Friday, April 22, 2011

Locals making short, bloody small screen debut

Oh, bloody hell, there they are again. Not in the lobby or in the shadows of a darkened theater, where you usually find them, but on the small screen, in a gory, gross-out horror flick. At least they will be next week. Granted, you don’t want to close your eyes during the feature presentation, even though you desperately want to close your bloody eyes, because, if you do, you could very well miss them. The actors, not your eyes. “I'm little more than a dot in a large, dark mob of hungry, hopping — yep, Chinese vampires hop — vampires with glowing red eyes," says the guy we usually call Port playwright Ron Pullins because we love alliteration. His wife and sometimes-writing partner, Leslie Powell, fares a little better, at least from a performance point of view. She plays a little old lady who is sweeping her doorstep and then, a couple of minutes later, all that remains of her is, um, entrails that are unceremoniously tossed out the door.  But at least she gets a speaking role, albeit brief.  She says "Hi, dear" to Frank, an assassin and the unfortunate fellow who tangles with the vampire, while she is sweeping the stairs. We get a second peek at her a little later in the film, in a montage, she flashes on the Powell and, um, her guts, "because sadly I've been eaten by the Vampire," she says. "Yes these guys eat you, blood isn't enough for them.") The film which will premier at 8 p.m. April 30 on what used to be WNDS. Remember the slogan? The winds of New England. Now it’s called MYTV. Used to be Channel 50, we're not sure what Comcast, that evil corporate giant, calls it. 

The film was written and directed by Rob Fitz, a former Amesbury resident and a guy who, according to his own biography, has had a disturbing fascination with horror movies ever since he watched George A. Romero’s “Dawn of the Dead” on his eleventh birthday. He started making films that grossed out his peers while attending the School of Visual Arts in New York. He lives in Derry, has an FX shop full of bodies and body parts and likes to gamble, shoot guns, listen to meta and hit on women way out of his league — again, according to his bio. Pullins and Powell met Fitz several years ago as participants in a writing group at Northern Essex Community College.

This is not a film for the weak of heart. Or for actors who fear getting typecast, because it's bloody hell: The vengeful Chinese vampire Kiang-Shi has his eyes on Frank, and not in a good way. He vows that he will inflict so much pain on the guy that he will beg for death. Frank is condemned to helplessly watch the horrific and merciless deaths of everyone he loves, knows, and merely even encounters. It only gets worse when he is forced to murder the only person he truly loves —  his own brother. With he help of a Chinese herbalist, fluent in the ancient ways, and an unlikely team of vampire hunters, Frank strikes out in a final battle against Kiang-Shi and his minions of the dark. 

The film, says Powell, "is full of blood, but also good acting, writing, FX and unexpected humor — just what a cult classics demands."

“It is not exactly my cup of tea,” says Pullins, “but our grandson thinks we are way cool.” 

So, fix yourself a bucket of blood ... I mean, a bucket of popcorn and cozy up to this heartwarming tale about the dark side of Chinese culture. 

You can watch the trailer here.

1 comment:

  1. This story has been updated to include comments by Leslie Powell.