It's been almost six months since we had an update for the dual-headed joint effort THE FIELDS, directed by Tom Mattera and David Mazzoni (not to be confused with Ami Canaan Mann's THE FIELDS, previously known as THE TEXAS KILLING FIELDS). Now that the flick's been wrapped for a good six months or so, writer Harrison Smith and producer Faust Checho have opened up a little about the origins of the film, what inspired the story, and how the addition of screen vet Cloris Leachman greatly raised the profile of the project. Read on...
In order to contextualize the following quotes, let's refigure what THE FIELDS is all about, shall we:
A psychological thriller based on actual events that took place in a small Pennsylvania town in 1973. The film, written by Harrison Smith, tells the story of a young boy and his family who are terrorized by a menacing presence lurking in the cornfields surrounding their farmhouse.
Of course, we all know the "based on actual events" tag has been morphed into a mere marketing ploy over the years, but it sounds like Harrison really did experience said terror. At 8 years old, dude spent a summer next to large cornfield where he'd bear witness to banging at his window, cut phone lines and mysterious figures milling about in the cornfield.
''The more I wrote, the more I thought, damn, this would make a good movie,'' said Smith. Apparently he wasn't the only one who thought so. Producer Faust Checho concurred: ''I was 20 minutes into reading the script and I was laughing but also impressed by the drama of it.''
The success of the flick, which stars Tara Reid (below) and Cloris Leachman, largely hinged on the involvement of the latter:
''When she (Leachman) signed on, it elevated the film from a B-movie to a real contender,'' says Checho. ''She's a true professional but she also brought such spontaneity to the set. She had the whole crew cracking up.''
No release dates are known for THE FIELDS yet, but Smith and Checho feel confident about the cut footage they've assembled:
''We're both confident with the rough cut,'' says Checho. ''We feel that we really have something different here. The movie could easily have become just another slasher film.''
Cheers Mr. Checho, we all hope you're right!