NO PLACE FOR THE LIVING will chronicle the true account of the life and strange obsessions of ‘Count’ Carl Von Cosel, who authorities discovered had lived with the corpse of Elena Hoyos for seven years. Von Cosel claimed to be in communication with her spirit and, like a latter-day Dr. Frankenstein, was convinced he could use groundbreaking scientific methods to bring her back to life. When the world learned the truth, their macabre “relationship” became a media sensation, now forgotten.
The feature documentary film proposed, envisioned and directed by Ronni Thomas (award-winning short, WALTER POTTER: THE MAN WHO MARRIED KITTENS, web series The Midnight Archive, and producer of the Ramone’s doc HEY IS DEE DEE HOME?), will be developed in collaboration with the esteemed Morbid Anatomy Museum, where Thomas is filmmaker-in-residence. Thomas is seeking $50,000 in funding for the film through a Kickstarter campaign scheduled to run March 28 through April 26, 2016.
“The idea is not only to tell this bizarre story, but to understand it as well,” said filmmaker Ronni Thomas. “I want to make a film that challenges viewers to accept and even like Von Cosel, the way the world did when they first heard his story.”
NO PLACE FOR THE LIVING will feature experts including Key West historians, authorities on the occult, artists and psychologists to provide insight into Von Cosel’s story as it connects to the age old conflict between science and spirituality that has absorbed mankind to this very day. Taking inspiration from the poetic dreamscapes of filmmakers like Tim Burton and David Lynch, Thomas will tell the Ed Wood-Like story of Carl Von Cosel and his sensational tale of macabre matrimony with the help of artfully made puppets used to reenact key moments of his life, as described in detail in Von Cosel’s own published journal.
“Puppetry is the art of animating the inanimate, making it the perfect approach for a story like this,” said Thomas. “Von Cosel not only pulled the strings on a physical corpse he was trying to reanimate, but metaphorically he pulled everyone’s strings, manipulating Hoyos’ family, the justice system, even public opinion.”
Working alongside Thomas to bring this story to life are puppeteer Robin Frohardt, special FX designer Shane Morton and his Silver Scream FX lab, and composer Stephen Coates (lead singer, The Real Tuesday Weld). Among our list of specialists who have jumped to the occasion to discuss this captivating window into the wayward are true crime author Harold Schechter, occult expert Mitch Horowitz, TV’s ODDITIES co-star Evan Michaelson, …And You Will Know Us By the Trail of Dead frontman Conrad Keely, and author of Von Cosel’s biography, Tom Swicegood. The film will feature narration from Von Cosel’s journal read by celebrated indie filmmaker Richard Stanley (HARDWARE, DUST DEVIL).