Written by: 
David Ryan Keith, Alistair Cook & Liam Matheson
Directed by:  David Ryan Keith
Produced by:  Lorraine Keith
Production by:  Clear Focus Movies Limited
Music by: Leah Kardos

Sales Agent:  Camelot Entertainment

Genre:  Horror/Comedy

Status:  Complete


​ "Attack of the Herbals" is a thrilling and hilarious horror comedy that will leave audiences on the edge of their seats. Independently produced and shot in the beautiful North East of Scotland, this movie combines the best elements of "Evil Dead" and "Shaun of the Dead" to create a truly unique and unforgettable experience.

The story follows Jackson McGregor, a young man who returns to his childhood home of Lobster Cove only to find that a ruthless land baron, Bennett Campbell, is threatening to destroy the town with a new development. Determined to save his grandparents' post office, Jackson teams up with an old friend to embark on a wild business venture.

When they discover a mysterious crate washed ashore containing a strange substance that makes a surprisingly delicious tea, they seize the opportunity to sell the tea to the local pensioners and fishermen. The money starts rolling in and the tea starts running out, but Jackson and his friend are so caught up in their success that they fail to notice the strange and horrifying events taking place in Lobster Cove.

With the help of a local German priest, they uncover the shocking truth behind the tea: it is part of a Nazi experiment from World War II. And when Bennett Campbell gets addicted to the tea with deadly consequences, the friends must race against time to stop him before it's too late.

"Attack of the Herbals" was our first venture into the world of international film distribution, and looking back, I think we were mad to try and make a feature film on such a tight budget. But despite the challenges, it set us on a film-making adventure that would lead to the creation of five other movies
To say that this project was a steep learning curve would be a serious understatement. The cut-throat world of independent film can be big business, and the people involved behind the scenes can be extremely ruthless as many try to take advantage of first-time film-makers.
Back in 2010, finding distribution for a movie was much harder. The digital age of cinema was just taking off, and we were lucky to ride the wave to worldwide distribution. In today's market, "Attack of the Herbals" probably wouldn't stand a chance. It's an incredibly silly film that, in today's society, would probably be considered offensive. But it truly was a labor of love for everyone involved.

ATTACK OF THE HERBALS definitely didn’t spend its budget on effects. For the most part, any gore seen on the scene is fake blood splattered on the actors. But there’s more to this film than just splatter.
Apparently, the Nazis were master tea brewers. Who’d a thunk it? Toward the end of WWII, Nazi science developed a potion that brought the dead back to life, but when the zombies turned out to be uncontrollable, the concoction was boxed up in a crate and tossed into the ocean much like Perseus and his MILF of a mom in the original CLASH OF THE TITANS.
The crate had been floating around the sea apparently until present day, when it washes up onto shore of a Scottish Village, Lobster Cove. Around the same time, Jackson (Calum Booth) returns to the same home town after going away to the big city for big city schooling. The little community is in the process of being taken over by an asshole businessman named Bennett (Liam Matheson) and Jackson’s family business at the post office is the only business not folding under Bennett’s pressure. With their backs against the wall, Jackson and his dim-witted friend Russell (Steve Worsley) decide to use the contents of the crate to sell delicious tea to the townsfolk, who seem to find it addictively tasty. With the business booming, Jackson seems to think he has defeated Bennet until the tea turns the town into bloodthirsty berserkers. Mad-cappery ensues.
Making up for the budget, this film focuses mainly on some strong comedic performances by its cast, especially Liam Matheson as the asshole businessman who golfs most of the time, shittily I might add, and takes it out on his mother/caddy. Matheson’s Bennett is moustache-twirlingly good as a villain here, making the performance one you love to hate. There are other tertiary characters that are equally memorable such as a track star named the Roadrunner who was hit by a car and put into a wheelchair and is still quite surly about the whole thing. These are the kind of quirky characters that one might have seen in an early Peter Jackson or Sam Raimi flick. Director David Ryan Keith has a great sense of comic timing and fills the film with quick cuts and extreme angles one used to see in Raimi’s earlier works.
Yes, this is a movie about a town that goes zombie because of Nazi tea. A ridiculous premise fully acknowledged by the filmmakers, but in doing so it makes for a damn entertaining film. Though you won’t see too many scares in ATTACK OF THE HERBALS, I guarantee lots of laughs, thick Scottish accents, and characters you’ll love to both love and hate. It’s a lighthearted romp, but a whole lot of fun.

Attack of the Herbals Review
​Written by Ambush Bug
Director - David Ryan Keith
In our upcoming book, 'From No Budget to Low Budget', we perfectly capture the madness that went on behind the scenes as we struggled to bring our film to life. It was a chaotic and frenzied time, as we scrambled to make our dream a reality with no budget to speak of. We hustled and hustled, scrounging for every last penny and resource we could find. We pulled countless all-nighters and pushed ourselves to the brink of exhaustion, but somehow, against all odds, we managed to make it happen. The final result was a film that truly captured the passion and determination of our team, and we couldn't be more proud of what we accomplished. 'From No Budget to Low Budget' will be available soon, and we can't wait for you to read about our journey and see how we made it all happen.
From No Budget to Low Budget
Suddenly, out of the blue, another email came through telling me they wanted a special effects company in L.A. to do all the gun muzzle flash effects. Apparently, my attempt looked too cartoonish. The effects company requested that I send over uncompressed QuickTime files so they could start working on them. What I couldn't believe was that they were wanting to composite the new effects onto the video I sent over, and not just send the files as an alpha channel.
Sending video footage over the internet and importing it in and out of different editing software always comes back slightly different by the time it makes its way back to the original source.
Having a rendered alpha channel of the effects made more sense, I could simply lay the effect over the original footage, solving any transfer problem. And, unbelievably, this seemed something impossible to do for a L.A based effects company.
I made sure I made my feeling clear on this matter over email, and was assured it would be fine. Low and behold, the footage came back looking slightly different, the whites in the background detail were completely different and blown out. I couldn't believe it.

​With no time to get the effects corrected, I had to edit them in. The only thing that didn't make it a disaster was the fact that the muzzle flashes only lasted for two frames at a time, so the complete change in color correction was disguised by the brightness of the gun flash.
What made this whole effects process even more laughable was the fact that the L.A effects company had used the exact same muzzle flashes I had originally used. I kid you not, the only difference was a very slight glow to light up the actor's face.
I had gotten away with it this time, but I couldn't help but feel worried about what they were going to do with the 5.1 mix.
It was while fighting it out with the grade and new gun muzzle flashes that I received an alarming email. Our sales agents had decided to send the audio mix to a small company in the Philippines to do the 5.1 mix. I found this absolutely baffling. I know it was probably cheaper to do this, but surely being situated in the film capital of the world, they could find someone to do it better in L.A.
So, the audio mix went off to the Philippines, and soon the mix was back in L.A. getting ready for the quality control report. The QC report is the film industry's way of keeping a high standard in visual and audio before it hits the shop shelves. I was informed that it was a very tough test and only a perfect audio mix would make it through. Without this QC pass, a distributor would not buy your film, regardless of how amazing it looked.
The results came back, and it was what looked like a terrible fail. The report highlighted things like an extra in the background placing down a drink with no sound effect, or a slightly distorted line spoken by an actor. This meant that I needed to go back into the edit and fix the problems straight away. So, I informed the audio company in the Philippines that I was going to have to make some further changes and give them the updated audio stems again once I had corrected the problems.
A few days into fixing the problems, I received an email from our sales agent informing us that they had received the master 5.1 mix and they were going to send it out again for another QC report. At this point, I didn't have a clue what was going on. I was sitting in front of my editing suite, still correcting the fixes from the first report, and I couldn't believe it was possible for them to have another 5.1 mix ready for another test.
I emailed my sales agent to inform them that I was still working on the fixes and hadn't sent the Philippine's company anything yet. This seemed to be news to my sales agent, who couldn't quite understand it. If the audio hadn't been fixed, what were they sending off for review?

​After a few emails back and forth, I decided to cut out the middle man and contact the Philippines Company myself. It turned out they had just decided to master it regardless of whether it passed, so they could bill for their money. After a couple of very heated emails back and forth, the sound mixers slowly realized they were going to have to do the mix from scratch, which you can imagine didn't go down very well.
A couple of weeks later, a new 5.1 mix was sent out for review. This time, the list of faults was three times longer than the original one. As I sat there trying to make sense of it all, I was kindly reminded that the deadline for the American Film Market was fast approaching. As I sat at my Avid editing suite, matching up the time codes with the faults marked down, it suddenly dawned on me that none of the faults were actually to do with my mix. They were all problems with the actual 5.1.
The report stated that the mix supplied was all over the place, with certain sounds coming out of some speaker channels while other parts of the film were completely missing on the others. There was nothing wrong with my mix; I had fixed the other problems. The blame lay with what the guys in the Philippines had done with the 5.1 creation; it was a disaster.
I informed our sales agent that it was in fact the 5.1 creation that was failing and that it had nothing to do with my originally fixed audio mix. Our sales agent's solution to this was to hand over the 5.1 mix to someone who did sound mixing favors for $200. As soon as I heard this, I knew I was going to have problems with the sound all the way up until the film's premiere.
The film premiered at the American Film Market and sold to a respected U.K distributor. I was happy with the news but even happier that Germany and the U.S had expressed interest. For anyone who doesn't know how this works, it all apparently starts at the big film festival, where interested distributors from countries around the world buy up the rights to exclusively distribute the film in their own country, or what the film world refers to as territory.
One funny thing worth mentioning is that the poster for "Herbals" won an award for the most silly film title. The movie also got a mention in the Hollywood Reporter and the famous magazine Variety. The international coverage came as a welcome shock, and we were all excited about the film's future.
"Attack of the Herbals" had its first official territory sold, and it just happened to be the UK. This meant that within the next couple of months, I would see the film available on VOD and direct to DVD nationally. It was a strange feeling finding out that the film was going to be hitting UK shops and that I'd be able to walk into HMV and buy it over the counter. All we had to do now was count down the days to the release and hope that the film sold at the next big festival, which was in Berlin.

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