Back in Sept. 2007, I wrote an article about Austin filmmakers Duane Graves and Justin Meeks who were making a movie about the infamous legend of the Wild Man of the Navidad.
And now all their hard work has paid off. The feature length movie is now about to be released nationally by the Independent Film Channel, Graves wrote in an email. The movie will be available on demand/pay per view starting on Wed. via the IFC In Theaters section of all major cable outlets (in Victoria, it's through Suddenlink).
Later on this year, the movie will be released on DVD through Blockbuster stores. A more in-depth article will be written about the movie later this week but I just wanted to give a heads up to all you movie buffs out there. For more information about the movie, go to http://www.wildmanofthenavidad.com/
And I posted the original article below for your reading pleasure (I was unable to link it since it isn't in our Web site archives).
The Wild Man of the Navidad
By Aprill Brandon
Ever since the first stories started surfacing back in 1834, theories have abounded about the old Texas legend of the wild man of the Navidad. In most of those theories, it is believed that the wild man was eventually captured or died.
But living in Sublime in northeastern Lavaca County in the early 1970s, Dale S. Rogers tells a different story about the wild man, a much more terrifying story. And now two young Austin filmmakers have taken that story and turned it into a feature-length horror film. Adapted from journals Rogers wrote during the time, the film recounts his frightening runs-ins with the wild man on his estate by the Navidad River, co-director Duane Graves said.
"Rogers apparently had ties to some of the people who wrote about the original legend in the 1800s and the land he owns has been passed down through generations of his family," Graves said. "Basically the movie is his story, and we wrote the screenplay based off his descriptions and drawings."
Graves , 31, originally heard the legend from his grandparents in San Antonio. Along with friend and co-director Justin Meeks, 34, the two men headed to Sublime to talk to some locals and it was there they met the reclusive Rogers.
The movie was filmed in Whitsett, which is near Three Rivers, about 100 miles south of Sublime, on a $50,000 budget. The movie pays homage to the horror films of the 1970s, Graves said. Disappointed with the way today's horror films are all shock and no story, Graves said they went back to the '70s style of fluid shots and spending a lot of time on creating the right atmosphere.
"We really wanted to focus on the story. And that's really what we were after, a solid story that worked well and worked as an homage to that period of film," he said.
The directors, who met at Texas A&M University in Corpus Christi, spent two years on the film, working nights, weekends and anytime they weren't at their day jobs. The cast is composed mainly of actors from Austin, although there are local extras in the movie from places like Victoria and Beeville, Graves said.
After having their first public screening last weekend, the directors are now hoping to get in on the film festival circuit. With the weight of their producer behind them, Kim Henkel, who was the co-writer of the original 1974 horror classic "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre," Graves said their goal is to sell it to a studio so that it can be released in theaters.
"It's been a long two years in which we'd film on the weekends, edit at night, sleep for a few hours and then head to work. It's either abnormal love or just crazy," Graves laughed. "But you kind of have to be that way or else it doesn't happen. You have to keep going."
When asked whether he believed in Rogers' stories about the wild man, Graves added that he absolutely did.
"He was very convincing, and his description and illustrations were so detailed that it was very hard to dismiss it. I personally think there had to be more than one of them, too," he said. "I think our finished film is the perfect blend of Mr. Rogers' account and our interpretation of it."
As the tagline for the movie goes, history tells one story. Truth tells another.
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