Here’s an unusual blend of subgenres. It’s American Werewolf in London meets Jurassic Park (or maybe Carnosaur), with more than a dash of The Incredible Hulk! It’s The Exorcist sequel we never saw, where the conflicted priest becomes a superhero vigilante, Punisher-style.
Man of the clawth. Sometimes the prayers become the prey.
Actually it’s a faux trailer for a film that doesn’t exist called, evocatively, The VelociPastor, directed by Brendan Steere. The question the director is asking is: do you want to see a proper feature-length version? Now’s your chance. You can decide!
A priest loses his parents, and in his hour of darkness begins to question his faith. Of course, during this dark period he is also scratched by an ancient piece of ember, allowing him to transform into a dinosaur and give in to his baser urges. Soon he discovers that indulging in these murderous desires might not be all evil. Sometimes, to make things right, people have to die. Sometimes a lot of people. Enter the man of the clawth. How long has it been since your last confession?
Production comments from the director:
We actually f**ked the film up manually. I mean, there are some digital scratches in there, but 85% of that degradation is the real thing. We shot the film (16mm Kodak’s Vision3 500T stock), and before exposure, I took it into my bathroom, which is the only room in my apartment with no windows, so it was basically a darkroom. Once inside, I proceeded to take the film and scratch it over everything in the room, trying to make it literally look like it had been dragged through a parking lot. For extra measure, we then sealed the film back up and baked it in an oven at 200 degrees for ten minutes, which gave it an extra washed-out and faded look. All of this can be achieved in After Effects of course, but honestly, where’s the fun in that?
Another neat thing: the suit had actually been hanging around in my garage for three years, left over from an old feature film I directed in my high school days. The school bought the suit (paid for it in full — and it was a couple of thousand dollars), but then rejected the script for the film we were gonna shoot on the grounds that it was ‘too violent’. F**k that, whatever. The point is, they let me keep the suit. I’m honestly not sure they remembered they bought it. So technically that amazing dinosaur costume was commissioned with American tax dollars, and honestly, I can’t think of anything more badass than a ‘dinosaur costume’ tax.
On Cast and Crew:
As for the crew, it was a smattering of my friends here at film school, all of whom are amazing and have their own shit. All of them can be found linked from Vimeo.
The cast consisted mainly of friends and family, with the notable exception being Matt Ziegel — the VelociPastor himself — who is a wonderful actor I’ve got some projects coming up with soon. Matt operates out of Manhattan, as I do.
On Brendan Steere:
I’ve been writing/directing/editing films for nearly half my life. At nineteen, I’ve directed three feature films and countless shorts about any damn subject imaginable, though horror films are definitely my preferred genre. I’m currently attending SVA in Downtown Manhattan for Directing. I’m churning little things out all the time while working on larger projects like the VelociPastor feature (which is currently being written — we’ll see when we get to that one. Maybe as early as this summer). I update videos, blog, etc. here and people can follow me on Twitter.
On the future of The VelociPaster:
I’ve sent this trailer out to some film fests, hoping one will pick it up. If there’s a positive enough reaction, the feature will get underway.
So, if you want Brendan to make a film out of this exercise in cinematic tongue-in-cheekiness, leave a comment either at the end of this article or on YouTube. He assures us it will make a difference.
- Brendan Steere via Avery; Poster illustrated by Wyeth Yates