Fan Film, Fan Films

Star Wars Fan Film Director Arrested for Murder

Mark Twitchell

Mark Twitchell

Canadian fan filmmaker Mark Andrew Twitchell, 29, was arrested on Halloween in Edmonton, Alberta, accused of murdering a man in an effort to live out the plot of his latest movie.

Twitchell recently shot a horror film in his garage, according to Detective Mark Anstey, who told CTV Edmonton, “The movie was about luring a male from a dating internet site and basically killing the male in the garage and chopping up the body parts and getting rid of the body.”

That may be what happened to Johnny Brian Altinger, 38, who was reportedly drawn on October 10 to a garage at 5712 40th Ave. where Twitchell produced movies. Altinger has not been seen since; while a body has not been found, police believe they have enough forensic evidence to charge Twitchell with first degree murder.

Johnny Brian Altinger

Johnny Brian Altinger

Altinger told friends that he was going out to meet a girl he’d met online; police say that he and Twitchell did not know each other. Altinger’s friends reported him missing October 16. On October 3, a couple claimed they witnessed an attack near the same garage, where an unknown 5’10″ man was attacked by someone in a painted hockey mask but managed to escape in a Ford Ranger. A hockey mask fitting the description of the one worn by the October 3 assailant was found in Twitchell’s home.

Twitchell, who compared himself to the fictional serial killer “Dexter Morgan” on , regularly posted on TheForce.Net’s Fan Films, Fan Audio & Scifi 3D Forum as “Achilles_of_Edmonton,” and made his name in fan film circles a few years ago with an on-going project, Star Wars: Secrets of the Rebellion. He claimed the fan film was a $60,000 production that included a cameo by Star Wars actor Jeremy Bulloch, who portrayed Boba Fett in The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi. The fan film was apparently never completed, although it was covered in local media, including an article in the Edmonton Sun and profile on City TV, as well as a news piece on TheForce.Net.

Twitchell on the set of Star Wars: Secrets of the Rebellion

More recently, Twitchell wrote a comedy, Day Players, which he claimed was going into production this fall as a $3 million indie film for which he hoped to cast Alec Baldwin, Jeff Goldblum and Kevin Smith. According to , he was looking to “kill some time” until that production began by making a film called House of Cards, which is likely the same film Det. Anstey referred to.

Twitchell’s films were created under the banner of Xpress Entertainment, and Twitchell used the name “xpressdirector” on and other sites. As spotted by the blog Deadmonton, someone from St. Albert, Alberta, Canada with the same screen name purchased a Stun Master Telescopic Stun Baton in late August on

Homicide detectives returned to the garage Saturday morning with Twitchell in tow in an effort to learn the whereabouts of Altinger’s remains. The suspect is expected to appear in court today, Monday, November 3.

Follow-Up Stories:
Fan Film Murder Suspect Hits Court Wednesday (Nov. 4, 2008)
More On Mark Twitchell Fan Film Murder Case (Nov. 11, 2008)
Fan Film Murder Suspect Mark Twitchell’s House of Cards Footage Released (Dec. 3, 2008)

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