Production Status: In Development
Running Time: 110 minutes
Genre: Supernatural Thriller/Horror
Screenplay by John Wate and Lorenzo Fantini
Inspired by true events: Jonker Koburn, the grizzled head of South Africa’s Occult Related Crimes Unit (ORCU) has one mission in life – expose and bring to justice a murderous gang of child trafficking witch-doctors. But when he has the chance to rescue an alleged possessed child from slaughter, he discovers it’s not just the boy’s life at stake but his very own soul.
Driven by the death of his wife he blames on witch doctors, hard boiled, occult crime expert Jonker Koburn has made it his mission to go after a murderous ring of traffickers who slaughter children for their body parts to sell as Muti (traditional magic medicine).
Following a trail of body parts Jonker arrives in a remote village shortly after a boy had been abducted by the very same traffickers he’s chasing. He reluctantly partners with the tenacious journalist, Cerise, determined to rescue the child before he’s cut into pieces.
Their first attempt ends in disaster as those around Jonker are inexplicably murdered. He finds himself on the run and the main suspect, suffering from hallucinations of a demon child. If he’s to save the boy and himself, he’ll have to face his inner demons, accept the power of traditional faith and overcome his own prejudices.
The butchering of children is still a tragic reality in South Africa, where over 300 people a year are murdered and their body parts sold secretly as Muti (traditional medicine), promising the buyer wealth, protection and a cure for sickness. Hands have been found buried in front of business to bring in clients for example. Cases like these lead in the 90s to the formation of the ORCU (Occult Related Crime unit), headed by occult crime expert Kobus Jonker, whose cases have inspired this story.
Writers & Directors
John Wate works as a Director splitting his time between Tokyo and London. His exposure to Japanese culture and horror has had a profound impact on his cinematic view and storytelling aesthetic. He has spent time in Africa where his research and filming for a documentary gave him unique access to voodoo priests and black magic rituals. His encounter with African witchcraft and the horrific criminal cases in South Africa provided the chilling details and realism for the script.
Lorenzo Fantini is a international screenwriter based in London, and equally passionate and influenced by Japanese horror. He is the Founder of the bespoke underground show, Screen Rebels currently causing waves in London’s West End and is known for his edgy and raw screenplays.