SCARLET MOON started out as a quickie sex vampire
movie for my last distributor before TROMA, EI Entertainment. EI Entertainment had made money with a softcore
vampire flick called CARASS OF THE VAMPIRE and was looking for more like it.
I wrote a serious, sexy, "limited in scope" script.
But its not my nature to do small movies and soon started re-writing it, expanding it, and off I went doing a movie about
all kinds of supernaturals and even had Jesus Christ guest starring and the end of the world being shown in it.
From the standpoint of a quick buck little weekend
wonder made to make some fast cash, SCARLET MOON was a major failure. It became a real movie instead, with a very involved,
character driven plot and dealt with God and Satan and had satanic vampires, wiccans, santirians, a devil cult and even what
may be the world's first christian vampire.
SCARLET MOON is a Warren Disbrow movie, so it had to have monsters, nudity, violence
and adult language too, and lets not forget a sense of fun and some laughs.
The movie also had two name stars involved, Michael Bruce of the Alice Cooper
Group and Forrest J. Ackerman of Famous Monsters Of Filmland Magazine. Of course my father was back as Prof.Hertz and Ruben
Santiago came back to play a different character, Boris Mushnik.
SCARLET MOON was suppose to be shot in 3 days according to the original plan,
well maybe a week. It took years to shoot! Mainly because the cast was older this time and most of the time only gave me a
few hours on the weekends, mostly Sundays, to shoot. It took forever. Of course I was doing the same jungling act of re-writing
the script, changing it, adding and subtracting characters as actors came and went. As usual, I wasn't going to let anybody
get in my way of making the best movie I could for what money I had.
Lets put things in proper perspective as far as how long movies can take to make.
NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD took over a year to film and I don't know how long after that to edit. EVIL DEAD took five years
to complete. TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE took a year I think. Stanely Kubrick took five years to make THE SHINING. So the three
years or more it look SCARLET MOON is't too far out of line.
When it was finally over, and I did a first edit of SCARLET MOON, it was over
three hours long! So I cut the movie in half and had two 90 minute movies, SCARLET MOON and DARK BEGINNINGS. Not a bad deal
getting two movies out of one!
I must say that making SCARLET MOON was utter torture and brought me to
the point of wanting to quit making movies all together. It was an awful experience for me. Unlike FLESH EATERS FROM OUTER
SPACE and INVASION FOR FLESH AND BLOOD, I literally had no crew. There was maybe 4 or 5 shoots where there was people around
to help behind-the-scenes, but 99% of the time I did everything. It was very hard work and
very, very depressing. I was angry most of the time, which is not good.
Part of the problem was the actors were older and had less time to devote
to the movie and this drug the shooting schedule out beyond reason and then they started complaining at how long it was
taking to finish the movie even though their own lack of availability was causing the trouble. And of course actors came and
went and I had to adjust the story to accomodate the irresponsibility. Isn't life grand?...NOT.
There were also actors who were egotistical, self-centered and unreliable. Sometimes
even if they have talent you have to ask yourself if all the trouble they are giving you is worth it!
I got some very good story value out of the situation and both SCARLET MOON and
DARK BEGINNINGS have entertaining plots and interesting characters, but once more because of the frustrating situations
I wanted to SCREAM!
I want my talent to be recognized by investors so I can make bigger,
better movies the right way. I am producing commercial product that is getting
distributed world wide but I long for the day I can have the money to hire a crew and actors and have better conditions
under which I can make my movies and have them shot in 35mm with surround sound playing at the local theaters and looking
expensive and polished.
SCARLET MOON's story was different in that it didn't have many humans in
it. The story was about supernaturals and about their relationships to each other. Dominic Gregoria plays a satanic vampire
named Andreas who has a side kick vampire named Smoke, played by Colin Reynolds, who is a junkie. AnnMarie Donato
plays Satanya, an artist who got turned into a vampire in the 1960s and still lives like she did in the 1960s. Guy Camilleri
plays the evil devil cult leader Edward Crowely, who thinks nothing of using babies for satanic blood sacrifices. Crowley's
mistress is Muldavia, play by Francesca Chirelli. There are other interesting characters, but I'm not going to talk about
The "Scarlet Moon" of the title is a huge red diamond the size of your fist.
It has magical powers. It is the last of the missing satanic items from Tara, Queen of Egypt's secret worship chamber and
all the supernaturals are trying to find it first and get ultimate power on earth.
I had footage shot specifically for SCARLET MOON in various different countries
around the world and built matching sets here in New Jersey so the story of SCARLET MOON takes place in different
parts of the world too. Its a challenge and fun to figure out ways to make a movie look big budget even if its a small budget.
(to be continued)