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Be afraid. Be very afraid!

Tue, 30 Sep 2014  |  Rebecca Dickson, UrbanCrazy

We at UrbanCrazy love things that are quirky, unique and a little different. Of course we were going to get ourselves in a tizz over a short independent horror movie based on, yes – you guessed it – crazy golf!

I spoke to the writer and creator, Chloe Philippou about how “Crazy Golf” came about…

Cinema is full of hybrid ideas which create something an audience may have never seen before. This could be a mix of genres such as zom-rom-com (zombie romantic comedy) or odd and obscure locations. We’ve seen films set in haunted houses, psychiatric hospitals and abandoned towns, but what about a crazy golf course?

Chloe, a 22 year old Southampton University graduate from Enfield, raised over £3,000 to put together this alternative horror film. I was lucky enough to find out a little bit more about the concept and production; being a huge horror buff myself I was very intrigued!

“I was on holiday in the Isle of Wight in February last year with my boyfriend (Patrick McManus, the films co-writer),” Chloe explains. “it was out of season and freezing cold. There was an amusement arcade and a crazy golf course we were playing on and it was completely empty except for a few locals. The course had a jungle theme and seemed to be much scarier than it should have been. That’s where the initial idea for the film came from.”

Inspired by old-fashioned, overly-gory horrors such as The Evil Dead, The Wicker Man, The Shining, A Nightmare On Elm Street and Braindead, Chloe believes that low budget films are a lot more fun than the slicker, higher budget modern horror films that we see now. “I’m definitely aiming for an 80’s-style horror cinematic feel with this production. Think trashy, almost B Movie-esque. There will be bold, contrasting colours from red blood against the green AstroTurf.”

Before getting into the nitty gritty of the plot and characters, you need to hear the incredible journey Chloe and the team went on to make Crazy Golf a reality. A Kickstarter page was set up to help raise funds for equipment, location and props. Kickstarter helps short films and media projects get the attention and money they need. From 12 June, people began pledging to the project and the funds were slowly creeping up. We at UrbanCrazy pledged on the very same day that another backer, Gordon Sutton, added a whopping £1,500 to the cause! “Four days in I got the familiar email of ‘someone has pledged.’ but freaked out when I saw the amount! I was in shock, disbelief and was screaming the house down. My mum and brother didn’t know what was going on! I was worried it wasn’t real and that it was a cruel joke but once I spoke to Gordon, realised it was a miracle.”.

Chloe hit her initial target of £2,000 in just four days, so she decided to up the ante. The target then became £3,000, which would enable her to use better filming equipment, props, pay for a storyboard artist and have another day or two of filming. By the 10 July deadline the total had reached £3,049, with 82 backers on board!

So what exactly have people been donating for? Here’s a brief synopsis of the story…

“Reed and Lucy are enjoying a day in an amusement arcade. After winning a small prize on a 2p machine, the young couple fail to notice the appearance of two dolls behind the glass that bear a haunting resemblance to them. Their game of Crazy Golf starts in good spirits, but as Reed begins to lose the game he begins to lose his mind, and as the two dolls veer toward the edge of the machine, Reed’s competitive nature veers towards homicidal. It’s going to be GORE-ious!”

Exciting stuff! The next obstacle (pardon the pun) that Chloe faced was casting. “Finding the person to play Lucy was an instant decision. Myself and my producer, Sapphire Sherbird, conducted the casting and were excited when we first saw Roxy Fitzgerald. I knew straight away she was Lucy! The original actor cast to play Reed was given a theatre role he couldn’t turn down, so we needed a new Reed. Thankfully Roxy’s boyfriend, Alex Southern, is also an actor and it worked out perfectly. Their natural connection shows and they come across fantastically.”

The rest of the casting seemed to fall into place nicely too, with the child’s role being handed to Sapphire’s little sister; Britain’s Got Talent’s impressionist Jenson Zhu was employed as the Crazy Golf Assistant. “I wanted an oddball for his character. I messaged Jenson on Facebook asking him if he’d like to be in the film and he said yes. Nice and easy!”

With a great team behind her, location scouting was the next big step. After contacting a few courses across London and visiting some in the process, Jack O’Halloran and Sapphire, who were in charge of locations, found the brilliant Sidcup, Lost Island Encounter. For the arcade, Romford’s Namco was chosen. “The staff there were excellent.” explains Chloe. “There was no agreement that they would close the arcade for us, yet they did multiple times throughout the day which was a big help!”

Intrigued yet? I asked Chloe what viewers should expect. “My best friend is amazing at special effects make up so get ready for a gloriously bloody gore-fest of a horror film with a killer soundtrack. It will shock and scare, there’s a twist too!”

Crazy Golf is still in production and is expected to premiere at the end of October, just in time for Halloween. Spoooooky! It will also be entered into film festivals all over the country, in the coming months. Watch this space for more news!

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