Film was made by directors Mike Testin and Matt Mercer in just five weeks, from start to finish

By Clark Collis
October 02, 2018 at 02:43 PM EDT

Can you write, shoot, and edit a movie in just five weeks? That was the challenge given to, and accepted by, director Mike Testin (Dementia) and actor-filmmaker Matt Mercer (the Contracted franchise, Beyond the Gates). The result is the horror movie Dementia Part II.

In the movie, Mercer stars as a character named Wendell, who receives a threatening phone call from his parole officer Reggie (Graham Skipper from The Mind’s Eye and Beyond the Gates)… if he doesn’t find a job immediately, he will face serious legal repercussions. Wendell wrangles some home maintenance work for a seemingly benign older woman, Suzanne (Suzanne Voss), who persists in giving him increasingly absurd tasks to complete around the house. As the workday progresses, Wendell is thrown into an ever-escalating nightmare, and comes face to face with an unexpected evil. Suzanne hides a dark secret. And it’s up to Wendell and Suzanne’s daughter Sheila (Najarra Townsend) to put an end to her madness.

“Beyond the weird tale that unfolds in Dementia Part II, the making of the film itself has a backstory that’s in some ways equally absurd, and for us has become part of its identity,” say Testin and Mercer in their directors’ statement. “A film festival in Chicago called Cinepocalypse held their first annual event last November (2017), and they reserved a slot for an unmade feature-length film. In a nutshell, they challenged us and the producers at BoulderLight Pictures (Raphael and JD) to conceive, finance, shoot, and finish a feature film, script-to-screen, in literally five weeks (beginning the day the festival announced their schedule) and see if something could come of it. Whatever we made, they promised to show it in that slot.

“Insanity, but…We couldn’t resist the challenge, so we said, ‘Hell yes.’ We got a few friends together and decided to make a completely unrelated, darkly comedic sequel to a critically-acclaimed thriller Mike directed a couple of years ago called Dementia (released by IFC in 2015). Instead of shooting for dramatic-thriller territory again, we aimed for off-kilter midnight horror-comedy territory, and put the pedal to the metal. The goal was not to fly in the face of the first film, but instead to create something entirely of its own identity, and make a fun, gooey, bizarre ride in the process.”

Dementia Part II is playing at Spain’s Sitges Festival and at ScreamFest in Los Angeles, Oct. 15.

Exclusively watch the trailer for Dementia Part II, above.