Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Caves, Corpses, Nightmares and Terrors to Fill Debut Horror Movie by Special Effects Master


GEHENNA … Where Death Lives - indie horror campaign live now on kickstarter

LOS ANGELES, CA (February 17, 2014) – Hiroshi Katagiri, a long time special effects artist is making a bold jump to producing and directing his first-ever feature film, an indie horror called GEHENNA … Where Death Lives. A large part of Hollywood’s practical effects community,impressed with the script and fans of his talent, have come aboard to support him. Katagiripromises “a film that fans of quality indie horror will love and respect.”

Katagiri was born in Japan, loved film as a child. He moved to the US at 18 and found success as a primary artist at Stan Winston Studios, mastering the art of sculpture and character creation on films by Steven Spielberg (Jurassic Park, A.I., and War of the Worlds), Rob Marshal, Guillermodel Toro, Sam Raimi, as well as others. Additional big-budget film credits include The Wolverine, Pirates of the Caribbean, Alien v Predator Requiem, Cabin in the Woods, and The Hunger Games; TV credits include The X-Files where he was part of an Emmy Award winning team. He most loves the horror genre and has written and directed several acclaimed horror shorts. ForKatagiri, directing his own feature film is the next logical step.

GEHENNA … Where Death Lives tells a story of 4 people scouting resort locations in Saipan, a remote island in the Pacific Ocean. At one location, they find a hidden cave-like structure which they decide to explore.   Soon they realize it’s a long-abandoned Japanese military installationdating back to WW2. Inside they encounter dried up corpses that deliver a dark omen.  More shocking they encounter a living, deformed man.   After an explosion, the corpses disappear and they are sealed inside. Concern becomes fear and fear becomes terror. Each one of the group has strange visions borne of private secrets as their reality begins to blurs. They try to use theirsmarts to find clues and even attempt to reason it through. But as the secrets of the cave unfold,reality distorts still further. So too does the distinction between life and death, bringing the film to a shocking conclusion.

Gehenna - Where Death Lives will not rely on cheap horror techniques that are unrealistic”, says Katagiri. “We use elements which make any film great - excellent story line, believable characters, talented cast, and amazing practical effects. Our characters are placed in a predicament and it grows and gets worse. Worry and concern turn to dread, panic and terror. ButI think the test for my success will be if viewers care so much about the characters that they find themselves in the film and their heart beat accelerates. This makes the viewers immersed in thatwhich causes true horror.  That will scare the life out of you.”

“I absolutely loved the script”, adds Mike Elizalde, President of leading effects house Spectral Motion. “So I am firmly committed to the project both for my company and for myself as an artist.”

Effects master Steve Wang, concept artist Kouji Tajima, plus Joey Orosco, Tim Gore, and Neil Winn round out the powerhouse effects team. Matt Martino, an indie writer, producer, anddirector, with a pedigree in horror, is aboard as Associate Producer. And the lithe and legendary Doug Jones (who played “The Silver Surfer”) is aboard to play “The Creepy Deformed Old Man”.

“I spent years on this script and was very careful to think it through,” adds Katagiri. “Gehenna isa biblical term for horribly evil place, and Saipan was site of heaviest fighting of WWII. To keep my independent vision for this film, I have come to Kickstarter.”

Katagiri launched his Kickstarter campaign in late February. He is offering rewards ranging froma copy of the film, to t-shirts and posters as well as sculptures and props from the film. He is even offering a chance to have Katagiri himself sculpt a statue of your face.  

Katagiri splits his time between Los Angeles and Japan. His kickstarter project is live at

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