Next month, Philly will get a sneak peak at a locally shot horror film dubbed American Exorcist that features a cameo by everyone's favorite former local weatherman: John Bolaris.
Written and directed by South Fellini cofounders Tony Trov and Johnny Zito, the movie follows Georgette Dubois (actress Falon Joslyn), a paranormal investigator hired to debunk a series of supernatural events on the 11th floor of a fictional Philly skyscraper called the American Building. Once she arrives, Dubois finds herself subjected to "genuinely ghoulish horrors" while trapped high above the city.
A followup to Trov and Zito's 2013 horror flick Alpha Girls, American Exorcist is more of a "psychedelic Italian horror" film than traditional scary movie, as Trov describes it. The film is also "stocked full of practical camera effects," Trov says, so expect plenty of blood and general weirdness.
Filmed in 2015 after a successful $15,000 Kickstarter campaign, American Exorcist only recently got a distribution deal via Gravitas Ventures. The film isn't scheduled for release until next year, but Philly will get a screening Nov. 5 at the Trocadero — the first public screening of it anywhere. Tickets for the 18-plus screenings are currently available for $10 online and at the South Fellini storefront in East Passyunk.
In the flick, Bolaris plays Ian Cunningham, a character Trov describes as "a Bill O'Reilly type who questions science and believes in dark magic." In 2015, Bolaris told the Philadelphia Daily News that Cunningham is a "condescending, obnoxious, high-and-mighty newsman" who interviews Dubois about her investigation.
"Working with John was great," Trov says. "Someone should give him his own talk show."
The ex-weatherman, however, isn't the only celeb providing some star power. Bill Moseley, known for his role as the terrifying Otis B. Driftwood in Rob Zombie's House of 1,000 Corpses and The Devil's Rejects, appears as a mysterious character known as Mr. Snowfeather. As Moseley told horror mag Fangoria in 2015, Snowfeather is "the maintenance man in the building where our heroine goes to do some ghostbusting."
Trov and Zito filmed American Exorcist entirely in Philadelphia, but primarily used the former Family Court building at 34 S. 11th St. in Center City to serve as the set of interior of the American Building. The old Inquirer Building on North Broad, meanwhile, provides exteriors.
Philadelphians can also look forward to shots inside City Hall, as well as footage taken inside what Trov calls "an actual haunted rowhome in South Philly." Nearly the entire production, though, is chronicled on the American Exorcist Instagram page.