Hacking Horror Film Set To Challenge Disabled Representation in the Genre
Angels of Mercy is a groundbreaking horror film that challenges Hollywood’s representation of the Disabled Community. Leading the cast is Owen Kent, an actor and filmmaker with the condition Spinal Muscular Atrophy. Owen plays a hacker named Zach, who has moved himself to the rural forests of northern California to escape public scorn. When a eugenics cult descends upon Zach’s home, he must use his wits to make it through the night alive.
“Whether you like the movie, or you hate it, you definitely haven’t ever seen anything like it.” – Andrew Balcof, Co-writer and Director of Angels of Mercy.
While misrepresentation, or a lack of representation, for certain groups has started to enter the discussion and creep through the cracks of the Hollywood system, the disabled community has seemingly been ignored. Dramas like Me Before You and even The Theory of Everything have cast able-bodied actors for disabled roles. Some have deemed this act to be “crip face.” Angels of Mercy aims to change the exclusion of disabled actors and provide a space for those with disabilities in the film industry, in front of and behind the camera. Avid consumers of the genre, the filmmakers’ behind Angels of Mercy, knew the progressive power of the horror genre, and community, was necessary to start this revolution for the representation of the Disabled Community.
To get a feature film off the ground is a feat, but if there ever was a miracle, the fact that Angels of Mercy made it through principal photography would be that miracle. In addition to a myriad of mishaps, including a break-in at the crew house, the film’s financing fell through two months before production. By the skin of their teeth, through private investments, fundraising parties, and credit card debt, Andrew, Owen, and Johnny Griffith, one of Angels of Mercy’s producer, obtained a budget and were able to shoot the film.
“We didn’t make this film because we thought it would be easy. We made it because it needed to be done.” – Owen Kent, Co-writer and Lead Actor of Angels of Mercy.
Although the film is shot, it is not complete. Andrew, Owen, and Johnny have set up an Indiegogo campaign to raise funds for the postproduction of Angels of Mercy. Almost like a championship sports team, the trio of filmmakers have adopted the motto, “Just find a way to get it done,” and that’s what they’ll have to do to have a finished product for the anticipated completion date this fall.
Check out a teaser for the film below.