In this week’s Art&Seek spotlight, KERA’s Stephen Becker talks with Chelsea Stardust — the director of a new slasher film showing at the festival — about filming her gory story in some of North Texas’s nicest houses.
The film you’re showing at the Oak Cliff Film Festival this weekend is a horror film that has a little fun with some of the genre’s conventions. It’s called “Satanic Panic,” and it follows a young woman named Sam who delivers pizzas. She gets excited when she draws a delivery to a ritzy neighborhood, hoping for a big tip, and man, she’s disappointed when she arrives at the house only to run into a Satanic cult in the market for a young virgin to sacrifice.
We should start by saying you’re actually not from North Texas, you live in Los Angeles, but the production company behind “Satanic Panic,” a company called Cinestate, is based here in Dallas. And so, first off, there are some really nice houses in the film; people familiar with Highland Park and Preston Hollow will recognize them. Do you just knock on the door and say: “Hi! I’m shooting a movie, and your house looks like a place a bunch of Satan worshippers might live.” How’s the process for getting people to lend you their homes?
There seems to be a bit of allegory at play here, with your story. The financially struggling pizza delivery person being literally the prey of the super wealthy. Am I reading too much into things there, or is that part of the idea?
There’s a decent amount of gore here. There are characters who are killed in inventive ways, and the fake blood budget looks like it was significant. I’m curious: why do you think people like gory movies?
Transcription by Felix Kalvesmaki