News Bites: House of the Witch Doctor

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Evil wreaks pure havoc and bloody murder upon Leslie Van Hooten, a beautiful young girl, and her unsuspecting fellow grad students as they make their way to her family’s extravagant and yet isolated estate. Peter (Bill Moseley — TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE 3D, HOUSE OF 1000 CORPSES) and Irene Van Hooten (Leslie Easterbrook—THE DEVIL’S REJECTS, POLICE ACADEMY), the young girl’s mother and father, leave the group alone for the weekend, so that she may mourn the anniversary of her boyfriend’s shocking murder.

But the peaceful weekend soon turns to hell when they find themselves being savagely terrorized by Cliff Rifton (Allan Kayser— NIGHT OF THE CREEPS, TV’S MAMA’S FAMILY), a crazed and recently released career criminal, and Buzz Schenk, his drug addict side kick whom are hell bent on raging a torturous killing spree. But as the horrifying acts begin to unfold, the killers soon realize all is not as it seems in this house. And when some strange people from the neighborhood show up, Rose (Dyanne Thorne—ILSA SHE WOLF OF THE SS) and Emmett (Howard Maurer—ILSA HAREM KEEPER OF THE OIL SHEIKS), the tables are turned. Now everyone is trapped inside and as the unheard screams and the body count begins to rise, it seems that death is now the only real escape from the “House of the Witch Doctor”.

Notes from director Devon Mikolas

It was the mid 80’s, I was in junior high school and the VCR and video stores had really blown up in home entertainment popularity. My Dad would take me to the video store on weekends and as he went to rent the films he wanted to see (one or two included for me of course) I would wander the long racks, staring at the all the covers of the video boxes.

I had always been drawn to the weird movies, the action, the horror, the cult and if I was lucky, maybe steal a peek at the adult! I liked to look at the pictures of the musclebound tough guy heroes, the ugly and creepy bad guys, slightly deformed always drew me in and the scantily dressed beautiful women with large breasts. I know that’s rare for a boy in junior high school!
But one always caught my eye. It was a film called, “The Emerald Jungle”. I knew it was nasty, just the way it was packaged. There was a beautiful blonde girl walking in the jungle, with a painted savage behind her swinging an ax. The heading read, “Caught in the jungle between a sadistic sex cult guru and a tribe of fresh hungry cannibals”.
This was for me.

But how was I going to rent it? My Dad would never let me. Oh well. Then suddenly one day Hollywood released the big budget blockbuster, “The Emerald Forest”. Aha! I had a plan. My Dad and Step Mom went to the movie in the theatre and loved it. Three months later I asked my Dad, “Can you take me to the video store to rent, The Emerald Forest”? “Sure”, my Dad said, excited for me to see the movie he enjoyed so much.

So we pull up to the video store and I’ll never forget this, I told my Dad that I could go in alone and get it and he nodded his head. I walk into the store nervous, the kind of nerves you get when you’re a kid and you know your gonna do something bad! I walked right by, “The Emerald Forest” and went straight to, “The Emerald Jungle”!! I walked up to the front and there was a pretty girl from the high school behind the counter. I dropped the box in front of her and pulled out some money from my pocket. She smiled at me knowing I was way too young to rent such a hardcore movie. I looked at her pleadingly. She said, “Are you sure you want that one honey”? “Yes, I’m sure”, I sheepishly replied. “Well, OK”, the girl said. She was cool, she let me rent it!

What I saw that night changed my life. Up until that point, I never knew entertainment could be so shocking. Artists could make something so offensive and vulgar, yet so seductive, thought provoking and beautiful at the same time.
From that day forward I wanted to make an exploitation film that pushed the boundaries with sex and violence, the most attractive combination in dark, genre cinema.
In 2013, I was lucky enough, with the help of my producer Mark Vadik, to write and direct the feature film, “House of the Witch Doctor”. An exploitation style horror movie that I hope will grossly entertain you and hit all the primal and sometimes morbid curious fascinations these types of stories have done for me, so many times.

Find out more at the official website

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