In late 2017, for some reason, the phrase “heads-a-poppin’” popped into filmmaker James Raynor’s brain and stuck fast. Inspired by his dead-end retail job and the current socio-political climate, Raynor weaved a tale of Ellie, an artist, frustrated with dealing with incompetent management and the idiot public, who inadvertently develops a unique version of telekinesis. It starts small, manifesting in moments of high emotion, causing headaches and nosebleeds to those nearby, but before long, she is detonating skulls left and right with no control and no one to turn to…
By early 2019, Raynor had written a couple of drafts and producer Matthew Jay France came on-board to begin securing the cast (a mix of old and new faces from previous productions) and locations. On a whim, it was decided to submit a pitch to the Fresh Blood competition at Frightfest 2019 to win additional funding from Genera and Blue Finch Films. Surprisingly, we won, giving us the cash to secure some more sophisticated practical effects for the aftermath of numerous head explosions.
Shooting began in early November 2019 in Richmond, London. With only five days to shoot 32 pages, packed with dialogue, multiple locations and special effects, time was of the essence, but the whole cast and crew worked at the top of their game to bring the production in on-schedule.
Now, with the film in post-production back in Raynor’s hometown of Leeds, West Yorkshire, HEADS-A-POPPIN’! is on track to be the cinematic event of the century. We were aiming to have the film completed for submission to Frightfest 2020, but the Covid pandemic delayed our scheduled pick-ups/re-shoots. Now, in March 2021, we are ready to take the picture out into the world.
It’s CLERKS meets SCANNERS. It’s Ken Loach meets Lloyd Kaufman. It’s a socially-aware comedy splatterfest with an ending that-furies THE FURY.
And it’ll pop your fuckin’ head.