DUFFIELDS Horror Short Premiere and Exclusive Interview
Indie horror is alive and well, thriving even. We’re lucky to exist in a day and age where horror fans are taking matters into their own hands and we’re seeing a wealth of independent horror make it’s way to us, in long form or short, and we’re extremely excited here at Ghastly Grinning to bring you the premiere of Jason-Christopher Mayer and Chris Palko’s genre short Duffields. Mayer has a feature horror film under his belt already, a savage little slasher called Nobody Gets Out Alive, and Palko is well established in the rap scene as iconic Cardboard City conscious rapper Cage.
Collaborating previously on music, Mayer and Palko have teamed up with Ghastly Grinning to premiere the perfectly suited for Halloween short. Check out Duffields and a brief synopsis below, followed by an interview with Palko and Mayer.
DUFFIELDS, a short film written and directed by underground hip-hop legend Cage (under his real name Chris Palko) and Jason-Christopher Mayer (Nobody Gets Out Alive). Jason-Christopher Mayer also edited the piece whom is mainly known for his editing work, earning an Emmy for The Bay and currently being a staff editor on The Philip DeFranco Show.
A group of friends look for entertainment around the Halloween season. They bump into a promoter for a terrifying attraction - meeting a possessed goat.
Starring Emree Franklin, Madeleine Murphy (Halloween At Aunt Ethels), Dylan Sharon (The Mortuary Collection), and Johannes Aspegren (Masterchef).
Ghastly Grinning (GG): That's an intense little short! It has a really solid, creepy build up, I loved the haunt motif as well as some heavy metal and occultism vibes. What was the inspiration for the short?
Chris: We've known each other for 7-8 years. We worked on multiple projects together - musically. We were planning on doing some videos.
Jason: I just got a bunch of new gear and was working on a few other music videos and we were trying out new gear so we put together this little short.
GG: It's clear that you're both horror fans, whether it's Jason's NOBODY GETS OUT ALIVE or Chris's lyrical prose, horror is an obvious part of your journey. What brought you into the genre and what are your favorites now?
Jason: Horror is a great outlet to disguise a serious topic in blood. Black Christmas (74) will always be my favorite.
Chris: My aunt used to take my cousin and I to the drive in regularly when we were very young to see films like Amityville Horror. So she gets most of the honors. Beloved films for me the obvious Texas Chain Saw Massacre, Black Christmas (74), The Prowler etc
GG: Is there any sort of reason for the setting? I researched Duffield a bit and found a few places, one in Virginia and one in New Jersey, does the one from the short have any sort of factual basis?
Jason: I'm from Jersey. Duffields has amazing apple cider and apple cider donuts. I couldn't think of a title, but was craving those while coming up with the flyer artwork seen in the short.
GG: It's really tightly done, very succinct and to the point, really hits the ground running. How long did it take to film?
Jason: It took two long nights to get done with absolutely no crew. Chris and myself did everything on set and then I did everything in post with Chris assisting.
Chris: It was great to be on the other side of the camera for the first time. Two dudes, a make up person, a bunch of gear and a few actors on a farm for a weekend.
GG: So what's next? It's easy to see this as a full length or do you have some other stories you want to cover?
Jason: We're currently writing a feature length script at the moment that is something of it's own and not associated with this short. We do plan on making other shorts in this same universe, however we're busy with wrapping up the next Sam Hill album and together we'll be making visuals for that.
Chris: (laughing) We have a pile of scripts like everyone else in Los Angeles does. DIY or die.