The weekend of April 24th-26th 2020, will forever be known as the rise of independent horror films. The reason we say this is due to the fact that there was only one horror movie that was released. That movie would be, none other than, Jack Hunter’s HORROR NIGHTS, put out by Southern Sykos Productions, LLC. This film has been covered on our site before, but we are here to tell you the update on this historic moment in horror movie cinematic history!
Throughout this coronavirus pandemic across the world, movie theatres have shut down; unfortunately for some, they may never open again. Big studio companies have stopped production on all major films and pushed back numerous releases that were expected to hit theatres in April, May and even June. All films have been pushed back, at least six months. But what happened next, that’s the historic moment we are speaking of for the independent film company, Southern Sykos Productions, LLC.
With all the shutdowns, lockdown and quarantine that the world has been under, there was one Drive-In theater that pushed the boundaries and over-came the situation that we are currently in. A little town in Florida, named Ocala, has a Drive-In Theatre ran by John Watzke. He opened up his Drive-In and enforced the 6ft social distancing by having cars 6ft apart from each other and 6ft markers by his concession stand. John has been playing movies for the community of Ocala for several years and has been entertaining them every weekend and during the week with limited showings of hit films. John Watzke, took a chance this past weekend. He showed the ONLY horror film on the biggest screen in the state of Florida. I think you know where this is heading. He did a two-night midnight premiere of the horror film, Jack Hunter’s HORROR NIGHTS. For the record, this horror film has been THE ONLY new horror film released theatrically. What does this mean? Well, we will inform you now.
Throughout the last couple of weekends, IFC FILMS put out two new films entitled, SWALLOW and the other film, RESISTANCE. These aren’t your typical films, but they have played out fairly well alongside, TROLLS: WORLD TOUR. These are technically the biggest budgeted films to be put out for a theatrical run since the coronavirus pandemic. Though TROLLS: WORLD TOUR, was first released via a streaming platform, it is not considered to be a ‘NEW’ movie. SWALLOW and RESISTANCE each earned $705 from the box office last week and both earned $2.5k the previous weekend. With that being said, the box-office for Jack Hunter’s HORROR NIGHTS is reported[IMDB] to have made $1,320 opening weekend going up against the two features IFC FILMS have released. This makes, Jack Hunter’s HORROR NIGHTS, The #1 Horror Movie in the USA!
As you know, Jack Hunter’s HORROR NIGHTS, is a new anthology put together by Southern Sykos Productions, LLC. It involves 7 of the most talented filmmakers from across the globe. It has 13 horror shorts that are each terrifying in their own way. The host Malvolia dives you into the mind of Jack Hunter and is expressed through the filmmakers. The filmmakers in this film are Paul Catalanotto, Velton J. Lishke, Jennifer Nangle, Ben Escobar, Joe Lujan, Robert Bryce Milburn, and Anthony Harriman. The producers behind the film are Jack Hunter, Walter C. Jones, Dustin Hubbard, Jennifer Nangle, Joe Lujan, Jason Swanger, and Chris Gibson.
This film, Jack Hunter’s HORROR NIGHTS made cinematic horror history by being a film, put out independently, through Southern Sykos Productions, LLC. All of the classic films we love to this day like, John Carpenters HALLOWEEN & Wes Cravens Nightmare On Elm Street, were independently made. Those are films that defined a generation and we at Horror Facts will go on record here, ‘Jack Hunter’s HORROR NIGHTS defines this generation of horror films’. You may say that that is a heck of a bold statement, well, let’s break it down so you can understand our statement.
Just like Jack Hunter’s other anthology franchise, Paranoia Tapes, he branched out and found new filmmakers to be apart of the films that he and long time filmmaker friend, Chad Clinton Freeman started. What he’s done with Horror Nights, is the same thing on a different level. He searched for the best short horror filmmakers he could find. Well, the final product is what he found. He gave filmmakers who weren’t ‘well known’ and gave them a chance to be apart of a film that no one knew would get to be where it is.
We asked Jack a few questions on how he knew when he had found the right ones. His response is below:
‘ When I went searching for shorts, I knew what I wanted to see. If the short scared me, in the slightest, then it was go-to short. I would then find out who made the short and try to find them through social media. Sometimes, because people didn’t know who I was, I would get the cold shoulder. But then there were others who gladly signed on board, one of them being Robert Bryce Milburn with his short American Hell.’
We were very intrigued by his statements and how he found these shorts. We also noticed the lovely actress Jennifer Nangle, who portrays Malvolia: The Queen Of Screams, who hosts the shorts. We asked him how he got Jennifer to sign on.
His response is below:
‘When I had the idea of Horror Nights, I knew I wanted a similar style to Creepshow and Tales From The Crypt. I literally said to myself, who do I know that is trustworthy, beautiful on the inside and gorgeous on the outside; and who do I know that would have the presence to bring in the audience. It didn’t take me long to send a text to Jennifer and tell her what I wanted. I knew her style and I knew her charisma, which no one can match by the way. She sent back several exciting emojis and she called me and the next thing you know, I have a file ready to download and insert into the full feature.’
So this historic movie came to be because of one thought that Jack Hunter had. He expressed that he wanted to branch out into more cinematic type features due to him being known for just doing found footage films. We can see that he has been successful with that one thought. What once was only a thought, is now THE #1 HORROR MOVIE in THE USA!