Ashley Thorpe’s fourth Penny Dreadful animation, The Hairy Hands, which is based on the Devon legend, is due to have the script and budget signed off by South West Screen on June 15, but there is still concern that the name may alienate audiences outside the Devon region.
Ashley, who won Independent Filmmaker of the year at the Media Innovations award, says on his Carrion Films site: ‘I guess with SWS they’re nervous because generally new filmmakers tend to look East rather than to their roots and chase trends in a Nathan Barley sort of way assimilating as much contemporary popular culture as they can to attract attention.
“This project has pretty much the opposite as its stance and has done since the beginning; it’s making people re-evaluate tradition, it’s going back to basics with genuine enthusiasm -it has a streak of punk about it, with a collective ideology that is quite Python, and I guess that makes them nervous.’
South West Screen have been pushing for generic names like as The Hand, or The Box.
“Y’know, I’d rather call it The Creeping Death than crucify it with something as generic as that.
“I think they’re missing the point and the source of the appeal. The whole point of these films is to take these obscure tales and to reinvent them so that anyone can enjoy them, regardless of where they come from,” says Ashley.
“The success of Scayrecrow in the US and Canada and the interest in The Screaming Skull in Japan and Egypt (of all places) has been proof of that! People have actually been attracted to these films because they’re obscure, they’re different but they’re simultaneously traditional -rich in English heritage and steeped in legend.’
Ashley’s film Scayrecrow was accepted into this year’s Cannes Film Festival, and Scayrecrow and the Screaming Skull both had their US premiere at the Fangoria Weekend of Horror film festival at the start of June. Using a modern-day Penny Dreadful ethos, he’s distributing the films himself for download from the Carrion Films site.
In keeping with the stylee, Ashley’s other projects include: The Lambton worm (pre production); Spring-Heel Jack (pre production); The Bone Coach; Demon Huntsman of Hameldown Tor; The Pendle Witches; Borley Rectory; and the feature Hell-Tor (pre-production).
We can only shudder at the possible anodyne suggestions for those titles.
posted by Cptn
Comments below please!
(and while you’re thinking, what films have been killed with bad titles?)
- Strange Storms and Symphonies | George Lloyd documentary - January 20, 2021
- Screening the Child | Spain and South America film fest - January 18, 2021
- £6000 for local filmmakers and artists from Exeter Phoenix - January 14, 2021