The Quantum Terror: Love, Madness, Tentacles

Director Christopher Moonlight works hard to bring horror fans ground breaking fright cinema with his new film the Quantum Terror. 

Growing up in Thousand Oaks, California, he spent his childhood watching films and exploring his wild imagination. Inspired by directors like David Lynch and Ridley Scott, Christopher just knew he writing and directing would be his calling. After a successful Indiegogo campaign for Quantum Terror, I finally caught up with Christopher so he could give us the inside details on his film, and his plans for the future.

Valerie: This seems right on time as Halloween is right around the corner. Can you tell horror fans a little about The Quantum Terror?

Christopher:  At its core, it’s the story of what might happen if a group of people came across a 5th dimensional being. The lead character, a young woman named Sam, she doesn’t know anything about this sort of thing, but her sister was going to school and studying quantum physics when she disappeared. In order to find her, she meets up with a guy that her sister was dating and going to school with. He seems a little off, but he may have answers, so Sam her ex-love Lucy, and Lucy’s new boyfriend follows this guy into these underground wash tunnels to look for her. That’s when they encounter this entity. Since it’s so alien, the effect on them is pretty traumatizing.

Valerie: What inspired the story?

Christopher: It kind of developed out of my desire to make an Alien sequel. When I was a teenager, I had seen Alien 3 and this half hour documentary about the making of the film that HBO had put out. I was really disappointed in the story, but loved the sets and the special effects. A company known as Amalgamated Dynamics Inc. was handling the effects, building animatronics and using miniature puppets of the alien, and I just felt like all of that amazing stuff deserved a better movie to be in. I had a friend that had a VHS camcorder (this was the 90’s after all) and I tried to talk my friends into helping me make my own Alien film. It didn’t happen, but ever since, I’ve wanted to tackle a movie with dark tunnels and nasty slimy creatures. I can’t make Alien 5, I’ll make something that I would have preferred to see, but with my own monsters.

Valerie:  I know when it comes to filming, places like New York City, or Los Angeles come to mind. Definitely not Texas. What is it about shooting in Texas that gave you the idea it was the perfect environment for the Quantum Terror?

Christopher:  Yes, we’re just outside of Austin, TX in a city called Kyle. We moved into a house, and right by this house is a wash tunnel. When I saw it, that teenager from all those years ago screamed at me, “There’s a tunnel! We can make the film! Do it! Do it! Do it!” I started asking myself who would go down there, and why. In reality, it just goes out to the other side of the street, after about 25 feet, but it makes for a great establishing shot. I’m going to build fake tunnels in my garage, and do a lot of miniature work. I think it’s going to look really good.

Valerie: The film has a female lesbian protagonist which is almost unheard of in film. Why was it so important for you to create a character with these attributes?

Christopher: I could write a book on my reasons for doing so. This movie isn’t actually about being a lesbian. It’s about the importance of being true to the nature of our individual souls. The character just happens to be a lesbian, who has do deal with this situation. Once you strip away what sex someone is attracted to, they still have to deal with the same things everyone else does. They don’t walk around being a stereotype. They have to eat, sleep, stay warm, pay bills, deal with bull, go pee pee in the potty, catch colds, and get along in society. I felt that it was time to represent a lesbian woman in that manner. You know, like by not giving her a tool belt and flannel. The monster doesn’t care who you chose to love or wants to debate whether it’s even a choice. It’ll eat the gay and strait alike, unless they chose to fight it. The Alien didn’t care if Ripply liked men or women. She just had to deal with it.

Valerie:  There has been a ton of great lo-fi/sci-fi horror films to come out in the last few years. These films definitely prove that less equals more on-screen. With that said, let’s talk tentacles! Why are tentacles so important to this film? What is your angle for making them look realistic on-screen?

Christopher: Well, I’m deep into tentacles. I learned how to build them from watching pros like Alec Gillis and Tom Woodruff, Jr. who worked on the 2011 prequel to The Thing and their own movie Harbinger Down. My lead effects person Jenna Green, who was on Face Off came in and taught me more about how to build them. We’ve had a lot of discussions about not only our joy of making them, but lighting them, shooting them, and using clever editing to make them come to life. James Cameron really inspire us in that way, because he was doing all of this sort of thing in Aliens. In the second act, when that facehugger comes after Ripply, that’s like five different puppets that do different things, and he edited them all together to make it look like one living horror. Those pre-CGI days were great. Now they’d just do it in a computer, and it would look intangible. I have no interest in that. 

Valerie:  This project sounds really exciting! What can fans expect to see and feel upon viewing the Qantum Terror?

Christopher:  They’re going to see a lot more than they would expect, on such a low-budget. There will be monsters, and they won’t be human. We’re not just going to slap some zombie makeup on an actor and call it the main event. I think people are getting tired of that. We’re also going to give them a story that I think hasn’t been done yet. We’re taking some of the ideas of H.P. Lovecraft and applying modern scientific theories like quantum physics to them. We’re also going to speculate on where science and spirituality come together, rather than trying to say that one cancels out the other. It’s gong to be fun, and sexy, and scary.

Valerie: What can fans expect from you in the future?

Christopher:  Without giving too much away, I’ll tell you that you can expect vampires, giant robots, mermaids, wild west drag queens, aliens, demons, nudity, bad language, and always ALWAYS a deep love of humanity, with a dash of hope!

The Quantum Terror starts shooting this year in Austin, TX. The film stars Michael Gassaway, and Paula Marcenaro Solinger. You can check out film updates at several other online locations such as:

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