Start with a few architecture students on some kind of field trip with their professor. Throw in a “freak storm.” Then trap everyone — along with a “chaperone” — inside a massive and spooky abandoned building. What do you get? The setup for Hellstorm, a new horror movie from local producers Epiphany Filmwerks.
Epiphany promises its filming location, Galveston’s long-abandoned and rotting Falstaff Brewery, will be “one of the main characters in the movie.” That’s where the young cast of pouty screamers will, of course, “encounter something much more terrifying than the storm itself.” What could that be?
The hulking 313,000-sq.-ft. structure at 33rd St. and Ave. E brings with it some horror-flick street cred: Environmental reports have indicated the former brewery is full of asbestos, and the land surrounding it contaminated with PCBs. Who knows what evil lurks below the brewery itself? The soil directly underneath it has not been tested. Residents of the Cornerstone subdivision nearby have been pressing the city for years to have the building demolished or renovated, and city officials have labeled it a public safety hazard.
But the Galveston Historical Foundation has listed the brewery, which was built in 1905, as one of the city’s most endangered historic structures. It’s sat vacant since 1981. Eighteen years later, brewhouse tanks from the complex were yanked out and shipped to China, where they were put to work churning out Pabst Blue Ribbon.
Filming for Hellstorm is scheduled to begin this fall at the site — Galveston’s film liaison has assured the crew that building is “okay” for shooting. Look for the brewery’s star turn in theaters — or dimly lit living rooms — next spring.
- Hellstorm [Epiphany Filmwerks]
- Council to hear plans for brewery, incinerator, City is urged to clean up brewery, incinerator, and
Brewery could be coming down [Galveston County Daily News]
- Galveston Brewery Tour [Falstaff Brewing]
Photos: Candace Garcia