A former Angus provost has launched a stinging attack on the makers of a horror film said to be “influenced” by the brutal murder of a Brechin woman.
Speaking after Graders “re-emerged” and went “on demand” in America, Ruth Leslie-Melville said it was disappointing that Jolanta Bledaite’s horrific slaying in 2008 was still being used “as a money spinner”.
David Hutchison’s Graders was originally released to criticism from the Angus community in 2012 and tells the story of a woman’s search for her sister who has gone missing while working in a fish factory in the Scottish Highlands.
The movie has re-emerged and is now available on Vimeo On Demand where users can rent or buy movies and it will shortly be available again on Amazon.
Mrs Leslie-Melville said: “What a very sad reflection on human nature that this director should want to resurrect this shameful story.
“It is vile that the tragedy of Jolanta should be turned into a spectacle to be ogled by sick people.
“The callousness of trying to make money out of the tragic death of that blameless lassie, Jolanta, horrifies me.
“Jolanta did not deserve to be tortured and mutilated.
“It was a tragedy for the lassie’s grandmother and appalling for the Brechin community.
“I am incredibly disappointed to learn that Jolanta’s appalling death should be used as a money spinner by someone who, in my opinion, is a heartless and greedy sensationalist.”
Mr Hutchison previously told how he recalled the murders of Jolanta Bledaite and serial killer Peter Tobin’s Polish victim Angelika Kluk while writing the screenplay.
Jolanta’s head and hands were found on the seafront at Arbroath in 2008, days after the farm worker had been suffocated and dismembered by fellow Lithuanians Vitas Plytnykas and Aleksandras Skirda in her Brechin flat.
Miss Kluk, 23, a student from Skoczow near Krakow, was murdered and buried under the floorboards of a Catholic chapel in 2006 by serial killer Peter Tobin.
She was living at St Patrick’s church in central Glasgow and knew her killer as Pat McLaughlin, a genial handyman who helped out around the church.
Tobin was arrested in London under a fake name after Strathclyde police made a public appeal.
Scenes for Graders were shot in Lochinver, Kinlochbervie, Buckie and Edinburgh.
The cast features Slumdog Millionaire star Janet de Vigne, and the micro-budget film’s writer and director, David Hutchison, graduated from Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art in Dundee.
Responding to Mrs Leslie-Melville’s criticism, Mr Hutchison told The Courier: “Graders is a work of fiction.
“Names, characters, businesses, places, events and incidents are either the products of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner.
“Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.”
He added that the film “has moved to a new distributor”.