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Local filmmaker produces, and stars in, 1950s-style horror movies

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arts and entertainment Woodbury, 55125
Woodbury Bulletin
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Woodbury Minnesota 8420 City Centre Drive 55125

Some people may think 1950s horror and science fiction movies belong on "Mystery Science Theater 3000," but Woodbury resident Josh Craig has spent his much life recreating what he felt made those "B movies" great.

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"The acting isn't so great, the effects are laughable and they're just so much fun," Craig said. "The movies weren't about blood and guts, it was just making a simple movie about aliens, big bowls of Jell-O or monsters attacking."

Craig and his filmmaking partner, Christopher Mihm of Arden Hills, have been producing horror movies of the black-and-white 1950s style for some time.

The pair showed their most recent film, "Destination: Outer Space" on the Loft Stage at East Ridge High School Friday, June 25.

Craig and Mihm, neither of whom has any formal filmmaking education, began dabbling in screenwriting in high school at South High School in Minneapolis when they wrote several short one-act plays.

From there, the team became more interested in filmmaking and the 1950s horror genre.

"We just started out as two guys with a camera," Craig said. "We just love the genre because there's a simpleness to it."

Both Mihm and Craig are involved in computers during their day jobs.

Craig said some of his favorite films from the genre include "Them," "The Blob," "Attack of the Wasp Queen" and "Journey to the Seventh Planet."

Craig and Mihm went to work writing their first screenplay, "The Monster of Phantom Lake" in 2005.

Since "The Monster of Phantom Lake's" release in 2006, Craig and Mihm have released four additional movies, "It Came from Another World," "Cave Women of Mars," "Terror from Beneath the Earth" and "Destination: Outer Space."

A sixth movie, "Attack of the Moon Zombies" is already in the works.

Every single one of Craig and Mihm's movies have received awards at the Shocker Fest film festival in California.

Paying homage

The writing process for Craig and Mihm involves late-night meetings at Denny's, after their kids have gone to sleep, to hash out ideas of what a possible plotline could be for a movie.

"We're big Star Trek geeks or dorks or whatever you want to call us, so we take a lot of ideas from that," Craig said.

"The actual story is a collaborative process between the two of us -- we make a good command team."

The films aren't intending to win any industry awards, but Craig said they try to stay true to the genre by not making their films spoofs.

"We try to make them authentic Sci Fi and horror -- the goofiness plays across well," he said.

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Amber Kispert-Smith
Amber Kispert-Smith has been the schools and Afton reporter at the Woodbury Bulletin since 2008. She holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Minnesota. She previously worked as a reporter for Press Publications in White Bear Lake.
(651) 702-0976
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