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I have known this gentleman for over a year now and, during that time, I have scribed dozens of articles about him. Every time I have been looking to share insight into the most exciting prospect in modern film-making and, the difference this time, is that I have spent the past four weeks in his exclusive company. We had met once already, back in May, when I traveled to Los Angeles to brainstorm and offer my services and, this time around, I have been afforded the chance to delve a little deeper into that marvelous cranium of his. As y’all will be only too aware, my writing comes from the soul and is dependent on belief. I couldn’t write about someone or thing if I wasn’t completely invested as that is not the way Keeper operates. Needless to say, I have never been short of praise for him and that tells you all you need to know about this great man.
I have been habitually impressed by his endeavor and, having spent more time with him, I can say with assurance that he has every bit of the courage of his convictions. You see, The Orphan Killer is his brainchild and he has nurtured it from a tiny seed to the blooming bloody rose which is unfurling before me as we speak. A lot of folk have ideas which they believe can transmogrify into something of greatness but the difference with Matt is that he has invested everything he has and is into making sure that his vision of grandeur is realized. He is solution focused, if there is an obstacle in his path then, chances are, that he has overcome it before most folk have so much as identified it. His intention is far more advanced than simple awareness of how to get the massively-awaited sequel to TOK in the bag, he is building a franchise from the ground up which can change the future of horror and take us back to a time where horror wore its heart proudly upon its sleeve.
The nineties were a decade which I largely chose to discard. Slasher had been flogged like the proverbial horse until there appeared no avenue left to take and, as pleasant a diversion as Wes Craven’s Scream was, it hardly resurrected the genre’s flagging fortunes. The entire epoch was devoid of almost anything resembling innovation and the slump continued well into the new millennium. After a sloth-like start, we began to see fruits bared from an exciting new wave of directors who implemented the passion of their forerunners whilst finding a way to elevate the stale genre to new heights. There have been many whom have impressed Keeper but none to the extent of Matt Farnsworth. Just like the best of the early crop, his vision stretches way beyond a one-year plan and he already has the next twenty mapped out in his mind. The same thing could be said for David Cronenberg and it took years for the free world to come around to his exclusive way of thinking. Matt’s films may be a world apart from Cronenberg’s in terms of context, but he shares the same bloody-minded belief in his ability to make damned sure that any potential is maximized.
After learning to ply his trade with the guidance of legendary editor Robert Brown (The Lost Boys, Flatliners) and cutting his teeth with exposé documentary Dying With Meth in 2004 he went on to direct his sophomore effort and first full-length feature Iowa a year later. This would prove to be bittersweet for Matt as he received a taste of unscrupulous studio designs and didn’t like the aftertaste it left. However, the riveting human drama was a success at festivals and placed him and producer/co-star Diane Foster on folks’ radars. Then in 2011 The Orphan Killer was birthed and he did this off his own back, deciding that he wouldn’t allow his vision to be neutered by others and determined that he had the tool set to make it happen. He had cherry-picked his learning to this point and, as well as receiving an editing masterclass from one of the industry’s finest, he had also shown his commitment to everything he turned his hand to by establishing himself as an artist and becoming deputized in Miami among other successful pursuits. Yet it was horror where his heart laid. He had grown up watching Italian giallo, slasher and anything nestled under the vast umbrella that is horror and fancied a crack at making his own slice of folklore.
This time around there was no studio backing, only a fierce will to resonate and the drive to make it happen. The film was met with a mixed response and this is par for the course when somebody unique emerges such as he. Folk get scared, ignore the positives and, instead, focus on finding fault. I was reared on Fangoria. This one proud publication has long since lost its way and forgotten the reasons why it is still running now. They ludicrously awarded The Orphan Killer 0.5 skulls out of a potential 5 and the mere consideration of such a ludicrous vilification is enough to make it little more than glossy toilet paper barely suitable for wiping your asshole with. I have never known such udder poppycock in all my days, this now trashy piece of so-called literature is supposed to nurture talent within its own but instead it spat bile in its direction and scurried back into its cess pool with cowardice. Oh how the mighty have fallen.
At any rate, I’m not about to fritter another picosecond talking about Spamgoria when the reason we are here is to celebrate. Numerous tête-à-têtes with Matt have enlightened me as to just how fleshed out his vision really is. His prowess with branding is clear for all to bask in and he understands that this sequel is required, not only to ramp up excess, but to delicately reveal the thorns within this crimson flower. Keeper runs a spoiler-free zone and I shall continue to be the tease as y’all need experience this shit for yourselves when it lands in 2015. I will say this however, it is no re-run. Much as The Orphan Killer was Farnsworth’s House of 1000 Corpses, Bound X Blood is set to become his Devil’s Rejects. He has purposely surrounded himself with largely first-time actors with distinct reasoning, he knows how to coax out a performance from the truest place as characterization forms a much larger slice of the pie this time and he knows how to tap into another’s potential effortlessly.
There are surprises in-store which would make your peepers bulge. My lips may be sealed until which time as his hand is revealed but take a look in my eyes and you shall discern the excitement within. Y’all may well shit your breaches and, believe me when I state, that this is every bit the big screen behemoth. Whether it ends up on our silver screens depends entirely on whether audiences can muster the resolve not to throw up their burritos after the first five minutes. I would hope that resolves are a little stronger as we are the download generation and have long since become desensitized to extreme violence for the sake of true art. One thing is for sure, this ship has a captain, and he is steering us through choppy waters to the promised land as we speak. Anchor will drop eventually and, when it does, folk will be lining up to walk the plank. If y’all pay attention you’ll see me doggy paddling around the Rivers of Grue which conjoins this larger mass.
His film-making style could be regarded as unorthodox and that says only one thing to Keeper. He lives outside the box because it is within these confines that you lose your momentum. Ultimately, because of his trifecta approach, all finished media will end up in his suite and, it is here, where movie magic is molded. The Red Epic camera sitting atop his burly shoulder captures images like no other, be it through exquisite slo-mo, POV or with his roving wide lens. Such equipment matches his vision nay encourages it, he wears a constant smile when accessing the viewfinder as technology has finally caught up to his way of thinking. Moreover, he has amassed a small militia of intimate aptitude and desire to hand themselves over to his cause, capable of supporting the process as opposed to hindering it. The team assembled couldn’t be more diverse despite being far less than a dozen-strong. We all have our stories and believe stoutly that this fable is headed to the apex. Our part in all this is to make damned sure that reality bites and The Orphan Killer: Bound X Blood receives the plaudits it deserves. The TOK Murder Crew have 20:20 vision and we stand alongside our captain with the sole intention of serving him from our very souls.
I bared witness to Matt swinging an ax yesterday and, as with everything he enters into, he put his back into it entirely. I have never before witnessed such brute strength, resolve and pinpoint accuracy and the same can be said when he stands behind the lens. Always 200%, unswervingly committed and with utmost belief. He knows exactly what horror aficionados really come to see and knows exactly how to bottle that. He is working 24/7 to ensure that Bound X Blood becomes everyone’s new favorite horror movie. This will not be some superficial candy which you will watch once and forget the moments the credits roll. It will likely be the film which occupies your drive more than any other and will benefit from subsequent views the way that true classics do. If he isn’t behind the camera then chances are he is in his suite, piecing all the day’s footage together and carefully devising the next day’s brutality in his cranium.
There are a number of things that are guaranteed from a Matt Farnsworth production and they all fuse together every time he waves his mercurial wand. Of all the new batch of gifted auteurs it is he who shines brightest and his blood, sweat and tears attest to this. I sound his war horn because I have been all in from the offset, regardless of what the flop may bring. I’m astute with my reasoning and only too happy to march the Grueheads forth as we plunder and pillage. We aren’t destroying for destroying sake, we are doing so to rebuild and strengthen an industry no longer satisfied with languishing in the doldrums. Bound X Blood will touch your heart as well as turning your stomach, make absolutely no mistake, and it could have been so different in less attentive hands. Such craftsmanship is more evident here than in any other horror film-maker on our spectrum at present and harks back to the days when John Carpenter was perfecting his grasp of wide-angle photography and panning shots. I can assure y’all that you’ll hardly believe those ocular orbs when the finished article breaks. Welcome to the future of horror as orchestrated by Matt Farnsworth. Salut!
To sins being committed…raise a chalice,
Sponsored by @TheOrphanKiller
Performances by @MattFarnsworth @DieannFoster
Cruel Art by @MattFarnsworth
Prose and scribing by @RiversofGrue
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