Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Blood and Bone China - The Web Series

Image © Chris Stone Films

It is 1897 and vampires stalk the once bustling streets of Stoke, England.

The twelve-part Victorian gothic, created and directed by award winning film-maker Chris Stone, follows the investigation of Newlyn Howell (Anthony Miles) as he unearths a dark secret after the disappearance of his brother. Additional cast include actress Rachel Shenton (she plays feisty journalist Anna Fitzgerald), David Lemberg (Linus Hemlock) and Lara De-Leuw (Lady Victoria).

Director Stone said, "In recent years, vampires have been pushed so far from the original Dracula legend, that I decided they needed to get their bite back with Blood and Bone China... a feature length film that has been broadcast on the internet in bite-seized chunks, utilising social media platforms to build up a cult fan following."

The film-making is certainly impressive, at the top of its game alongside other web shows such as the popular Aidan 5.

"Blood and Bone China was partly inspired by a vampire related death that took place in Stoke-on-Trent."

"Set in my home town of Stoke-On-Trent, Blood and Bone China explores the city's rich cultural history through a fun, exciting, action-adventure horror story," Stone continued, "and serves as a showcase for local talent and authentic period locations. The process of production has been extremely challenging but enjoyable and I hope that I have created a new mythology for Stoke-On-Trent."

"It is 1897 and a city is in turmoil; poor souls are being taken, vanishing without a trace. When the local doctor disappears, word travels to his brother, a young country vet by the name of Newlyn Howell. Spurred on to discover the macabre truth by the enigmatic Alexander Pyre, Newlyn stumbles into a twisted web of deception, murder... and villainous vampires."

The bite-sized episodes were produced as part of the Stoke Your Fires film festival.

You can view the entire gothic series by visiting Blood and Bone China, free to watch online.

"Vampire of the Villas" - the inspiration

24th November 1972. Middle-aged Polish worker Demetrious Mykicura was found dead in his lodgings on the South-West side of Stoke-On-Trent. The police constable who had attended the call forced his way into the Boarding House room where he found the body of 56 year old Mykicura under blankets on the single bed. But what made this discovery stranger was the room had been transformed into a fortress against the undead, crucifixes could be seen on the walls, and salt had been scattered everywhere, especially the furniture and bed clothes. Two bags of salt were also discovered, one between his legs and the other next to his pillow. Furthermore, upon opening the window, the constable found a bowl of garlic mixed with human excrement. It was if the man had been afraid of Vampires.

A post-mortem revealed that cause of death was by asphyxiation - he had apparently slept with a clove of garlic in his mouth to ward of the evil spirits.

In 2012, Stone produced a short documentary about the "Vampire of the Villas".