Writer/Director updates on queer horror feature Saint Drogo

After a successful crowdfunding campaign on IndieGoGo last year, queer horror feature Saint Drogo is planning on hit film festivals soon.

Bloody Flicks caught up with writer/director Michael J. Ahern to provide an update –

Can you give us an update on filming?

Currently, we are about 85% done with principal shooting for Saint Drogo. We are hoping to wrap production by Spring. Our editor, Ryan Miller, who was a part of the Death Drop Gorgeous team, has been editing scenes as we complete them, so we hope post-production won’t take very long!

How did you find the crowdfunding campaign?

We were really lucky on the crowd-funding front. The campaign went smoothly and we have such great supporters. The campaign is still open, too. Kay Lynch, director of Salem Horror Fest also signed on to executive produce, which we are so grateful for. She’s been a huge supporter of us.

How did you balance the darker tone of Saint Drogo compared to the campier Death Drop Gorgeous?

We always want to challenge ourselves as filmmakers and storytellers. I think eventually we will return to our campy roots a la Death Drop Gorgeous, but the idea of making something more sinister and moodier was appealing to us. We could’ve made Death Drop Gorgeous Part 2 (and we still might) but we wanted to see if we could conquer a different tone. It’s certainly harder in some regards. Making DDG was a learning curve, so we want to make sure we nail aspects of Saint Drogo that we might have missed the mark on the first go-around. Acting is definitely harder; everyone in Death Drop Gorgeous is a caricature and that’s easier to play, but in Saint Drogo, there are subtleties in the delivery of these lines and it’s sometimes harder to be convincing. The tonal change feels like a risk, but we are excited for folks to see what we’ve learned and to see a different side to us.

The location looks fantastic and feels like its channelling Lovecraft, was this your intention?

Lovecraft wasn’t the inspiration, actually! Although he is from our city of Providence, afterall. We do have plans for a cosmic horror script though, but that will be for another time. Growing up in New England, those Cape Cod towns that are bustling and crowded in the summer turn into eerie ghost towns in the off-season. It really sets a mood we wanted to explore.

Where did the concept for the film come from?

Mike (Ahern), co-creator of Death Drop Gorgeous, really wanted to write a mystery script or series that took place in Provincetown in the winter because of its stark contrast to how it feels in the summer. He also wanted to explore themes of drug usage and the opioid epidemic, which is a prevalent issue on Cape Cod in the winter months. Brandon (Perras-Sanchez) took this idea for a setting and wrote an outline, incorporating folk horror elements. We liked the notion of tackling this project next because we were in the middle of the pandemic and didn’t know when it would be letting up; the cast would be smaller, the crew could be barebones, and so it seemed favourable. The Monster Makeup team then started meeting regularly to write the screenplay, strengthen the conflicts and the relationship between the two leads. Viewers will find there is still a great deal of commentary about the gay community in the story’s themes, like Death Drop Gorgeous.

Are you looking to hit the festival circuit or going for a studio/VOD release?

The intention right now is to hit the festival circuit! We didn’t get a “proper” festival run the first time because it was 2020 when Death Drop Gorgeous premiered, so most of our festival experience was virtual, although we did have some fun at drive-in theatres here.

Keep up date with Saint Drogo on IndieGoGo.

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