PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — “Welcome to Gore Orphanage. Good morning children.”
The chipper welcome from a supervisor opens a film in which children are anything but welcome. “Gore Orphanage” is based on the urban legend of an orphanage in Ohio, where voices of children still are heard following a devastating fire, more than a century ago. It’s produced by a couple from Uniontown: director Emily Lapisardi and her husband, screenwriter Cody Knotts.
“Our story is basically a psychological thriller,” the director says. “It’s set in the 1930s in an orphanage in Ohio. And we added a few extra elements.”
“It follows this young girl, her name is Nelly,” Cody Knotts adds. “And we get to see how horrible it is for orphans in the ’30s. And it’s not a nice place.”
“Gore Orphanage” was filmed in Scottdale, Westmoreland County, relying heavily on local talent. Script supervisor Abigail Cloutier was joined on set by her twin sisters, in the roles of unfortunate orphans.
“I stayed with the actors for every scene, made sure that everyone said their lines right, that things that were supposed to be there were there and modern things weren’t there,” she said.
It’s the second film that the couple from Uniontown has produced. The first was “Pro Wrestlers vs. Zombies,” which drew audiences in five countries.
“I was the music supervisor for that,” Emily Lapisardi said. “And that starred Roddy Piper. It was one of the last things he did, and Kurt Angle and Shane Douglas and Matt Hardy. That one is more horror-comedy.”
Their new film is also off to a good start, attracting 1,100 viewers for its premiere in Sandusky, Ohio. “Gore Orphanage” is also streaming on Amazon.
“We’re working on a deal with Family Video,” Cody Knotts said. “And ‘Pro Wrestlers’ is on Amazon Prime.”
He agrees it’s success on a shoestring.
“Hollywood would define this as a no-budget film.”