Can Gravesend lay claim to the worst horror film ever made?
The makers of The Left Hand Path say they’re looking on the bright side after their fright flick was voted worst film and director by minor film festivals Bloodfest and Gorefest.
Nat Nollid, 42, boss of Gravesend based Common Sense Films, knows the titles are hardly the greatest accolade, but hopes some publicity will come from the notoriety - and maybe a cult following could be the result.
“It’s not the best but it’s like ‘it’s so bad it’s good’,” he said.
“At the end of the day it’s just an amateur horror film and it was made on a shoestring. We wanted to inspire people to follow their dreams and not give up.”
The concept of following dreams is more than a cliché in this case - the idea for the film came from a lucid dream inspired by watching The Texas Chainsaw Massacre multiple times, along with classic horrors like the Exorcist, The Evil Dead, The Shining and Friday the 13th.
Shot with a budget of £3,000 on a Canon Legria camera, The Left Hand Path was largely the brainchild of writer and director Michael Crenshaw, and was filmed with at locations around the Kent countryside - including Eynsford, Farningham, Shoreham, West Kingsdown, Darenth Valley, Hartley, Longfield, Bromley and Orpington.
Its story follows a group of friends on a long weekend break in the English countryside, before, as the synopsis states: “the idyllic landscape that surrounds them triggers a sinister chain of events that tests their friendship and humanity itself.
"Their presence awakens an ancient demon curse that is slumbering in the shadows and seeks to take revenge on the souls of the innocent.”
But according to Nat, the dark project took its toll on those behind it - particularly on Mr Crenshaw as filming came to an end.
“By that time Crenshaw was working on the project alone and struggling with the demons of mental health illness,” he added.
“He was helped by myself and Kenton and he finally beat the demons.
"It was almost as if the demon in the film had manifested itself into reality but mental illness affects most of us at some point with varying degrees.
“Our ambition is for the film to inspire others by showing that despite whatever personal issues one has, and mental illness one may have, there is always hope on the other side and to never give up on your dreams.”
The Left Hand Path can be found via commonsensefilms.uk