Director Ace Jordan has been staying busy with his newest short “Kill Devil Hill” recently playing in festivals as well as the graphic novel “Grad Night” he’s currently working on. “Kill Devil Hill” tells the story about a father who becomes possessed and kills his two sons. The film is based on a true story that involves the occult. “Grad Night” is teenage vampire saga with a dark twist. Jordan is also rewriting a feature about an abandoned mental asylum. Recently we had the opportunity to talk to Ace about “Kill Devil Hill”, “Grad Night” and the film he’s currently rewriting. Read the interview here..
Golden State Haunts and Events: Where did you get the inspiration for Kill Devil Hill?
Ace Jordan: It was a combination of things really. Years ago, I was working a crappy data entry job and I came across a piece of mail. The address was from a city called “Kill Devil Hill.” It’s a real place in North Carolina. I thought that would be the perfect setting for a horror film. Next, I had a rough idea for a horror film where the father of an idyllic all american family wakes up in the middle of the night and brutally murders his children for no apparent reason. The idea of no motive has always intrigued me. Fear of the Unknown is one of our most primal fears.
GSHE: Is this based on a true story?
Jordan: Yes. I watch a lot of non-fiction crime documentaries. I have interest in real life crimes. While doing research for a horror story I was developing, I came across the story of a man from the UK who murdered his two children for no apparent reason (or at least the reason he gave made no rational sense). When investigators questioned his friends and neighbors, they said he had recently become strangely fascinated with The Devil, Satanism and The Occult. He murdered his two sons but never laid a finger on his teenage daughter. It was very bizarre crime. I cut the daughter character out of the film and changed the names of people involved. I also changed the location to Kill Devil Hill, North Carolina.
GSHE: What was the hardest part about writing it?
Jordan: Knowing what clues to put in the script and when to use them. The script originally had several clues that were cut out of the film, mostly because we just didn’t have time to shoot them. It was a very low budget film and we were on a very strict schedule. The film is meant to be watched repeatedly. Each time you watch it you pick up on little details you missed before. My intention was to present the crime and let the audience play detective.
GSHE: Tell us about the scene with the Pagan sacrifice site.
Jordan: The audience never really learns much about site of the ritual. All you see is some sort of Pagan or Satanic ritual took place there recently. The bleeding face on the back of the tree is a Baphomet. People who would like to know more about that are free to research it online. After Joey touches the Golden Skull it appears to come to life in some sort of supernatural form. However, when Jesse finds his son unconscious on the ground, there is no visible evidence of what Joey saw actually happened. He may have simply experienced a hallucination.
GSHE: Analyze the scene where the father becomes possessed through his son.
Jordan: The film is deliberately abstract. It is implied that Jesse does somehow become possessed or infected by “something” and this is what leads him to murder his son(s). However, the means of transmission are unknown.
GSHE: Did you face any obstacles filming the movie?
Jordan: Many, in the production process. Mostly to do with securing locations. Some random women found our Facebook page and warned us not to make a movie about this case. On the last day of shooting, there was a bad car accident right in front of the house. One of our principle actors and one of our key crew members were severely injured in bizarre unrelated accidents. Perhaps the movie is cursed. Maybe it is just a coincidence. Both have fully recovered since their accidents.
GSHE: What did you like most about making the film?
Jordan: I enjoyed collaborating with a very talented group of people. Many of them put in effort far beyond their minuscule paychecks. I think it shows on screen.
GSHE: What would you like the audience to get out of the film?
Jordan: I just wanted to give the audience a terrifying, visceral experience and give them the chance to play detective in a bizarre murder mystery.
GSHE: Are you planning on turning this into a feature film?
Jordan: Yes, I have a feature film version in development. Some of it is based on other real life crimes but it is mostly fiction. The story is quite large in scale versus the short film so I would likely need a small studio budget to make that a reality and I just don’t have the financial backing at this time. I’m also exploring the idea of turning Kill Devil Hill into a graphic novel but I all ready have another graphic novel in production right now. So, I’m going to have to wait and see how that plays out.
GSHE: Tell us about the graphic novel you’re working on?
Jordan: GRAD NIGHT is a teenage vampire saga but with a dark twist. It is about a graduation party held at a seaside carnival run by vampires. One very troubled student has smuggled in a duffle bag full of guns. He quickly becomes the senior classes only chance of survival. It is about his transformation from mentally disturbed, violent teenager to full on vampire slayer, a dark anti-hero’s journey from villain to hero. The first volume in the series in now available at http://www.gradnightcomic.com.
GSHE: What else are you working on?
Jordan: I’m currently rewriting a feature about a business trip to a lodge in the woods that turns out to be an abandoned mental asylum. I hope to be in production by summer 2013 but there is still a long way to go.