a little fun with some of them as they were standing on their marks. He would put his hands around their necks and give a little shove, knocking them off balance, and held one extra back when action was called. Little things like that got a lot of laughs, broke the ice and made everyone relax a little—but I know they were still scared of him!”

The ABANDONED IN THE DARK DVD can be purchased for $9.99 at Cover 3’s on-line store. The disc includes several special features:

• Behind the scenes
• Interview with Hodder
• Outtakes
• Trailer

Visit Cover 3’s Facebook page here.

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About the author
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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