Budget upped to $500,000 for
Reaves’ Chicago horror film

Producer Parris Reaves and actor Carl Wright of “When Thugs Cry,” premiering May 9 at the DuSable Museum.

The budget for Parris Reaves’ upcoming feature “The Evil One” was upped to $500,000 by financier/distributor Maverick Entertainment, the Englewood filmmaker said.

His urban film company, Hawkfilmz, originally set the budget for “ The Evil One” at around $200,000.

“Maverick is working on bringing in some actors that will drive up the budget,” Reaves said.

No talent commitments are firm yet, but Reaves mentioned as possibilities Anthony Anderson and Omar Tate, the guys who stole the ATM machine in “ Barbershop.” “We only need them for a day, so it shouldn’t be that hard to get them,” Reaves said.

Reaves is set to shoot the horror film, about the ghost of Englewood serial killer H.H. Holmes, for 18 to 25 days starting this August.

Crew attachments so far include DP Joey Domaracki, who shot Reaves’ last picture, “When Thugs Cry,” and gaffer Jim Andre of Film Branch.

“The Evil One” is slated for Super 16mm. “If they gave me another hundred thousand I’d do it on 35mm,” Reaves said.

Maverick has set Aug. 19 as the release date for “When Thugs Cry,” through Artisan Entertainment’s video division. Maverick (“3 Strikes”) signed on to finance Reaves’ new picture when it bought domestic rights for “ Thugs” after the 2002 New York Independent Film & Video Festival.

Lions Share Entertainment (“Wise Girls”) bought overseas rights for “Thugs” and will shop “Thugs” at the Cannes Market later this month for a distribution partner for European theatrical release.

Hawkfilmz shot “Thugs” on Super 16 in summer 2001 for $150,000 that Reaves raised from family and friends. The urban drama stars rappers Soundmaster T and Jah Ristah, and features comedian Carl Wright (“Barbershop”).

“When Thugs Cry” premieres May 9 at the DuSable Museum of African American History, 740 E. 56th Place.

Reach Parris Reaves at 312/409-4041 or hawkfilmz@aol.com .–Ed M. Koziarski, edk@homesickblues.com