When you make microbudget films, you generally don’t go looking for things to spend money on. You look around at what you already have and try to figure out how to recycle it.
We (and by “we” I mean “Bill Black”) invested quite a bit into the construction of the Nyoka Fights Back sacrificial altar set in Bill’s backyard, so when I was writing Stormy Tempest: Season Three I was thinking about ways that we could incorporate some of those elements into the Stormy films. Bill purchased a huge cargo net to keep the suburban Florida plantlife at bay, to prevent it from obscuring the beautiful Nyoka set that he and Chris Casteel had constructed. For a while I was planning to have Clayton use the net on Stormy (which remains a good idea and will likely be used on some unsuspecting future heroine)… but then I hit on the idea of using the net to create a monster!
My original idea was to use this big cargo net and weave vines and palm fronds and leaves and stuff into it and make it a huge, formless, hulking mound that could menace Stormy. We could maybe make a tentacle and have that slither out from under the mound and grab her. Fun… and inexpensive! Armed with this idea I incorporated the cargo net creature into the script. Bill loves classic monsters so I didn’t even run this idea by him, I just wrote it into the script so that I could spring it on him.
Sure enough, Bill’s first comment about the script was that he was VERY excited about having Stormy run into a classic monster… but he didn’t want to do something lame like stick a bunch of vines into a cargo net. He wanted a MONSTER! Childhood enthusiasm for classic creature features was rapidly taking over. Then he contacted Chris Casteel, which brought in a whole second whirlwind of childhood enthusiasm!
It was a glorious geek-fest!
Suddenly we had ideas and emails flying all over the place trying to figure out what we wanted to do, what we could actually afford and how to pull it off. I’ll write another blog entry about the construction and design of the suit after the release of the next Stormy film, which will be titled “Stormy Tempest: Caress of the Moss Monster“, but for now here’s a look at the Moss Monster himself and his lovely damsel in distress. We took a few moments before the start of filming to capture the photos below, which were inspired by publicity stills of Julie Adams and The Creature from the Black Lagoon. I’ve included the Creature images also. Enjoy!