If you’re into steampunk or strange period pieces that feature a bizarre amalgamation of fictional characters and historical figures, not to mention Leonardo Da Vinci-inspired creations of improbability, you won’t want to miss the Jon Keeyes-directed short The Mechanical Grave. If that’s not enough mixing of eras, personalities, and technology for you, consider that the look and feel of The Mechanical Grave, which presents itself as a three-way marriage between Tim Burton, Isaac Asimov, and C.S. Lewis.
Making its Canadian debut at The Montreal HorrorFest/ComicCon on September 15, at 1:15 p.m., in screening room #2, The Mechanical Grave looks like a promising short by director Jon Keeyes (known for Living and Dying, American Nightmare, and an assortment of slasher films) and writer Charles Burnley (Yankee Rose). On the film’s setting, Burnley stated:
“Since the majority of steampunk is set in Britain, we wanted to do an American take on it. New York City seemed like an obvious locale. And the year, 1895, was brought about because we felt it would be a great thing to have Theodore Roosevelt as a character. Roosevelt was police commissioner in 1895 so that was why that year was chosen. It just so happens we picked an extraordinary time period. So many events were either happening or fate was moving in the directions to make them happen. That was pure luck that we’re happy to exploit.”
The Mechanical Grave Synopsis
The year is 1895. Steam-powered ships fly through the air. Clockwork robots have replaced servants. And a grisly murder has taken place in the dark night of New York City. Called to the scene of the ritualistic murder of a young woman, newly appointed police commissioner Teddy Roosevelt discovers Detective Wayne and his police officers power usurped by two special investigators appointed by the White House: Occultist Edgar Allan Poe, a clockwork automaton housing the soul of the literary legend, and Mrs. Emma Entwistle, a dangerous assassin with a unique connection to the otherworld. When they illicit information from the demon Neshrew, a much darker and more dangerous plot of world domination is uncovered.
Stars: Nicole Leigh, Jonathan Brooks, and Matthew Tompkins