World War II is revisited in “Horrors of War,” a horror science fiction movie created by and starring Ohioans.
The movie takes place during World War II, right after Hitler started using secret weapons. The film follows a group of soldiers, who are investigating experiments being conducted by Hitler and his weapons, which are being used to terrorize American soldiers. The American’s must find and stop Hitler’s leading scientist before experimentation and weapon creation go any further.
Movie creator, co-director, co-writer and co-producer Peter John Ross got his inspiration for the film while visiting Europe. “Looking out the window from Pairs, France, to Heidelberg, Germany, all I could see was farmland and suburbs, and I thought to myself ‘Gee, this looks just like Ohio. I came half way around the world to see Ohio.’ From there, I had an idea for a WWII setting and knew that Ohio could easily and realistically double for Europe.”
In writing the plot, Ross took the real atrocities that Hitler committed and nudged them on a little further. “This is meant to be a fun, ‘B’ movie with action, sci-fi and horror,” said Ross.
Ross along with cast and crew of “Horrors of War” tried to keep the film authentic to the World War II time period. They faced the challenge of balancing aspects of reality, the science fiction storyline, budget and resources. “Those things tugged very hard in different directions at all times,” said Ross. “Several World War II re-enactors worked on the film that helped bring authenticity wherever possible. They brought us uniforms, gear, tanks and props. All authentic, and all real. They were very understanding of us making a film, not a documentary, so we got along great.”
“Horrors of War” has been in progress for the past three years; it started out as a simple 25-minute story but has grown into its current full length feature status.
“I hope people feel entertained and wowed by what their native Ohioans were able to put together,” said Ross. Though he now lives in Columbus, Ross is a former Cincinnati resident and was even named after Pete Rose and Johnny Bench. Working alongside him on the film were people from Dayton, Springfield and Cleveland.
Ross has connections with people in the film industry all over Ohio. He used to run a group called “The Columbus Film Consortium,” a collective of filmmakers, including craftspeople, actors and crew. Over the last several years he has seen filmmaking in Ohio grow. “The filmmaking movement has fermented and become something more professional than a few yahoos in the woods with a camcorder,” he said. “Statewide, there are a lot of good people making movies and honing their craft to make Ohio the ‘Hollywood of the Midwest.’”