Here are the synopsis for each film as well as some details on the making of each:
ROAD TRIP (Wraparound 1): Jeff, still searching for Sabiah after the events of SHIVERS DOWN YOUR SPINE, finds a new lamp in an arcade. Upon rubbing it, out pops not Sabiah, but her little sister, Mahktoonah. Together, the two go on an ancient Road Trip that just so happens to be quite the odyssey…
A comedic adaptation of Homer’s THE ODYSSEY
The longest film in the anthology. I had never seen a horror anthology with two separate wraparound stories that came together in the end. I figured “Why not?”, lol.
C’MON BABY LIGHT MY FLAME (Wraparound 2): Sabiah’s lamp is found by a sadistic killer who is biding his time in order to carve out her flame and bring about the destruction of the world!
A comedic adaptation of the trappings of “torture porn”. What I wanted to do with this one is show a sort of grungy, nasty killer, but subvert expectations with the more “clean” look of the garage and the goofy hijinks.
THE DEVIL’S CORKSCREW: A group of thieves try to escape being hunted down by the owner of the gold they took while dealing with their own internal issues.
Western! We’d always wanted to make a western. Part of the SPINE anthology series is letting us play around in genres and styles that we just would not have the resources to do with a feature. This was a bucket list thing for us.
ISABELLE RETURNS: Isabelle Wakeworth rises from the grave to murder horny co-eds in this animated tale of terror!
In 2015, I made a feature length slasher film called THE EYES OF ISABELLE which I hated and that very few people have ever seen, lol. I took a particular group of sequences from that feature, that of Isabelle coming back from the dead, and tweaked it into a script for our animator M.W. Leitzel to do something with.
I thought adding an animated film to the anthology would be a fun and unique aspect that wouldn’t be expected.
THE DITCH: A group of strangers come together and find something very interesting in a Nebraska ditch…
This was designed to try and be a minimalist, straightforward horror yarn. The concept was “what can we do with 3 actors in the middle of nowhere with a minimum of locations”.
The hyper saturated stylized look to it was to give it a bit of an otherworldly feel. As you can imagine, a car, dirt road, and ditch aren’t the most pleasing of color palettes, so we decided to give it its own unnatural visual style.
BED AND BREAKFAST: A young girl is hunted by a sadistic ghoul at an old Bed and Breakfast on a dark and stormy night…
This is a throwback to the “nudie cutie” shorts of people like Harrison Marks. He did a nudie cutie with June Palmer called Nightmare at Elm Manor. That was the inspiration to make this film, coupled with the highly stylized lighting of 70’s giallo films.
The Chills bluray has a Black and White version of this film
INTERMISSION: Three individuals watch the first half of CHILLS DOWN YOUR SPINE and give you their important thoughts!
The wraparound story for SHIVERS DOWN YOUR SPINE was shot last as the short films in that were never originally intended to be part of an anthology (long story). Because of that, Sabiah and Jeff’s commentary was designed as a meta thing, making fun of the shortcomings and/or strengths of each individual film. CHILLS was designed as an anthology from the beginning but because of that, we could not do as meta of a wraparound commentary as we wanted due to having not shot the films.
INTERMISSION is our way of doing a number of things. Mark Popejoy is the producer of CHILLS and he is playing himself (he also appears later on within the film in CALLING OF THE THINGS BEYOND). RETURN OF THE ROBO-MUMMY FROM OUTER SPACE PART 7 is a feature film we shot 2 years ago that we are currently in post-production on, so the Robo-Mummy character serves as a plug for that. And Kamaria is a new genie that will appear in TINGLES DOWN YOUR SPINE, the planned third and final film in the trilogy that deals with the repercussions of the events of this film.
We know our shit is long, lol. But our perspective is “Hey, we’re gonna give people as much content value for their money as we possibly can, and oh by the way, there is no requirement that anybody has to watch a horror anthology straight thru in one shot.” We wanted to play that up in a fun way and riff on the inevitable “This movie is too long” complaints that we know we will be getting :)
HYSTERIA!: A burlesque troupe arrives for a show on Halloween night only to be wrapped up in a Clue-like comedic murder mystery!
I love murder mysteries. We wanted to make a goofy fun, Scooby-Doo esque homage to those sorts of films. And hey, killer ventriloquist doll is another bucket list movie making adventure.
BLOOD MODEL: An artist tries to find inspiration in a beautiful model but finds he’s having trouble getting his paintings to look right.
Probably the most straight forward “horror” film on the anthology. Generally, we’re more into entertaining, comedic and/or stylized types of horror. In other words, we’re just trying to have fun. With this one, we attempted to be more serious and less comedic.
THE WHIRLPOOL OF NIGHT: A private investigator has to steal an object from a powerful woman with deadly results..
I love film noir. SHIVERS had one called SHORTLY AFTER NIGHTFALL, and CHILLS is no different (TINGLES will also have one). With this, I wanted to do two things: A) make an all-female film noir (which we’re not sure even existed before this) B) try our hand at action filmmaking. Action was not something we had ever really done and this was sort of a test run for bigger future plans.
THE CALLING OF THE THINGS BEYOND: Reality begins to break and crack when a young woman finishes a cursed play…
We wanted to go completely outside our comfort zone and make something WEIRD. I’ve always wanted to do a Lovecraftian themed short and from the get go, we wanted to put the audience off kilter and make them ask “What the fuck is going on?”. What’s real, what’s not, and could we pull off an apocalyptic feel without any money. This is our attempt at that.