Puppets are a staple of horror films. But a horror film made using only puppets? That’s got to be a first of some kind (though it’s actually a second). The teaser trailer for The Mill At Calder’s End has been released. It’s the creation of Kevin McTurk, a renowned special effects artist and puppet builder. He launched a Kickstarter campaign to fund the project and now it appears to finally be headed for release.
The movie, billed as a Victorian ghost story puppet film, sees a man called Nicholas Grimshaw return to his childhood hometown and investigate an old mill that hides dark secrets. Below this ruin he discovers long-forgotten catacombs – here the horror truly starts. The concept presentation from Kickstarter explains it all quite nicely:
This is a follow-up to McTurk’s first gothic puppet horror, The Narrative of Victor Karloch, starring Christopher Lloyd and Elijah Wood. These are not stop-motion productions, but real-time puppeteering, as The Verge explains:
The figures — which are roughly two-and-a-half feet tall — are known as bunraku puppets. Three or more puppeteers trained in the centuries-old Japanese art of bunraku puppetry manipulate the figures to give them life-like movement. In traditional bunraku puppet theater, the puppeteers are shrouded in black and visible on-stage, but they’ve either been cropped out of frame or digitally removed in “The Mill at Calder’s End.” True to the art style, McTurk is shying away from special effects in the film, explaining that “there will be almost no computer generated imagery in the final film” because “it is my goal to make a film that celebrates practical effects.”
To cap things off, here’s the first poster…
Last Updated: August 26, 2014