THE DEMON’S ROOK (2013); Dir. James Sizemore; Prod. Tim Reis; Starring Ashleigh Jo Sizemore, James Sizemore, John Chatham; Test Screening; Wed. Apr. 3, 9:30 p.m., Plaza Theatre, Suggested donation $5; Trailer here.
By Josh Lowder
There are slap-happy, slimy, death-masked, gassed-out, creeper-features – as well as other such hyphenated, superlative-worthy schlock-mares that we’ve all known and loved since first sight, so long before my dog CeeGee and I killed crocs with sharks on SyFy. Then there are our most nurtured, formative dreams that reach out to us from our collective pasts to where we sit in the blissful ignorance of adulthood, slapping us into a working fervor. No? Well, fortunately the Black Riders are in this business of making awesome, chief among them is named Loup’Rah Garomore (a.k.a. James Sizemore, but what boring rubbish are Christian names when it is the darker palate from which we draw our pigments…we’ll stick with Loup’Rah Garomore).
When confronted about this sinister priory of Black Riders by Rondal at the Strange Kids Club website way back in 2011, nothing was held back and things got super-serious:
“I formed a secret art society with a couple close friends back in 2006 known as The Black Riders. We all had four things in common that we wanted to have fun celebrating in the society: our love for righteous art creation, cryptozoological creature study, veganism, and metal music. We dubbed ourselves the three elders, giving each other monikers. I was given the name Loup’Rah Garomore by my brother Lycanthropus Galleytrot. Ever since then, I’ve gone by that name when creating my art. Lycanthropus, Mudrot and I created a pretty strange set of induction rights, and since then we occasionally induct new members into the fold. As of now, we only have nine members. I guess you could say it’s a pretty exclusive society, but that’s the way we like it.”
The earnest eyes of a dedicated special effects meister, and his team of shiny-eyed believers, pierce the murky bog clogged with so many of our computer “enhanced” chiller reels and have brought to bear a sincere glimpse into the wilding world of inspired lore and lingo that their tireless fingers and worn sculpting tools, brushes and swabs, have brilliantly shape. Some of us do still enjoy a potable slice of context with our three-hour-application monster make-ups, but with the line between flesh and art so successfully blurred with each new creature revealed in the small sample leaked to us last Halloween in the trailer, the urge to press pause and gawk might best the quest for “what happens next.” Still, don’t think that this is any reason to dismiss the journey. It’s there for a sincerely dark and ominous reason. Behold…
On THE DEMON’S ROOK from Demon himself:
“The story follows a young boy named Roscoe who finds a portal to another world where he is taught magic by an exiled demon elder. Confined to their mystical cave, Roscoe is raised up by the demon elder in secret. Once he is discovered by three other demons, Roscoe must escape to avoid their wrath. Through desperation, he is forced to escape through the portal that leads back to our world. Unbeknownst to Roscoe, he leads the demons to discover the portal for themselves. Once the demons pass through, a nightmarish foray of summoned monsters are unleashed. One demon possesses the minds and will of all whom she crosses, another transforms a man into a murderous beast, and the other summons an army of the dead to do his bidding.“
Loup’Rah Garomore, the undisputed head on this corpus cinematique – FX master, commander, and cramps to prove it, producer, director, star, husband, you name it – has faced a lot of hot-light interrogation by a number of amazingly in-depth fan and genre websites that delve much deeper than I thought possible without a medical degree and an endoscope. And after a few gently invasive exchanges via emails with this bearded peach-stater, I realized that here was a man ready to let his work speak for itself despite his complete availability to me. Moreland, Georgia can be proud of this native son and his demonic generosity of spirit and wealth of energy for us all to see through his mind-expanding kaleidoscope of hopeful oblivion. This energy he shares knows very few bounds and is steeped with experience at work and at the front of the classes leading the way – his zest for new knowledge gets qualified and solidified by passing it so readily to those eager to learn. This qualifies him to make a monster movie with fewer regrets than most first-time film makers partly learning as they go.
Within this word-starved format satiating our inquisitive minds, it is one quote in particular from the past two years’ interviews of Loup’Rah (by those who have been brave enough to utter his summon-word), that I pry liberally to parse out the best possible passionate opinion to put us in those new seats, walking across that new carpet – seeing the refurbished Plaza and enjoying the best popcorn in town. This would normally make for a genuinely worthwhile experience on its own merit, and then BOOM, demons.
When Undead Backbrain at Roberthood[dot]net teed it up for him with a 100-word essay request, the everything-man drove it home in an A-Team-constructed iron horse:
“I could do that in two words: It delivers. But I’ll elaborate… ever see a trailer or poster art for a movie that gets you totally pumped to see it, but then when you finally do, you feel cheated because they showed all the best parts in the preview, or it was nothing like advertised? This ain’t that movie. THE DEMON’S ROOK is the real deal start to finish. See the poster art [at the top of the article]? That’s accurate. See the trailer? Only the tip of the iceberg. This is the ultimate low budget fantasy-horror movie. You’ll be high-fiving strangers, guaranteed. 100.”
Now, when you remember the dark and sequestered nights staying up with one of your seminal UHF movies, that smoke-filled foam-carved cave teaming with beasts and maidens in just wisps of clarity in the snowy 14-inch technicolor or B&W tube you’d boosted from the kitchen or your neighbor – relax that reflexive memory muscle and let this feature return you to that moment with a far clearer vision, wisdom and the same solid wizardry of the old masters.