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The Devil’s Rock

North american Premiere

The Devil’s Rock The Devil’s Rock The Devil’s Rock

Hosted by Writer/Director/Executive Producer Paul Campion and Actors Matt Sunderland, Gina Varela and Karlos Drinkwater

Screening Times

“Looks and sounds fantastic... old-fashioned, thought-provoking horror” — Wynter Tyson, CINEMA SCREAM


Director: Paul Campion
Screenplay: Paul Finch, Paul Campion
Cast: Craig Hall, Matthew Sunderland, Gina Varela
Producers: Leanne Saunders
Print Source: New Zealand Film Commission



June 5, 1944. The eve of the D-Day invasion of Normandy. A pair of New Zealand commandos break into a towering fortress and find a bloodbath, terrible screams echoing through the corridors. They investigate further and within an instant, only one commando is left alive. What he finds is… not as it appears to be. He is interrogated by a Nazi soldier, who soon reveals himself to be a part of a secret SS division assigned with the task of conjuring demonic forces through which to win the war. He has so far only been partially successful in this task. The first part. The two men are the only people left alive on the island, trapped with the evil that the Nazis have pulled up from the bottom end of the other side. Upping the cruelty of what’s to come, said evil has currently taken on the physical form of the NZ soldier’s deceased wife. A night of absolute horror begins.

If you’ve seen Peter Jackson’s LORD OF THE RINGS films, the CLASH OF THE TITANS remake, the CHRONICLES OF NARNIA series, CONSTANTINE or SIN CITY, to name a few, then you’ve had a taste of Paul Campion’s skills as a visual effects artist. If you’ve seen the shorts EEL GIRL or NIGHT OF THE HELLHAMSTERS (both very popular in their day when they screened at Fantasia), then you’ve experienced his eclectic talents as a filmmaker. THE DEVIL’S ROCK marks Campion’s first foray into the universe of feature filmmaking, and what an entry it is. A Satanic Nazi chamber piece that sweats with tension and a unique atmosphere of black mysticism, this is a film that couldn’t be further away in tone and approach from the blockbusters on which he’s made his name. That’s a good thing, because this is an intimate, violent and adult work that relies on smart scripting and taut performances — along with a healthy dose of the monstrous — to summon scares from places seldom charted. Campion and co-writer Paul Finch drew upon research into the Channel Islands’ real-life history of witchcraft, the Bad Books (250-year-old tomes of black magic that are part of the region’s folklore) and Hitler’s well-documented fascination with the occult to mine a special kind of horror that feels like it could have been actual, chronicled fact. Matthew Sunderland, Craig Hall and Gina Varela carry the film on their shoulders with grace and intensity, delivering a trio of borderline Shakespearean performances that captivate with hellish power.

—Mitch Davis

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