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The Beast of Walton St.

As the homeless population of an Ohio town is ravaged by brutal deaths in the dead of winter, two outcast women defend their turf and fight back against the deadly creature - a werewolf.

  • Dusty Austen
    The Haunted World of CW, Hell House LLC2
  • Dusty Austen
    The Haunted World of CW, Urban Cannibal Massacre
  • Athena Murzda
    The Haunted World of CW
  • Aaron Pagniano
    Sunset on the River Styx, We Got a Monkey's Paw
  • Athena Murzda
    Key Cast
    "Constance Wilmenson"
    Haunted World of CW
  • Mia Jones
    Key Cast
    "Percy Williams"
    Dog Eat Dog, Rhyme Slaya, Urban Cannibal Massacre
  • Aimee Lynn Chadwick
    Key Cast
    "Gloria Fitz"
    Return of the Living Dead: Necropolis, A Cinderella Story, Mira Mira
  • Tim Novotny
    Key Cast
    10/31 Part 2, Ragmork, St. Gabriel
  • Mark Lammert
    Key Cast
    "Ben Crosscoe"
    Bad Movies With Mark
  • James L Edwards
    Key Cast
    "Joseph Brandner"
    The Dead Next Door, Bloodletting, Her Name Was Christa
  • Aaron Pagniano
    Director of Photography
    Sunset on The River Styx, We Got a Monkey's Paw, Transfer
  • Gregory Deiulio
    Original Score
    IT: Chapter 2, A House Divided, Acceleration
  • Dani Fiondella
    Music Supervisor
    Fifteen Minutes To Go, Viola, Complex
  • Gabe Sanchez
    Camila Cabello, Post Malone, Studio ADI's Playtime
  • Project Type:
  • Genres:
    Horror, Comedy
  • Runtime:
    1 hour 30 minutes
  • Completion Date:
    December 19, 2022
  • Production Budget:
    14,000 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
  • Horror Hotel Film Fest
    United States
    June 8, 2023
    North American Premiere
    Best Actress (Ohio Film) Athena Murzda, Honorable Mention Award, Official Selection
  • Nightmares Film Festival
    United States
    October 29, 2023
    Winner: Ohio Film
Director Biography - Dusty Austen

Dusty Austen is a transgender woman and award-winning filmmaker who has been involved in the independent film world for over 20 years. Her interest in filmmaking and her genre of choice, horror, began when she was only 3 years old. She began making her own films at age 12 and played her first film festival by the age of 18. She soon began a consistent career in the independent world working for companies across Ohio & Pennsylvania and eventually expanding to create content for creatives in Ireland, England & Canada.

After working on numerous features, and projects, Austen created a name for herself in the found footage community and founded the GG13 Collective, the creative team behind the award-winning web series GG13: The Haunted World of CW on which she served as showrunner, director, and editor from 2013 to 2019.

She was also the co-host of the Found Footage Files Podcast and Executive Editor for the distribution company POV Horror during its formative years.

Austen and her wife Athena Murzda sought to create a low-budget high concept independent film company that celebrated diversity & creative freedom and soon formed Street Rat Studios, under which their first feature produced was "The Beast of Walton St."

Austen is currently hard at work prepping the next Street Rat Studios production "Fiber Burn."

She currently resides in Ohio with her wife, 2 daughters, and their army of pets.

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Director Statement

I’ve known I wanted to be a film maker since I was 3 years old.

My father prefaced my maiden viewing of “An American Werewolf in London” with the disclaimer “Now the monster isn’t real, it’s fake, it’s a puppet made of rubber.” This disclaimer sparked something special, something wonderful, in fact, it set my imagination ablaze. A fire that is still burning strong all these years later so much so that it seemed apt then that our first film under our new banner Street Rat Studios, be a werewolf film, a literal lifetime goal if ever there was one.

I wanted to make monsters after that, and I became fascinated with practical effects and the horror genre. I was interested in transformation, so werewolf and monster movies offered something special, relatable, as transforming is something I would spend my life going through as a trans woman. Cinema it seemed held a unique power to comfort. In fact, it offered me somewhere I truly belonged, no matter how much I didn’t feel I belonged in my own skin.

It wasn’t until I saw The Evil Dead though that I wanted to direct. It was with this viewing that I learned that films could be kinetic. That a camera could perform gymnastics. That images could be captured and edited in such a delightfully frenetic way that it changed the way I looked at film forever.

My parents got the memo loud and clear, I wanted to be a film maker, and low and behold, they supported me. I was now armed with not just inspiration, but also a used video camera they supplied in good faith I’d put it to use. I did.

I put that camera through the ringer.

Countless backyard film making bloodbaths ensued as I experimented with reckless abandon and freedom to create whatever blood drenched lunacy my friends and family were willing to endure. Which was, it seems, ALLOT bless their hearts.

It was magic, and to this day, it still is.

By age 18 I was addicted to editing & directing and was off to the Ohio Independent Film Fest, a slightly more polished blood bath full of friends and family in hand. Though we didn’t win anything, sharing those moments with an audience full of strangers, watching punch lines land and scares pay off, only further fueled my love of creating cinema.

I loved writing, I loved directing, but most of all I fell deeply in love with the art of the edit. This is where films are truly made. Where the cadence, the rhythm, and the heartbeat of a film is truly created. It’s an opportunity to manipulate your narrative, to re-direct your film. Editing IS the narrative, and the film lives or dies by this.

I shot, edited, and did graphic design and VFX freelance and had the opportunity to work with some amazing film makers during that time. I shot WWE superstars fighting vampires, captured rock and roll bloodbaths, built a Krampus, wrote about some urban cannibals, was eaten by a hell gate in the Abaddon Hotel, and got an inside peek at the distribution world working for POV Horror as Executive editor in its formative years.

While working with so many diverse creatives was wonderful, I craved that sense of creative control again, and soon sought out film school to hone the skills I’d thus far been mining from time spent in the trenches of the indie world. I wanted to make features of my own, and this seemed like the logical step toward that goal. I attended the Academy of Art University in San Francisco and was one of few students in which all editing courses were waved, allowing me to focus on screenwriting. A good script is the foundation on which every piece of your film rests, it must be solid, and it just might help if it has something to say…

This is where I discovered the magic of horror as not just catharsis, but as a genre that you could really tackle social, political, and sexual issues either unabashedly or subversively. Horror was the place to be if you loved subtext, metaphor, and social allegories. My love for the genre deepened as it became apparent my beloved genre was capable of anything, including the ability to truly say something, while still working that camera through the ringer and letting the monsters run amok.

My final project screenplay was well received, which gave me the confidence to adapt it into a successful cult web series, one that ran weekly from 2013 to 2019. Creating that series was fast paced, and often the definition of guerilla filmmaking to the nth degree. Not only did it result in multiple awards scattered across different fests and categories, but more importantly, I met my spouse Athena through the production.

It was magic.

Both of us share an intense passion for the LGBTQ+ space and over all inclusivity on every level. It was through extensive discussions regarding our desire to see more of these things in horror content that it led us to form Street Rat Studios. The mind set being to create commercially viable horror films that not only tackle important issues, as The Beast of Walton St Tackles homelessness, but also normalize LGBTQ+ characters in a pop horror environment.

I’m proud to say that The Beast of Walton St. does both of those things, often unabashedly and sometimes more subversively, though I doubt I’ll ever win an award for subtlety.

The script for TBOWS was born after I saw a documentary about skid row, and the literal blind eye that had been turned on it. Anything could happen, anyone could go missing. And sadly, no one was looking for them. Add in the fact that poverty often cuts deep into the very real problems many members of the LGBTQ+ face, and I felt I had something I NEEDED to say. I was both angry and inspired. I knew it was time for the long belated werewolf movie.

And so, my lifelong passion project of werewolves and lesbians now lives and breathes, and dare I say, even roars. It wears its representation on its sleeve, it says the things I want it say, often LOUDLY, and it still runs the camera through the ringer. All that in a wash of late 80’s and early 90’s horror cinema grain and street grit that harkens back to the kinds of films that so deeply affected me in those formative years. From American Werewolf to Evil Dead, to being a trans woman with something to say, it’s all in there and wrapped in a bloody holiday bow. I hope you’ll enjoy unwrapping it because The Beast of Walton St. is something I’ve waited to give you all for a very long time. To me it’s been magic.

Stay hairy and scary,
Dusty Austen