Thursday, January 15, 2009
Alright, there is a little background to cover with this one. Please hang in there. I promise it will be worth it.
A few years ago I worked at an art supply store in Boulder, Colorado. One of our favorite pastimes at the store was to write our "Top Ten " or Top Five" lists. Yeah, we had all seen High Fidelity and we happened to be like minded individuals. I was the second oldest, next to a forty-something intellectual who happened to be a walking encyclopedia of punk rock and horror film knowledge. Needless to say, conversations were interesting, heated and this may have been one of the best moments of my life working in this environment.
ANYWAY...one day this guy walks in and buys some kinda crap on my day off. While the forty year old future version of myself is ringing him up, this guy is very amused by all of our top tens which at this point we had placed under Plexiglas at the register. He looks over our "top ten Zombie films" and speaks up, " I just worked on/produced a Zombie movie. I'll give you a copy if you want to see it"
Who this man was I can't tell you. Like I said, it was my day off. But the next week was my birthday, and this film was what my coworkers gave me, not escaping my attention that it was free.
This film was "The Stink of Flesh" and was by far the best birthday present I have ever received.
Now I am not one that needs to be converted to the "Zombie Film" genre. In fact, you're speaking to the choir. So if you're not one for this sort of thing, this film is not about converting you. But if you are already there, do yourself the favor. One thing, NEVER addressed in any apocalyptic setting is the fact that we can't control who lives and who dies. Sometimes the people making do with what they have are not the stereotypical versions we have been spoon fed for the past few decades of film making. In fact, sometimes they are far from what we could ever expect. But, that's just the way it is. And these fringe characters can be even more interesting than those films that show cardboard images of what we know and are comfortable with. Oddly enough, that fact is half the entertainment of this film.
The writer/director, Scott Phillips, found a really good "IN" for this script. A starting point that most who consider themselves writers never would have come up with. I find myself wanting to quote instances from the film but I am terrified of giving ANYTHING away. What has to be brought to your attention is the fact that he made this movie for nothing. Last I heard, "Clerks" cost a total of 25,000 with a lot of maxed out credit cards at the end of filming. That is a micro budget. "The Stink of Flesh" can only be called a Nano-budget by comparison. I have heard between 2-3 thousand. We throw the word genius around a lot in film making, but even Woody Allen gets tens of millions to shoot celluloid these days. Who the hell makes a GOOD movie for a few grand? Well, Scott Phillips does.
Currently Scott has a few more projects in the works, a mini series comic that Tim Seeley from "Hack/Slash" is illustrating and a short story comic illustrated by Andy Khun. He also happens to be one of the staff writters for Kamen Rider Dragon Knight airing Saturdays on the CW network. I believe the next two episodes specifically are writen by Scott. I am also terriby excited that his new film "Gimme Skelter" has become available and in a short time I will have a copy to review. Stay tuned to this guy. Be happy these sort of filmmakers exist, and be a bit sad there aren't more of them.
Click on the image above to order a copy of The Stink of Flesh
Monday, January 12, 2009
I received word recently that Robert Heske has outdone himself and his comic book "The Night Projectionist" published by Studio 407 and illustrated by Diego Yapur has been picked up by Myriad pictures for film rights.
For all of you independents out there this is great news. It proves to you that hard work does indeed pay off and to keep your nose to the grindstone. No stopping, no giving in. It may take a year, it may take a decade. Less whining, more working.
One thing I would I would like to point out beyond the obviously accomplished writing is the ultra professional artwork, worthy of being emulated by whomever gets the directors chair. His work has created a detailed , scratchy world where imperfections blend into highly representational line work Visually, the concept art for the film would do well to start there.
As far as Heske is concerned, I don't think there's any stopping this guy. In five years I am betting there will be a new film studio or some such entity with the name HESKE emblazoned on the top of a skyscraper. To pick up more of his comics go to coldblooded chillers.com and view one of his recent creations. Do it now because once this movie is out these books are going to sell out quickly.