Some things are cursed and should never return to the physical realm to reap its vengeance, but Emma-O (2009), will be released online on Monday 26 March 2012.
Eons before the expertise Este Kira and Leon Visser forged BlackMilk Productions into the force that it is today, Ronnie Belcher & Thomas Dorman embarked on a journey that lead them on paths beyond their wildest fears.
“During the writing and production stages we used to go to Chinese supermarkets and only eat Asian cuisine. We wanted to immerse ourselves in Asian culture. All aspects of it; food, film, literature, music, folklore, etc”.
Right from the start the team had many obstacles to overcome. “It was the most difficult film to cast as no one wanted to play any of the characters. We were told that the content would prevent us from finding Asian actors willing to be part of the production”. But Ronnie and Thomas persevered to cast all the roles at the last minute.
So where does the name and concept come from?
“We wanted to name the film after the murder weapon, which is a statue of Emma-O”.
Emma-O is the Japanese Buddhist ruler and judge of the underworld. He passes judgment on all the dead. Men or women who committed misdeeds will be sentenced to torture or miserable future lives.
The script is based on classic Japanese ghost stories where a cheating husband would kill his wife to marry his mistress. The wife’s ghost then returns to seek vengeance.
In this case, the dead wife’s ghost is “Onryō”, a mythological spirit from Japanese folklore who is able to return to the physical world in order to seek vengeance. Powerless in the physical world, they often suffer at the capricious whims of their male lovers. In death they become strong.
It was an intense project with only three months to complete the final film. Ronnie and Thomas wrote the first draft during July 2009 with Emma-O winning two awards at the S.A. Horrorfest in October 2009. “We believe that it is one of the best scripts that we have written”.