Producers-led Australian distributor enters the market with ‘Two Heads Creek’

Jordan Waller (Norman) in the haunted house.

Jordan Waller in ‘Two Heads Creek.’

Producers Brett Thornquest, Steven Matusko and Mat Graham have launched Entertainment Advocate, an Australian distribution company with the aim of handling a limited number of Oz, US and UK titles each year.

The banner’s debut release, Two Heads Creek, a macabre, irreverent horror comedy directed by Jesse O’Brien, opened last weekend after premiering at Monster Fest.

While the weekend gross was a modest $14,000 including festival screenings, Matusko, who is partnered with Thornquest in Eclectik Vision, tells IF: “We understand the business and will approach distribution with a producer’s mindset rather than a distributor’s.

“We are not looking to outbid larger distribution companies but we want to work with other Australian producers and also to release select films from the UK and US.”

Graham was one of the producers on Eclectik Vision’s Infini and The Osiris Child, both directed by Shane Abbess.

Scripted by and co-starring Jordan Waller, Two Heads Creek follows timid butcher Norman (Waller) and his drama queen twin sister Annabelle (Kathryn Wilder) who flee the hostile confines of post- Brexit Britain after their adoptive mother dies.

They land in Australia in search of their birth mother Mary (Kerry Armstrong) but become stranded in a rural town where the ghoulish locals have a sinister means of dealing with immigration. The siblings must reconcile their differences to fight for their lives.

The supporting cast includes Gary Sweet, Helen Dallimore, Kevin Harrington, Stephen Hunter and Don Bridges.

The UK producers Jayne Chard and Judd Tilyard raised the budget from private investors in the UK and Australia and the Producer Offset.

Matusko and Thornquest joined the project as executive producers on the recommendation of O’Brien’s friend Chris Peckover, who directed Safe Neighborhood for Eclectik Vision.

“We are working with Jayne and Judd to negotiate a UK deal if the price is right. If it isn’t we are prepared to distribute it ourselves. Once we’ve proven the film works in the UK we will look to engage a sales agent,” Matusko says.

Eclectik Vision’s latest production, Bloody Hell, a dark, comedic thriller starring Ben O’Toole, directed by Alister Grierson and scripted by Robert Benjamin, is in post.

Jesse O’Brien.

Two Heads Creek is O’Brien’s second feature. Asked why the project appealed to him, he says: “At its heart, the film is about a family reuniting. It’s also an allegory for Australia’s immigration policies, how we treat people who want to come here.”

His debut as writer-director, sci-fi thriller Arrowhead, won the John Hinde Award for Excellence in Science-Fiction Writing (Best Produced Screenplay).

In 2017 he produced the micro-budget feature Quanta, written and directed by Nathan Dalton, his producing partner in Raygun Film Company. The film was released on digital platforms in the US by Vertical Entertainment.

Among several projects he’s developing, he thinks Holy Water, a Gothic horror set during the 17th Century trials of witches in Scotland, is most likely to get up first. For the past two years he’s been working on the script with Scottish producer David Murdoch and they are looking to bring in an international partner.