Thursday, September 29, 2011

The Road Killer by Jon Craig

Article by Jon Craig (co-writer and co-director of The Road Killer).

The Road Killer is not a family-friendly Disney film. It's about a serial killer who would probably enjoy running over a family who just watched a Disney movie.  Lieutenant Henry Meyers is the one in charge of finding the killer.  His sanity slowly breaks down as the police effort to find and stop the mysterious killer becomes increasingly futile. A group of a college kids find themselves increasingly targeted, and the rest of the town is also terrorized by this vehicular madman. The situation grows more dire and dim as the week carries on. With no clues and no lead, Meyers pushes himself to the edge trying to solve a case that grows more and more personal each day. With time running out, a madman on the loose, and an entire town at risk, The Road Killer promises to be a heat-pounding thriller that'll keep you guessing until the end.  After all the terror that takes place within a few days, the killer just thinks "It's a nice day for a Sunday drive."

When I watch films, I always have a different feeling after the movie ends.  When I watch brainless films like the recent Captain America, I felt a bit underwhelmed.  When I watch a Gaspar Noe or David Fincher film, I feel impacted by the whole experience.  Great visual fx and typical formula story telling certainly can be enjoyable, but I don't think that most big blockbusters have any impact on you, and that's what I really want to do as a film maker.  I think that when you’re afraid to be alone after watching a movie, laughing your ass off just thinking back to one of the film's scenes or analyzing the plot to find the true meaning, the film maker has done a good job of impacting you.

Movies are very sexual; they look nice and make you feel good.  They can be horrifying and gross at times too, and that's when you look away or close your eyes and just deal with it.  When there's no element of sexuality, or it is so subdued that you want to fall asleep, you end up with your Captain Americas and slasher re-makes, which are very non-sexual experiences.

Perhaps some appreciate the classiness of the 40s, but there's no realism in a war being fought with lasers and no blood.  I think there is always a connection between the viewer and the film, and the level of intensity of that connection can define the overall impact it has.  Whether a horror movie has 2 deaths, or 200 deaths, the connection that you have with those characters is what makes it scary or hard to watch.  The character and plot development usually determines that connection, and that's something that’s missing from a lot of modern horror movies (especially the slasher re-makes) …and that's also something I hope to change.

Of course, movies are about entertainment too, and the silly and absurd grindhouse flicks like Machete and the original Death Race do have a very big place in my heart.  There are all different ways to make films that people will enjoy, and there are also ways to take various aspects of extremely different types of films and combine them into a new medium.  This is something that, in my opinion, Tarentino does very well.

The movies I make are not Hollywood blockbuster formula films.  With my movies, I really hope to give people an enjoyable experience, but I also hope that they will viscerally impact people, give them a personal connection to the film that will haunt them for years and make them think.  Since I'm producing and directing The Road Killer, I really have full artistic control and no 3rd parties can corrupt my vision, which really excites me.  There are way too many potentially awesome movies end up being mediocre because they are made only to make money.  I hope my movie will open people's eyes and start a big independent film movement that will eventually rival Hollywood.

Those interested in finding out more about this extremely ambitious project can follow this link:

A final word to the wise: look both ways before you cross the road…

The Road Killer is helmed by co-writers and co-directors Chris Ryves and Jon Craig, and stars, among others, Jack Holtz, Michael Belveduto and Maria Olsen (Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief).

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