Back in the year 2000 I got an idea to create a werewolf movie that took place in a cabin in a ski-resort a few years before the second world war. One by one, the characters disappeared, and none of them knew who the werewolf was.
At almost the same time, I was looking for a feature film called GREAT WHITE (Enzo G. Castellari, 1981), but it was very difficult to get hold of it. I found a guy named Mike A. Martinez on the ‘net who reviewed a lot of old Italian features and among these films was also GREAT WHITE.
We started emailing each other, and soon we were set out to make a movie of our own. Since I’m in Sweden, and he was in Alaska – we only used the internet to communicate. We’ve never met.
In 2002 we had completed our short-film CHIMERA. I had wrote it up as a prequel to NO SUCH THING AS WEREWOLVES, the film I wanted to film in 2000.
At almost the same time as CHIMERA was being made, I got in touch with another film-maker, this time a guy from Sweden: Ola Paulakoski. I watched a few of his shorts, and I was very impressed of what he could do with no budget at all.
He watched CHIMERA and we started talking about a sequel. The whole project now grew into what later became The Werewolf Cult Chronicles (werewolfcult.com).
I wrote up a short-film for Ola and sent it to him. This was the third part of the WCC-series: VIETNAM 1969 (we had a big fight about that title!).
Ola lives in Karlstad, Sweden – and I in Falun. Since we both had very limited budgets, we never met either. And we still haven’t!
But this didn’t stop us from starting the work on V69. We applied for money at a local film fund (Film I Värmland: filmivarmland.se), and we received a grant of $2,000. We didn’t have any other funds, but we had a lot of very talented people involved and very nice technical equipment, much of which was borrowed from FiV.
Apart from a bizarre and complicated producer-conflict in the summer of 2002, we didn’t really have any problems at all with VIETNAM 1969. Ola and his crew complained of mosquitos, too much effects in the script and some very difficult scenes to film – but I pushed him as hard as I could (by phone and emails) and they really did a wonderful job.
VIETNAM 1969 was completed a year later, but we felt that something was lacking. The ending wasn’t as fun as we wanted it to be. We needed more action!
In the first version, Maddox simply escapes the werewolf with help of the helicopter. This wasn’t as interesting as we wanted – but on the other hand, the script was already filled with effects, action and things that were almost impossible to do with such a shoestring budget.
Ola was very persistent when wanting a new ending. I promised him I’ll write one up, so we started to brainstorm ideas.
“Can you do a helicopter crash?”, I asked.
“Sure, why not?!”, he replied.
So, without any money at all, Ola threw together a skeleton crew and some of the actors to film a different ending. Now, we added a helicopter crash, the bomb planes and some great explosions.
If you look closely, you’ll see that one of the airplanes is named Warwolf. This was the title Ola wanted. I wanted VIETNAM 1969. I won the fight, but he named the airplane this without me knowing it. :-)
It took a total of 3 years – but only $2,000 – to make a 22 minute feature film about some werewolf attacks during the Vietnam war. We believe it is the first, and only Vietnam war/werewolf movie ever made. As such, it’s totally unique and original!
VIETNAM 1969 might not be the best Vietnam movie ever made (my own favourite is HEAVEN AND HELL by Oliver Stone, and I am sure you’ll find a lot of references to it in our film), but it is probably the only Vietnam war film ever made in Sweden.
We’re proud of the fact that we were able to pull together a 100-man crew, get some very talented voice-actors to do the dubbing and get hold of these great 3D-animators, musicians and other people.
It is today exactly seven years since the VIETNAM 69-project was initiated by me and Ola.
With this text I am not only informing you about the work process on VIETNAM 1969. I’d also like to extend my thank you to all the people involved in this very large project.
J. Pingo Lindström
Creative producer & writer of VIETNAM 1969
Creator of The Werewolf Cult Chronicles
Sweden, January, 2009.