Ed Pope, a veteran writer for HorrorAddicts.net, wrote a terrifying tale about the cow industry, and brilliantly turn it into a voice for feminism.
This is worth the 15 mins. Alot of message conveyed and very little dialogue, but alot of action. Take the next 20 mins and watch this video. I promise you will finish it with a different outlook of where our meat comes from.
WARNING: Parental Guidance is strongly advised for graphic gore and abuse situations.
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Starring Pollyanna McIntosh (The Woman, Filth) and featuring a score by Laurent Bernard of Gallows, THE HERD is a study into the most unimaginable human suffering, yet it depicts a violence that is perpetrated every day on a massive scale.
THE HERD is written by Ed Pope (Transgressive Cinema) and directed by Melanie Light, and features the additional acting talents of Victoria Broom (ABCs of Death 2, Stalled), Jon Campling (Sleeping Dogs, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows) and Charlotte Hunter (Dungeons and Dragons, Vitality).
Imprisoned within inhuman squalor with other women; Paula’s existence and human function is abused as a resource by her captors.
Escape, on any level, is hopeless as the women are condemned to a life of enforced servitude at the whims of their imprisoners for one reason only – their milk.
Enslaved, inseminated and abused – every facet of their life is violated. At first the premise seems exaggerated and absurd; but is, in fact, disgusting in its stark normality.
Deliberately avoiding the lack of finesse associated with “torture porn” and sexploitation, THE HERD eschews these in favor of a vicarious descent into the visceral nightmare of relinquishing the most innate rights of existence.
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This week for 13 Questions, I was given the honor of interviewing former Horror Addicts staff member Ed Pope! Ed was eager to share his thoughts on being on the other side of the HA spectrum. “I couldn’t be more pleased, and I’m very grateful for being given the opportunity – especially as this story means a lot to me. I’ve always enjoyed the scope of the genre that Horror Addicts promotes and the variety of mediums it encompasses; so it’s nice to find a home for my little niche here. Having been involved with Horror Addicts previously as a fan and a staff member I’m quite humbled to be featured as I’m well aware of the high quality of writers who have gone before me.”
The story Ed has decided to share for this episode was previously written but is making its debut on Horror Addicts! “The Herd explores a situation where the horrors inflicted on dairy cows are perpetrated upon a human. [Ed finds] bringing accepted everyday horror into sharp focus fascinating and hope that in juxtaposing it with a clearly unacceptable premise the story has an interesting theme. [He has] tried hard not to dictate what is right and wrong, just to do what any author aims for: to ask the reader to look at a situation from the perspective of another.”
Fans of HA will remember Ed’s movie reviews that were featured on here and his website Transgressive Cinema. For those of you new to HA, please allow Ed to explain a little bit about his site to you. “Transgressive Cinema is my horror review site and my focus has switched towards a new love of screenwriting; this has taken up all of my writing time. I’ll never lose the enjoyment of being opinionated about horror films though, so people should still check it out for occasional updates and there is a good archive of film reviews and essays for people to read.”
Pope doesn’t generally post short stories online but you don’t have to look hard to find some of his writing. His story The Herd is now available on Kindle. Ed also has a short story published in the Horror Addicts Disaster Anthology which, as Ed so eloquently states “everyone should buy as the proceeds go to a great charity.” Also Ed wanted to add that Amazon has a fee for Kindle stories, so if any Horror Addicts fans want a free copy of The Herd in PDF just email Emz and he’ll send you one.
As mentioned above, Ed tends to gravitate towards horror screen writing. “I have been investing a lot of time in screenwriting. The nature of screenwriting means that what you write doesn’t see the light of day for a long time, if ever. I really want to hone the craft of screenwriting and get something on the screen. It’s a style unto itself and I find it a very rewarding framework to write within. It is very limiting sometimes, especially if you try to write with one eye on getting it made into a film, but this is part of the challenge that I enjoy. As a novelist if you want to set your story in a floating castle in space, you can; if you are an indie screenwriter you can’t unless you get very lucky or have tons of cash. Really I’m a horror film fan more than a horror novel fan, so these goals suit my motivations well.”
Ed’s love of horror began when he was younger with such movies as The Nightmare on Elm Street, and The Exorsist. In Pope’s own words, “it has always been the vicarious thrill of experiencing a situation you’d be terrified of but in a safe environment. It’s just so much fun. Go to the cinema and watch people coming out, if they are wide-eyed and laughing – they’ve almost certainly just seen a horror movie. That’s the buzz I love. Chasing in vain that thrill of being scared out of your mind, in a way that was only possible as a child, is what makes me a Horror Addict.”
Currently, Ed is working on getting The Herd to the Big Screen. “I’m not sure about fans, but those of a masochistic disposition may be able to one day see The Herd on screen as I have finished rewriting it as a script. I’m pleased to say I’m in discussions with one of my favorite indie directors, Melanie Light, with a view to getting it made if we can get the funds together. I’ve changed it around a fair bit and given it a different ending, so there are no real spoilers on the podcast! I’m finishing a feature length script about an obsessive compulsive with nocturnal yearnings. Naturally, things don’t go well for him and dark shadows stalk him through the cityscape.”
For more information about Ed Pope or his work, be sure to check out these great sites: