HorrorBug has a first look at test pictures from Hollywood of actor Bill Oberst Jr. as the demonic ‘Lord Bateman’ for a proposed film project of the same name. The stills, taken just yesterday, show Oberst as a wet, drooling and burnt-around-the edges demonic creature.
Oberst, whose performance in the horror-themed Facebook application ‘Take This Lollipop’ was awarded a Daytime Emmy in June (a story which HorrorBug first broke in the online horror press,) says this may not be the final form of the creature make-up. “It’s a starting point for the character,” the actor told HorrorBug, “We just wanted to get the concept in front of a camera and play around with it. The pics you are running here are just a tease, really. The real meat of it will come on Halloween when we are releasing the entire photo set, which features two gorgeous models, Anna Christina Pullig and Alice Orozco, interacting with the demon. Those shots are truly skin-crawling, horrifying and darkly cinematic. The release of the full photo set with the female models on October 31 will also mark the beginning of our campaign to get this project in front of producers as a feature film proposal.”
The concept for ‘Lord Bateman’ is based on original ideas from Bill Oberst Jr.’s ‘Anatomy Of Fear’ and on the short story/novella compilation ‘Cipher In The Sun’ by Ed Thomas, who shot the story concept session yesterday in Los Angeles with fellow photographer Spencer Filichia.
“Lord Bateman as we envision him is, in his human form, a kind man of European royal lineage who loses his inner struggle and gives in to his desires and mental nightmares,” says Oberst. “In his demonic form, he is the physical manifestation of a conflicted, weak man who surrenders to evil.” Oberst says that he and Thomas want to depict a demon who “looks and acts like a classic ancient or medieval demon, not a pretty human with special effect contact lenses. We want hell on earth; a being who looks like he climbed out of Satan’s womb…and we want to do it with practical effects.” The character will have both a hellishly brutal demonic side and an intimate, sophisticated side evoking classic dark literary characters like Robert Louis Stevenson’s Dr. Henry Jekyll and Edgar Allan Poe’s Roderick Usher, he said. “Lord Bateman is the horror that all men fear we will become at one time or another in our lives. He has become sin. He has become lust. And neither of those is very pretty to look at.”
The creature Oberst portrays in the test photos obtained by HorrorBug is hairless, lean and sinewy; a nightmare glistening with a sheen of greasy ooze. As Lord Bateman, Oberst crouches in animal-like poses and stretches in insect-like contortions. One shot shows Oberst crawling head-first down a set of metal stairs so steep his body was nearly vertical. The actor, who habitually does his own stunts, says he will do anything to get a weird effect that makes the viewer uneasy. “I shaved my body, worked out like a bastard for a month, got a 4-hour paint job, drooled food coloring and covered myself in hot slimy ooze for this one little test shoot. I’m still stained red in places and I’m bruised and sore but I’ll do all that again, and more, if we get it into production as a feature. I love horror! I’ll do anything it takes to make fans happy. My goal is entertain people by scaring the hell out of them. I think that’s a noble goal, don’t you?”