The hillbilly/giant monster/alien bug movie The Millennium Bug (US-2010; dir. Kenneth Cran) is close to being ready for submitting to the Cleveland Film Festival, the deadline of which is this coming Tuesday. The final sound mix is done and colour correction is underway.
As a reminder, The Millennium Bug takes place on December 31, 1999, on the eve of the Millennium when the world readied itself to withstand the assault of the much-anticipated Y2K “millennium bug” effect, which was supposed to incapacitate computer systems worldwide. Hoping to escape the effects of this, fin de siècle apocalypse, Byron Haskin takes his new wife and teenage daughter camping in the isolated Sierra Diablos mountains. But madness finds them in the form of the Crawford clan, a family of in-bred hillbillies who abduct the Haskins in order to refresh their stagnant gene pool. As the Haskins fight for their lives, death and bloody carnage ensue, but neither they nor the Crawfords anticipate the awakening of the monstrous horror hibernating beneath the forest floor. Unseen for 1,000 years, this millennium bug is hungry… and December 31st just happens to be its birthday.
It stars Jon Briddell, Adam Brooks, Christine Haeberman, Trek Loneman, Ken MacFarlane, John Charles Meyer, Ian Pfister, Ginger Pullman, Ben Seton, Jessica Simons, Sandi Steinberg, Benjamin Watts, and Dustin Yoder.
Writer/director Kenneth Cran and his brother, producer James, have been working on the film for some years, and now, as it nears completion, they have seen fit to share five background facts with the world.
Fact 1: The Millennium Bug‘s original title was “The Nemesis Effect.”
Fact 2: It started off as a dark comedy.
Fact 3: The Bug was originally only 15 feet tall. “Thankfully,” commented the Cran Brothers, “we realized that, like tacos, bigger is better.”
Fact 4: There were a total of four creature species initially, but now there are only two. [Below are the original designs for the two species, good and bad. They look completely different in the final film.]
Fact 5: The Hillbilly Crawfords were originally a family of in-bred gold miners. When the remake of The Hills Have Eyes (2006) was released, it killed the miner idea.
The film is being shot using miniatures. Check out these production stills to get some idea of the details involved in the SFX.
Ken and Jim Cran inspect a detailed miniature that is about to get incinerated.
On the above picture: “Makeup FX wizard Robert Lindsay applies a prosthetic lip to the face of actor John Charles Meyer. A tube runs along the right side of his face which will feed blood during the kissing/biting scene with Clarissa.” (Facebook)
Compositor Dustin Yoder comments on the above: “”Y’know, I do a lot of compositing. Most of the time it’s creative and challenging yet repetitive. ‘Hey, another shot of Billa trodding across a peat moss and latex forest.’ Then sometimes I get a shot like 68cv1. It starts as pedestrian as the others; it takes a while to figure out and I’ll struggle with making the dirt look like dirt and having all the layers in proper focus. But then when it’s done and I play the file I remember why I love all this business. From a handful of miscellaneous video of flung peat moss and red water squirted through a garden hose I have created the final moments of a deformed hillbilly’s life as all but his flailing legs are chewed up by a thousand year old subterranean monster in a geyser of scattering blood and dirt. In the end it’s all time well spent.” (Facebook)
Stay tuned to Undead Backbrain to see the first exclusive trailer. Coming soon!