Hollywood horror films already have an established history in Texas (Do the words “chainsaw massacre” ring a bell?), so who better than a group of native Texans to produce one of the latest additions to the canon? Enter Tyler Glodt and Christian Sosa. The pair (with the help of some friends) finished shooting The Eves, an unsettling thriller set around Victoria County, this summer. Sosa, the film’s producer, chatted with texasmonthly.com about the story, the cast, and what it’s like to make a movie in southeast Texas.
Can you tell us what the movie is about?
Without giving too much away, The Eves is a thriller with horror elements. A group of college students head to the beach for an unforgettable Spring Break vacation. However, complications arise when their car overheats and they find themselves at a secluded hunting lodge near a desolate cattle ranch.
After several of the group’s members disappear, the others are forced to flee, all the while being pursued by a shadowy adversary. However, is this haunting figure that stalks them from the shadows after them or only some of them?
As the group struggles to stay alive, they learn much about the ranch’s inhabitants and its complex family struggle rooted in backwards religious dogma. However, more terrifying is the revelation that the group has been lured into this nightmare as opposed to stumbling upon it.
Why did you decide to shoot the film in Texas?
The script was developed based on the South Texas locations of Weesatche, Cheapside, and Goliad rather than like most other films in which creating a story comes first and finding the locations comes later. The authentic scenery of ranch land, abandoned buildings, and open Texas roadways was one advantage; we didn’t need to build sets or battle city traffic, permits, and other details that are normally considered when filming in heavily populated areas.
Executive Producer Phil Albrecht and his son Matthew (producer/actor/writer) are from the area, and many of the locations were all derived through family connections near Victoria. In addition, Tyler Glodt (producer/writer/director) has a lot of family in Cuero. Although Tyler and Matthew had been living in Los Angeles for four years, they were excited about the opportunity to return to the area where they grew up.
Tell us about the filming. What was it like?
The obstacles that presented themselves during preparation and production made it overwhelming at times but that was to be expected. The night before the first day of filming, the area around Cuero and Cheapside, which hadn’t seen rain in months, had a torrential downpour, flooding roadways to our first shooting location. Luckily, we were able to reroute everyone early the next morning, although we were unable to get needed production trailers to our first location due to the conditions of the roads.
The next week two tornados touched down near our filming locations in Weesatche and Weser, shutting down production for a couple hours. We were fortunate though, because we were still able to finish our film within our four-week schedule.
The crew was split between several locations, with certain willing individuals sharing rooms with one another. The actors, several production assistants, the hair and makeup department, and the digital loader/on-set photographer all stayed in a big house in Weser, which was jokingly referred to as MTV’s The Real World Weser House. The entire experience was almost like summer camp.
The Lukers, of Luker Ranch near Goliad, were extremely accommodating, opening their homes and hunting lodges for production use. Ryan Luker was so helpful in finding locations that he was given the position of “location manager.” One day a tractor was needed, and Ryan got one from his granddad, Melvin Luker, and brought it, as well as Melvin, to the set. Melvin knew how to drive the tractor and had a perfect look, so we decided to put him in the film and even gave him a line. He laughed and said he wasn’t sure that we could afford him as he was already a bit of a celebrity because he had appeared in a local commercial. The film would not have been possible had it not been for their generous hospitality.
And T. Michael O’Connor, the sheriff of Victoria County, consulted on proper law enforcement procedures. The director rode around with him one morning and liked how he had outfitted the interior of his police vehicle so much so that he had the art department re-create it in the movie. In the end, T. Michael got the role of Sheriff because we realized that no one could do it any better.
How did story come about?
Matthew Albrecht was visiting with his father two years ago during the Christmas season, and they were discussing a friend’s film Matthew had recently helped produce in New York. Matthew had noticed that his friend had used many of his friends and family from his hometown to make the film possible, and he and his father started discussing the possibility of making a film at their ranch near Goliad. Matthew came up with a rough idea and then asked longtime friend and collaborator Tyler Glodt, also a Texas native, to work on the script. Twelve drafts later they had The Eves.