Power windows, anti-lock brakes, 40 miles per gallon, no gas...
On the set of "Blood Car"
Staff Writer/Public Relations
It's cold and grey today, December 17, 2005. We are in a deserted open-air flea market, in Austell, Georgia, the putative location for Fake Wood Wallpaper's latest production.
We know the shoot is supposed to be happening, but are we in the right place? Where is everyone? The sign says Bill's Flea Market...we are in the right place.
|(L-R) Adam Pinney, Mike Brune and Alex Orr in a scene from Blood Car. (photo: FWW)|
The wind howls through the empty stalls. It's eerie and surreal and feels like a horror film location, even if the crew has, by all appearances, gone for the day. Then we hear a blood curdling, overly dramatic scream. Yep, this is it all right.
Following the sound of the shriek we arrive at the back end of the flea market and witness the shoestring crew making pyro-technical effects as the young, scantily clad blood-soaked female heroine Lorraine (played by Anna Chumsky), immolates in a scene of mock-terror.
We are witnessing one of the ending scenes to Fake Wood Wallpaper's new feature-length film Blood Car, a mock-horror/comedy about a car that is fueled by human blood. The film is set, according to the press kit, "in the near future when gas prices are at an astronomical high. No one drives cars, flies planes, or mows their lawns anymore. One man, determined to build a wheat germ powered engine, accidentally stumbles upon an alternate fuel source. That alternate fuel source is blood...human blood!"
Blood Car's director Alex Orr, who does all the talking, and lead actor, Mike Brune, who plays the "hero" Archie, were on set to fill us in.
CinemATL: This is your first feature right?
CinemATL: How's that been different from a short film?
AO: Lets see...A lot more production/pre-production
CinemATL: So this film is really tongue-in-cheek; I mean its horror but it's also tongue in cheek?
AO: Its really not horror, there's really nothing "horrific" at all really...a little at the end, but its really humor, and our little political commentary. Mainly there's a bunch of laughs and then there's the little political commentary
CinemATL: And that is?
|Adam Pinney shoots a scene featuring Alex Orr and Mike Brune. (photo: FWW)|
AO: The whole anti-war/blood for oil.
CinemATL: So you just made that literal?
AO: Yeah, as literal as possible.
CinemATL: So we were just talking about short film vs. feature film?
AO: Yeah, on a short film you can just prep yourself to death, take care of everything with just a couple of people for just a one or two day shoot. It's a little tougher for a feature, you need a lot of help, a lot of focus. Yeah, and a feature on a 12 day shoot, that's pretty tough
CinemATL: And your budget, that's from?
AO: It's everybody pretty much—it's actors and crew people; my brother, parents, and all over. I think almost everyone that's out here is helping us put up some money
CinemATL: Do you know how much it has cost you—do you have a number?
AO: Our budget right now is around 14 grand.
CinemATL: Where are going to try to market the film?
AO: Not really anywhere specific. We'll try and do the normal festival routes and see if it gets picked up or not. Horror comedy is not really a film festival favorite. A couple of festivals and whoever will take us and then we'll just line up the buyers. We'll probably just end up following dragon cons around. But the thing is, it's not really horror—at the beginning I thought it was more horror than it actually is. We fail on the horror aspect.
CinemATL: On purpose?
AO: Yeah well, we don't really try—it's just blood, its just grind house...just turn up the blood. Day 4 or 5 that became our motto: "Turn up the blood."
CinemATL: When I read your synopsis, I kept thinking of the films Omega Man or Soylent Green. Did you think about those films at all?
AO: No, not really. There's a Roger Corman movie, called Bucket of Blood, where this guy wants to be an artist, and he kills people and just covers them in clay and people think he's this great artist...that movie is awful by the way, don't watch it, but the premise is pretty good. [In our movie] it's kind of like (Archie) wants the affection from Denise and the car gets it for him and so he's got to kill to keep it going. So a Roger Corman premise is at the core. We were riding around in the car and said, "What's in the papers? What can we do cheap? Blood Car!"
CinemATL: So who are your influences?
AO: Big Trouble In Little China, that's definitely a good one, and you know there's a lot of Coen brothers silliness that's in a lot of our dialogue comedy, there's a lot of very cartoony aspects. Our production designer, Robert Paraguasu, is also an illustrator, so all of his sets are really cartoony, which is a really bizarre combination. We really don't ever do this kind of cartoony stuff. We usually don't do production design, so this is a new thing for us. We watched a lot of car movies—you know "blood, car," you kind of have to shoot a lot of scenes with a car. So we were trying to come up with some new ways to shoot some scenes with people in cars and then we realized we don't have any money, so we came up with about two different ways to shoot. We put the car on the back of a trailer and we'd shoot out the windows, so inside the car or outside the car...
CinemATL: How did the film's concept come about?
AO: I'm a big Sam Fuller fan and we were just talking about stuff we could rip out of the headlines and we'd been talking about doing a horror movie for a long time and we'd keep seeing these really awful horror movies. You go to Blockbuster and it's the genre that been excused—you know it's just "boobs and blood" and it's not even the right exposures, or good sound. And these films get in the video stores. And we thought let's make a feature that somebody will get to see. And with the really, really limited resources that we had, a horror [film] seemed the way to go, and we just hopped on the back of the little gas business. So yeah it was pretty much out of frustration. We wanted to make a movie and we heard another movie sold and we jumped up and down and cussed.
Then I went into the hospital, so I had time to write it; I think Adam actually wrote the first 30 pages and came up with an outline. And we got a deal on a lot of our stuff, because of the time of year it is. There's not a whole lot of production right at Christmas, so we broke with this in September and ran as fast as we could to get with it.
CinemATL: And this location out here, how did you come about choosing this?
AO: I grew up here—this is my Dad's flea market
CinemATL: You're kidding...
AO: Naw, it's Bill's Flea Market. I'm Bill, Jr. This is Bill's flea market and we're about to go to Bill's house.
Lisa Ward is a video artist living, working and teaching video in Atlanta, Georgia.