UK 2014; Regie: Orok Duke; DarstellerInnen: Michael Peters, Alice Mcguire, Rory Mccallum; 23 Min., Blu-Ray, englOV.
A secret society with a keen interest in the occult gathers for one of its regular ceremonies. Its members are tricked into performing a forbidden ritual and unleash a malevolent spirit in the house. Each member struggles to survive the night and unravel the traitor in the group.
Awaiting Lazarus is mostly a visual adventure, with some tongue in cheek references to the classic Hammer Horror days. The characters won’t necessarily be pulling heart strings, but they are entertaining with their own little quirks. It is also a pseudo satire on occult groups of the victorian times. Charlatans with more money & time than sense; who took the “dark arts” from strange nations veeeeery seriously.
My attention was particularly drawn to the spiritual eccentrics of the Victorian and early post Victorian era. During this period, there was a boom of societies/cults that were strongly involved in the occult. Not to mention complete eccentrics like Aliester Crowley and Henrich Himmler were prominent during this period. These examples’ views on the occult ended up controlling every aspect of their lives. I find this quite fascinating, as I also share interest in the occult. Wondering what it would be like to be a member of one of such cults, I ended up writing a story that focuses on one of such cults that secretly survives in our modern times. First and foremost, I made sure it fit with the technical challenge map I set for myself as a director, then the story developed more. It’s a story about a secret society called The Heralds of Solitude. They have survived for more than a century, and the group is mostly made up of members of society’s upper echelon.
One of the themes I wanted to have in this story is old vs new. This cult is built on the foundation of very old beliefs. These beliefs do engage xenophobia, prejudice and a lot of ugly aspects of upper society. The idea that such ridiculous characters, that hold true to such beliefs is rather ridiculous and I want that to conflict with the modern era the story is set in.