A Cyclops Tale

  • Film

I’m making another short film.

It’s about a woman who resurrects a cyclops. Things don’t go well for them, as you can imagine!

It’s a real thing! We are shooting at the end of June. I have a cast, a crew, and it’s all scheduled and budgeted. The script is…still happening. 😆

Why a cyclops movie? Well…

Bruce Campbell and Sam Raimi on the set of Evil Dead 2 sometime in 1986

I have been wanting to do a creature feature for as long as I’ve been a filmmaker. The reason I am even here today in L.A. making movies with my friends is because of that fateful day I watched Evil Dead 2 on a wood-paneled 13″ TV in my sister’s room some weekend probably in late February, 1993.

I had seen a trailer for Army of Darkness and it instantly grabbed my 12 y.o. imagination. I begged my dad to take me for my birthday, and he agreed since it looked so fun. There was no internet for us back then, so I don’t remember where I read that it was the 3rd movie in the series. Logic dictated that I should probably watch the prior movies so I knew what we were getting into.

an old friend Cory recently released this single about my hometown video store

So we went to The Video Spectrum, downtown Bowling Green, Ohio, and grabbed their copy of #2. I don’t remember why we didn’t start with #1 — maybe they didn’t have it in, or we didn’t think we could watch both movies in time? Either way – that’s probably a good thing! Their tones are obviously quite different, and if my dad had seen what #1 was like he would have had second thoughts about taking me to #3.

I remember it was a quiet Saturday afternoon. I don’t remember anyone being home besides my mom at the time. Maybe they were out at someone’s basketball tournament since the Edwards kids had basketball tournaments all the time back then. So I popped that tape in our old VCR and took it all in.

I was riveted. Mind you – I had never seen any kind of zombie movie with any kind of gore or special effects like that outside of Indiana Jones sequences that I grew up closing my eyes to. I couldn’t believe what I was watching. And that ending…I never knew you could mash genres together like that! A gory horror comedy and now it’s got time travel? My mind was blown.

The movie ended. My jaw was on the floor. I needed more. And to this day I don’t know if I’ve ever done what I did next:

I hit rewind. I hit play. I watched it a 2nd time immediately.

I emerged, bleary-eyed, some 3+ hours later in a daze. So much was going through my mind. I needed to know how they made it. “Mom, I’m going to make movies!” “Hopefully not like that, son!” is what she probably thought.

I ran to the library and got this book on filmmaking that had stories of indie filmmakers from the 70’s and 80’s. I can’t remember the name of the book for the life of me, but it had a chapter on the making of The Evil Dead, so naturally I had to rent that too. Its serious tone and pure horror hit me differently, that’s for sure. I’ve since seen it on the big screen a few times and it is always a terrifying experience, not as much “fun” as #2.

#2’s humor is what really grabbed me. It makes sense now that we know how much of a Three Stooges fan Sam Raimi was growing up. He was having so much fun with all the funhouse effects and camera tricks.

Fast-forward 28 years. I’ve made lots of little movies since then, and a couple features, but never anything in the original genre that hooked me in the first place.

So why not? It’s time to get back to my love of filmmaking’s roots. I’m going to make a creature feature (short) this summer to dip my toe in. If it goes well, maybe someone will help me make a proper feature-length based on it?

My favorite desk decoration

I picked a cyclops because I love them and I’ve been wanting to do a cyclops movie for a while now. I love the mythology behind them, the makeup effects (I see you, Krull and Gentlemen Broncos), and I think there’s a lot of potential for a gory good time.

I look forward to sharing my pre-production process here as we prepare for our shoot at the end of June.

More on this as we go!