He had a reputation for taking his films to the very edge. Love scenes verged on pornography, death scenes verged on snuff and psychological horror famously drove various studio unfortunates completely mad.
Darious King ensured, like his name, he was king of the set. Thousands of re-takes for perfection’s sake depleted his terrified cast. Editors came close to slicing their own necks from the constant slicing and dicing he required for the film. He knew that to make great art was to suffer, and from his perspective, I didn’t matter who suffered. So it may as well be them – his luckless cast and crew. There was no need for it to be him.
But there’s always the time you push too far.
King had his eye on a very particular crown – the coveted ‘Masters of Horror’ prize which would only ever be given from the film community to breakout, breakthrough horror cinema. He was determined to receive this award regardless of cost to anyone.
Some say sacrifices of a very literal kind were involved in his purchase of the Necro-romance novel series – the new horror literary sensation from wunderkind Alex Masters. It could well be true. Alex Masters was well-known in the LA underground and he never denied the rumours that he’d sold his soul for his literary inspiration.
“I serve the muse,” he would say. “And so must anyone who wishes to adapt my work.”
King was happy enough to serve the muse. Happy to drive his cast and crew relentlessly through a horror motif that stretched their very minds and souls. Happy to see them suffer for the rapacious muse.
But muses are contrary creatures, and this one wasn’t satisfied with the fare provided. This one wanted something more substantive, something with more dark meat on its bones. Something, or someone, like King.
The work was never completed. After the carnage where the crew snapped and killed their cruel master, Alex Master reviewed the work and decried it as a complete mess, shutting down any other attempts for future cinematic portrayals.
Not that anyone was likely to come buying. The deaths on set were numerous and bizarre. And none more than the death of King, crowned and nailed to his own bloodied throne, serving forevermore as a cautionary tale for those that push the limits too far.
(c) Helen M Valentina 2019