Longtime Sacred Bones collaborator Jacqueline Castel has landed quite the cameo for The Puppet Man, her second short film produced by the label: horror icon John Carpenter. According to a press release, the director’s scene was shot in LA around Halloween using the same station wagon model that had once been driven by Michael Myers.
“With no time or money for permits, I asked John to meet us on an abandoned street corner in a shady part of the valley,” Castel explained. “He arrived, chain-smoking, and grilled me, testing me as a director while slipping in obscure Assault on Precinct 13 references. I kept my cool, but my anxiety must have registered because he finally paused, broke into a smile, and remarked, ‘I’m just fucking with you.'”
As for what The Puppet Man is actually about, it was apparently inspired by musician/lead actor Johnny Scuotto, who developed an alter ego based on a puppet his father teased him with as a child.
“I met Johnny through the NYC music scene,” Castel explained. “With his shaved eyebrows, wide brimmed black hat, and jumpsuit with the words ‘Puppet Man’ scrawled on the back, I was instantly intrigued and impressed by his authentic, magnetic, and utterly confrontational personality.”
How that personality translates onscreen remains to be seen; the movie doesn’t have a trailer just yet, but we do have this GIF rendition of who’ll be terrorizing model/photographer/author Crystal Renn (in her acting debut) and other downtown folks stuck “in a seedy, neon-lit dive bar”:
The Puppet Man will premiere at the Sundance Film Festival next month, details TBD. And if you’re wondering, yes, some of Carpenter’s music will appear on the film score, excerpted from his recent Sacred Bones release Lost Themes. Synergy! Here’s a complete stream of that record, along with one of its videos, and a separate feature about Castel’s early work (for Zola Jesus, Moon Duo and more) that ran five years back: