A little while ago, a headline over at The Hollywood Reporter caught our eye.
Late Getty Heir's Directorial Debut The Evil Within Lands After 15 Years
Huh. Fifteen years after beginning production, did you say? Why, a story like that must be pretty interesting. We read on:
Andrew Getty — grandson of J. Paul Getty — sank an estimated $4 million to $6 million of his own fortune into the horror film, which he obsessed over right up until his death in 2015.
An heir to the Getty oil fortune poured roughly $5M of his own money into a horror film that's only just now being released? And he directed it? What's it about?
The story may seen standard genre fare: a mentally challenged boy has his dreams haunted by demonic creature who orders him to embark on a murderous rampage, collecting the bodies in his basement.
It was at about this point that we suspected we'd stumbled into something truly incredible. And yet, there was more:
Principal photography started in 2002. But production would stop, start and stop again, dragging on for five years as Getty labored over every frame, and every element of the filmmaking, insisting on making his own unique camera rigs, and building elaborate animatronic robots and expensive sets.
OK. Let's all take a moment to stop and consider what we've learned so far: Andrew Getty, heir to the Getty oil fortune, began production on The Evil Within all the way back in 2002. He then spent the next five years filming the damn thing and creating elaborate sets, camera rigs, and robots (!!!) to bring his vision to life. He would go on to tinker obsessively with the film until his death in 2015.
And what happened there?
Getty died March 31, 2015, from an ulcer-related gastrointestinal hemorrhage. His ex-girlfriend found him in his mansion; reports later indicated he had toxic levels of methamphetamine in his body.
Do you see how this gets weirder and weirder as it goes along?
Well, now watch the trailer.
One almost doesn't even know what to say.
The history on the making of the film is so over-the-top strange that it beggars belief. Footage from the film itself (which stars Michael Berryman, Sean Patrick Flanery [who apparently spends the bulk of his screentime putting on a tie], and a young actor by the name of Fred Koehler) veers wildly between Neil Breen-level expressions of emotion and genuinely cool-looking effects work. The plot is #problematic to a degree that seems completely oblivious (or indifferent) to the sensitivities of the modern world. There's also shaky-cam stuff, tarantulas exploding out of a dead body, and a scene where this happens:
Yeah! We don't know, either!
Other things we don't know: if it's any good, if the film itself can possibly live up to that jaw-droppingly weird production history, or if The Evil Within is as bugnuts-insane as the trailer above indicates. What we do know is that Andrew Getty's film is available for rent (or purchase!) on Amazon Instant right now, and that we needed to make all of you aware of it.
The link's below. Let us know if you get to it before we do.