"I guess it's kind of like one of those old-fashioned Amish barn raisings, except instead of a good, honest day's work and neighborly kindness, we were dealing with cults, demonic rituals and lawyers," says local filmmaker Tim Thomson of Possession Is Nine Tenths of the Law, a no-budget horror movie shot in Houston late last year with local actors.
"Despite the limitations of budget and time, we wound up with a movie that is far better than the sum of its parts. If John Grisham tried to write a Stephen King novel, this is what you would get."
Thomson produced and directed the "horror/courtroom parody," which was scripted and co-produced by David Rains; before the film was made, Thomson and Rains struck a deal with New York's Brimstone Productions for a straight-to-video release. Possession hit retail shops nationwide on May 5.
The movie's plot centers on an idealistic public defender charged with defending an attractive young widow who allegedly killed her husband. The widow and the lawyer team up with a tabloid magazine's psychic-in-residence and a white-trash voodoo queen to expose the demonic forces they believe are behind the brutal slaying. (Frank Garymartin and Scott Ayers of the Houston band Truth Decay wrote and performed Possession's theme song, "Devilmademedoit.")
"Everything worked out really cool," says Rains. "Tim and I had kicked around the idea of a horror film that parodied the whole courtroom-drama genre for years. Brimstone called inviting us to lend a story to [its] 'CreatuRealm' series."
Possession's release inaugurates the new line. "CreatuRealm" will consist of full-length videotapes for the rental market, each including two horror-themed half-features. Previous Brimstone releases include Addicted to Murder and Vampires and Other Stereotypes.
Possession Is Nine Tenths of the Law: 8 p.m. Saturday, May 9. The Rice Media Center, Rice University entrance 8 (University and Stockton), 527-4853. The movie's also available at Cactus Music & Video, 2930 South Shepherd, 526-9272.