Sponsored feature: Dark Knites Entertainment
The Covid Killer is a new crime horror/thriller written and directed by Jeff Knite.
Will Jordan, an incompetent detective, and his rookie partner Martina Pippen must traverse the streets of New York in a race against time to stop a serial killer who is taking advantage of Governor Cuomo’s mask mandate by wearing a generic covid mask to hide his identity while he preys on the citizens of New York during the coronavirus pandemic.
A Q&A with writer/director Jeff Knite
Congrats on the release of your new film The Covid Killer! What makes this film stand out from other serial killer horror films being released?
Thanks! The fact that the film does not take itself too seriously, while at the same time showing what was actually happening in New York during the height of the coronavirus pandemic, I think really sets it apart from your basic slasher flick. What’s also cool, something that my composer Tasos Eliopoulos pointed out, is that even though the killer in the film is fictional, all of the events that happen in the film around the killer are true, they really happened, so when you watch the film, it’s like you’re watching a piece of history unfold…in a horror film…LOL.
What were some of your methods for building suspense?
Well for one, the mask. When you’re living in a world where everyone is wearing a mask and there is a serial killer on the loose killing people with the very same mask everyone is wearing, it’s pretty frightening not knowing if the guy right across from you is the killer. I also like to shoot in a way that is almost documentary-style, where it feels very real and like you’re not watching a film. It’s like you’re watching something that really happened.
The film features a prominent original soundtrack from artists like Jay Doggs and Sinner Swing. Tell us about your vision and why you wanted to blend hip hop with horror.
I am a big Hip-Hop fan, and New York is like the Hip-Hop Capital of the world, so for me to make a film set in the heart of New York and not feature a prominent Hip-Hop soundtrack would be, pardon my language, a f–king crime. And Sinner Swing is a rock group that are also close friends of mine who I asked to make original music for the film for me, and they did a terrific job. I highly recommend that everyone check out the original song they did for the film aptly titled THE COVID KILLER.
What were the biggest challenges of filming during the pandemic?
Having no resources. I had the idea for the film, and I knew I had to shoot the film ASAP before the idea became irrelevant. But how do you shoot a film when no one wants to work because they are afraid of dying? It was hard. I couldn’t get a cinematographer so I had to shoot the film myself, and I am no cinematographer so I apologize in advance for not having the best camera work, LOL. But I think the film is better for it because I was trying to get that ’80s slasher flick vibe for the film and we got it. The aesthetic, music and score are all straight from the ’80s, while still being set in the year 2020.
But how do you shoot a film when no one wants to work because they are afraid of dying?—Jeff Knite
Any fun BTS stories to share?
I do, but I have to save them for a feature film I’m developing about the making of this film and the fallout I had with one of my lead actors. I’m probably going to call it…THE DISASTER ARTIST 2 Hold My Beer.
Without giving away too much, the ending in some ways feels resolved but also leaves things open for a possible continuation to the story. Any plans for a sequel?
Yes. This film gave me so much inspiration and ideas that I’ve already come up with an outline for four more sequels, and a multitude of spin-offs. I’m going to create a serial killer monster universe. It’s going to be great. And yes, I will hire cinematographers for these future films…LOL.