Monday, May 23, 2016

The Mephisto Box - A Horror film and an open door

And now back to being creative....

Director Kelly Hughes, was once called the John Waters of Pacific Northwest Indie Horror Films by Digital Dead magazine back in November of 2015. With more to follow. As of the posting of this blog, Kelly now has eight episodes of his latest feature film, The Mephisto Box up on YouTube.

From Kelly's website:

In this highly anticipated new web series, a disgraced psychiatrist redeems himself by treating a fragile mental patient, only to unleash a demonic attack. Subscribe to the official YouTube channel and watch a new episode every Friday: Video.

Cast of, The Mephisto Box (2016)
Yes, there I am in that lower row.

We had shot some of the film here at my house, which I am currently in the process of selling. We also shot in various other locations around the greater Seattle area. Including in a large church up on Seattle's Capitol Hill along its famous Broadway Avenue. I got to play sound man and general grip that day.

In the shoot at my house I got to fill the positions of F/X man, pyrotechnic and for a while, talent wrangler I suppose. It was fast paced, guerrilla filming, colder than the tip of a witch's nose in Antarctica and at times even a bit hotter than we needed.

We "burned" a guy to death, then chased him down, put arrows through him and later resurrected him as a demon in a ring of fire. Among other things.

You can see many of those shots on Kelly's website.

As I said I'm selling my house. I live on a couple of lovely acres in a forest and I love this environment. It's so peaceful and tranquil here. But I'm looking forward and need to move so I can devote more time to working on my writings and film productions from now on, as well as moving some place more local to what's happening.

My house listed for sale last Friday. There's been a stream of people through here checking it out. I heard one agent tell his client she might want to decide soon as he didn't think the house would be on the market much longer. Which is nice to hear. I've heard one person wants to put a bid on it, that it's the right price but she has to wait till some of her financial dealings are complete in a couple of weeks.

Back in 2006 I had tried to sell... just as the market started to tank and then the bubble burst in the housing market. Now ten years later, here we are again. Though I'm better situated and more motivated to sell. So far so good.

But this is about Kelly's film.

It's fun that we got to shoot some at my house and around my property in a couple of films now. The first being Kelly's recent shortDon't Kill Grandpa Until We Strangle The Baby Sitter. In the teaser you can see me as Grandma's ghost while my son pours gas on the fire behind me. Good times.

That short ten minute film was created for the upcoming DVD compilation GRINDSPLOITATION 2: The Lost Reels. It was a lot of fun to shoot and it turned out better than expected.

However that was just a short. This is about the feature.

In The Mephisto Box, there are some great scenes and acting by many of the actors, including always excellent actor Betty Marshall, a long time veteran of Kelly's films since the 90s. This time she is a disgruntled all around helper for someone of means, and very jealous of her position. There's some real gems in this film for those into indie horror. I even got a short (short) scene as a street preacher.

Here is a teaser for it. Synopsis - A disgraced psychiatrist attempts to redeem himself by treating a young mental patient, not realizing he is tampering with demonic forces in this new series by director Kelly Hughes.

We will be stumbling around Crypticon this upcoming final weekend in May over the Memorial Day weekend. Say hi if you happen to make it. It's a fun film, a fun crew to work with and Kelly is an indomitable force and enjoyable to be around. Just like Crypticon.

I hope you have a great weekend too. If your passions is for creating, film production, or just writing stories, or simply viewing or reading them, find your passion and start acting upon it. Life is just sitting out there, waiting on us, hoping we will knock on that door which will be opened, if you just take the time to look for it and step through.

For me, The Mephisto Box was a part of that door opening. As was my book, Death of heaven. Or my work with a studio some years ago as a screenwriter in absentia (I worked remote as I was in Seattle and they were on the east coast). As was In Memory, Yet Crystal Clear, my first published short horror story (also contained in and the first story in another book of my short stories, Anthology of Evil).

These were my doorways into my passion, writing, getting it out there for people to read. And film production. Something that goes back to being a public access cable TV producer in the early 90s, just like Kelly Hughes. That project so long ago, led to us finding one another on Kelly's entry through that door start then and there, so many years ago.

You never know where what you do will one day lead you. So if you have the inclination, then do something. Act on your desires. Even the little things count sometimes. They are all just one more step up to that door you have to bring up the courage to knock on, to turn the knob on, to push open that heavy creaking door into, your future, your passion, and possibly your bliss.

You will never know if you simply don't try, and try again, and keep trying, until finally one day, probably when you most think it will never actually happens.

Get involved.

Get involved in yourself, in your community of creatives and in ours too by watching and sharing what we have done. So that one day perhaps, you too will be sharing what you have done with us, and we will share it with all of our community.


  1. JZ, thanks for posting this. You really make the experience come alive. And I've enjoyed working with you. But am bummed out you're selling the house. It's been like our very own Paramount Studios. Can't imagine where else we could shoot all our cool pyrotechnic scenes. Oh well, we'll find other places. And we'll have an incredible time at Crypticon this weekend. :)

    1. Thanks Kelly! Happy to be a part of the experience. :) And yeah, I'll miss this place but it's time to move on. Hopefully, I'll end up better staged and located for some of the things I'll be working on in the future.