Horror film partially shot on Saipan now in post-production

Special effects master Hiroshi Katagiri fulfills his dream of directing and producing a feature length horror film using scenes on Saipan. The film is currently in its post-production in Los Angeles. (Contributed Photo)

Special effects master Hiroshi Katagiri fulfills his dream of directing and producing a feature length horror film using scenes on Saipan. The film is currently in its post-production in Los Angeles. (Contributed Photo)

Film director Hiroshi Katagiri visited Saipan early this month to shoot scenes near Aquarius Beach Tower for a horror film called Gehenna – Where Death Lives.

Katagiri, a native of Japan, specializes in makeup effects and was the go-to effects guy for three films directed by Steven Spielberg including Jurassic Park, A.I., and War of the Worlds. He has also assisted in films such as Wolverine, Pirates of the Caribbean, Alien v. Predator Requiem, Cabin in the Woods, and The Hunger Games.

According to IMBD.com, Katagiri has written and directed several acclaimed horror shorts and now pursues his ultimate dream of producing and directing a full-length feature horror film.

His group, based out of Los Angeles, visited Saipan to search for film locations that, according to a summary of the film’s plot, includes “a hidden cave-like structure on the property which they decide to explore but are soon to find out that curiosity can kill as each member faces their most private secrets and the secrets of the bunker itself resulting in a most shocking conclusion…”

The $239,000 Kickstarter project is currently in post-production in L.A. after Kitagiri finalized exterior shots on Saipan on Dec. 15.

According to Katagiri, Saipan was chosen because of the Battle of Saipan, which took place during World War II in 1944.

“Known for some of the fiercest fighting of the war, with heavy casualties, a determination to fight down to the last man, its many suicides, and rumors of far worse, the island periphery consists of beaches, lagoons, cliffs, and reefs, and its interior is mountainous. It has many caves, which were used during the war for hiding during the day, and making sorties at night,” later referred to as Hell’s Pocket and Death Valley, Saipan is a place laden with superstition and folklore, with some real life horror embedded in its 20th century history, he said.

He is currently offering collectible limited edition Gehenna bojobo dolls until Jan. 18 for those wanting to support the film.

For more information on the film, log on to www.gehennafilm.com.

Daisy Demapan | Reporter

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