Killer Ponies from Hell is a 1995 supernatural horror film, written and directed by Larry Roosevelt.
The movie begins in the summer of 1988, where a van stops at a beach and two 11-year-old kids (Sam and Harry) run out and begin playing merrily, while the other one (Wendy) sunbathes. After playing a bit in the water, the two come back only to find their friend's missing and splotched blood on the sand. The two boys then spot a mysterious figure in the driver's seat in the van with a blood trail leading up to the vehicle. The van immediately speeds off, leaving the boys behind.
Seven years later, Sam and Harry are now grown up and spending their summer break on a road trip, along with their three other friends. Harry notices an abandoned farmhouse and suggests Sam spending the week in it, which he complies as he pulls over.
As everyone unpacks - Sam explores the ransacked house, also finding several animal carcasses along the way. Entering into a bedroom, he finds a huge and fresh blood stain on the carpet that trails up to a closet door to which he opens and abruptly becomes mercurial; finding a rotten corpse of a victim, hanged with a slit throat. He flees from the scene and attempts to confess his friends about it, but when he tries to show the evidence, the corpse is no longer there.
Later that night, the five college students eat away at dinner, when some noises erupt from the cellar. Sam and Harry proceed to go investigate. Eventually, they find both a book and a tape recorder, which has a discussion on the backstory of the ponies, their motivations and the cabin that they once tenanted many generations ago.
During some of the many resurrection translations, Rose tells her friends to shut off the tape. The others think it's just her imagination but Rose immediately walks out of the house to investigate. While out there, she gets attacked by tree branches and flees the scene. She then complains to Sam that she wants to leave immediately. But, the dead ponies break out from their hiding spots and begin killing the students, one by one.
With Sam being the only one alive, he manages to stop the ponies by throwing both the book and tape recorder into the fireplace thus causing the ponies to rot decay.
After the ponies die, dawn begins to break as Sam trudges outside and heads over to his van to vacate. But however, one of the dead ponies (who is now headless) comes back to life and decapitates Sam with an ax, killing him. Then, the corpse walks off with Sam's head still in its hand, silently.
The scene then pans up towards the morning sky, the screen fades out and the credits roll.
Larry Roosevelt - Sam
- Christopher Woodrow - young Sam
Mark Davis - Harry
- Benjamin Walters - young Harry
Azul Charlotte - Lucy
Stacy Lunam - Stephanie
Beatrice "Betsy" Davis - Rose
Tori Camryn - Sunbathing girl (Wendy)
Scott Carpenter - Driver
Daniel Tautolo - Moonstone
Lance Gilder - Cotton Candy
Sam Raffelson - Buttons
|Sunbathing girl (Wendy)
|Both killed off-screen|
|Dead guy in closet||Hanged with a slit throat|
|Lucy||Tackled into the tub and drowned|
|Moonstone, Cotton Candy and Buttons||Rot decay (CC comes back to life, headless)|
The first scene was shot at Del Mar Beach in 1990, during the summertime when Larry and Mike were on vacation - several bits of the footage were used in the final film. The other half was filled in with two stand-ins that played the roles of young Sam and Harry.
Larry began working on a screenplay for Killer Ponies in the summer of 1994, when he was almost a senior in high school. The title of the film at the time being: "Untitled My Little Pony Horror Film" and two-fifths of his $25,000 savings went toward the film's budget.
The driving scenes were filmed in Borrego Springs, CA - while the cabin scenes were filmed in a deserted home somewhere in Northern California.
The original Ben Cooper suits for the evil ponies were also too small for the mascots, so Larry ended up having the actors wear the Ben Cooper masks alone and have them in different uniforms. He stained the clothes with fake blood and dried them out for twelve hours to allow for the "blood" to drench in.
Before filming ended when almost every cast and crew member went back home, Larry stayed with Mike. After reviewing all the footage, the two realized they needed to film some pick-ups. For the scene with the headless walking pony corpse, Mike played the role since the original mascot had left.
Editing for the film didn't begin until 2011, when Larry used Final Cut Pro on his Mac. It was supposed to take only 6 months to get editing complete; but resulted taking a year and a half to complete the editing of all the films. This included mixing in sounds, video corrections and more.
It's credibly a knock-off of Sam Raimi's "The Evil Dead", yet Roosevelt denies that rumor.
Filming began on June 17th of 1995 (the day after Larry graduated from high school - rehearsals were done while everyone was on Senior Week) and concluded on July 4th (Independence Day), while pick-ups were filmed from July 6th to 9th and the road scenes was shot somewhere around August. The camera also at the time, Larry used to film the movie was a Minolta Master Pro 8-918 (he bought it using some of the film's budget) and because the tapes in the camera could only hold up to 15 minutes, the film resulted in using almost six tapes to fill in for the entire movie.
Make-up and special effects
For the scene with the hanged ponies, they used mannequins, put the costumes over them, then hung all three of them on the tree with pieces of rope, shaped into nooses.
For the blood and gore, it was mostly homemade. The blood was just simply created using corn syrup, red food coloring, and cornstarch. Since there wasn't enough blood for the violent parts, Larry ended up storing the fake blood in milk gallon tanks (about a dozen of them were needed). The gore was created from meat products bought at several slaughterhouses.
The soundtrack in the film is mainly video game music.
Track #1: Super Mario Advance 2 - Opening (the van arrives at the beach, the kids head off swimming, etc.)
Track #2: Sonic the Hedgehog - Mephiles' Whisper (opening credits)
Track #3: Super Mario Advance 2 - Koopa Kid Defeated ("seven years later...")
Track #4: The Calvanes - Crazy Over You (78 rpm) - (Radio Source) *"Up Country - Stephen Ham & Alain Leroux" IN INTERNATIONAL RELEASES*
Track #5: SpongeBob SquarePants Production Music - Footsteps of Horror [#11.02] (the house exploring scene and when Larry finds a corpse)
Track #6: Satanic - Ren and Stimpy Production Music
Track #7: Earthbound (Mother 2) - Giygas (used from 0:00 till 1:54) (for the tape recorder scene) *"Deathwatch - Stelvio Cipriani" IN INTERNATIONAL RELEASES*
Track #8: Spongebob Squarepants - House of Horror (the woods part and when Sam kills possessed Harry)
Track #9: Secret of Mana - The Oracle (the ponies emerge from their hiding spots and break into the farmhouse) *"Apoteosi del Mistero (1) - Carlos Mario Cordio" IN INTERNATIONAL RELEASES*
Track #10: Super Mario Land - Boss Battle (one of the ponies' attacks of the girls) *"Verso Il Terrore #2 - Carlos Mario Cordio" IN INTERNATIONAL RELEASES*
Track #11: Super Mario Advance 2 - Fortress Clear (after Sam succeeds into killing one of the ponies) *OMITTED IN INTERNATIONAL RELEASES*
Track #12: Apoteosi del Mistero (2) - Carlos Mario Cordio (Lucy gets attacked by the presumably dead pony)
- ADDITIONAL TRACK: In Fondo - Carlo Maria Cordio (Sam gets prepared for the final battle)
Track #13: Rosso Sangue - Carlo Maria Cordio (Sam gets cornered by all the ponies before managing to burn the book)
Track #14: Who's At The Door? - Harry Manfredini (the ponies rot decay and for some of the jumpscares) (used from 1:22 till 1:56)
Track #15: Earthbound (Mother 2) - Giygas (Sam trudges over to the van when one of the ponies; now headless, comes back to life) (used from 2:32 till 3:13) *"Irrealta - Carlos Mario Cordio" IN INTERNATIONAL RELEASES*
Track #16: Ginny Visits Villa Jason - Harry Manfredini (the headless pony comes back to life, grabs an ax, charges at Sam and decapitates him) (used from 3:47 till 4:57)
Track #17: Super Mario Advance 2 - End Credits (Part 1) - (end credits) *"Deathwatch (unused alternate version 2) - Stelvio Cipriani" IN INTERNATIONAL RELEASES*
Larry directed three more sequels to Killer Ponies. The second one was finished in 1997, the third one was finished in 2003 and the fourth and final one also finished in 2010. (All these movies didn't seek out releases until 2013)
Nowadays, you can see all of the movies on the Killer Ponies quadrilogy DVD / Blu-ray combo pack.