Gore blimey! Sunderland mum stars in horror movie

Jilly O'Donnell from Fog Island
Jilly O'Donnell from Fog Island
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FILM buffs can see a supermum star in a horror movie.

Fog Island, shot in Sunderland, has now been released on DVD online.

The low budget film, made by brothers Craig and Gary Rutherford, was previewed at a screening in October to raise money for Brain Tumour UK.

Jilly O’Donnell took a lead role in Fog Island – a homage to the Hammer Horror flicks – filmed at locations including Sunderland Marina, Grange Town and Seaburn beach.

The 36-year-old instructor plays Nikki Frost, station-master at a newly opened radio station that becomes terrorised by a mysterious ghostly figure.

Jilly, a novice actor, said filming the comedy horror gave her the acting bug.

“I absolutely loved it,” said the Chester-le-Street mum-of-three. “I like to step outside of my comfort zone and challenge myself.”

The boot camp instructor performed her own stunts in the spooky flick.

“I had to jump down stairs, and at one point jump up onto some shelves and hide. I did all my own fight scenes as well.

“There was one time when someone was supposed to be hitting me and we couldn’t get it right.

“I was thinking ‘just hit me,’ because I had to wash all the blood and things off me, and leave in 10 minutes to pick my kids up from school.”

Jilly, and the rest of the cast and crew, gave up their time for free for more than one month to film Fog Island.

Craig, 40, and Gary, 38, the producer, had no budget to make the film, which they made to honour dad Rob, who died of a brain tumour 10-years-ago.

“A good friend put me in touch with Craig and Gary so I could get involved with the film,” said Jilly. “Now I’ve made friends with them for life. Everyone worked so hard. We all bonded really well, and came away with cuts and bruises.

“They’ve now asked me to be in another film that they are shooting in December.”

Sixteen-year-old Sharnie Williams, a finalist for Miss Sunderland 2013, and 81-year-old stage actress Thelma Miller, who is mother to Brookside and Family Affairs actress Annie Miles, also star in Fog Island.

Jilly, who is single, said: “Although I would love to make a living from acting, just to see how proud my children were of me when they saw the film was fantastic. They showed their friends the DVD and asked if they could be in the next one.”

To buy the DVD, visit www.fogisland-the-movie.co.uk.