Local filmmaker, actors part of drive-in event

WINTERSVILLE — A local filmmaker and several actors will get to see their work on a big screen and share it with others when “Werewolves from Outerspace” makes it premiere this weekend at the Winter Drive-In.

Renee Ebert of Wintersville, the film’s writer, said the film will be shown with “Goonies” and “Beetlejuice” as part of the drive-in’s annual Trunk or Treat event Friday and Saturday.

The trunk or treat attraction will start at 5:45 p.m., with the films to start at 7 p.m. Admission is $4 for child ages 4-11; and $8.50 for ages 12 and up, including adults. The event will include prizes for the best costumes worn by children and adults and best decorated vehicle.

Following “Beetlejuice,” the drive-in will offer a marathon of more adult horror films on another screen, with admission at $10.

Ebert said aside from some language, “Werewolves from Outerspace” is more humorous than scary.

“It’s got a real cheesy, campy feel,” she said of the film, which was shot at a church and cemetery in Lisbon,with the cooperation of the Lisbon Historical Society.

Directed by Jon Parsons, a Canadian documentary maker, the film incorporates comic book elements, including the appearance of “sound effects” on screen, as seen in the 1960s “Batman” show.

Ebert said the idea was to create something fun while utilizing music from an assortment of international artists that had been secured for another film that was never developed.

She recruited actors from other local independent film projects, as well as some area residents she met through work, to appear in the film.

As with many low-budget independent films, some behind-the-scenes personnel double as extras, and Ebert even has a bit part.

The end product involved about 30 actors and crew members, which Ebert said is a large number for such a project.

She said several of the actors will appear at the drive-in on Saturday and will pose for photos if asked.

Ebert expressed thanks to the drive-in’s owner and manager for their cooperation. She added there are plans to show “Ghost House: A Haunting,” a film shot earlier this year at the Wells Township Haunted House, at the drive-in next year.

Ebert said finishing touches are being put on that film, while she’s planning another to be shot at the drive-in itself.

Titled “Steel Valley Undead,” it will involve zombies, and Ebert is recruiting area bands to provide the music.

Not all of Ebert’s output is related to the supernatural, however. She also has created “Just a Bruise,” a documentary featuring interviews with people who have overcome domestic abuse, with Australian cinematographer Ross Clarkson.

(Scott can be contacted at wscott@heraldstaronline.com.)