Glenn Douglas Packard’s first feature, Pitchfork, was a disgustingly good time and will make your skin crawl! This film has been on my radar for quite some time, so I was immersed in excitement when I found out I was going to have the opportunity to check it out! With the recent declination of the slasher sub-genre, this film creates super excitement and the character Pitchfork played by Daniel Wilkinson has the potential to be huge amongst the horror fans.
The film is absolutely beautiful, the quality and picture are crisp, vibrant, and captivating I felt as though I was right there, with everyone. Although beautiful, the music makes for a creepy setting and it is apparent that we are quite far away from big-city life and immediately created a loneliness and isolation. The film offered many natural scenic backdrops and unusual angles that just made me smile, and this was constant throughout the movie. The story line presents that small-town terror that we have all come to love and offers just enough backstory to keep the story flowing and interesting.
The cast of the film was absolutely gorgeous and highly appealing. Packard breaks the norm in slasher sub-genre and offers moviegoers a diverse group of characters that are loveable, full of jokes, optimism, and deception; this group is starting their early stages of adulthood. Pitchfork did a tremendous job of offering “throwbacks” to our beloved 80’s genre, swimmingly, Packard delivered.
Throughout the film our monster, Pitchfork develops a rage and presents a sick twisted side which continues as the film progresses. The film is slammed pack with twists and turns and well-crafted sick moments that will make you turn your head in fear and disgust. Using the classic formula of a slasher film, Pitchfork adds a little twist to kick it up a notch or two offering mystery, suspense and screwing with emotions. Pitchfork will not disappoint.
Pitchfork will premiere in theaters and on demand January 13th from Uncork’d Entertainment. Pitchfork will introduce moviegoers to an absolutely horrible new monster. The cast includes Daniel Wilkinson, in the title role, with Lindsey Nicole, Brian Raetz, Ryan Moore, Celina Beach, Keith Webb, Sheila Leason, Nicole Dambro, Vibhu Raghave, Rachel Carter, Andrew Dawe-Collins, Carol Ludwick, Derek Reynolds, Addisyn Wallace and Anisbel Lopez.
Having recently shared a life-changing secret with his family, Hunter recruits his friends to come with him from New York to the farm where he grew up as he faces his parents for the first time. As the college students enjoy the fresh air of Michigan farm country, an older, more dangerous secret slowly emerges. While Hunter navigates a new place within his conservative family, a vicious creature from their past descends on the farm, putting the unsuspecting city kids in mortal danger.
Director and Creator Glenn Douglas Packard granted us a quick interview and explains how this new menacing monster was created. Check it out after the trailer!
Interview With Glenn Douglas Packard
Ryan T. Cusick: How was the story of Pitchfork developed? What influenced you to create such a monster?
Glenn Douglas Packard: Every year during the summer I would take my four nephews and niece camping for seven days, it was a time for me to be Uncle Glenn with them since I had moved away from Michigan; it was a bonding moment between all of us. I would sit around the campfire telling scary stories and watching scary movies with them on a laptop. I would tell them that “one day I would make a scary movie and show them if you put your mind to anything you can do it.” Pitchfork has been in my head for around eight years, I had watched an episode of the Oprah show and remembered watching a man talk about his childhood of being treated like a dog and abused, and here he was on her show with a book, and he had turned his life into something good. What if it had gone the other way? What if it had driven him mad? So at the top of the year 2015, I sat down with my childhood friend and the executive producer of Pitchfork, Darryl Gariglio and we spent about a month developing the screenplay.
RTC: The film was very vibrant and beautiful. Where was the shooting location(s) for this movie?
GDP: It was filmed on my family farm in Clare, Michigan, the very place I grew up on, Packard Farms. The talented director of Photography Rey Gutierez captured its essence ever so nicely. Every scene from the barns, cornfields, cabin and the stone house was all part of my families business & childhood. Even the bloodshed where Pitchfork takes his victims is deep in the woods, it’s an old maple shack that I use to play ‘Friday The 13th’ with my brother or sister, running around chasing them with an ax. Yay, I was that kid. Lol, it is funny I had a full circle moment. As a kid, I couldn’t wait to get out of the small town and to see the world, and now after seeing the world I, was coming home to the very spot I grew up to film a horror film and living out a dream. It was horror magic.
RTC: Your cast was beautiful, stellar, and diverse. Can you explain the casting process? Did you initially write the characters this way?
GDP: I had made a vision board years before the script was done. I knew who I wanted to play most all the parts, having been in the business for so long, I had been collecting actors I had met along the way and stored them in my horror file for, ‘that day I make a horror movie.’ That day had come so I grabbed Keith Webb (Rocky) from my television show I created for the E! Network called ‘Men Of The Strip,’ Vibhu Raghave (Gordon) from the Hollywood movie I had filmed in Poland called ‘Ryhtym.’ Lindsey Nicole (Clare) came from an elite dance company I created called ’The Untouchables,’ Sheila Leason (Janelle), Anisbel Lopez (Trisha), Nicole Dambro (Flo) were dancers from Latin award shows I had done in Miami. Celina Beach (Lenox) is my best friend, has been working for me in many gigs and had a great part in the film ‘Rock of Ages’ with Tom Cruise. Rachel Carter (Ma) was from my coming of age years in NYC, we were roommates in our 20’s auditioning for jobs, and now I was able to cast her in my film. Addisyn Wallace (Jenny) was one of my little Michigan dancers, I had been telling her she was going to play Jenny for like four years, she was almost too old to play her. Ryan Moore (Matt) was actually recommended by the actor who was supposed to play Matt but wasn’t able to. The remaining actors I did not know, they all came from Michigan, along with Mrs & Mr. Killian, Pa, & Hunter. Having these characters living in Michigan (including Jenny & Ma) was necessary for the roles and made it more authentic. I mean Brian Raetz (Hunter) was playing me, so he had the pressure of that along with me being his director, but I just loved his performance in the film. Now Pitchfork who was played perfectly by Daniel Wilkinson was recommended to me by the actress that played Flo; it was me spending hours and hours on the phone with the LA method actor. At the time I still wasn’t sure if I was going with a big buff slasher type or a sleeker frail body type, but after many phone calls, I knew Daniel was the only one to play Pitch.
RTC: Pitchfork was your directorial debut. What were some production challenges that you faced and were you able to overcome these challenges?
GDP: Well, the day before shooting began our line producer, the person that was the glue to the whole production, Noreen Marriott, got into a horrible car accident that left her unable to be on set during shooting. We were shooting with one camera, a skeleton crew and filming mostly nights till dawn, so it was important for me to keep my energy up, so other would as well, and our crew worked their asses off, they were all so talented. It was 21 days of filming with script changes happening daily; I believe in hard work, and dreams come true. If there were ever a moment in my career where that shows, it would be during that summer in 2015 when I shot a horror movie where I grew up. You can sleep when your dead, and I wasn’t gonna give up or let something distract me from making this passion project happen, if you put your mind to something, really believe in it, anything is possible.
RTC: Please tell us that there is more to come! Are we going to see a sequel or even a prequel in the near future?
GDP: When I created Pitchfork I always saw it as a franchise in the horror genre, a trilogy. Pitchfork II would take place five years later, after the birth of Pitchfork, now he knows who he is, it’s Pitchfork 2.0, and Part III would be the prequel, we would go back to see what happen to the boy to make him the monster is today.