Vampire horror stalks vines

A BLOOD-sucking vampire with chilling white eyes and sharp fangs is on the loose in Rutherglen’s wine country.

The supernatural creature is the star of a horror movie, The Caretaker, which has been described as “gritty and terrifying” and takes viewers into the world of vampires.

Writer and director Tom Conyers said production of the 100-minute feature film had been completed and it would debut at Melbourne’s Federation Square next month.

Mr Conyers said 90 per cent of the film had been shot in and around Rutherglen and the storyline was set in the North East.

Sights featured include Mount Prior Vineyard, Mount Ophir Estate, the Star Hotel and the Old Chiltern Cemetery.

“We went to Rutherglen because, in the script, one of the characters owns a winery so it seemed like an ideal spot,” Mr Conyers said.

“Everyone was really friendly and helpful and we got some of the locals in as extras.

“We had a really good experience and the footage looks great.

“We got up early one Sunday and shot Rutherglen’s empty streets.

“The production values for such a low budget was high. The area gave a great variety to the film.”

Mr Conyers said about 15 Melbourne-based crew and five actors had worked on the $300,000 project. Post-production took almost a year after seven weeks of filming.

The film details the spread of vampirism where, in a bid to escape the plague, a group of humans makes a deal with a vampire to protect him from other humans during daylight hours.

In return, he guarantees their safety from vampires at night.

Distributors and family and friends of the cast will attend an industry screening at the Australian Centre for the Moving Image in Melbourne next month.

Mr Conyers said he was also planning a screening in the North East early next year.

“That’s certainly the plan. It would be great to show it up there,” he said yesterday.

Mr Conyers said he also hoped the film would be released more widely.

“Around the world would be ideal,” he said.

“But it’s very tough. A lot of really good films are made in Australia every year and, unfortunately, some good films simply disappear.

“But this is a popular genre and we’ve done it with a bit of flair and without the cliches.

“There’s not a lot of gore and the characters are not your standard 20-somethings getting picked off one by one. It’s a bit more complicated than that.”

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