Gwinnett, Georgia is not usually known for its entertainment and film atmosphere. It’s more known for its hockey team, the Gwinnett Gladiators, and its minor league baseball team, the Gwinnett Braves (not the national team the Atlanta Braves). Today that all changes as independent film studio Southlan-Films is on its third day of filming the feature “And All Through the House,” which has been filming throughout December and January. The film is written, produced, and director by Ron McLellen, whose previous big film “Jack O’Lantern” was picked up by Lionsgate Home Video several years ago for straight to video distribution. With that film, McLellen’s aim was to terrify audience during the Halloween season and now with his new film he wants to do the same thing for the Christmas season.
The film is being shot in and around Duluth, Georgia with a cast of local Georgia actors whom have been in several of his previous films. Today the production is filming one of the many elaborate dream sequences in which the dreaded Christmas demon-elf Spruce, The Holly King (played by Joshua Haire) is menacing one of the main actors Mr. Padgett (Kevin McKinney), a Scrooge-like toy store owner who will be menaced throughout the film. When asked what inspired him to write this film, McLellen said, “I’ve not seen any good Christmas holiday horror films. I liked Silent Night, Deadly Night and the Black Christmas remake and original but there really hasn’t been any good ones coming down the pike, so, this is our attempt to do so.”
McLellen and crew will be filming several days at Gwinnett Performing Arts Center for the dream sequence but other days will be filmed on location in various locals all over Duluth. In addition to the dreaded Holly King, the film has several other major monsters in store for audiences including a relatively unseen Christmas critter dubbed “Fluffyface” (a creature whose part is similar to that of General in the film “Stephen King’s Cat’s Eye”), a psychotic killer Santa Claus, and the dreaded Dry Rot Demon. The film is an anthology whose stories intertwine similar to that of the Halloween themed film “Trick ‘R Treat.”
When asked about the process of getting into makeup for Spruce, The Holly King, Haire had this to say, “I’ve never really done a role where I had a mask or a lot of makeup, so, it’s kind of challenging. It’s a fun challenge getting into makeup and the mask and costume – it’s fun! Eric Forest Burton, who is usually on hand for editing and production assistant duties, comes on board this film as assistant director has this to say, “I help build the sets. I help with the lighting. I help round up the actors and tell people where to go. I pretty much do Ron’s (McLellen’s) dirty work.”
Although the day’s filming is long and grueling, everyone is in light spirits as this is only the third day of filming on the production and things will continue for several more weeks to come. This film is also a big undertaking for McLellen, as it’s an introduction film for several people like Rusty Smith, of Georgia’s own Rotten Rusty Haunted House (a huge haunted attraction that gives Netherworld a run for its money every year), Patricia Sagnier (briefly on hand today), and McKinney himself, a musician and composer who decided to get back into acting at the suggestion of McLellen. Also on hand is local filmmaker Dave R. Watkins (“The Stragglers”), who not only stars in this film but also is helping out on makeup to help McLellen craft some of the creatures in the film (he brought the before mentioned Fluffyface monster to life).
The film has a lot in store for horror fans that enjoy their holidays with a dose of blood and fun… more fun than blood! McLellen hopes to have the film out by next Christmas, just in time to put a little scare back into the holidays.