In 2006, director Scott Glosserman unleashed Behind The Mask : The Rise of Leslie Vernon, a love letter to slasher flicks that has for the past several years been at the tippy top of many a genre fan's Top 10 list of the best horror movies in recent years. Though the film was a pretty big success in regards to the horror community, and though Leslie Vernon is primed and ready for a return, there is still for whatever reason a studio reluctancy to fund a second installment (uhh ... what?). Which is where us fans come into play. Folks, Leslie Vernon is relying on the extended family that is the horror community to bring him back to life. I could tell you all about it but i've decided instead to turn the floor over to my good friend Kristy Jett, who is able to speak more eloquently about the subject given that she spoke for several hours this past weekend to Glosserman, writer David Stieve and star Nathan Baesel about the whole ordeal. So I now turn the floor over to Kristy to fill you in on all the details and more importantly how you can help the film get made, in a call to arms she wrote from the heart exclusively for us here on Freddy In Space!
When I first saw “Behind The Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon” I was so taken aback in the very best of ways. I felt like for a few years I had been drowning in a sea of mediocre Horror, and here came (forgive the cliché) a bright ray of sunlight to guide me back to the surface. Reminding me that Horror would always have life in it, especially when films like this could come along and blow me away.
A few days ago I caught wind of a Facebook fanpage called “Before The Mask: The Return of Leslie Vernon”…I nearly hyperventilated. A sequel? Yes! But wait, what’s this? No funding? WHAT?!
Yes, a successful, straight to DVD Horror film that sold 250,000 copies with no funding. They’re hoping to start shooting in the Fall, but it won’t happen without a budget in place. The world we live in kids, it’s a scary one isn’t it? Behind The Mask is for the most part beloved in our tight-knit Horror community and we are of those 250,000 copies sold. Yet so far no production company has stepped forward to offer to finance it.
The filmmakers and cast of Behind The Mask; Scott Glosserman, David Stieve, Angela Goethals and of course Leslie Vernon himself, Nathan Baesel have a script that is arguably better than the original. They want to make it. They want to treat all of the fans who supported the original so fervently.
They need us. This isn’t some huge Hollywood studio looking for a hand out. This is an Independent group of artists who want to give us what we deserve- a Horror film deserving of our money but even more importantly, deserving of our respect. Anybody can say “I’m a Horror fan, I can write a Horror movie!” But it takes a true fan to not only sit down and write something, but write something good, write something that honors the Horror community and genre without dumbing it down or disrespecting it. Behind The Mask is arguably the best deconstructionist Horror film of recent memory and why shouldn't it have a sequel?
Before The Mask: The Return of Leslie Vernon, in the words of star Nathan Baesel, “It’s a very different movie. They have skillfully managed to keep the tone familiar to the first film but also bring it to the next level. I thought ‘No way, they can’t top the first script,’ but then I read it. They did.”
Even screenwriter David Stieve says “Leslie Vernon is not going ANYWHERE. He is not giving up,” and adds that unlike other sequels this one “takes it to the next logical step.”
The sequel promises to explore Leslie’s origins further as he is pursued by Taylor, the SurvivorGirl from the original, using some convention from Horror history to flesh out the story of Leslie Vernon. However, this film promises to be a film all its own.
This is the time that we, as the Horror community have to stand up and put our money where our mouths are. We have to prove that we want to support Independent Horror.
How can we do this? We’re not millionaires! I know, I hear you. I am right there with you. But the best part is, the filmmakers are looking to raise the money for their film in the most honest of ways…by pre-selling you the finished DVD. That’s right, for $24 (the cost of the DVD with shipping) you will help finance Before The Mask: The Return of Leslie Vernon.
The hope is that after enough attention that a production company will step forward and agree to finance production, but in the meantime, and possibly until they raise the budget of $1 million, they’re looking to us to make this happen.
What are we waiting for?! If we sit around and just wait for Hollywood to make the kind of Horror films we want to see we may be sitting here til we turn all Chester Copperpot.
Go "LIKE" THE FACEBOOK FANPAGE FOR BEFORE THE MASK and follow the instructions on how to pre-reserve your copy. You WILL NOT be charged until the project is fully funded and greenlit.
We all banded together to see Adam Green through on his quest to release Hatchet 2 in its uncut glory, why are we even hesitating to stick our necks out on this one? Let’s make it happen.
Yep, you read right Behind The Mask fans. All you've gotta do is pre-order the sequel, which you'd likely buy when it hit DVD anyway, and you will help make the movie a reality. Other funding options are available including posters both signed and unsigned and it should be noted that the DVD you will get for pre-ordering now will be a "Limited Supports Edition". A million bucks might seem like a lot of money but if you do the math and multiply the pre-order cost by the number of units of the Behind The Mask DVD us fans bought, you'll realize how easy the goal can be reached if we all band together and support the independent horror we all crave. It's times like these when we either nut up or shut up ...