Director Thor Slaughter (left) and actor David Mort (right) on the set of Craigslist Exorcist. Photo by Daniel Martinez.

The Vision Behind CowDog Productions

Local film director and writer plans to cast and shoot for his new science fiction thriller, Continuation

Eugene has long provided a space for community-based creativity that in recent years has led to an increase of art production, especially in local filmmaking.

Known for his mixology skills at Akira Omakase sushi restaurant, Slaughter decided just over two and a half years ago that he wanted to do more than be the best bartender in town. It was then that Slaughter texted his girlfriend Laura Walter, “I’m going to make a short film.”

Organizations such as the Eugene Film Society and Lane County Film Studios have held events providing local filmmakers with opportunities to collaborate. Slaughter is one of those filmmakers. He has produced four short films in the last two years, with plans to shoot his fifth this year., “I wanted to have done this thing that I loved before I turned 30,” he says.

Slaughter has been a movie connoisseur ever since he was a kid. Growing up, he recalls when his dad would wake him up in the middle of a school night just to watch a certain scene or listen to a movie’s dialogue.

In fact, movie-loving runs deep in Slaughter’s family’s origin, as he tells Eugene Weekly his parents met in Venice Beach and were extras on the set of the first Rocky film.

Slaughter, now 32, is committed to producing film projects that involve interested local creatives. “People need to know how many of us there are that make movies in our towns,” he says. “There are 300 people in this town that, if they just knew about a movie set, they would just come and help out.”

Slaughter does not shy away from his own inexperience and was quick to point out that it still didn’t deter him from producing his first short film, Master Lazer Finger, a horror-comedy about a strain of cannabis that gives the movie’s protagonist “real-life finger guns.”

The director says that because he shot most of the film on a phone, his audience (of mostly friends) was completely in on it, adding, “The joke is that this was made by your friend.” Slaughter also takes inspiration from directors like Sean Baker, who shot the 2015 award-winning movie Tangerine on an iPhone. 

Slaughter wrote the script for Master Lazer Finger, shot the entire movie and screened it at Metro Cinemas on May 22, 2022 — all in just 90 days.

“My skill is, I know what the movie looks like. I don’t make it; I represent what the film is supposed to be — the physical manifestation,” he says. “I can die tomorrow knowing there are a few moments across the creative works that I have done, where I have felt that.”

With a band of volunteers, his own friends and a close-knit cast, Slaughter plans to add to his catalog this year, with his newest endeavor — Continuation, a science fiction thriller that follows a self-obsessed American haunted by extraterrestrial visions.

Slaughter reached his initial goal to raise $5,150 for the film in one week and is planning to announce a second round of funding. He says, “Me and my homies thought, what if we got $10,000 and made a movie that looks like $25,000?” 

With no intention of slowing down his creative process, the director says, “No one’s gonna tell me, ‘No.’ No one can ever tell you can’t make art. They can not buy it. They can not support it. But they can’t stop you from making it. I’m not gonna wait. There’s no excuse. I’m not gonna wait around for someone to make my movie. I’m gonna make my movie.”To contribute or learn more about Continuation, go to