Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Those Who Deserve to Make Films

One of my greatest regrets about not being able to print the last issue of VIDEO WATCHDOG (184), which remains in-progress, is that it contained the concluding half of John-Paul Checkett's two-part essay on CARMILLA in the cinema. After John-Paul turned in his article, already quite lengthy, I happened to see Bret Wood's latest film THE UNWANTED on Netflix - and I immediately wrote to JP (as I call him) to tell him his article wasn't finished; there was something he needed to add, because Bret's film had turned out to be a contemporary treatment of J. Sheridan Le Fanu's classic 19th century novella. And when I read the extra pages JP turned in, I was gratified to read his assessment because THE UNWANTED became the capstone of the entire assignment.

In the eloquent words of Mr Checkett:

"It is a shame that Wood’s film has not been embraced by a larger audience, especially given that it is, without exaggeration, the best-acted adaptation of the novella ever committed to film. Although the three principal leads are all outstanding, Hannah Fierman’s performance as Laura merits special consideration, and should have served as the springboard for a bigger career. The film is entirely unique as the sole adaptation to present Carmilla in an unambiguously positive light, and the only one that is (quite arguably) completely devoid of supernatural content. Although the film depicts both bloodletting and blood drinking, neither are necessarily indicative of supernatural vampirism, reflecting instead the sexual dynamics explored in Theodore Sturgeon’s SOME OF YOUR BLOOD. Perhaps even more remarkably, the two female leads never acquiesce to the demands of male fantasy, and their love story is as beautiful as it is tragic."

Simply put, Bret Wood (PSYCHOPATHIA SEXUALIS, THE LITTLE DEATH) is one of the most important independent filmmakers specializing in dark subjects working today. He's trying to complete his current work-in-progress, THOSE WHO DESERVE TO DIE and is trying to raise essential completion funds at Kickstarter. If you've read this far, please read the following promotional text, visit the links, and consider making a contribution to what has every hope of becoming another outstanding film.

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The director of the 2014 alterna-vampire film THE UNWANTED is midway through production of a new feature, a brutal revenge film entitled THOSE WHO DESERVE TO DIE.

Joe Sykes (V/H/S) stars as a veteran who returns to his hometown and, guided by the malevolent spirit of his dead sister (newcomer Alice Lewis) carries out a cruel vengeance upon those who destroyed his family. Flavored with a dark and distinctive visual style reminiscent of 1960s gialli, THOSE WHO DESERVE TO DIE continues the exploration of violence and perverse eroticism for which Wood has become known. The film is being produced by Adam K. Thompson, with special makeup effects by Shane Morton (TV’s YOUR PRETTY FACE IS GOING TO HELL and the biker shocker DEAR GOD NO!).

Teaser Trailer A:

The Atlanta-based crew expects to complete production in late Spring 2017, and is in the midst of a Kickstarter campaign to raise the funds to complete principal photography (ends February 25). While visiting their campaign page, be sure to explore the behind-the-scenes videos, photos, and giveaway items.

Kickstarter Link:

Alice Lewis in custody, in TWDTD.

One of the most fascinating stories within the production is that of 12-year-old horror-obsessed actress Alice Lewis, who has used photography and cosplay to redefine herself after being adopted at age seven. To celebrate Alice’s inspirational story, the filmmakers crafted this brief profile piece:

Main text (c) 2017 by Tim Lucas. All rights reserved.

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