Producer Edward Bass’ Belle Gunness documentary
begins principal photography.
"I have begun shooting a documentary on the life of Belle Gunness, as I had just finished penning the screenplay for the feature film," says Bass.
“It has been a while since I did a documentary, I produced Something Less Serious, which was on Its a Mad Mad Mad Mad World in the 90's. It was especially great working with the movie legends Jerry Lewis, Carl Reiner,and Mickey Rooney and late greats like Sid Cesar, Edie Adams, Milton Berle, Arnold Stang, Buddy Hackett, and Norman Fell.
Bass, who was a partner in a Stanley Kramer production, has continued to work on a Mad Mad world sequel with Mrs. Stanley Kramer, since Stanley always maintained sequel and remake rights to his films.
“Interestingly enough, while working with those comedians, who were often depressed, prepared me for the real world of interviewing serial killers and doing the a film about the life of Belle Gunness.”
Belle Gunness, is nothing like the Charlize Theron character in Monster, but like Sharon Stone in Basic Instinct, with a poison pen, rather than an ice pick. Before Craigslist and Facebook, she killed her victims the old fashioned way: using good old fashioned greed and sexual desire. It is believed that she netted almost $1 million dollars from murdering her unsuspecting lovers and disposing their bodies by feeding them to her hungry pigs.
Gunness was the “woman next door”, whose exterior hid a dark secret, a woman with keen entrepreneurial skills highly regarded among the business people in her town. She was a philanthropist who donated money to orphanages and civic projects. At night however she lived a lurid lifestyle of sex, drugs, and alcohol addiction that led to her eventual demise, and she was rumored to have take the lives of hundreds. As people lined up to watch Anthony Hopkins' Hannibal Lecter, Belle has the same appeal and more since she is real..
Alfred Hitchcock’s Shadow of A Doubt classic was a depiction of a small town Santa Rosa, complicit in a serial killer’s crimes. In Belle however, in contrast to the the events in Hitchcock's film, which were fiction, the events in La Porte were real. Here Belle Gunness became the most wealthy woman in Indiana because of her business acumen-- however, as we will see in the film, some of the towns folk’s most prominent citizens were complicit in her crimes. By cleverly absorbing each of her victim’s cash assets, she shrewdly invested their funds into her profitable hog farm, along with bribing or pulling the wool over the town's leading figures.
The town of La Porte has in their county historical society museum, pieces of the Belle Gunness casket that was recently exhumed in an effort to finally determine whether it was Belle who died in a suspicious fire, or someone else. The results were inconclusive and we have joined investigators who are searching for living relatives in Norway. The mystery continues...
Bass is currently set to direct two upcoming films he has penned, including the Belle Gunness story and is executive producer with producing partner Christopher Beatty of Chlorine and Chronicle and James C. Herrmann, with Director Jay Alaimo who Bass launched with Slingshot. His other producing partners have included Sir Anthony Hopkins (Bobby), Kevin Spacey, and Guillermo Del Toro.
Bass has also launched a syndicated column nicknamed, "The Column", is quickly becoming infamous for his satirical “IF I WERE PRESIDENT...” tagline beginning each column. Featured in "Slash Magazine", The Column appears in over 300 publications regularly. His humor is tagged as "a bit over the top", with a Will Rogers sense of irony and controversy.
Bass notes,” As a director I enjoy writing a column and having my own slant, humor and “unedited” views on issues, the auteur in all of us needs a good release!”