Murder Ballad

As an abused wife tends to the post-robbery wounds of her criminal ex-husband, they are visited by a mysterious — and malevolent — preacher.

Director’s Statement

For some time, I believed the narrative structure of the murder ballad lent itself to cinematic storytelling. I thought, what if I wrote a story that unfolded like a murder ballad? I’d have the downtrodden, put-upon characters, the crime of passion and revenge, and the retribution.

The trick then was to weave spiritual, supernatural, and musical elements into the narrative. That’s where Deacon Ankou came into being. A cosmic villain, he serves the dual purposes of otherworldly antagonist and bringer of death and destiny. And he sings a mean tune.

To me, this is a story about two things: the inevitability of death and the darkness of the human heart. Lucinda and Burgess are a tragic couple trapped together, desperately trying to escape their fate. But even if we played this scenario out a hundred times, the outcome will always be the same: malevolence, murder, and death.

And that’s how Murder Ballad was born.