Featuring an all-star cast and set against the backdrop of a bushveld game reserve, the new South African slasher film, Night Drive, will open locally on 4 March countrywide.
Released by independent distributor Indigenous Films, Night Drive was written and directed by AFDA graduate and award-winning short film director, Justin Head. He says: “Night Drive had its genesis when producers CA van Aswegen and James Carroll were toying with the idea of a horror film set in the bush, an environment for which I have a great love. Coupled with that, the opportunity to work with such a talented cast made the film a wonderful project.’
The film stars Christopher Beasley, known to South African audiences as bad boy Len Cooper in the popular soap Isidingo, for which he has received three best actor nominations. He is also an accomplished stage actor and stuntman. Corine du Toit starred in Egoli and Getroud Met Rugby. She has also appeared in many commercials, both locally and internationally. Greg Melvill-Smith, one of the country’s most respected actors, has starred in many theatre productions, major television series, as well as numerous feature films, including The Sorcerer’s Apprentice, Mr Bones, Drum, The Bang Bang Club, and the international hit, District 9. Yule Masiteng has appeared in drama series Mzansi, and stars as the sly conman Jomo Zungu in Scandal!. He also has several international television series and films to his credit. Brandon Auret is best known for his role as Leon du Plessis in Isidingo: the Need, and he has also starred in several local musical productions.
Night Drive begins when Sean Darwin (Christopher Beasley), a disgraced cop who was with the Endangered Species Protection Unit, returns to the game reserve where he grew up to scatter his dead mother’s ashes. There, he meets up with his estranged father, Jack Darwin (Greg Melvill-Smith), an ex-special forces soldier turned game ranger. There is an all-out war taking place between Jack and a group of poachers, but these are no ordinary wildlife killers. Local legend has it that they are led by the Hyena Man. He heads a well armed, highly trained group of poachers who are on the hunt for human body parts and who are known to trade in live human beings.
While on a night drive with a group of visitors, Jack comes across a woman’s mutilated body and is hell-bent on tracking down the killers. He leaves the group in the care of his superstitious tracker, Akani (Yule Masiteng). Among the group are Karen (Corine du Toit) and Ian (Brandon Auret), a couple trying to overcome their own misfortunes. Sean becomes the group’s only hope for survival. But if he’s going to keep them alive he has to confront his own demons before they drive him to the brink of insanity.