CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Buddy Black doesn't remember specifically when he first saw Danny Boyd's 1987 B-movie horror classic "Chillers," but the Canadian rocker does remember it was love at first sight.
"It was at least 15 years ago," he said. "It was right after I stared being able to rent movies on my own."
Black, a big fan of scary movies and comic books, got his own copy of the film, a battered VHS tape. He watched it over and over.
"I watched it every day for a year," he said. "Easily, I've seen that movie 500 times -- probably more."
Years later, Black, born Neil MacKay, got into music and formed punk trio Buddy Black with guitarist Mike Gibbons and drummer Ross Martin.
"We met at a club," Gibbons said. "Ross and I were doing something, and Neil was playing some acoustic stuff."
Black was already playing gigs around Ontario as Reverend Buddy Black, but after the three began talking, they saw a bigger opportunity as a trio. Black told them, "I've got 25 original songs we could do," and the band was born. That was a little more than two years ago.
Then, last Halloween, inspiration struck when Black was sitting at home with his girlfriend, watching "Chillers."
"Inexplicably," he said, "she hadn't seen it."
A few minutes into the film and maybe after a few drinks, Black decided to look up Boyd, just to reach out and tell him how much he appreciated the film.
"It's such a beautiful story," Boyd said. "I couldn't have scripted this. It's so good. I've been working on the graphic novel for 'Chillers,' and I get this email from Neil."
Black told Boyd he was a huge fan, then asked how he felt about Buddy Black doing a tribute album to the film.
"I replied, 'Hell yeah,'" Boyd said. The timing couldn't have been more perfect, he added, especially with the graphic novel coming along.
"And they were good," he said of the band. "I looked them up, and they have kind of a classic punk sound like The Clash. I really liked it."
For Boyd, a film professor at West Virginia State University, the idea of collaborating in some way on a music video seemed like a natural progression. "But I didn't want to get too involved creatively."
Instead, he approached some of his current and former film students with the idea of making a video to accompany the release of Buddy Black's EP, "Witchfinger." "I just floated the idea out to some people, and they said yes!"
Among the crew were producer Lisa Bragg, director Curtis Baskerville and videographer Michael Sydenstricker.