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Movie fans should get ready to hold onto their seats with the release in South Africa on September 28 of the horror film hit , Reeker, starring Johannesburg-born actress Tina Illman.

When a lonely highway is inexplicably closed, five students sharing a ride through desert, find themselves trapped at a recently deserted travel oasis. There they are haunted by odd visions of severely mutilated travellers. The sightings may explain the sudden abandonment of the motel and diner, but the appearance of a strange man with a missing wife confirms their worst fears. He too has seen the dying people — victims of a killer, one that has likely taken his wife — a killer trailing a dark force of decay and rot.

Led by a blind grad student with heightened senses, they must survive the night and confront what appears to be a terrifying abyss between the living and the dead. As the body count rises, the bizarre mystery deepens. Those strong enough to survive are left with the burning question: What the hell is the Reeker?

Says The London Times: ‘REEKER is more of a spirited homage to the slasher flicks of the ‘70s and ‘80s. Instead of relying exclusively on CGI effects, the director Dave Payne takes a more traditional route — buckets of blood, some hilariously gruesome prosthetics and a healthy dose of humour.’

REEKER was written, directed, produced and scored by Dave Payne. And while Reeker is a Hollywood production, there is a strong South African imprint. Not only does Illman play a South African character, the executive producer is fellow South African, Ronnie Apteker. And during post-production of the film Payne and actress/producer Illman were married in South Africa.

Shot in the visually stunning deserts of California, REEKER stars Devon Gummersall (Independence Day, Roswell), Derek Richardson (Dumb and Dumberer and Hostel), Arielle Kebbel (John Tucker Must Die, The Grudge 2), Tina Illman, Scott Whyte, Eric Mabius (Resident Evil, The L-Word) and Michael Ironside (Scanners, Star Ship Troopers).

Both scary enough to appeal to the genre’s fan base and mysterious, humorous and clever enough to appeal to movie lovers that wouldn’t normally see horror, Reeker promises a fun night out for all. (Especially for South African audiences, with one of the best lines in the movie delivered by the South African character, Gretchen: ‘I’m from Johannesburg. It takes a lot to scare me.’)

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