Doing a site that’s largely family-friendly (sans the “For Grownups” section), it’s always weird to think that I have a whole body of work that I can’t share with my kids. Not yet, anyway. Between the music, films, videos, and comics I’ve done in the past, there’s actually not really anything that’s kid-friendly (again, not yet), but most of it came before I became I parent. Most, but not all. I give you PRODUCT OF HATE – THE UNHOLY MANIPULATOR (IMDb) a long-form music video that I directed and edited… a video that was released for Halloween 2012, but never properly featured here on The Rock Father. I should warn you, it’s NSFW (not-safe-for-work), unless you happen to work somewhere really cool. It’s Day 15 of 31 Days of Halloween 2013, and I’m going to show you the video and tell you a story…
Shot over the course of three days in Crestline and Galion, Ohio, THE UNHOLY MANIPULATOR stars Ashley Laurence (HELLRAISER‘s “Kirsty Cotton,” LIGHTNING BUG) as both herself, and the title character, along with Tim Lovelace (AXE GIANT: THE WRATH OF PAUL BUNYAN, MOSQUITO) as the object of her aggression. Produced by Robert Kurtzman, the legendary “K” of KNB EFX Group (creator of FROM DUSK ‘TILL DAWN, Director of WISHMASTER) and featuring the production team and visual FX work of his CREATURE CORPS (currently working on the Kevin Smith “Walrus” movie, TUSK), the video’s production crew also featured two contestants from SyFy’s FACE OFF, with Beki Ingram and David “House” Greathouse lending their talents. But the entire crew was fantastic, and we couldn’t have done it without their contributions. After a world premiere on the big screen at Chicago’s historic Portage Theater last Fall, it made it’s online debut via Bloody-Disgusting on Halloween, and later made it to BlankTV.
The Official Synopsis: In the tradition of Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” comes “The Unholy Manipulator,” an ambitious, long-form video/short film from the American metal band, Product of Hate. When a customer in a small, independent video store decides to taunt the clerk, the line between reality and fantasy are tested as the two find themselves facing off in a horrific world of torture, monsters, and mayhem. Ashley Laurence of “Hellraiser” fame stars as herself and the title character within the movie within the movie, “The Unholy Manipulator.”
Evil monsters… wicked clowns… homages to RESERVOIR DOGS, FARGO, and THE WARRIORS…
So how did all of this happen?
Back in 2009, I was working for FANGORIA when Kelli over at Metal Blade Records invited me to check out the album release show for the band LAZARUS A.D. I headed up to Kenosha, Wisconsin to see the show (held in a school gymnasium!), to find a host of fine metal being performed that night by the likes of DIRGE WITHIN (then on eOne Metal), DIAMOND PLATE (who would soon sign to Earache), and a band called I FOR AN I. That band – the only unsigned act in the bunch – was the one I’d liked best. I wrote about that show citing that fact, and six months later got a call from the band stating that they’d changed their name to PRODUCT OF HATE and had an EP coming out. THE UNHOLY MANIPULATOR EP was released in 2010, and shortly thereafter PRODUCT OF HATE and I started working together, and for better or worse, they have yet to get rid of me.
So here we are, Halloween of 2013 and we’re plotting the next chapter for the band. After releasing a pair of well-received digital singles last year, they have a trio of new songs that were recorded at Mercenary Digital Studios with Scott Creekmore (who just did the new BROKEN HOPE album for Century Media), and we’ve been shopping them to labels. Our goal is to get them signed, and get them out on the road full-time. While it was those older tracks that hooked me, the new ones are phenomenal. Stay tuned for more… and fingers-crossed that our UNHOLY MANIPULATOR short film becomes a perennial favorite for Halloween.
P.S. – When we made THE UNHOLY MANIPULATOR, we actually shot a second video, first. Check out “Blood Coated Concrete” below…
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