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Waking Nightmare - The Near-Death Inspiration For The New Horror Film 12 Kilometers

A few weeks into 2014, Director Mike Pecci found himself face-to-face with death sending him spiraling into two months of chemical-fueled recovery time, he came back with something, something evil.

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Few life events hold the potential to destroy the delicate glass ceiling of our minds. When face-to-face with these challenges, we either break or grow into something altogether different. These challenges are initiations of sorts, extending the opportunity to garner strength from the dark or become consumed by it.

A few weeks into 2014, Director Mike Pecci found himself face-to-face with one of these challenges; after slipping and crashing head-first into some ice, cracking his skull and sending him spiraling into two months of chemical-fueled recovery time, he came back with something…something that had been lurking there, all along, just waiting for the fissure through which to emerge.


He documented the emergence of this "something" on Facebook in extensive blogs, describing his road to recovery in minute detail, including his tripped-out journey with a variety of trial-and-error painkillers.

The pain and medicine- induced dreams have been a trip that, believe it or not, helped me creatively. In the beginning I was afraid to go to sleep, afraid that I wouldn't wake up. But I did, and everyday I do.

These lucid trips opened the door for a visitor to pass through, one that was just waiting for Pecci's typically regimented guard to come crumbling down.

As the sickness sunk in, I slipped into a painful subconscious. Then a man walked into my room. He looked like a car salesman and he grabbed my hand. Told me that I wasn't in pain. But I was still very much so. I called him a liar and he yanked my subconscious from my body. As I stood there, dizzy and looking at myself in bed, I panicked. I told the man that he was lying to me, that I was still hurting and I wanted to feel what was really happening to me. I then woke up throwing up.

When we pass from one consciousness to another, bones become dislodged. Our skeletons purge their dark matter along with our psyches, resulting in a lifetime of bile and bilge spilling profusely from our shells. We transform - all parts of us, shedding the refuse that no longer serves us. But when this refuse exits, it makes its presence known.


The presence that spilled from Pecci manifested in the form of an oily black substance; a substance that carried with it the seeds of ancient atrocities. We all carry these seeds, some of us for a life time. But some of us are given the opportunity to expunge these seeds, and in the expunging, the choice to nurture and grow them or deny them…and suffer the consequences.

Pecci chose to nurture them. Not only nurture, but coddle, cradle and birth this oily residue - this creature - into life. He gave it a story, which is the most powerful gift that can ever be given. Now, it's growing, stretching, testing the subconscious waters of life in the external terra cotta…

…in our world. 12 Kilometers is its playground, a Russian drill team its playmates. Only this black substance - this creature - has its own idea of what "play" means. It just wants to share, right? Share the friends it made in the darkness of the most desolate corridors of Mike Pecci's mind. Share its loneliness, its demons…demons buried beneath Pecci's demons.


Pain. This is what this creature brings - the kind of pain that ravages men from the inside out. The kind of pain that's simmering just beneath the surface. The pain that we all carry, pushing down further day after day. Lying to ourselves, day after day, that it exists at all. Because it does, and those of us who choose to embrace this pain and turn it into something bigger are the ones who make it out of this 12 Kilometer hellhole alive.

If some car salesman shows up and sells you a crock about your life being good and you trust him, you need help. Don't avoid the pain. It means your alive.

Help breathe life into Pecci's fledgling seeds…check out the 12 Kilometers Kickstarter page, which includes incentives offering original art work from the likes of Ben Templesmith (30 Days of Night) and Orlando Baez, as well as your very own sampling of the creature that inspired the film…

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