[Exclusive] Josh Ritter’s “Evil Eye” Video Channels All Things 70’s Horror!


Bloody-Disgusting has teamed up with singer/songwriter Josh Ritter to bring you the amazing music video premiere for “Evil Eye”, which plays out like a trailer for a 70’s horror film! The aesthetic is nailed perfectly by director Phillip Edward Niemeyer, matching the music wonderfully, almost as though this were a classic relic that has been unearthed for the first time. Head on below to see this amazing music video!

The song comes from Ritter’s most recent album The Beast In Its Tracks, which you can purchase via iTunes.

Also below is a stunning poster designed specifically for this video premiere. You can order the amazing poster or as a poster + t-shirt bundle.

Director Phillip Edward Niemeyer answered some qeustions about the video!

BD: The video has a strong 70’s horror aesthetic hovering over it. What is it about that era of the genre that appeals to you?

Phillip: Some definite tropes mark many early ’70s horror films: a satanic and/or a supernatural menace (witchcraft, cultists, vampires), an emphasis on atmosphere, enchanting (often topless) women, a handful of charismatic actors (John Prine, Edwidge Fenech, Pamela Franklin…), analog psychedelic effects, counter-culture protagonists, great acid/prog rock and neo-folk soundtracks, terrific set design, a meandering new wave pacing, an art-damaged narrative sensibility, a nuanced formalism in the photography, and all of these movies–no matter how cheap and trashy–were shot on film. They just look great.

All of these things appeal to me greatly. Don’t know why. Probably something related to childhood.

BD: At first thought, Josh Ritter’s music doesn’t necessarily lend itself to the horror genre. How’d you come to this video concept?

Phillip: Evil Eye is lyrically very dark, and Josh wanted something odd for the video. A lot of early 70s horror had folky music. Le Regine (Queens of Evil, 1970) and The Wicker Man (1973) are two great examples. In retrospect, I wish we had more blood and gore in the video. Maybe next time we do a slasher film.

BD: What are the challenges of creating a faux trailer versus a music video with a narrative? With the trailer, do you have to imagine the entire movie to decide which scenes are going to work best?

Phillip: The cinematographer Dan Forbes and I tried to remember every type of a early 70s occult horror scene and do our version. We shot the mod apartment, the confrontation in the woods, occult symbols both subtle and overt, the dark stairs, the ritual sacrifice, fur sheets, tarot readings, witchy makeup, screams, etc. We could have kept shooting for days, we had plans to do a candle-lit corridor and wish we’d could have done more with the twin monks. We just ran out of time.

There is a story connecting it all, too. It’s complicated and compelling. The trailer shows everything and nothing. You have to see the movie.

BD: Any plans to turn this faux trailer into an actual movie?

Phillip: There are no immediate plans for a full-length, unfortunately. If there is a producer who is interested in helping us putting it together, contact me. We need to get commitments from the actors playing the witches, Hilde Skappel and Katie Flannery, before their agents refuse to take my calls.

Josh Ritter on-line:
Official Website

Got any thoughts/questions/concerns for Jonathan Barkan? Shoot him a message on Twitter or on Bloody-Disgusting!

  • BabyJaneHudson

    Very nicely done. I did feel the music and the imagery were a little off of what I’d expect, but it ends up working quite well. Definitely looks like the kind of film you’d find yourself watching as a midnight indulgence.