Cast and crew of “Hell’s Bells,” a horror short movie written by Hurley-born Zeke Soliz, put together to film a scene within the Silco Theatre on Monday. Actors Isabella Adams and Blake Monticello, entrance, play the lead roles.
By JO LUTZ
Daily Press Staff
This week, a short movie written by a younger man from Hurley was shot on location at downtown’s Silco Theatre, in a bathroom at Hurley Elementary School and in a basic Buick. The film features not only the writer’s classmates but additionally members of his household and extras from a neighborhood casting name.
“Hell’s Bells” had its genesis final summer season, when Zeke Soliz was working at a Las Cruces Starbucks. It was simply one other shift, and Soliz was talking together with his co-worker, Glenn Mata. Mata, from California, had all types of loopy stories, and informed Soliz a couple of time he saw a guy get so high on hallucinogenic datura that he thought he was a potato chip — which ended up being “a actually dangerous experience for everyone.”
From this unlikely spark, a fire was lit in Soliz’s imagination.
“In the five-minute drive from work to my house, I got here up with the idea for ‘Hell’s Bells,’” he said.
As soon as he obtained residence, he called some classmates at New Mexico State University’s Creative Media Institute who he had talked with about doing an impartial venture. Nidia Jimenez ended up producing the brief movie and utilizing it as her senior project, bringing institutional sources to a movie which is otherwise unbiased of the university, with most of its pupil individuals putting in free time.
“Hell’s Bells” is another identify for datura, a white, bell-shaped flower. Mata’s story of a friend’s disagreeable drug journey impressed Soliz to provide you with a narrative during which a young man intends to confess his romantic feelings for a gal pal on the movie theater, however as an alternative takes medicine and enters a hellscape where he is pursued by a shadowy determine, from whom he should defend himself and his woman love.
Like many horror motion pictures, there is a subtext that’s not just about literal monsters. The scariest demons generally personify practical horrors — such as dishonesty in relationships.
“The underlying message comes right down to miscommunication,” Soliz said. “Every day, individuals, including me, discover themselves in these really complex situations where, if we had simply spoken and acted how we felt in the first place, we wouldn’t be there. This [film] portrays that — however amped up to a really creepy and terrible stage.”
Over the course of three days, the forged and crew filmed in locations all through Grant County.
“When they advised me what the plot was, it sounded somewhat like ‘Reefer Madness,’” mentioned Christophe Maso, who responded to a name for extras he’d heard about via a good friend.
Maso and about 10 to 15 other extras sat within the Silco from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday, where their job as viewers members was to fake to drink prop drinks and stay centered on the display, somewhat than on the lead characters within the row in entrance of them.
Maso mentioned this production in contrast favorably to the one other manufacturing in which he was an additional, a splatterpunk film called “Spill Your Guts.”
“I needed to witness a crime, determine a burned physique and puke,” he recalled of the low-budget shoot in New York. “I watched the movie once it was completed, and I don’t even keep in mind if my scenes made the reduce.”
By contrast, he said every little thing about the Silco shoot was by the guide.
“I was really impressed with how skilled and organized they had been,” he said. “They had everything storyboarded out, and they have been actually appreciative of all of the extras. Several times the director or assistant director checked on me and supplied water or Gatorade.”
Maso, who lives in Silver City, can be a creator in the style. He described his novella, “Scream of the Butterfly,” as a “supernatural horror love story told in the first particular person by a sociopath.” It is out there on Amazon and Audible.
The second major filming location was in Hurley, the place the romantic leads hang around.
“Someone loaned us a very old-school Buick,” Soliz said. “It was a chance to shoot fairly photographs with a reasonably automobile, and also a really essential scene. It’s the first scene the place we introduce each Ash and Pearl.”
Those character names are apparently additionally drug references — to marijuana and cocaine, respectively.
Soliz did not cite the well-known anti-marijuana propaganda film “Reefer Madness,” however stated he is most affected by psychological thrillers like Stanley Kubrick’s “The Shining” and Jordan Peele’s “Get Out.”
“I love the soundtracks of the movies, the characters, the character arcs,” he said.
However, in distinction to these movies, Soliz needs “Hell’s Bells” to finish in a means that doesn’t leave the audience satisfied. He mentioned the antagonist’s identity is revealed ultimately, however wouldn’t share the id with the Daily Press.
“You’re in for a surprise,” he promised.
The climax of the movie may also be a surprise to anyone who’s been in the Hurley Elementary School bathroom. Viewers will see the normally child-friendly house remodeled by short-term graffiti and spooky lighting.
In the film, these scenes are set within the bathroom of the movie show, however because the Silco bathrooms are too small, they were filmed at Hurley Elementary — the place Soliz was as soon as a pupil, and where his mom is now a pre-K trainer.
“It was really cool seeing him come full circle,” mom Angel Soliz stated. “It was identical to a proud mama moment.”
Ms. Soliz arranged use of the lavatory, and credit faculty and district administrators with eagerly supporting the work of a Cobre alumnus by making the facility out there.
She said that Zeke has been obsessive about cinema since he was utilizing the Hurley Elementary toilet as a student.
“Even when he was younger, I bear in mind him telling me he needed to be a director,” she stated.
Angel mentioned she initially put this notion apart as a end result of it was at odds with their family background. She was a instructor, her husband was a police officer, and Zeke’s father, grandfather and uncle had all served in the army.
Zeke Soliz did be a part of the National Guard after high school. His mother said when he returned from basic training and had the chance to go to varsity on the military’s dime, his dream to go into movie began resurfacing.
“A little bit of him was scared, as a end result of no one in our household has ever carried out that,” Angel recalled. “I informed him, if it’s one thing you wish to do and it makes you content, then you want to put your self out there.”
Soliz was accepted into NMSU’s digital filmmaking division in the Creative Media Institute, where he took a screenwriting class and found a passion for creating narrative.
“This child comes from a small city, the place you normally don’t see children going into the film industry,” Angel stated. “I’m actually hoping that extra kids may have the courage to get out of their consolation zone.”
The younger Soliz expects to see a tough cut of the movie by the top of March, and a ultimate reduce by early May. He and the cast and crew plan to premiere “Hell’s Bells” in May, on the Silco Theatre the place it was filmed.
Jo Lutz may be reached at [email protected]