Everyone knows vinyl records don’t kill people. What this TV show presupposes is … maybe they do. Deadwax, an upcoming original short-form series from the horror-specific streaming service Shudder, takes its name from the space between the last track and the label on a vinyl record and its inspiration from the urban myths surrounding “backmasking,” the practice of hiding a backwards message — like, say, “PAUL IS DEAD” — in a recording.
Directed by Graham Reznick, the sound designer for horror features like Stake Land, The House Of The Devil, and The Sacrament whose credits also include co-writing the video game Until Dawn and the Dave Bautista action-thriller Bushwick, Deadwax follows Etta (Hannah Gross from Mindhunter), a young woman with a talent for procuring rare records for rich collectors.
The story takes a turn for the gruesome when Etta gets her hands on a legendary “key” record from master sound engineer Lyle M. Lytton, one of only three in existence, identified by the “strange, ominous” marks in its dead wax. After police discover that one of these records is linked to the death of another record collector, Etta sets out to unravel the mystery. Presumably, gory fun ensues.
The entire series runs two hours and is set to premiere at Fantastic Fest in Austin on Sunday. “Peppered with ’70s giallo-esque music, and splashed with ’80s-style gore, this highly original series works with as sparse an atmosphere as the songs contained on the deadly platters,” the fest’s official description reads. “The minimal use of production keeps each 15-minute episode laser-focused on its menacing tone and mystifying puzzle. Reznick’s background in sound design comes through in his use of eerie tones, electrifying bursts of static, and nightmarish music.”
Watch the trailer below via Syfy.