ByDania Lerman, writer at
Dania Lerman

We watch horror movies to freak ourselves out. As a mildly masochistic gore-obsessed weirdo, I can totally testify to that. But when Afflicted hits theaters and VOD on April 4, beyond the usual hunt for hair raising/goosebumps inducing/adrenaline pumping experience, we might also choose to watch for its totally one-of-a-kind, crazy back story:

Meet Clif Prowse and Derek Lee, directors, writers and lead actors of Afflicted, whose real-life tale of rags-to-riches totally puts Cinderella to shame. Here's how:

It all started when the then-amateur duo got the itch to make an action movie, but, as proper starving artists, couldn't afford to.

So they teamed up with producers Zach Lipovsky and Chris Ferguson (who, by the way, have been friends since grade school), and embarked upon a vampire themed mock-umentary in which they would play themselves:

"It blurs the lines of a documentary...The two of them starring really came out of necessity. Not only did it keep the budget low, but it was more practical, because we could do reshoots whenever we needed to since they owned the camera.” - Lipovsky

And they could still do a bunch of gore.

With some professional/familial funding, they scraped together a couple hundred thousand dollars, 10-person crew and flew out to Europe where the city streets provided a cost-free set, and told curious bystanders they were filming a documentary.

When they got home, they slapped together a trailer and got a very enthusiastic Brian Kavanaugh-Jones (executive producer of Insidious) on board.

Under his expert advice and financial support, they cut back on some dialogue and amped up the action, putting forth a tighter, more commercial flick that got the attention of CBS films, who eagerly picked it up.

"It’s a Cinderella story...CBS really believed in it and wanted to push it...They wanted to make it bigger while retaining the heart of the film and its indie horror spirit." - Lipovsky

Afflicted went on to receive Best Horror Movie and Director at the 2013 Fantastic Fest, and, at the moment, has a 100% certified fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

Way to go, guys!

Catch Afflicted on screen April 4. I know I will!


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