Glitzy premiere in Angel for homeless filmmaker
Horror movie, made by man who sleeps rough outside furniture store, is screened at cinema
08 February, 2019 — By Tom Foot
David Henry Fussell at Screen On The Green in Islington for the premiere of his film, Mystic Demon Killer
A HOMELESS filmmaker said he “felt like a little kid again” at an emotional cinema premiere of a horror movie he made despite living as a rough sleeper outside a furniture store.
David Henry Fussell spent five years working on post-production of his tense supernatural action thriller, Mystic Demon Killer, using libraries, pub wi-fi and a computer owned by homeless charity C4WS.
At night, he returned to his sleeping bag outside Heal’s in Tottenham Court Road.
The premiere at Screen On The Green in Islington had been arranged by Vice Media, a leading film company, after one of its documentary-makers had seen the original story about Mr Fussell’s life in the New Journal in October and wanted to get involved.
Mr Fussell is interviewed at the screening event
The 52-year-old had shot the film in North Wales before he lost his home and travelled to London on a one-way train ticket with the footage stored on a hard drive. C4WS provided a snappy suit for him to wear.
After the screening, Mr Fussell said: “I was a little kid again, like a little kid watching their favourite film in the cinema. It was so lovely to see it on the big screen, and to hear it on a big sound system.”
Many of Mr Fussell’s homeless friends, who had been reserved special seats, picked up their camper bags at the end of the film and went back to the street and hostel beds. A documentary by Vice, about Mr Fussell, is due out next month.
One of its producers Kieran Nagre told the audience on Tuesday: “I was reading my local newspaper, the Camden New Journal, and I came across this amazing story about this homeless film director. He was getting it done to be released in time for Halloween.”
Mr Fussell’s homeless friends – Aaron Little, Paul Jones and Ray of Light – at the film’s premiere
The New Journal first interviewed Mr Fussell after reader Aaron Little – also homeless – who goes to the same art class in Fitzrovia, got in touch suggesting an interview.
Many people at the screening spoke about Mr Fussell’s extraordinary upbeat tone and positive outlook on life.
“I don’t really know where my ability to keep going comes from,” he said. “My father fought in World War 2. I never knew how to turn around and say to someone like that ‘well things are a bit difficult, Dad, I fell over and grazed my knee’.
“He was an Enfield boy and he used to say to me his friends never had any shoes – I think what he really meant was that he didn’t have any shoes.
Mr Fussell outside Heal’s in Tottenham Court Road, where he sleeps rough
“To think he went through a war, it made me think, well what did I have to complain about?”
Mr Fussell said he lost his family home to flooding and after his parents had died he wanted to do something to make him feel happy.
He got the idea for Mystic Demon Killer after reading a story in his local paper, The Carmarthen Journal.
“They had a story about how there were big cats in the countryside [in Wales]. I said, ‘what if big cats were a cover for what’s really out there?’”
You can buy Mystic Demon Killer at https://vimeo.com/ondemand/mysticdemonkiller