Topic: Making a Horror movie based on a local legend

I am currently working with other college students like myself to create a horror movie about a local legend. the legend is based around a bridge that a man was hung from back in the civil war era after being caught killing people who would stay at his nearby hotel, rob them, and bury them on the river bank. there isn't a lot of written history on the subject so there is alot to be made up. but i'm stuck on conversations, i need comic relief!!!! I'm working with a good crew but so far i don't like anything we've written. i need help so i am reaching out to the horror community. the legend is very popular in the area, most all people growing up in this area know the story and went out to stuckey's bridge in the middle of the night with groups of friends. it is a great idea and will be highly popular locally which may spread to a national level once done. no one has ever attempted to make a movie based on this local legend. i've done location scouting and have some of the most awesome creepy middle of the woods places picked out to do the shooting. this is a low to no budget film because we are all students so we will be putting in the extra effort to shoot everything on location. any tips and warnings are appreciated.

Last edited by fake_being (2010-08-19 15:48:14)

Re: Making a Horror movie based on a local legend

Where are you from? Its sounds a little like Sin Jin Smythe  with Roddy Piper that I REALLY WAS LOOKING FORWARD to seeing but they shelved the project. crap.!!!!
Bridge/ local legends are great, so much play with the storyline. Comic relief , may I suggest some kind of good hearted brother tension or dare ya between two good freinds. Play out the characters, everyone loves fleshed out, likeable characters. Then we can all be pissed off at you when you kill them off LOL.
Welcome to the site, I hope you post more and I hope I helped big_smile

Re: Making a Horror movie based on a local legend

If it is a big local legend, I'd try something about kids going out to the bridge at night on some dare.  DO NOT make the car unable to re-start; I will come find you and eat your house.  If you want to strand them, have something freak them out and the driver squeals off real fast right into a tree.

You could go the zombie route with the victims coming back, but meh.  A nice little story would be having people just disappearing at the bridge.  Have a ghost stalk the kids as they walk back to town.  You could make it into an anthology as the kids walked back as they tell each other various stories about the disapperences/ survivors/ wookies whatever.  Don't have it end where they're all dead already.  Just when they get abck to town, have a giant crocodile eat them (OK, I was kidding about the crocodile.  Make it a giant teddy bear.)

Good luck!

Re: Making a Horror movie based on a local legend

How about this:

A group of teenagers decide to shoot a documentary about the hanging for a class project. They camp in the woods between both the bridge and the abandoned lodged where the murders took place. Of course the kids spend more time partying then on the school project. You could have scenes of a dangling body and or corpse standing in the clearing just out of focus before it disappears. The events in the obligatory creepy scenes will point that something more happened at the lodge and an innocent man may have been hanged.

For comic relief one of the guys brought his little kid brother who’s a horn dog and refers to himself as muff master (or anything inappropriate for a kid his age) he hits on the older girls and always gets in the way of the couples when they try to hook up.

At the lodge, one by one the group starts disappearing. the muff master or his brother uncovers a diary and has a vision where he’s shown the man that was hanged was a simpleton and the simpleton's brother was the killer and framed him. 

the climax: the now demonic brother has the last of the girls cornered, the muff master escapes to get help and goes to the bridge.  At the bridge he yells out "I know your innocent" and the hanging body appears again. Fighting his fear MM climbs up and cuts the corpse down which falls to the ground then disappears. MM gets back to the lodge just in time to see the demon fight the corpse. MM and the last girl escape as the lodge burns.

Last edited by swollenguy (2010-08-19 18:13:40)

Re: Making a Horror movie based on a local legend

lol muff master lol

Re: Making a Horror movie based on a local legend

Who needs comic relief?  You're making a low budget horror movie, so make a low budget horror movie, the scarier and more authentic the better.  The world needs more Evil Deads, not more Cabin Fevers.

Re: Making a Horror movie based on a local legend

By the way -- is this a student film, as in a class project, or just a movie you're all making on your own?

If it's the latter, contact your state's film commission board.  Have a screenplay finished, maybe film a few key scenes (even if on video) and take it to them.  Be ready to pitch your flick like it's the best thing since sliced bread and make them believe it's your lifelong dream to be a filmmaker.  You could impress them right into a grant.

Some other tips/advice:

Look for local actors, particularly if there's a playhouse in your area.  Loads of amateur actors are willing to work for little-to-no money for a first film credit.

Look up other local filmmakers in your area.  Homegrown filmmakers tend to be a tight-knit group, always looking out for other aspiring filmmakers and always willing to lend a helping hand.

Check out your local papers, particularly if there's an alternative rag in your area.  Comb the classifieds.  Invariably you'll find people advertising for film work. 

I cannot stress enough that you get to know other filmmakers/aspiring filmmakers in your area.  Grass roots filmmaking is an art form in and of itself, mostly in regards to obtaining resources.  You'd be amazed how many friend's dentist's cousin's ex-roommate's accountant's OBGYNs would be willing to put up a few bucks just for the sheer thrill of being involved in a movie, regardless of the level of filmmaking.

Pimp yourself like a bastard.  Eli Roth gets a lot of shit from the fanboys for his self-hype, but that self-hype has landed him three theatrical releases, several million in the bank and best buddy status with Quentin Tarantino.  Whether it's an A-List Hollywood producer or the aforementioned six-times removed OBGYN, when you pitch your movie you're selliing yourself every bit as much as the project.  Imagine speaking to investors like a job interview.  Be professional but personable, confident but not arrogant. 

But before you do any of this -- finish your script. wink

Last edited by LoudLon (2010-08-20 02:37:04)

Re: Making a Horror movie based on a local legend

reply for thedeadshallrule - the legend takes place in Chunky, Mississippi, a really small town outside Meridian, MS. Good suggestions, thanks, and don't worry, i do plan on killing everybody.

reply for Monkey Lord of Chaos - It's a pretty popular legend. I know dozens of people who have similar experiences that i do from my teen years. me and a bunch of friends would go out to the bridge in the middle of the night, park before it and walk to the center. everything would be really quiet and some ass would always yell out "what the fuck was that?" and everyone would haul ass back to the truck and even if you didnt hear anything or wasnt scared you had to run or you would be left there. and i was toying with ways about destroying there way out, i was gonna do the car won't start, i was thinking more of a slashed or flattened tire or two or four. in order to be able to pull of a wreck i would need to see my buddies at the junk yard and see if they could donate a clunker.

reply for  Deranged Puppet - Muff Master! nice. that's good, i'll have to put that one passed the guys. i was wanting it to be some sexual or drug related humor cause if you just sit back at movie and watch everyone elses reactions, you know normal people that don't laugh at the gore and sick shit like i do, i've noticed that's usually what most people find funny. and the whold innocent thing clashes with the legend, it's a good idea and i don't have to follow the legend but this guy was an ex member of The Dalton Gang which was one of jesse james' first gangs, some bad mofos and i ain't talking about the guy building choppers.

reply for 100% Death Proof - You're right about that but i'm looking at who i work with and most of the guys i work with are all goofy, they love tim and eric and they are awesome with improve comedy and randomness. So the main reason i say i NEED IT, is cause i'm trying to use my resources to the full extent. play off their strengths. and this is a project we're doing on out own, nothing to do with the college except we'll be using their equipment and studio. And thanks for the tips, i'm out there meeting all i can locally to help with this project. thing is, i live in mississippi, not alot of film makers but the ones i find i'm keeping in touch with. We're are going to make this happen. it's just too good an idea. and i'm sure i can sell it. but like you said i gotta cast, before i can cast i gotta finish the damn script. 

Thanks all you guys. Definitaly have given me some things to consider.

Re: Making a Horror movie based on a local legend

A quick google of Stuckey's Bridge got me this from Wikipedia:

According to legend, a member of the Dalton Gang named "Stuckey" owned a nearby inn where he would rob and murder his guests and bury his victims bodies on the riverbank. The legend says that after murdering twenty people, Stuckey was finally caught and hung from the newly constructed bridge located on the site of his murders. Rumours of Stuckey haunting the bridge arose as well as claimed sightings of an old man carrying a lantern along the river's edge, loud splashes that supposedly represent Stuckey's body hitting the water after his noose was cut, and visions of his lifeless corpse hanging from the bridge.

It definitely sounds like a cool legend that you could have fun with.

As for the idea of abandoning them out there you could always get the car stuck in a ditch or have the "new kids" stay out there for a night on a dare or just get left out there as a prank. It doesn't  look like there are many places to go for help from the pictures on the net.

Re: Making a Horror movie based on a local legend

He's right about it being a local legend... i heard about it when i was kid when my old man was stationed at Columbus Air Force Base in Mississippi. I've seen the bridge .. the location is pretty creepy actually. It will definitely lend itself to the atmosphere of the movie. Good luck.

Re: Making a Horror movie based on a local legend

all great advice. I would listen to Loudlon .

and  listen to  Azaztohs and Swollen's  great  story deas