The (un)Making of a Grindhouse Classic: Cover Reveal by Terry M. West

For those who don't know me, my name is Terry M. West and I have had a rather lengthy career in independent micro budget film and horror fiction. After completing my first film, Blood for the Muse, in 2000, I wanted to follow it up with a project called Psycho Bitch from Hell. I envisioned Psycho Bitch as a violent, sexy and bloody supernatural revenge grindhouse flick with bikers and babes. I wanted to produce something that would have made Tarantino's jaw drop.

I set out to make this film a reality around 2001. I cast actresses who were known primarily for soft core work. We got maybe half of it in the can before artistic differences and schedules tore it apart. Flash forward to 2005.

I decided to try to get the project going again with a very talented director in Arizona. I was busy and in the midst of a move to the West Coast, so the plan was to find a competent crew and talented director and have the movie in the can before I hit California. Arizona was a perfect place to accomplish this. But after going through two directors and two leading ladies, again the project hit the wall with Spinal Tap-ian results. I went to Arizona myself and directed the second half of the film, but I was unable to raise funds and re-shoot everything else, as one of the directors had tried to change the whole damn movie behind my back and turn it into a Lifetime film, sans any teeth or horror.

There is a lot I could discuss here, but I won't. The short of it: this ruined my ambitions in film. It proved to me that people would gleefully take advantage, regardless of the damage to their reputations. That some involved considered me a talentless hack and pushover was evident. And despite the majority of good people on the set, this attempt was an epic final fail for the project. It hurt me financially, my investors lost money, and I even lost a few good friends over this. But the biggest loss: my faith in people.

I envisioned this production as a launching pad to give hungry, young directors opportunity. But the disrespect and sabotage ruined that for anyone who would have appreciated the break. There was much I could have taught beginners about the business.

At this point, I was pretty convinced the project was cursed. I do plan on putting a documentary together that would feature interviews with the cast and crew and have my footage (a good 45 minutes) interspersed throughout (I still have to try and put a few coins in my investors' pockets). The players involved, especially Rochelle Craft and Jaime Dunkle, deserve to be seen for all of their hard work on the film. This project was a big loss for a majority of the crew and cast as well. Hopefully, they will get a little satisfaction at seeing some of their best scenes in a documentary. And I am sure they will have interesting stories to tell, too.

But it still seemed a shame that the story itself would go unrealized. And then, while revisiting the script recently, I realized that I could adapt the story into a novella.  

I wouldn't have to worry about budget, crew, directors, actors. I can finally tell my tale, my way, and even improve and expand on the limitations involved with making a film.  I can delve deeper into the characters, and make this as bloody and violent as it would have been on screen. I can even blow shit up. And I think I will. 

So Psycho Bitch From Hell: An Exploitation Movie on Paper, is currently in the works. I don't have a release date yet, but I do have a pretty wicked cover, which is presented here for the first time anywhere!

I would like to thank Darkness Dwells for the opportunity to share my next project with you here. If you have interest in my work, my site is www.terrymwest.com 

As promised, the cover reveal: