Spike (2008 film)
|Directed by||Robert Beaucage|
|Produced by||Devin DiGonno
|Written by||Robert Beaucage|
|Music by||Eric Santiestevan|
|Editing by||Eric Grush|
|Distributed by||Maverick Entertainment|
|Running time||80 minutes|
Spike is a 2008 horror-romance directed by Robert Beaucage, produced by String And A Can Productions, and starring Edward Gusts, Sarah Livingston Evans, Anna-Marie Wayne, Nancy P. Corbo, and Jared Edwards.
Described as "Angela Carter rewriting La Belle et la Bête as an episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer", the story follows, through a tapestry of dreamlike images, a girl (Sarah Livingston Evans) and her three friends—the characters' names are never revealed—as they find themselves stranded in a dark and surreal forest by someone—or something (Edward Gusts)—who has obsessively loved, watched, and waited for the girl ever since childhood.
- Sarah Livingston Evans as The Girl
- Jared Edwards as Her Boyfriend
- Anna-Marie Wayne as His Sister
- Nancy P. Corbo as Her Girlfriend
- Edward Gusts as Spike
Filming for Spike took place just off the Angeles Crest Highway, high in the mountains of the Angeles National Forest, entirely at night in the spring of 2007 (in locations that burned down two years later in the Station Fire). Treacherous terrain and temperatures dropping below 15 °F, well below freezing, made filming difficult, and delays were caused by rain, snow, and even hail. Robert Beaucage directed the film from a screenplay he was inspired to write by the stories of "Cupid and Psyche, Hades and Persephone... Beauty and the Beast, as well as horror classics such as Frankenstein and The Hunchback of Notre-Dame". He chose to shoot on 16 mm film rather than a digital format, despite the production's tight schedule and low budget, in order to give the film a different "feel" from the typical contemporary indie movie, the overwhelming majority of which are shot digitally.
Seeking a more natural, rather than CGI, look for the film's FX, Beaucage chose veteran concept artist and sculptor Jordu Schell to create the unique design of Spike's title character, which Schell worked into his schedule even while concurrently shaping the design of the Na'vi with James Cameron for Avatar.
Announced in Variety as "a horror fairy tale from U.S. director Robert Beaucage, whom [festival director Hannah] McGill had never heard of before he wowed her with an unsolicited DVD", Spike had its world premiere at the 62nd Edinburgh International Film Festival on 20 June 2008, the festival's first year in its new June slot after having, in previous years, taken place in autumn. The film subsequently played the North American film festival circuit at such festivals as the Berkshire International Film Festival and Shriekfest.
Critical analysis 
When first released, Spike was referred to by The List as a film that "overturns genre conventions to explore the darker side of fairytale mythology", and the All Movie Guide called it a "dark fairy tale that's not for the faint of heart". Calum Waddell, a film critic for magazines such as Dreamwatch and Fangoria, called Spike "assured and stylish... a promising debut" and praised its "mix of David Lynch, The Brothers Grimm, and Shakespeare", while adding a reservation that the film "does not seem to know what it wants to be". Others were more positive, such as the North Adams Transcript which wrote about the film's "artful" exploration of "both the tenderness and madness of monsters, as well as the many faces of love—most importantly, the destructive ones" and Moviestar magazine which, in its coverage of the EIFF, referred to Spike as "an original take on the genre" and said that it "delivered both thrills and chills".
- Michael Ross Allen (2010-05-24). "Maverick to Distribute Nightmares with Spike". 28 Days Later Analysis. Retrieved 2010-08-31.
- Stuart Kemp (2008-04-28). "Edinburgh Fest Adds Cult Section". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 2010-04-16.[dead link]
- Adam Dawtrey (2008-04-28). "Edinburgh Launches Cult Film Sidebar". Variety. Retrieved 2010-04-13.
- "Spike". Premiere. Retrieved 2010-04-16.
- Robert Hope. "Spike". Edinburgh International Film Festival. Retrieved 2010-04-13.
- Staci Layne (2008-06-05). "Robert Beaucage Interview". Horror.com. Retrieved 2010-04-13.
- "A Garden of Man-Eating Plants and Scary Movies". Emma Blackwood. 2010-05-19. Retrieved 2010-08-31.
- Sean Decker (2007-03-29). "First Set Report, Pics from Spike". Fangoria. Archived from the original on 2008-02-10. Retrieved 2008-04-11.
- "Beauty & the Beast + Blood and Guts = Spike". HorrorMovies.ca. 2007-01-11. Retrieved 2010-04-16.
- Peter Broderick (Fall 2002). "Ultra-Low Budget Moviemaking: The 2002 All Digital Model". Filmmaker. Retrieved 2010-04-16.
- "Beauty & the Beast + Blood and guts = Spike". HorrorVerdict.com. 2007-01-11. Retrieved 2010-02-04.[dead link]
- "Avatar Concept Designer Reveals the Secrets of the Na'vi". io9. Retrieved 2010-04-16.
- "Festival Highlights: 2008 Edinburgh International Film Festival". Variety. 2008-06-13. Retrieved 2010-04-16.
- "EIFF's Under the Radar Celebrates the "Kitsch, Gory, Disturbing and Hilarious"". EdinburghGuide.com. 2008-04-28. Retrieved 2010-04-13.
- Olly Richards (2008-04-28). "Edinburgh Film Festival Under The Radar: Film Fest Salutes New Directors". Empire. Retrieved 2010-04-19.
- "Berkshire International Film Festival". iBerkshires.com. 2009-03-27. Retrieved 2010-04-13.
- Sean Decker (2009-09-25). "Spike to Have its West Coast Premiere at Shriekfest 09". DreadCentral. Retrieved 2010-04-13.
- "Edinburgh International Film Festival Announces 'Under the Radar' Events". The List. 2008-04-28. Retrieved 2010-04-17.
- Jason Buchanan. "Spike". All Movie Guide. Retrieved 2010-04-13.
- Calum Waddell. "Spike". Total Sci-Fi. Retrieved 2010-04-13.
- John E. Mitchell (2009-05-14). "Review in the Mix with Monsters and Lovers". North Adams Transcript. Retrieved 2009-05-18.
- Claudia Andrei (October 2008). "Edinburgh Film Festival 2008: Highlights from the Opening Gala to the Closing Night". Moviestar.
- "Best of the Fest Programme at Edinburgh International Film Festival". The List. 2008-06-25. Retrieved 2010-04-13.
- "Shriekfest 2009 Announces Winners". Hellnotes. 2009-10-04. Retrieved 2010-04-13.
- Heather Wixson (2009-10-07). "Dark House Nabs Top Honors at 2009 Shriekfest Film Festival". DreadCentral. Retrieved 2010-04-15.