‘Fear Clinic’ comes to life

Strange how things in life sometimes work out unexpectedly.  Following the release of our novel Abattoir, the film rights were purchased by a producer inLos Angeles.  Fast forward two years, a long array of complete rewrites, seemingly endless notes, and sleepless nights,  we’re finally getting closer to what will be a shooting script.

Because of my involvement on Abattoir, I was approached in November of this past year to serve as the assistant to the producer on “Fear Clinic”  — a horror concept that would start filming in December.  I leaped at the opportunity.  Besides, who could pass up the opportunity to work with Robert Englund, the legendary character actor best known for creating Freddie Krueger in the “Nightmare On Elm Street” franchise.

Fear Clinic was born as a web series on FEARnet and was created by Rob Hall and Aaron Drane. The story centered around a fear doctor (Englund) who treats patients with various phobias.  The concept grew to become the most highly watched horror internet series in history with over six million fans. The leap to the big screen was a logical step.

The shooting location was Medina, Ohio (a sleepy suburban community 30 minutes outside Cleveland) at a former woman’s nursing home.

After a few days on the hectic set I was fortunate to be promoted to associate producer and publicist.

Mani Isler, left, and Robert Englund talk about horrible things on an Ohio radio program last December, while “Fear Clinic” was in production

Thanks to the creative direction of Rob Hall and producer Mark Johnson (pga), the production wrapped after an extremely hectic and challenging three-week schedule.

The film stars Englund, Fiona Dourif, Thomas Dekker and Angelina Armani.  Coupled with the strong cast was the inclusion of legendary special effects masters Steve Johnson, Robert Kurtzman and Rob Hall.  I even had the opportunity to work with Slipknot front man Corey Taylor.

The production was not without it’s own ironic twist of horror.  As we were confined to the same location, a strange flu quickly spread amongst us.  Then the weather hit us hard.  Starting off with pleasant, fall-like temperatures, we were met with an arctic blast of cold and heavy snow. I’ve never experienced the frigid, humid cold like Ohio — made worse by nearby Lake Erie.  The cold was so severe that the location’s entire plumbing system froze.  This, unfortunately, included the toilets.  We were soon shuttling crew members back and forth to a nearby box store for bathroom breaks.  Our location manager did an admirable job in locating a large heated Porta-Potty system (complete with heating and running water).  But this system froze as well.  After a few days, the snow finally melted. We were then met with days of icy, cold rain.

When we wrapped, we were all collectively, exhausted, cold and sorely missing our families and familiar beds.  But we all shared a sense of purpose and the knowledge that we created something special for the global horror audience.

Now that the film is deeply entrenched in post production back in Los Angeles, there is growing anticipation for the completed project.  To be distributed by Anchor Bay Films, Fear Clinic is set to open in late fall of this year.

The experience reinforced my deep love for film and I’m excited about Abattoir coming to life along with other projects.

Lastly, I thank my esteemed writing collaborator Chris Leppek.  If not for him none of this would have been possible.


Watch the trailer at: http://dailydead.com/first-trailer-fear-clinic-movie/