Three weeks of pre-production remain before production commences on Slime City Massacre, Gregory Lamberson’s sequel to his 1988 cult film Slime City. The film stars Debbie Rochon, Lee Perkins, Brooke Lewis, Robert Sabin, horror author Kealan Patrick Burke and Jennifer Bihl; it is produced by Marc Makowski, who co-produced the original, and executive produced by John Maclay, a horror writer and publisher.
“I developed this project simultaneously with another one called Deadly Rites,” the filmmaker and Bram Stoker Award nominated author (Johnny Gruesome, Cheap Scares!) says. “I suspected that the executive producer on Deadly Rites was jerking my chain, and when my suspicion proved correct I had Slime City Massacre ready to go. I knew that the only way I was going to get another film off the ground was to say, ‘I’m going to make this film come hell or high water. Somehow I’ll raise the money and begin production on July 11th.’ I was only off by one day – we’re shooting on July 10th!”
Slime City Massacre depicts the survival story of Alexa (Bihl) and Cory (Burke), two fugitives from a totalitarian government who hide out in Slime City, the remnants of midtown Manhattan after a dirty bomb has wiped out the financial distract. The lovers team up with Alice (Rochon) and Mason (Perkins), two hardened survivors, and the foursome discovers a supply of unusual wine and “Himalayan yogurt” in the cellar of an abandoned soup kitchen. Flashbacks set in 1959 show how an occultist named Zachary Devon (Sabin, who starred in the original film) formed the Coven of Flesh, and why he and his followers committed mass suicide. Back in the future, our hapless heroes consume the elixir and yogurt, only to become slime oozing monsters as the spirits of the cult members possess their bodies.
“This film takes the drug addiction metaphor of the original and goes much farther with it,” Lamberson explains. “We’ve multiplied the sex, violence and action of Slime City tenfold. We have radioactive skies, camps of homeless people, mercenaries, and a society of cannibals. Anytime I’ve been tempted to scale things back to make shooting easier I’ve gone in the opposite direction – How can we make this even bigger? This film is both a period piece and a futuristic, post apocalyptic film, with four creature characters instead of one.”
To achieve the project’s ambitious scope, Lamberson has employed five different special effects artists and their various assistants: Rod Durick, Craig Lindberg, Arick Szymecki, John Renna and Andrew Lavin. “We’re combining old school appliances with cutting edge CGI. I told the guys, ‘This film is a celebration of 80s splatter films. I want to smell latex!’ They kind of looked at each other and said, ‘These days we use silicone…'”
The large cast also includes Tom Sweeney, who starred in Lamberson’s Undying Love and Naked Fear; Tom Merrick, who co-starred in Slime City; Dick Biel, who appeared in Slime City as well as Splatter University; Playboy model and actress Angelina Leigh; and filmmaker Roy Frumkes, who wrote and directed Street Trash and has recently completed The Definitive Document Of The Dead.
“It’s the biggest and best cast that I’ve ever worked with,” Lamberson says. “I wrote a part for Debbie that really plays to her strengths and will hopefully push her in a way she hasn’t been pushed before. I guarantee fans will be talking about her character after they see this. She’s a hell of an actress, and she really gets the material. It’s a big deal for me to have her playing a substantial role in this.”
Lamberson expects to finish the film by the end of this year, then plans to take it on the film festival circuit while making foreign sales in 2010, the same year that Medallion Press will publish his novels The Frenzy Way and Desperate Souls. “I’ve had some success as a novelist, and I believe that’s where my future lies. But I’ve always felt I had unfinished business as a filmmaker. This could be the last film I ever make, and I want it to be something that will really thrill smarter horror fans.”
Lamberson’s first three features – Slime City, Undying Love and Naked Fear – will be released on DVD as Greg Lamberson’s Slime City Grindhouse Collection by POP Cinema on July 28th, while the sequel is still shooting.