Slovakia's once-pristine High Tatra mountains, already swarming with tourists and burdened by the prospect of an Olympic bid (2006 winter games), are about to be beseiged by 20th Century Fox studios. The new "project" is called 'Ravenous', and will move from Prague's Barandov studios to the Tatras at the end of March. They're planning to build a life-size frontier-America fort and import hordes of shrieking Injuns and Fearless American Patriots.
The film itself sounds rather dubious, probably headed straight to the video store. Written by Ted Griffin, directed by Antonia Bird (Mad in Love, Priest, Face) and shot by Anthony B. Richmond, the story is set in 1847 during the Mexican-American war. "The pretext for the film was the Indian myth known as "Windigo," said producer David Heyman. "The myth claims that when you begin to eat human flesh you want more and more until you can never get enough. The title of the movie, "Ravenous," also captures this in a way."
The movie somehow combines drama and cannibalistic horror with comedy. The main characters are played by Guy Pierce (L.A.Confidential) and Robert Carlyle (Full Monty). "It is very scary movie, but there is lots of black humour and that is very, very funny. I think it is natural when you think about a topic like cannibalism." said Heyman.
Shooting will take 54 days in studio and on location. The Pod Muránom cottage in Javorova dolina will host the mock-up "Fort Spencer". Some of the rest of the grisly action will unfold in the national park Slovenský Raj (Slovak Paradise).
This spring, Slovakia's wilderness parks may briefly resemble the Alamo, but the project has no lack of boosters. "Filming in Slovakia is beneficial. It is important that it creates working opportunities for people. Slovakia's profit from "Ravenous" will be $1,000,000. It is also good promotion for Slovakia." said Ivan Janovsky, a producer from the Ivana Janovskeho studio.
Total cost of the film is expected to be $11 million . European release is planned for early 1999.