The Saturday night debut of “GLAD,” a mini-horror/music video by Chattanooga’s Strung Like a Horse, was special for several reasons.
For starters, people dressed up like zombies, werewolves and vampires and had a party at The Honest Pint.
As if that wasn’t enough, the night was also the official debut, of sorts, for a new independent film company called Mammal Factory. The company includes SLAH band member Clay Maselle and his business partner, Tomás Donoso.
What was supposed to be a three-minute video about a zombie bluegrass band eventually turned into a much larger project. The final video spans more than seven minutes and features a cast of zombie-fied Chattanoogans battling in a post-apocalyptic world.
Think “Mad Max” meets David Lynch, and you’ll have a good idea of what Maselle and Donoso were going for.
“It’s hard to get people to sit down and just listen to music these days,” Maselle said. “You have to have something to keep people’s attention, and so we created the video.”
Saturday night marked the first time Maselle had seen the film in a large crowd.
“As a performer, I’ve always gotten in front of people and performed,” he said. “There’s always that feedback. This is the first time I’ve put so much into the project and can just sit back and watch. It’s completely different.”
The inspiration for the featured song in the film also has dark origins.
Two years ago, Maselle and local musician T.J. Greever were attacked in the parking lot of JJ’s Bohemia. Maselle said he wrote “GLAD” just a few days after the incident.
“I was beat up really bad,” he said. “I got kicked in the head, and I just wrote the song about the experience. I struggle to write songs, and that came to me real fast.”
The cast included a bevy of local talent, including Bexy Ribeiro, Lacy Jo, Ivan Garcia and others.
When asked which zombie was his favorite, Maselle was quick to respond.
“Beejay Bilbrey,” he said. “He plays several roles: the zombie who shoots himself in the face at the bar, the decapitated zombie. He was also there with us the entire time as a grip. He was great.”