By Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)
I loved riding the Tower of Terror many years back at Disneyland’s California Adventure and always adored the story developed for it. Sadly, that closed down earlier this year and thankfully, the other parks with this attraction are unaffected. However, I often wondered if there would ever be another product that would “borrow” upon this experience. Whether that’s with a new ride, comic book or a movie, perhaps a brand new take on this trope is what’s needed. I’m fairly certain this idea is not what creators Ra X, Michael Aryn, Darrell Smith and Shawn Smith had in mind, but I can dream. After all, isn’t that where some of the best nightmares come from?
Their product, Twilight Hotel, is a four issue comic book anthology which will eventually get a theatrical treatment. This team is seeking crowdfunding to increase the print run of issue one and finish the next. They also have high hopes to get it realized into cinema and I suspect, also gauge how much interest there is for their concept.
The idea is devilishly clever and the story borrows more on the staples found in paranormal lore from the Southern States. When the old land was once the site of a notorious plantation where thousands of African slaves and Seminole Indians were murdered in ritualistic ceremonies, how can it not be haunted? This team’s take deals with more monsters than people mysteriously disappearing.
“The negative energy of those events are still there,” revealed Darrell Smith with a grin. Does he know something that we, as a reader, do not?
As most paranormal investigators can tell you, that type of hatred left behind from such massacres can only lead to a form of residue which will never leave. It’s a safe bet that both the comic book and movie version will feature ghosts and zombies. Lurking in this midst will have to be a figure who relishes in this mire of depravity.
“To be serious, Twilight Hotel is a story about human beings, specifically Americans and our relationship with sex, race and greed, which is at the root of almost all issues,” said Smith.
With this fact revealed, many aficionados of this genre will appreciate how this project pays homage to Twilight Zone and Tales from the Crypt. The former comes to mind only because of my dream of wanting to experience Disney’s The Tower of Terror amped up to crazy levels of horror. That is, to meet up with a bellhop zombie welcoming visitors to the scares located within. The creators here have decided to go this route, and this character is their mascot than show host. After seeing Smith’s work in the movie Rage, I firmly believe the team he’s working with is more than capable to create a fun tribute to enjoy reading time and time again. The sample artwork shows it!
To answer why these productions are cool, producer Darrell Smith said, “Both series were first and foremost morality tales.”
His favourite episodes include “And All Through the House.” “The Ventriloquist’s Dummy” and “Cutting Cards” from Tales from the Crypt. “To Serve Man,” “Eye of the Beholder” and “Talking Tina” with Telly Savalas were particularly trippy for this filmmaker.
“That one tripped me out the first time I saw it! I still hate baby dolls because of it,” recalled Smith.
This Halloween season is appropriate to launch Tower Hotel. The Kickstarter campaign started on Friday the 13th, of October. “You gotta admit this season is so much more fun than other holidays… you get to be someone or something else, scare people and eat lots of candy, you can’t beat that,” said Smith.
“We are turning to the public to raise awareness so that we can get as much support as possible… so for everyone who loves horror comics, books, movies… Halloween, then come our product page here, and give us your support. Also, we hope to have the movie version in front of the cameras by 2019.”
To visit the Kickstarter campaign, please click here.