By Josh Millican
Bizarre Insect Attack Halts Filming of “Cursed” Indie Horror
Thanks to Blacktooth over at Horror Society for putting this creepy item on my radar!
Yellow Jackets: Another reason not to fuck in the woods.
Indie filmmaking is always a hair-raising experience, even under the best of circumstances. In addition to lean budgets and the massive efforts involved in coordinating such an endeavor, unexpected challenges inevitably rear ugly heads. But what happened on the set of the anticipated monster flick Don’t Fuck in the Woods was something no one could have possibly foreseen—except maybe in a director’s worst nightmare.
A bit of context: An Indiegogo campaign that ended in April of 2014 promised that DFITW “will literally be a part of Horror Film History!” In his pitch, writer/director Shawn Burkett clearly couldn’t contain his enthusiasm:
“For the last year and a half I have been working on DFITW, and this film won’t be a cheesy film by any means. But at the same time it will have mass amounts of gore, premarital sex, nudity, comedic plot points, impaling, camping, decapitations, and a bloody good time! And did I mention that this is a CREATURE FEATURE?!?!?”
Easy with the punctuation there, cowboy!
While the production has already endured a few shake-ups (leading Burkett to joke that DFITW is “cursed”), everything was still on track for a winter 2015 release—until 2:15 am on September 26th. That’s when truly terrifying events beyond anyone’s control brought everything to a screeching halt, leaving an actress’s life in peril.
In a statement released early September 28th, Burkett describes consequences of an ordeal that unfolded when the production accidentally disturbed an underground nest of yellow jackets—sending one cast member into anaphylactic shock:
“Putting my cast & crew in harm’s way is not something I am about. I myself being allergic to insect stings, and seeing one member of my team having a severe reaction, I really had to reevaluate everyone’s safety. That set is not safe currently. We lost hours of prime shooting due to this incident and it really did set the entire film back. The yellow jackets ’refused’ to allow any of us to get close enough to clear our set. The equipment couldn’t even be cleared completely until the following afternoon. On the bright side this gives us a little more time for special f/x. This project, which we jokingly call cursed, will come out bigger & bloodier in the end. My promises, the perks from our campaigns, and everything associated with this film will be made good on. My cast and crew completely stand behind me, Concept Media, and the decision to make ‘Don’t Fuck in the Woods’ as safely and beautifully as possible.”
With plans to resume filming early this spring in Ohio, the film’s new target for release is July 2016. As long as Burkett and crew deliver the promised extravaganza of gore, sex, and depravity, I suspect DFITW will be worth the wait! Good luck guys!
Josh Millican is a writer and co-owner at The Blood-Shed. In addition to Tom Holland’s Terror Time, he contributes at Dread Central, Top 10 Films, Scream Sirens, The Slaughtered Bird, and Horror Fix. Follow him on Twitter @josh_millican or contact him at Joshua.firstname.lastname@example.org.