Independent film The Beast Comes At Midnight will be filmed at various locations in Tampa this summer, including Lithia.

While FishHawk residents may be surprised to hear a werewolf will be lurking through their quiet residential neighborhood this July, what they shouldn’t feel is terrified or concerned.

The hairy beast is one of the main characters in an old-school monster movie that will be filming in FishHawk and several other locations in Hillsborough County, including Tampa, Ybor City and Gibsonton.

The Beast Comes at Midnight is a Southern Gothic werewolf feature film produced by Ed McKeever, directed by Robert Masciantonio and stars actors Michael Ashley McKeever, Kylissa Katalinich and Charles Bronson-dead ringer Robert Bronzi as Andras the Hunter.

The story is a modernization of the boy who cried wolf and revolves around a young podcaster (Michael) who has a penchant for investigating paranormal phenomena, serial killers and conspiracy theories. He discovers his town is under attack by a flesh-eating beast that hunts during the full moon. Nobody believes him except for a popular cheerleader (Katalinich) and a monster hunter (Bronzi).

The concept was born after Ed and his son, Michael, visited the Showmen’s Museum in Gibsonton, a building that houses strange and eclectic memorabilia from the colorful carnival and circus midways of the past.

“My son and I saw a display about a Wolfboy and started envisioning a monster movie set among the backdrop of this place,” said Ed. “We wanted to make a horror movie we could watch together, so we were going for a fun PG-13 vibe.”

Local residents and aspiring talent will be excited to know that in-person and online casting calls are planned to round out the cast and will be posted on social media.

“We’ll also need a ton of extras,” said Ed. “We really want to engage local residents as much as possible.”

The film will be distributed by Briefcase Pictures, a media and content creation company located in Tampa Bay and formed in partnership with Todd Oifer of Oifer Industries, George C. Romero (son of the late George A. Romero of Night of the Living Dead zombie series) of Romero Pictures, LLC and Ed. It also includes New York-based DIGA Studio and Massachusetts-based Heavy Metal magazine.

“This is such an exciting time because there are so many ways to put content into the world,” said Romero.

Oifer, Briefcase Pictures CFO and FishHawk resident, said the company is seeking a private-public partnership to build production studios in the Tampa area and Lexington, Kentucky. It’s planning to raise $30 million through private investors to fund the facility as well as several other films.

“There’s so much going for Tampa,” he said. “We’re going to try to drive as many jobs to the area as possible.”

Well, jobs and maybe a werewolf, who has the unfortunate task of wearing a werewolf suit in our sweltering July heat.

Ed said he hopes that The Beast Comes at Midnight is just the beginning. “There are a million and one stories to be told,” he said.

For more information about The Beast Comes at Midnight, visit www.thebeastcomesatmidnight.com or to follow it on social media. For more information about Briefcase Pictures, visit www.briefcasepictures.com.

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