Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Premiere! Live-Evil

Live-Evil is a little horror comedy flick written and produced by Ari Kirschenbaum. I came into contact with the project after meeting Vladimir Kulich at the Pound of Flesh premiere back in May. We had coffee to do an interview and since then I'm proud to call the big guy from Czechoslovakia a friend. He starred as Sheriff Pete in the indie flick which is now playing at film festivals and conventions, mainly on the east coast. After picking up awards at the North Carolina Film Festival and Scare-A-Con, I figured it was time to get Live-Evil some west coast love. Since it's set at Halloween, Comikaze Expo seemed as good as any place to hold an exclusive screening. It would also be my first convention panel after producing and hosting a half dozen other nights through my Dammaged Goods Presents banner. Kirschenbaum was joined by cast members Kulich, Charlene Amoia, Vincent M. Ward, J. Richey Nash, Carter, Ed Ricker, Frank Saverino and Adam Flores.

Set on Halloween night in a sleepy college town, we meet Deputy Hancock (Amoia) as she takes out a wounded piece of almost roadkill. Things get weird when she investigates a mysterious call from a house in town where she finds dead bodies and a seemingly possessed naked woman. Back at the station isn't any quieter as a random traffic stop has netted Sheriff Pete (Kulich) custody of two of America's most wanted, Mr. Eleven (Ricker) and Twelve (Carter) with a trunk full of money and guns. The naked chick is brought in and brings evil with her, infecting near everyone with their worst fears. Visions of dead fathers, serial killers and more invade the usually calm crew and they set out to figure out what is going on. The two fugitives were retrieving some artifacts for a buyer that has unleashed the supernatural forces on "f*cking Halloween". From there we get zombies, machine guns, bazookas, exorcism chants, shotguns, licking whiskey off a table, shooting locals and much more. Kirschenbaum's script is funny while he gives it a stamp of his own as the film unfolds partially in black and white with visual flourishes of blood, eyes and floating evil stuff. There's plenty of laughs throughout as Deputy Eric (Nash) gets to play scared/dumb, the fugitives bicker and instigate and the college Dean tries to make sense of the situation. The cast all gel quite well and bounce off one another with Kulich getting to play angry, crazy and distraught while Amoia is the calming force among all of the chaos. Tony Todd shows up late in the game as a smoking and drinking preacher while the synth tinged score keeps things going in a John Carpenter way.

After the film I brought up our huge panel to talk the film:

- Kirschenbaum wanted to make a throw back film to the 80's like Return of the Living Dead, Night of the Creeps and George Romero's work.
- Nearly everyone made comment on liking the script.
- Long haired in the film, Ricker and Carter showed up with short cuts and weren't recognized by their co-stars. Had originally gone up for other roles.
- Richey had worked with Kirschenbaum on another film.
- Another actress was cast as Hancock but wasn't providing the physicality the director wanted. Amoia got the call, showed she could throw punches, was on a plane by the weekend and shooting Monday.
- Amoia loved being the central female characters in a cast of tall guys as it was never dull.
- Film was shot in Raleigh, North Carolina over several cold weeks, mostly at night.
- Kulich and Richey spent a lot of time tasting the local bourbon and barbecue.
- We're used to seeing Kulich as a bearded viking, this time he's a bearded Sheriff with a shotgun, Kulich was excited to play an American and turned him into a bit of a good ol' boy.
- Lots of guns in the movie but using each one meant the armorer had to painstakingly inspect and test each one for safety reasons which took up a lot of time.
- This was the first film for Adam Flores who had a great time and is thinking of giving acting a go.
- Cast all loved Kirschenbaum's script and would love to see him given a proper budget.

Of course more was discussed but I don't want to give away too much of the film. We handed out several prizes like signed posters and tee shirts with many a viewer sticking around to meet the panel and ask more questions. While it was Halloween night, it had been a long day and with my mission accomplished, it was time to go home. With a stop at McDonald's first... Check out the official Live-Evil website for all the latest news and I'll keep you updated on further screenings and distribution. Keep itching!

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