Back in 1983, a group of young filmmakers decided to shoot a crucial scene for a horror movie in an old, broken-down grave at a very popular cemetery here in Lagos.
They made this choice because they wanted the location to be original and super realistic.
They dared to be different!
So on the day of recording, about fifteen crew members went to “Atan” cemetery in the afternoon for final recce and rehearsal. A call time was then fixed for 12midnight.
I got to the graveyard for 12midnight…” the devil’s hour” as scheduled but soon found out that only three people actually had the intention of showing in a graveyard at that time of the night.
Myself the writer, producer-director, Mr Steve Omuero the director of photography, and a young actress, Miss. Tina Adewunmi, who was about thirteen years old at the time…I think.
We shot the iconic scene where the teenage girl’s corpse suddenly resurrected and rose up from the bowels of a deep “unknown grave” which was filled with a lot of “dry bones” from long-dead corpses. This downright scary scenario was shot at exactly 2 am in the dark, eerily quiet and unguarded graveyard along the road to the University of Lagos. Thank God the recording went without incident!
Now, some people may describe what we did back in the day as “the stupidity of youth” but I call it “the COURAGE and UNCOMMON PASSION for OUR ART.”
That’s how we worked in those days. And today, I feel particularly delighted that EVIL ENCOUNTER has stood the test of time.
Thirty-eight years after the initial run, many devoted followers of the movie still recapture those memorable moments as they make appreciative comments on the internet. You may wish to read some of them below:
“Indeed Evil Encounter was fascinating and compelling. Horror films were a staple in those days as one was weaned on a regular diet of AN AMERICAN WEREWOLF IN LONDON, THE EXCORCIST, THE OMEN films and, HAMMER HOUSE OF HORROR on Television; so also the likes of Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee etc. Yet, Evil Encounter scared the living daylights out of us”…
“That movie haunted people for decades. I remember the movie Egbon Jimi, I couldn’t sleep for weeks”…
“Some things in that production just linger on, despite the length of time since one had seen it”…
“After watching that horror movie, FEAR NO GREE ME SLEEP AGAIN!”
These are just some of the comments expressed earlier this year.
I feel quite grateful when I hear or read these comments from different people.
But the success of EE should not be attributed to me alone. I had the privilege of working with a great team of loyal and dedicated people who were equally devoted to the project. I sincerely appreciate the sheer tenacity of people like Steve Omuero and Tina Adewunmi for being “stupid enough” to shoot a horror movie in a dark graveyard in the dead of the night simply because they trusted the judgment of a young, probably crazy director who had no insurance of any sort.
I can’t thank you guys enough for not making me look truly stupid.
I also have tremendous respect for those other team players who were equally zealous in the production of Evil Encounter.
Great, unforgettable people like the late Chief (Mrs) Elsie Olushola, the forever young and gorgeous Teni Aofiyebi, Kamadjou Tadfor from Cameroon, Evans Hunter from Ghana, Andrew Nwamu, Gloria Ogundipe, Doyin Jaiyesimi, Rasaq Lawal and many others.
I thank you all for your COURAGE.