Dead Hearts

A young mortician learns that not even death can stand in the way of true love.

A whimsical, gothic bedtime story filled with love, loss, taxidermy, kung fu and biker werewolves.

Creative team

Writer/director: Stephen W. Martin
Producers: Alex Glua, Stephen W. Martin

Filmmaker’s statement

Dead Hearts was written as a love letter to my now wife, Lola. To tackle the story I wanted to include elements from our favorite genres (kung-fu, 2D animation, gore, [all] wrapped in a love story). Needless to say it was difficult crafting a narrative to include all of [these elements] but after a few drafts I got it to work.

I am a strong believer in grounding genre filmmaking into universal themes that a wide audience can relate to and, in my case so far, that often falls in the ‘love and loneliness’ category.

I believe by having this underlying theme present within our characters and in the tone of the film, our audience can further relate to our characters and this strengthens the comedy, horror or even kung fu gore that we throw at them … well, at least this is what I’m trying to achieve.

Ultimately, my favourite horror films all do this in some way: The Thing, Nightmare on Elm Street, Halloween and, more recently, It Follows.

About Stephen W. Martin

Stephen W. Martin

Stephen W. Martin is an award-winning writer and director based in Los Angeles.

His short film Dead Hearts has screened at over 150 film festivals and has been awarded best short at over 40 film festivals including ScreamFest LA, New York Horror. It was Oscar-qualified for the 2015 Academy Awards by winning the St. Louis International Film Festival.

Stephen is also the children’s author of Robot Smash (Owlkids, 2015) and a co-author of Pop Manga with renowned manga artist Camilla D’Errico (Random House, 2013). His newest picture book, Charlotte and the Rock, will debut this year (Random House, 2017).

Currently he works as a freelance screenwriter and is preparing for his feature horror debut.

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