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Orchid’s Curse doesn’t walk alone 

Video release for “The Workhorse Walks Alone” says thanks to crew and community

click to enlarge Couch potatoes Orchid’s Curse. - NATHAN BOONE

When it comes to making music videos, some bands like to keep things simple. But Orchid's Curse wanted to put their funds towards a special type of vision. "Anyone can come and see us play," says lead singer Josh Hogan. "But it's not every day that you see a giant robot tearing apart a scientist."

The band's first-ever online video, for the song "The Workhorse Walks Alone," (from 2010 album Voices: Tales of Broken Men) is an ambitious collision of all the best horror-movie tropes: There's a giant robot, a zombie apocalypse and themes of creation and dismemberment reminiscent of Frankenstein.

The video's director, filmmaker Aaron Elliot, is friends with Hogan and drummer Bobby Webb, and wanted his creation to be different and fun. After listening to "Workhorse" for hours on repeat, he came up with an initial concept---a scientist builds a giant robot to protect her from hordes of zombies. But along the way, something goes wrong. Without giving too much away, the video ends with everything quite literally going to pieces.

Longtime metal fan Elliot knew his concept and the song would mesh beautifully. He also looked toward Megadeth for inspiration, and in particular, the creepy video for "Hangar 18," which shows aliens being caught and tortured at an Area 51-style base.

Of course, Orchid's Curse had a considerably smaller budget to grapple with. But as happens so often in Halifax, artists, filmmakers and friends willingly gave up their time to help with the project. Elliot, who is currently working as a daily technician on the Picnicface series, also volunteered his time.

Troy Kirker (one of the master shredders from Hellacaust) handled lead special effects, Lauren Oostveen did the zombie makeup and local filmmaker Colin MacDonald used extra footage to cut together an instrumental zombie prologue that will appear at the video's beginning. Meanwhile, camera assistant/costumer Tim Tracey provided the robot, after re-designing its head and re-building the body with Elliot.

"The robot! The robot was unbelievable," says Orchid's Curse guitarist Brian Jones. "It was like a giant battle-gnome."

The shoot took two days, with one day devoted to shooting the action scenes in Kirker's garage and the other to filming shots of the band at a Burnside warehouse.They admit the filming took some adjustment. "It was pretty weird at first," says Hogan. "I felt like Ashlee Simpson doing lip-synching. And we went through the song about 50 times."

"I never want to hear that song again!" says Jones.

The band's exhaustion aside, the video is done---and judging by a 50-second preview, it's got a little Walking Dead, a little Re-Animator, a little Wild Zero---and tons of blood. It looks great, and marks a successful first for both Orchid's Curse and Elliot.

"This was really a labour of love," the filmmaker says. "This is the first time I've directed something on my own, and I really wanted to challenge myself and I hope that people like it."

"These people came out and helped us for nothing---just a bit of food and booze," Hogan says.

"They were a really supportive crew and just an awesome group of people. We couldn't pay them their worth, so this release party is a thank you to them, so they can enjoy their work."

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