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Exclusive comments/photos, plus trailer: Lovecraftian terror on the beach in “BLACK WAKE”

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Up for some seaside scares? The independent chiller BLACK WAKE takes some cues from H.P. Lovecraft, and we’ve got exclusive words from the filmmakers and photos, plus the trailer, past the jump.

BLACK WAKE, filmed in the New York/New Jersey area, is directed by Jeremiah Kipp, who has made a number of acclaimed shorts including THE CHRISTMAS PARTY, THE POD and PAINKILLER, scripted by Jerry Janda and produced by Carlos Keyes. Brazilian actress Nana Gouvea (pictured above) stars as a scientist looking into mysterious deaths on Atlantic Ocean beaches who discovers that what is first believed to be a parasitic threat may be a terror of far greater magnitude. The cast also includes Eric Roberts, Jonny Beaumont, Rich Graff, Jeremy Fernandez, Kelly Rae LeGault (1st photo below), Tom Ryan, Christopher Stadulis, Kaylin Iannone and Tom Sizemore.

“I wanted to write a film about a new species of parasite—similar to insects, but a larger version that targeted people,” Janda tells Fango. “I knew how these parasites would infect hosts, but I struggled with the why. Then, while I was sitting on a beach staring out at the ocean, Lovecraftian inspiration hit me. I decided to expand upon my basic idea by exploring some of Lovecraft’s themes, but without borrowing any of his deities or cursed tomes overtly. This approach allowed me to develop a much deeper motivation for the parasites and gave me the freedom to put my own apocalyptic spin on the Lovecraft mythos—right down to the introduction of an entirely new type of Necronomicon.”

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“What I’ve always loved about Lovecraft,” Kipp says, “is that sense of pragmatic narrators trying to comprehend the vast apocalyptic forces that are rearing up to tear their sanity apart before consuming the entire world. It’s that analytic coolness that makes the tales so shocking—that sense that we’re being led through a narrative by someone who knows what they’re talking about. When the bottom falls out, the effect is disturbing. We did everything possible to preserve the intimate view of something vast, epic and unfeeling.”

BLACK WAKE’s story is told in the pseudodocumentary format, and Kipp adds, “Found footage is my least favorite subgenre of horror movies—it’s such a limiting form—and I first thought the script was just a cruel trick Jerry was playing on me. But I found myself thinking back to how Lovecraft’s tales are mostly epistolary, in the form of diaries and letters, and started thinking of BLACK WAKE more as a documentary, such as those made by Errol Morris. His movie THE THIN BLUE LINE is like being plunged deep into a no-escape Hitchcockian nightmare, and the docu-style draws the viewer into the extreme discomfort, making you feel like the interview subjects are speaking right to you. It brings the terror into your living room. We’re hoping to make a fright film with that approach.”

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This is Gouvea’s first acting gig in English after numerous TV credits in her home country, and she says, “It has been challenging and mind-breaking to divide my concentration between the pronunciation of words and the scene itself. But Jeremiah is the most patient director I’ve ever worked with, and he absolutely knows his technique. The cast we’ve assembled has been amazing and so prepared, just fantastic to work with. It’s very different from working in soap operas, and now I’m completely in love with horror movies.”

Look for more on BLACK WAKE in the future, and visit the movie on-line at the official website, Facebook and Twitter.

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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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