Reviewer: Andrew Pragasam (date unknown)
Director: Joe Bauer
Stars: Rita Artmann, Joe Bauer, Dryden Bingham, Daniel Bradford, Andrew O’Sullivan, Jess Thomas-Hall, Mark Theodossiou, Laura Jane Turner, Carmel Savage, Meisha Lowe, Johancee Theron, Cameron Sowden, Michael Gerard Bauer
Genre: Horror, Comedy
Rating: 6 (from 1 vote)
Review: Keen photographer Warren (Dryden Bingham), his would-be girlfriend Lucy (Laura Jane Turner) and their hopelessly dumb, guitar-strumming pal Gus (Joe Bauer) are among eleven, not especially enthusiastic recruits on a weekend-long work retreat at the ominously-named Camp Yurulgundie (get it?), somewhere in the wilderness near Queensland, Australia. A randy Gus has his attention diverted by sultry, mysterious late arrival Emily (Rita Artmann) while Warren and Lucy struggle to cope with the wheelchair bound but unbearably obnoxious Dickman (Daniel Bradford). Snooty Hannah (Carmel Savage) balks at sharing a room with death-obsessed goth Madison (Johancee Theron), perky, put-upon Krystal (Meisha Lowe) tries her utmost to entice her boorish bodybuilder boyfriend Jock (Andrew O’Sullivan) who has another admirer in the flagrantly camp Dimitri (Jess Thomas-Hall) while all taciturn stoner Andre (Cameron Sowden) wants is to find a quiet place to smoke his bong. Faced with the impossible task of trying to manage this unruly lot, dorky camp instructor Patrick (Mark Theodossiou) maintains their only worry are low-flying parakeets but soon has his nerves rattled by an anonymous note that reads: “I am going to kill each and every one of you. Very creatively.” Sure enough, one of the group turns out to be a homicidal maniac who starts dispatching the campers in creatively grisly ways. Not that this keeps Gus from trying to score with Emily.
When it comes to combining horror with humour, Australian filmmakers seem more capable than most, a tradition upheld in this endearing low-budget slasher spoof. Writer-director-star Joe Bauer and producer-star Rita Artmann skewer the kitsch clichés of an often cheesy sub-genre with infectious glee and an obvious love. Juggling multiple roles behind the camera, the duo have assembled an eye-catching indie venture more inventive and watchable than many more serious slasher films. If The Killage falls short of say, the early gore comedies of Peter Jackson that managed to invest a disarming layer of genuine emotion into their splatter-stick antics, Bauer’s snappy script still deftly mixes goofy laughs with smarter satire. The central conceit that work retreats send people round the bend by forcing them into extreme situations (towards the end the killer remarks: “I’m not evil. I’m just ambitious to a frightening degree!”) is an amusing and well-thought out idea that recalls the British horror comedy Severance (2006).
Although the near-constant profanity grows a bit tiresome, the gags are generally on-target and the tone somewhat closer to a more gruesome Carry On Camping (1969) than Sleepaway Camp (1983). Especially inspired is the dream within a dream within a dream sequence capped by a punchline at the expense of the haplessly horny Gus. The air of ridiculousness extends to the killings themselves with the first victim strangled in the shower with dental floss before being stabbed with an electric toothbrush. In a neat conceit each victim’s demise corresponds with their unique character traits. Amidst such silliness as unintentional shower necrophilia and severed heads that keep yapping away, Bauer and Artmann pull off a few genuine surprises. By killing off seemingly sympathetic characters and switching allegiances they manage to keep the viewer guessing as to who if anyone will survive? The Killage takes a wryly cynical look at how a crisis can unmask certain people for what they truly are. Warren initially seems like an obvious hero yet grows increasingly callous and cowardly while, in a funny twist on the cliché of the naked screaming bimbo, a traumatized Jock spends most of the film stark bollock naked. The fresh-faced cast of Aussie unknowns are entirely engaging (a crucial factor in this genre) with Artmann, Bingham and Turner etching especially memorable comic moments. Bauer himself steals a few scenes especially while performing his hilarious self-penned musical number: ‘Mental Jungle Killer.’
THE KILLAGE (2011)
Posted by Bat on October 27, 2015
The Killage (2011)
Directed by: Joe Bauer
Written by: Joe Bauer
Starring: Carmel Savage, Daniel Bradford, Dryden Bingham, Joe Bauer, Laura Jane Turner, Meisha Lowe, Rita Artmann
THE KILLAGE (2011)
Written and directed by Joe Bauer
A group of young employees are sent away for a nature break ‘team building’ vacation to get to know one another better and for the head of camp, Patrick, to choose a team leader for the company. Their woodland retreat goes sour when Patrick discovers an anonymous note threatening to kill everyone in the camp. Patrick and the youths quickly dismiss the sinister message as a prank that is until a masked killer appears on the scene making true to the promise in the note.
Australian horror comedy THE KILLAGE pokes fun at the horror genre as it runs away screaming with no pants on from a cloaked, totem-masked killer intent on spilling teen blood. The meat prime for the carving comes in the form of jock…err… Jock and his put-upon girlfriend Crystal (also known as Bam-Bam), photography enthusiast Warren, poker player Lucy, foul-mouthed wheelchair-bound Dickman and dizzy guitarist Gus, amongst others. After the first of them is killed, they must try to work together to survive the night but the killer doesn’t make it easy for them, using their surroundings and their precious belongings against them.
For horror fans, THE KILLAGE is more of a comedy than it is a slasher movie with the characters constantly bickering with each other and providing witty and daft content but when the killings do occur, they can be rather grisly and rival any modern slasher in terms of over the top brutality, so don’t be fooled by the humour that this isn’t an effective horror in the kills department. However, everywhere else the films lacks the tension and atmosphere that a good horror needs which leads to the film struggling to become anything but a comedy with horror elements.
Whilst I enjoyed THE KILLAGE for what it’s worth, there’s no doubt that the film is both too long in duration and underdeveloped in the character and plot department. The humour sometimes outstays its welcome as what was first amusing turns stale pretty quickly and whilst they’re still trying to run with the jokes, you hope that the masked killer is just round the corner to finish them off to save us the trouble. When those kills so arrive, they’re inventive and take on a clever relevance depending on the victim.
If you don’t mind a bit of light hearted horror fun and want something simple to enjoy on a Saturday night, then THE KILLAGE might just be up your street. Although it lacks the solid punch that other horror comedies and satires have provided in the past, it does have the odd highlight.
‘The Killage’ DVD Review
24th Oct 2015
by Phil Wheat
Stars: Rita Artmann, Joe Bauer, Dryden Bingham, Daniel Bradford, Andrew O’Sullivan, Jess Thomas-Hall, Mark Theodossiou, Laura Jane Turner, Carmel Savage, Meisha Lowe, Johancee Theron, Cameron Sowden | Written and Directed by Joe Bauer
At first glance you’d be forgiven for thinking The Killage is steaming pile of filmic horse shit, filled with some of the worst acting ever committed to celluloid. That is until you realise instead that the film in fact one of the greatest movie spoofs since the Leslie Nielsen classic, Airplane! I really should have guessed given the pun-tastic title…
Undoubtedly inspired by the outrageous cinematic stylings of Troma, The Killage follows a group of eleven recruits, composed entirely of excruciating social stereotypes, and one dorky camp instructor, who embark on a weekend-long work retreat in the quasi-wilderness of northern south-east Queensland. Of course this being in essence a slasher movie, the retreat doesn’t go as smoothly as planned – as one of the group turns out to be a homicidal maniac, intent on killing everyone in the most “creative” ways possible.
Like the parodies that have come before it, The Killage features a plot that sticks to every cliche and stereotype in the slasher movie handbook. So much so that, at first, you’ll be wondering if what you’re watching is a legitimately awful attempt to film a slasher movie, only on a budget of about 20p. That’s how on-point the script, from writer/director and co-star Joe Bauer, is. It takes a few minutes, and some hilarious interplay between the cast members, for the realisation that yes, this IS meant to be that badly scripted, that badly performed and so incredibly “awful”.
Fair enough, I do have a soft spot for horror movie spoofs. I’m a fan of ilms like Scary Movie, Shriek If You Know What I Did Last Friday the 13th and in particular the early-80s slasher parody Student Bodies, a film that shares a LOT in common with The Killage. Namely a total love for the very genre it takes the mickey out of, broad slaptick humour; and some fantastically outrageous and – in this films case – incredibly inventive death scenes.
Speaking of the deaths, for a parody Bauer and co. sure know how to make their characters deaths memorable and gory! Characters get flossed to death, a bong goes through the back of a head, throat cut by playing cards – not your usual slasher movie deaths I agree but nonetheless you’ll remember the special effects sequences long after the film has ended. And for the most part the deaths match the stereotypes, stoner dies by bong, the token jock is pummeled to death with a bar bell… you get the jist. It’s a credit to Bauer that even in the midst of the The Killage‘s stupidtity (for this film is stupid) the kill scenes can still hold their own with any traditional slasher.
Yes, The Killage is stupid, childish and idiotic; but it’s also brilliantly funny, fantastically gory and scores major pwnage over many a wannabe slasher, mainlining that same horror-comedy ethos that makes Troma movies so great.
The Killage is released on DVD by Monster Pictures on October 26th.
13 October 2015 WRITTEN BY J. R. SOUTHALL
Proof that a ridiculously low budget and tight shooting schedule (the entire film needed ADR after rain ruined the soundtrack) doesn’t mean you have to shoot found footage. And while this Antipodean comedy-horror’s humour might prove too childish for many tastes, it’s a surprisingly accomplished entertainment, particularly given its modest provenance.
A group of twelve mostly strangers embark upon a work retreat in the middle of nowhere. It’s not long after they arrive that one of them turns out to be a psychotic killer, and one by one the bodies pile up; so far, so cliché, but when your primary influence is Scary Movie rather than V/H/S, that’s all part of the fun.
Shot over two weekends in 2010, the entire film was storyboarded out to ensure maximum efficiency, and this attention to detail shows. Rather than shaky-cams following amateur actors making it up as they go along, instead a defined script keeps the pace up and the broadly painted characters distinct, as the story makes its way towards an inexorable reveal of who the killer is.
The effects are mostly very proficient, with the deaths delightfully gruesome and generally appropriate to the archetypes in question; the characters might be caricatures, the Goth, the Jock, the Nerd and so on, but it’s pleasing that in spite of some especially obvious performances (writer / director Joe Bauer being the worst culprit), almost all of the cast – and certainly the central group – manage to elicit empathy as well as laughs. Perhaps because of its Australian sensibility, political correctness is out of favour, with one character’s treatment (both of the others and at the hands of the others) being something you’d be unlikely to see in a film originating in the northern hemisphere.
The resolution is ridiculous and correspondingly therefore appropriate, with Bauer savvy enough to have kept the order in which his characters depart almost entirely arbitrary, making it impossible to guess either at the killer’s identity or who precisely will survive to the final credits. That you care, when The Killage could so easily have been yet another forgettable exercise in cheap horror moviemaking with as little imagination as budget, is another achievement – and there is at least one genuine surprise when a likeable character gets it in the neck. It’s a mark of the film’s comedy ambitions that this character’s role in the film is far from over at this point.
If you’re fed up with found footage, and you’re willing to suspend your taste buds for an evening – and there will be many for whom the whole thing is intolerable, with very little subtlety anywhere to be found – there are far worse ways to spend it than watching this.
Special Features: Commentary / Three featurettes / Outtakes / Trailer
THE KILLAGE / CERT: 15 / DIRECTOR: JOE BAUER / SCREENPLAY: JOE BAUER / STARRING: RITA ARTMANN, JOE BAUER, DRYDEN BINGHAM / RELEASE DATE: OCTOBER 26TH
7 Oct 2015
reviewer: Simon Kennedy
A group of staff members are sent to an isolated camp for a weekend in order to choose the best of the bunch. This however is not the only reason they have been sent to the camp. The other reason is to supply a evil killer his next bunch of victims. They dont know this yet but as the weekend goes on, the bodies will pile up and the killer will realish the blood letting…
Ok, this is the modern version of that great horror masterwork (and sequal starter) Scream. By modern version, I mean a homage to this film that many have slated as having far less intellegence,money or momentum. It also has been reported as lacking a good script and even a workable different idea. After the sad passing of that great man Wes Craven, these reviewers have almost cried that we can see what he left for us in many of his works.
This said however, I have to say that the film surprised me. It is not at all awful or a dull replicant … It is a very funny film in many places. By using Aussie stereotypes in such a way and then ripping them up and relisting them in a comical form, it captures the more savvy viewer. I loved its OTT use of Horror film standards and its utter disregard for the expectations placed on them. The viewer is at the centre of this farce. Meaning you know that it is a send up, yet you love its comedy….
The Killage is a great bit of fun and cinema. You should watch it and not expect that the film will be on par with Craven, Carpenter or Gordon. It wants none of this. It wants Australian cinema to be able to blow up the formula and then say…stuff it. I loved the fun factor and will say watch the bloody thing and stop making me tell you how great it is….Also Carmel Savage if you are reading this…literally you are beautiful and I would reproduce with you…You probably didnt need to know that….
The Killage (UK DVD)
Posted on September 30, 2015 by Gareth Jones
Starring Rita Artmann, Joe Bauer, Dryden Bingham, Daniel Johnston Andrew O’Sullivan
Directed by Joe Bauer
Distributed by Left Films
It would be unfair given my recent remarks toward Fury: The Tales of Ronan Pierce (review) for its exceptionally obvious ADR if I didn’t let it be known that The Killage suffers from the same problem. It seems that just about every piece of dialogue in this low budget indie slasher/comedy is looped in post-production, and it’s off-puttingly awkward.
But there’s also one huge difference between the two: The Killage is less likely to make you crush your own carotid artery in a desperate search for sweet release than it is to have you grip your sides in good-natured laughter.
In Joe Bauer’s flick, a group of young co-workers are brought together for a team-building forest retreat only to discover that one of their number is a psychopathic killer. Picking them off one by one, the wooden-masked murderer butchers their way through the tribe in standard slasher film style while the hapless, constantly bickering survivors try to figure out who the culprit is.
Focused more on the comedy than it is the scares, The Killage is a relatively simple affair sporting an obviously amateur cast… one which, with few exceptions — most notably Artmann as kickass-survivor-with-sex-appeal Emily — feels like little more than a group of friends who have set out to have a fun time making their own film. It’s juvenile and low-brow, throwing out dick jokes, piss jokes, an asshole character named Dickman (who also happens to be in a wheelchair) and a swathe of stereotypes, like Scary Movie crossed with everything-be-damned Aussie humour — but it works.
From the hilariously deadpan performance by Andrew O’Sullivan as the knuckleheaded (and almost perpetually nude) Jock to some great running jokes such as Andre (Cameron Sowden) constantly asserting the fact that he doesn’t do drugs, at even the slightest provocation, there’s rarely a couple of minutes that go by without a clever call-back or piece of smart-mouthed smarm.
Things are occasionally pushed too far — talking severed heads, for example, just don’t work in this realm of mere slapstick — but for the most part it does well in managing its own levels. It isn’t for everyone, make no mistake — if you demand biting satire, anything remotely intellectual, or take affront to stereotypes or “lazy” humour when it comes to your comedy you’d do well to give The Killage a wide berth.
There’s plenty of gory mayhem to go around, marred only occasionally by an abundance of CGI which is glaringly lo-fi in some spots, but really quite impressively rendered in others given the home-grown nature of the film. It’s rough in more than a few places — there’s no denying that — but The Killage manages to overcome its limitations by offering plenty of spark and a breezy willingness to please.
An unexpected delight, The Killage proves a worthwhile treat once adjusted to its particular stride and irreverent outlook.
Left Films bring The Killage to UK DVD sporting a stable of special features that puts most other releases of small indie flicks to shame. First up, there’s a lively cast and crew feature commentary, followed by a staggering 85 minutes of “fly on the wall” style behind-the-scenes footage. After that, director Bauer steps in for a 33-minute look at the film’s digital visual effects… and there’s a hell of lot more in there than you’d think. This is a very enlightening and surprising featurette, made a lot of fun to watch by Bauer’s self-deprecating humour and openness.
Next up there’s a short featurette on the the film’s music (which ends rather amusingly in the composing software crashing), around 30 minutes of outtakes and bloopers, two trailers and two photo galleries from the film’s shooting which are backed up with commentary by Artmann and Bauer.
Finally, the entire 167 pages of The Killage‘s storyboards are yours to watch unfold, accompanied by the film’s score, should you wish.
A superb package overall. You simply couldn’t ask for more when it comes to a film of this stature.
Commentary with Rita Artmann, Dryden Bingham, Andrew O’Sullivan & Joe Bauer
Behind the Scenes
Visual Effects Featurette
Special Features 5/5
Moodz616 Presents: Random Horror Reviews: Ep.4- The Killage (2011) | Monster Pictures
Published on 18 Jun 2014
The Killage (2011)
May 21, 2013
Director Joe Bauer Writers Joe Bauer Starring Rita Artmann, Joe Bauer, Dryden Bingham, Daniel Johnston, Andrew O’Sullivan, Jess Thomas-Hall Genre Black Comedy Tagline Archery… Orienteering… Skip Rope… Murder… Campfires… Whoa – Back Up! 15 second cap Becoming team leader can be murder, specially if you are at a camp with the crew and one of them is a psychotic killer! Country
“Sounded like someone spilling a bucket of corn syrup or something.” -Warren
Eleven stereotypical characters head into the bush for a weekend retreat, the primary goal being to select a team leader for the new job they all obtained in a household chemical outlet. Naturally things are not going to go according to the corporate requirements as one of the eleven is not who they claim to be and is out to add some slaughter to the weekend itinerary.
With the body count gradually climbing in unique and brutal fashion can the survivors work out who the killer is before more team members end up dead. There are certainly plenty of suspects for the strangely and inappropriately masked killer, but you may just find this movie doesn’t conform to all the stereotypes we are expecting from a slasher movie. Queue the electrical storm, we’re going in to discover what dark secrets might lurk at Camp Yurulgundie!
In case you may have missed it, English being a second language or you’re stupid or something, The Killage is a spoof movie taking aim directly at all those slasher flicks that center on a group of easily defined idiots who one by one get slaughter by some masked antagonist who has some sort of agenda that really is moot to the carnage. Film maker Joe Bauer really isn’t trying for anything higher on the cinematic food chain, you won’t get any insights into the human condition or some Boredwood pretty boy contemplating their navel, what you do get is pretty much what the DVD cover promises, some laughs interspersed with some more than inventive kills. Death by dental floss and electric toothbrush, I’m calling that a new high in the slasher pantheon of inventive death dealing devices. The killer there didn’t need to find the kitchen, everything he/she required was in the bathroom.
If I had to describe The Killage, and I guess it’s a requirement of a review, I’d have to say it’s sort of like all those cabin in the woods slasher flicks you’ve seen a hundred times before cross pollinated with Severance by way of one of the better Scary Movie flicks. Yes its absurdist comedy, but if you close one eye, poke your tongue out, and tilt your head to the side then it isn’t a heck of a lot different to the supposed more serious slasher flicks we’ve all been subject to since Carpenter decided “the night he came back” sounded like a good idea. On the bright side in between some highly inventive kills the movie making is definitely of the competent variety, which to be honest is at odds with the general run of the mill flick in the sub genre The Killage is hoisting on their own collective petards. If Director Bauer had of wanted to play this one straight we would have got a damn fine slasher flick, though I for one was pleased with the spoof angle going down.
Things kick off pretty effectively with some unseen person working on a mask in a back shed during a stormy night that wouldn’t be out of place in a Frankenstein flick. Keeping with the American International Picture theme the titles are splayed across the screen in sort of a 1950s “B” movie splash that had me smiling. We’re also being treated to the array of killing devices your typical man cave is home to in the middle class suburban setting. But the real focus of the scene, besides the improbable introduction of a golf iron, is the antagonist making his mask, a dress requirement of all fair dinkum psycho killers in a slasher movie. The mask is carved out of wood and looks like one of those deepest darkest Congo affairs that Bogans buy in thrift shops to adorn their housing commission cribs, because people go on safari in African and bring them back or some such shite. Anyways I’m calling a first for a slasher flick, a reproduction African tribal mask replacing the standard hockey mask. You just know you’re in for a good time from this scene onwards.
Write down the name Joe Bauer, we got ourselves another fine world class movie maker kids!
Next we get to meet the meat in time honoured fashion, at least in slasher terms, and don’t worry it’s the typical stereotypes one would expect in a horror flick. About the only two characters missing, must have been an oversight, were the slut and the ethnic minority person who generally goes down pretty quickly as the body count starts in earnest. So we get the dorky white guy, the Jock (named Jock for those with low attention spans), the bitch, and the complete dickhead (named Dickman for those with low attention spans). I actually warmed to a few of these characters and was saddened when they meet their demise, for about a minute prior to things rocking on to the next scene. Death by high heel, that’s got to hurt. You simply have to love a movie that says “to hell with it, here’s a bunch of horror cardboard cookie cutter characters”, and is unapologetic in doing so. Yes we even get the Goth chica who is into death and Satanism and for all we know mutalited Justin Bieber corpses, hell aren’t we all.
For some strange reason Joe Bauer decides to add some romance into the mix, but frack me it has to be naturally unrequited and off the planet. It does actually shoe horn in nicely with the plot however, and no we unfortunately avoid the whole have sex and die mofo angle. But nice to see some tender young love down in the slaughter house of amusement. I for one rocked out to the inclusion more than if I had of got a barrel full of parakeets.
So I guess what we get in the wash up, blood can be bloody hard to get out of white tees btw, are a lot of sight gags – Jock is going to crack you up on a couple of scenes, a lot of outstanding dialogue of a humorous kind with the sort of recurrent ideas that will bring a smile to your dial, oh and a number of digs at some well known horror flicks. Best send up of the remake of Friday the 13th I’ve yet seen, it was a throwaway line but hit the target square in the arse. Even cripples are not spared here, how PC is that, equal opportunity send ups.
Before I forget, T&A is on the low burner though it is Ladies night at the Cabana lounge, dig on in their girls you deserve it. There’s also a decent amount of claret and body parts kicking around, so you have been warned. Oh and full marks to a survivor for not leaving the killer armed and ready to leap up after they are apparently dead.
The Killage comes to us via Downunder Product House ArtSpear Entertainment who throw next to no budget at Director Joe and a limited shooting schedule, the Director knocked it out of the park making you wonder where they spend all the cash in those high budget flicks. ArtSpear aren’t letting the grass grow and have their next project Australiens already in the can. I’m already excited!
Got to say I had a lot of fun with The Killage, a horror spoof that for mine is best of breed since the Wayans hung up their Scary Movie hats. Surprisingly we get a well made movie, that does provide the advertised humour and some inventive kills to keep you bright eyed and bushy tailed. This one isn’t falsely presenting itself, you get exactly what you expected going in with enough twists to the concepts to keep you jiving to Joe Bauer’s beat. I’ve got no problems fully endorsing this movie, if after some fun times at the slaughter house that dripped blood then drop on in to The Killage, just watch out for the card sharps.
ScaryMinds Rates this movie as …
Very solid horror spoof that hits all the right targets with style.
It Came From Down Under: THE KILLAGE
May 15, 2013
Archery, Skip-rope, Campfires, Murder, Orienteering… Whoa – Back up. Murder? Yes, that’s true. Murder is afoot in this comedy/horror right out of my own backyard. Rhiannon Irons, a.k.a Ahlephia, here with a new in-depth review of another Australian film. This time I tackle the horror/comedy styling of THE KILLAGE. WARNING: There may be spoilers.
It’s a well known fact that Australians have a unique sense of humor. So what happens when you take that humor, team it up with a group of relatively unknown actors, set it at a campsite in Queensland and then have a psycho killer running around? One of the funniest comedy/slashers ever made.
The storyline is as follows: A group of eleven recruits, composed entirely of excruciating social stereotypes, embark on a weekend long retreat for work. This retreat is designed to see who is capable of being the next team leader. Everything goes relatively smoothly until the first campfire where a killer’s presence is made known with a simple note that reads “I’m going to kill each and every one of you (very creatively).” (Fun Fact: The camp used in the film is where I spent my year 12 camp back in 2003)
From that point on, all hell breaks loose as the recruits begin accusing each other of writing the sinister note. Most of them shrug it off as a poor attempt at a joke, not wanting to take it seriously, but when the bodies begin piling up, they soon realize that it’s anything but a joke.
The one thing I loved most about this film is how it took the stereotypes you see from other horror films (i.e.; the dumb jock, the bimbo girlfriend etc) and completely turned everything upside down. There are plenty of references to horror films of old, not necessarily by name, but by what is expected to happen next.
Before I go any further into the story (and the creative kills) let’s take a look at the characters.
There’s Warren (Dryden Bingham), the nerd, who has a fixation for his camera that is always around his neck. He seems to understand the situation better than anyone else and is always full of ideas…just not always good ones.
There’s Gus (Joe Bauer), the gui-tard, who is more preoccupied with his guitar and chasing Emily around then finding out who the killer is. He’s a little on the dopey side and doesn’t take anything too seriously.
There’s Lucy (Laura Jane Turner), the lesbian, who claims that she isn’t a lesbian. She’s best friends with Gus and Warren but she hides her affections for Warren (more about that later).
There’s Krystal (Meisha Lowe), the bimbo, who’s better known as Bam-Bam by her boyfriend Jock. Krystal is the quintessential dumb blonde who seems to care more about her boyfriend then he cares about her.
There’s Jock (Andrew O’Sullivan), the…erh….jock, who’s more interested in his biceps then what’s happening around him. I will give Jock some credit because he does come through, proving his usefulness later on in the film. Plus he walks around naked for most part of the movie.
There’s Andre (Cameron Sowden), the druggie, who spends the entire time insisting that he’s not a druggie. Gus repeatedly accuses him of it as both of them are carrying guitar cases. Andre insists that his isn’t to carry a bong but rather a violin.
There’s Madison (Johancee Theron), the Goth, whose addiction to reading Satan: The Unofficial Biography left me in stitches. Her obsession with all things gloomy and repressed really is the social stereotype that society projects.
There’s Hannah (Carmel Savage), the Yuppie bitch, and boy, what a bitch she is. She stares down her nose at everyone, especially Madison and Krystal, though she claims to be friends with Krystal. Needless to say, she’s one character that you really wouldn’t miss.
There’s Dickman (Daniel Johnston), the asshole, and let me tell you, he really lives up to his name. He’s the only character to don an American accent and is in a wheelchair. Despite his foul mouth and attitude, he provides a wicked sense of humor and is mostly responsible for the laughs this film gets.
There’s Dimitri (Jess Thomas-Hall), the fairy. This character is literally so gay he makes Jack from Will And Grace look straight. He has a slight obsession with Jock (when you watch it, you’ll see what I mean) and despite his meek nature; he really has a mean streak…and a powerful bitch slap.
There’s Emily (Rita Artmann), the hot and smart girl, which spends most of the film agreeing with Warren and trying to lose the highly obsessed Gus. Her brains are her strong point, but pay special attention to what she writes down on her notebook after they all arrive at camp. (Hint: It’s an important clue)
And last but not least, there’s Patrick (Mark Theodossiou), the dorky camp instructor, who’s all smiles until he reads out the note. Upon hearing a noise, he disappears into the woods to find out what it is….Hey, I didn’t say he was smart.
Joe Bauer wrote and directed this film with a budget of just $20,000. Most of the clothing seen in the film was the wardrobes of the actors themselves. The camp that is the main stage of the movie could only be hired for a limited amount of time and it rained nearly the entire time they were filming. Most of the film was shot in a space of just two weeks.
THE KILLAGE exploits every horror cliché in the book far better than any film I’ve seen before. It trumps SCARY MOVIE hands down, and considering what a small budget it had, this was an unbelievable achievement in filmmaking.
It was inventive, creative and above all, original which is something that seems to be lacking with modern horror movies.
Now, what kind of review would this be if I didn’t go into some of the more gory details? The deaths were creative and quoting the killer “Notice how I used every day items available so that nothing could be traced back to me.”
From extremely strong dental floss to a nail sticking out of the floor boards, to a high heeled shoe and a deck of cards, THE KILLAGE had something for everyone. Some of the deaths we didn’t see; only the aftermath, which was a shame because the head on a pike could have been a very interesting thing to film. Other deaths were over really quickly while others were painfully drawn out.
But I do want to pause for a moment to talk about one death. I won’t say who was killed as not to spoil anything for those wanting to watch it. I’ll just call them V…for victim. V is outside throwing up. One body has just been discovered and V’s reacting to that. After the vomiting stops, V looks up and sees another body. Startled, V looks up and there’s the killer looking back at them. The killer begins running towards them and V screams, taking off into the woods. As V is running, they constantly turn back to see if the killer is behind them and ends up running into a tree. Dazed and confused, V holds their head, pulling out their compass from orienteering earlier that day and try to pinpoint their location in the middle of the night. There’s a noise and V turns around. Suddenly their eyes are wide and V turns their back to the camera. A high heel shoe is sticking out of their head.
I must say, it was a pretty impressive death. What made it more real was having V run into a tree. How many times have I seen a Friday The 13th movie and wondered when someone, who was running through the woods constantly looking behind them, was going to hit a tree, or fall into a ditch. But it never seemed to happen.
Despite its good points, THE KILLAGE does have some downfalls too. The over the top acting from some of the characters for starters, although that seems to be deliberate, fitting in with their stereotype characters. While it tends to mock horror films and their clichés, at some points it tends to go overboard, bordering on tedious. Like when we see Gus in his room playing his guitar; a shadow walks past his door. He turns around, calls out “Hello?” before turning back. The shadow passes the door again. Gus turns back around, staring at the open doorway. This goes on for a minute. Every time he turns away from the door, the shadow passes by. By the end I was praying for something to kill him just to make it stop. Funny on paper, tedious on film.
Another thing that bothers me is the stupid one liners the victims say as they are dying. Terrible lines like “I fold” after having a throat slit by a deck of cards isn’t funny. It’s over the top and briefly draws me out of the story. Even Freddy Krueger’s one liners weren’t that bad and he was the king of them in the 80’s.
And last, but not least, the over kill of the killer was also bordering on terrible. Granted, most horror fans scream out “Hit them again” when we see the hero or heroine finally take control and fight back. But this was just insane. The survivors take to the killer with an axe. They chop the killer’s face in half, stating they were aiming for the neck and missed. Taking another swing at it, the axe lands in the killer’s mouth. If that wasn’t enough they dump the killer on the ground before driving over them repeatedly until we see nothing but legs and squished torso. But our survivors are still not done. The dump the remaining parts of the killer into the camp fire and watch as the fire engulfs them, spitting on the charcoaled remains. (Fun Fact: The red oozing out from under the car was actually a watermelon)
Of course, no film is perfect and taking into considering what Joe Bauer and his crew had to work with, the outcome is pretty outstanding.
Film Quality: 7/10
Overall Rating: 6.5/10
If you’re looking for something to pass the time, I highly recommend THE KILLAGE. It’s hilarious and horrifying, not to mention award winning. (Fun Fact: THE KILLAGE won Best in Festival at the Crystal Palace International Film Festival 2011 as well as Winner of the Spooky Movie trailer competition in Washington DC 2011)
Not the greatest horror film around, but mark my words, THE KILLAGE will become a cult classic. After all, here in Australia, we know what really scares you.
Posted by Rhiannon Irons at 4:33 PM
Movie Mastication Podcast – Episode 11
March 29, 2013
(Killage review starts 35 mins in and goes for approx. 4 mins)
THE KILLAGE Is Now Available
January 23, 2013
It’s been a while since I’ve bought you anything Australian, but I have to share this news. So go on, read on for the details of this fun, fresh, Aussie horror.
THE KILLAGE does what many horrors before it have done; combined horror with humor and have done it in a way that the film is 100% enjoyable. If you’ve never seen an Aussie horror, this should be your first.
Starring Rita Artmann, Dryden Bingham, Meisha Lowe and Carmel Savage and directed by Joe Bauer who also stars, THE KILLAGE is available now to purchase on DVD at http://monsterpictures.com.au/shop/the-killage/
Check out the trailer as well as some images from the film.
The Killage – Exclusive Interview
January 14, 2013
Check out this interview with Rita Artman and Joe Spear of ArtSpear Entertainment, producers of independent comedy-horror: The Killage a wacky, fright-filled journey into the darkest recesses of the human intestines.
GEORDIE: Hi Guys, first of all thanks for taking the time to answer a few questions about your recent feature release, the Australian horror film The Killage.
ARTSPEAR: Our pleasure.
GEORDIE: I’d like to start by asking you guys to give us a synopsis and let us know what to expect from The Killage?
ARTSPEAR: The Killage is a slasher comedy about twelve social stereotypes on a recreational work retreat who suddenly find themselves being inventively murdered by a psychopath in a wooden mask who may or may not be one of them. It’s a very typical slasher scenario but the irreverent, absurdist style of comedy is hopefully what sets it apart from other entries in the genre.
ARTSPEAR: The idea originated through practicality. Many independent production companies, certainly in Australia, start out making horror films because they’re cheap. Gore and scares are very cheap to produce compared to the material things other genres require. We aren’t fans of independent horror films however, so we wanted to do something different by making a comedy that takes the piss out of them. And by doing that, it gives you that excuse – “It looks like crap because that’s the type of film we’re sending up.”
GEORDIE: Combining horror and comedy is a difficult balance to get right, Return of the Living Dead, Shaun of the Dead and Tucker & Dale vs. Evil did a great job by embracing the typical horror clichés and working with them, the Scary Movie franchise didn’t… from what I’m hearing The Killage is very much of the former, how difficult is it to get that balance just right?
ARTSPEAR: I think if you’re going to make a genre parody you need to know the genre very well – watch the quintessential examples and understand the common elements, the genre conventions – and then approach the writing task as the most jaded, cynical moviegoer you can imagine – the guy who’s seen it all before. Write for that person and turn all those conventions upside-down. I found it also helped to have characters in the film that spoke with that person’s voice – asking the questions that audiences always ask when they’re watching these films – “Why are you going into the dark attic alone to investigate that strange noise? Why don’t you come back later with two of your friends in the middle of the day?”. You still make them go in the attic alone, but as long as you let the audience know that you know that this is stupid, they’ll stay with you.
GEORDIE: The Australian film industry is either in a healthy state, or at deaths door, depending on who’s sound bite we hear from one week to the next. How difficult was it raising the capital in Australia to fund your feature? What is your take on the current state of the Australian film Industry?
ARTSPEAR: It wasn’t too difficult raising the money because it came directly from Joe’s savings and his parents. Fortunately the film was incredibly low budget and the cast and crew agreed to deferred payment. If you’re not willing to invest in yourself than no one else should be either. As for the Australian Film Industry, I’m not sure if it can be called an “industry”. I think a more accurate description would be a few pockets of talented people struggling to get their films made. There are many problems with filmmaking in Australia but I think the main one is that the film financing bodies are a joke. For some reason “genre film” is a dirty term to them. It seems that their concept of a thriving Australian film industry is one where everyone makes films about suburban outback blue-collar family drama, preferably with Aborigines. They’ll only support films that present the “Australian identity” (whatever the hell that is) or tell “Australian stories”. If you brought an idea for an exciting sci-fi film to them their response would be “What does this have to do with Australia? This is a Hollywood idea.” Never mind that sci-fi is the most successful film genre, historically. The reason why Hollywood is so great is because there’s no restrictions to the type of film you can get backing for – that’s why all our best and brightest leave to go there. Until the film financiers wake up and start supporting films based solely on the script and not on what they might do for the country’s tourism, the Australian Film Industry will not be in a healthy state.
GEORDIE: Australian film has a long history of quality horror films, from the classic schlocky 70’s and 80’s fare through to the box office success of Wolf Creek, and to a lesser extent the independent flicks such as The Tunnel and Redd Inc. What will The Killage add to the mix?
ARTSPEAR: The thing is, we don’t see The Killage as a horror – we see it as a comedy. And to be honest, I haven’t ever seen a quality Australian horror film. But that’s not to say that there aren’t any – I just haven’t seen many Australian films, full stop. I guess what The Killage will add is something that can hopefully be appreciated both by people who like horror and by people who don’t.
GEORDIE: You guys seem to have had quite a dramatic shoot behind the camera, not least with Rita breaking her leg. Apart from broken bones, what have you learned not to do on your next project?
ARTSPEAR: We’ve learnt to schedule more time. That was the biggest problem on The Killage – we could rarely shoot more than one or two takes, we had to shoot in rain, without sleep – all because we didn’t have enough time, and that was because we could only afford to hire the camp for two weekends. We’re amazed the film got completed. We also learnt to put more care into audio. The entire final soundtrack ended up as ADR and foley (sound recorded in post-production) because the on-set audio was mostly unusable, due to rain and low-quality equipment on the second weekend. It was a huge undertaking to record each actor’s dialogue again, but surprisingly it ended up helping the film because it gave us something we didn’t have on location: takes. So in the case of audio at least, we had the time to refine the performances.
ARTSPEAR: Australiens is a sci-fi action comedy about aliens who come to Earth and attack Australia, much to the confusion of the rest of the world. The story is told from the perspective of 27-year-old Andi Gibson, who had a close encounter with a flying saucer when she was ten and now believes she is Earth’s only hope for survival – a belief not shared by her hypochondriac brother Elliot, ex-boxer cousin Keith, documentarian friend Cam and embarrassing father Dennis, who reluctantly join her in her quest to stop the invaders.
The film should be an entertaining blend of outrageous sci-fi spectacle and absurdist character comedy. We have a Pozible page which has achieved it’s target, anyone who wishes to lend support to the film can check it out here: http://www.pozible.com/australiensfilm
GEORDIE: The Killage has had a few festival screenings already, when and where can we get a copy? (I’ll post a link to your website here, if you have any other suggestions I’m happy to post more links).
ARTSPEAR: The Killage is being distributed by Monster Pictures – here’s a link to where you can buy direct: http://monsterpictures.com.au/shop/the-killage Other than that it should be available in all major DVD retailers, although you may need to request that they order in a copy.
GEORDIE: You guys are obviously big horror fans, what is your favourite classic horror film, when you first saw it, why it’s still a favourite; and any new releases that have impressed you?
ARTSPEAR: My favourite horror film is The Thing (1982), which we actually make a direct reference to in The Killage. I first saw it on TV I think when I was 12 and I remember, even in these days of computer graphics, being absolutely blown away by the practical effects. It has all the best elements of the genre – isolation in a hostile environment, the mystery and intrigue of discovering the aftermath of a prior encounter, increasing paranoia and distrust, a truly unique and spectacular creature, and a bleak and tantalisingly ambiguous ending. That, and it has two perfectly-designed big jump moments – anyone who’s seen the film will know what they are – and they caught me completely off-guard the first time I saw it. My other favourites would have to be the original Alien and The Fly.All three films benefit from the understanding that what’s more terrifying than encountering a hideous creature is becoming a hideous creature (or giving birth to one).
GEORDIE: My thanks to Rita and Joe for taking the time to contribute to this article during what is a very busy time on production of their next feature Australiens.
November 15, 2012 15:39
FilmInk speaks to the masterminds behind ‘The Killage’, a comedic Aussie slasher that gleefully subverts horror stereotypes.
It’s your classic teen-slasher movie set-up: a group of young, mostly dumb, genre stereotypes (buxom cheerleader, geeky photographer, spaced out stoner, obnoxious wheelchair bound arsehole et al) embark on a weekend-long work expedition in the wilderness at an isolated forest-bound cabin. There they encounter something sinister that knocks them off one by one in progressively brutal ways. To make matters interesting, a Scooby-do whodunit element means anyone could be the scary masked murderer. The twist in the tale is that this particular genre film, The Killage,has its tongue held firmly in cheek.
Forget the less-than-smart Hollywood studio antics of the Scary Movie franchise, The Killage is locally shot, low-budget independent filmmaking and all the more funnier for it. “It’s a different sort of horror comedy,” says co-producer Rita Artmann. “The comedy is in the writing of it – it’s in how the characters perform and what they say rather than, ‘We’ll put a toilet joke here’ sort of thing.”
It’s also a genre send-up that knows its tried and tested shock flick formula inside out; Friday the 13th, Nightmare On Elm Street… all are knowingly targeted in The Killage. “I think what you need to do, whatever genre you’re sending-up or genuinely trying your hand at, is to look at the films that have come before in the most cynical way you can,” says writer-director Joe Bauer, who plays Gus the ‘embarrassing idiot’ in the film, and who also takes on a plethora of behind-the-scenes roles in the film.
“There’s a lot of decisions that characters make in horror films that can be made fun of – ‘Now that we’ve got the killer incapacitated, let’s run away, leaving the gun by his hand’. Okay, a lot of us would probably do that in the heat of the moment, but a cynical moviegoer would say, ‘He’s down – just take the gun and blow his brains out. Problem solved,’” justifies Bauer. “That was my approach with The Killage – keep one or more characters in step with the audience’s cynicism,” continues the filmmaker who cites Seinfeld, The Simpsons and Lano & Woodley as his comedic influences.
Taking advantage of an opportunistic university prize that granted exclusive access to camera equipment for three days, The Killage was written specifically by Bauer as something that could be shot quickly and with a multitude of characters. Opting for easy, eye-grabbing entertainment that utilised his knack for comedy, he went for a genre parody that embraced rather than avoided horror clichés.
A broken leg on set (Artmann’s), an overly ambitious three day/two night shoot, creative difficulties and interest waning from the rest of the production team eventually put the student project to bed. A reawakening occurred, however, when Artmann saw something too special to throwaway. “I said, ‘What’s stopping us from doing it ourselves? So we bought all of our own equipment and started our own production company [ArtSpear Entertainment], and The Killage was the first thing to come out of that,” she recalls.
Punishingly shot on location at Ewen Maddock Dam Recreation Centre on the Sunshine Coast over seven sleep-deprived days and five caffeine intoxicated nights, The Killage remained guerrilla style movie-making. “We were chasing the sun and running out of time”, explains Artmann. “We had two cameras rolling and were shooting two scenes at once. We had an assistant director at one end [of the corridor] and I was assistant directing up the other, a cinematographer up each side and one sound guy running back and forth with all the sound equipment.”
Keeping a cast in check, that mostly consisted of debuting actors, would appear to be a daunting one, but time constraints meant maintaining high energy levels was of prime importance. “I gave very minimal direction because we had such a great cast and also we didn’t have very much time,” explains Bauer. “I’d say most of my direction was given during ADR because we had the time to finesse each line and get the most humour out of the vocal performances. Whatever direction I had on set was mostly along the lines of getting the actors to be more over-the-top. Since we only had time for one or two takes, we had to remind ourselves to keep the energy up.”
With film festival crowds in hysterics during sell-out screenings across the US, UK (where The Killage won the Best in Festival award at the Crystal Palace International Festival), Germany and the Gold Coast Film Festival (where the film made its Australian debut), Bauer clearly has the gift of connecting with an audience. “My understanding has always been that the crazy character isn’t what makes you laugh,” Bauer reveals. “It’s the cut to the reaction of the normal character, the one you see yourself as, who looks at the crazy character and thinks, ‘What in the hell?’ that makes you laugh. Every comedy needs characters that the audience can relate to.”
The future of ArtSpear Entertainment appears to be a promising one too with a second season of their self-pegged “skit-com” series The Void planned and an intriguing follow-up feature looming large. “We’re hoping to do a sci-fi adventure comedy next,” reveals Bauer. “It’s called Astronomo and it’s very much like The Killage but a much bigger budget.”
“It’s the same sort of comedy style but it’s sci-fi,” elaborates Artmann.
Bauer doesn’t rule out a straight genre film some time in the future either. “Maybe one day, I’ll do a genuine horror film,” the filmmaker muses, “but it would most likely be a creature horror as those tend to be my favourite horror films, and special visual effects are another thing that really excites me about filmmaking.”
The Killage is available on DVD now. For more on ArtSpear, head here.
Photo credit: Joseph Bauer and Rita Artmann.
Civic Magazine – Nov 2012 – page 19
Funniest and best comedy/horror I have seen since… ever?
24 April 2012
This film made me laugh out loud from start to finish and made me physically cringe at the gore more than any other film in a way that was very enjoyable as it is also a great comedy but still gory, not for the squeamish.
It exploits every horror cliché in the book better than any film I have seen and beats the ‘Scary Movie’ series hands down – an unbelievable achievement for such a low budget, very clever film making. I watched it with an audience of about 100 people and the collective laughter and groaning at the horror added enormously to the experience.
This film should be up there with classic cult films such as The Evil Dead, Wishmaster, Sean of the Dead etc. Go see!
The Killage (2011)
Thursday, 15 March 2012
Written by Joe Bauer
Stars: Rita Artmann, Joe Bauer, Michael Gerard Bauer, Dryden Bingham, Daniel Johnston, Meisha Lowe, Andrew O’Sullivan, Carmel Savage, Cameron Sowden, Mark Theodossiou, Johancee Theron, Jess Thomas-Hall, Laura Jane Turner
Artspear Entertainment provide us lucky slasher movie fans with one of the best indie horror comedies you will likely see in recent years!
I’m really not sure where to start with this review. In short, The Killage absolutely fucking rocked. It has everything a good old fashioned slasher movie has to offer: creative deaths, stereotypical characters, absurd scenarios – and sends them up to the hilt. And I mean the hilt.
So the story: 11 people head off to a summer camp for a team building type of weekend for their company. But there’s a difference: the employees are competing for the title of ‘Team Leader’ and will be put through their paces in order to ascertain the right guy or gal for the job. Unfortunately for our dysfunctional rag-tag band of misfits, somebody among them has a literal axe to grind. Starting out with a ominous campfire death threat (where else?) and accelerating to a series of grisly (yet hilarious) murders, The Killage shocks and amuses in equal measure. Remaining survivors must band together, putting aside their petty differences (or not) in order to unmask the murderer.
I have to start by saying the characters are superb in this movie. Stuck up super bitch ‘Hannah’, hopeless bimbo ‘Krystal’, vicious cripple ‘Dickman’ (aptly named) loveable loser ‘Gus’ (played brilliantly by writer/director Joe Bauer!) miserable goth ‘Madison’, Super hot ‘Emily’, “secret” pot head ‘Andre’ , dorky ‘Warren’, sweet but slightly angry ‘Lucy’, swishy fairy ‘Dimitri’ cringe worthy camp instructor ‘Patrick’ and the usually naked (!) ‘Jock’. All characters are hilarious stereotype send ups and I defy anyone not to find at least one of these characters to be a total riot. The acting itself was fun, and I’m pretty sure intentionally cheesy based on everything else going on in the movie. Carmel Savage (Hannah) stomped about in her killer stilettos with the perfect amount of attitude and played the ‘camp bitch’ you just wanna see die, with gusto. Also Rita Artmann was extremely natural and engaging as the lusted after heroine Emily as was Joe Bauer as the love lorn Gus.
I wouldn’t be doing this review justice if I didn’t commend the writing. The film is rife with witty one liners, intentionally offensive jokes and comedic scenes. I was literally laughing out loud at the bullying campaign wrought upon poor Warren at the hands of wheelchair bound brat from hell Dickman.
The Killage is also incredibly well made, definitely a cut above (sorry!) many indie horror films in both it’s direction and presentation. The kill scenes in particular are shot brilliantly and the effects are awesome. While I’m on the kills did I mention they were creative? There are some crazy kills in this film, a number of which you probably haven’t seen before in a horror flick – ahem dental floss….
HIGHLY HIGHLY recommended, grab a copy of The Killage or catch a screening if you can, it’s a truly entertaining, hilarious and gory good time – you will NOT regret it. P.S STICK AROUND FOR THE END CREDITS….EVEN IF IT’S JUST TO CATCH A BIT MORE NUDITY 😉
Rita Artmann – (The Killage – 2011).
21 Dec 2011
by Matt J. Horn
I recently got the chance to talk to Rita Artmann about her role in ‘The Killage’. Here, Rita talks about how she got involved in the project in the first place and what it was like working with the cast and crew on-set…
Hey Rita. Thanks for taking the time out to talk to me about your new film, ‘The Killage‘.
Thank you for asking me.
What’s the general plotline surrounding the film?
The film is a shock horror/comedy about a group of social stereotypes that go on a weekend “getting to know you” work retreat. One of the group turns out to be a homicidal maniac and starts killing people in a variety of creative ways. The remaining recruits have to work out who the killer is, how many of them are left and how they can get out of there alive.
Tell us a bit about the character you play in the movie…
I play “Emily” – her stereotype is the “hot but paradoxically smart chick”. She is probably best described as the “forlorn heroine”. Unlike the other recruits that catch the bus up from Brisbane, she drives up to the camp from Melbourne having to relocate for this new job. Emily is the most “normal” character is the film. She thinks of things the others don’t and comes up with an escape plan. She is also the only one who is really concerned about the other characters and whether they get out alive or not. As the film goes on you can see she has clearly had enough which is why it is so great to have her show a little attitude later on. I had a lot of fun playing Emily, creating the typical “horror film female” and playing up to all the “horror gags”.
How did you get involved in the project in the first place?
I auditioned for ’The Killage’ in 2009 (six months before the rest of the cast) and was cast as Emily. Originally ‘The Killage’ was going to be shot in September of 2009 but the production failed and the crew abandoned the project. Joe Bauer (writer/director) asked me to come on board as producer as well as actress and we started the production from scratch. The only other actor that stayed from the old cast was Andrew O’Sullivan who plays Jock.
How would you say this film is different and unique?
‘The Killage’ was fantastically written. The first time I picked up the script I read it from start to finish without putting it down. Usually with a feature film script you put it down a few times before finishing it. The comedy is evident throughout the whole film but it is not written for the gags. There is a proper story line which the film sticks to and it is also a great whodunnit, with lots of red herrings. The gore in it is great as well – although the methods in which the characters are killed are deliberately unrealistic and quite funny, the gore side of it is spot on. It is different to many Australian films because it doesn’t try to oversell the “Australian identity” but still manages to showcase some beautiful scenery. I also love that the film shows off so much unknown talent. The actors are brilliant too.
The film stars your good self, Joe Bauer, Michael Gerard Bauer, Dryden Bingham, Daniel Johnston and Meisha Lowe – what was it like working with the cast and crew on-set?
Everyone was fantastic. It was a pretty high pressure shoot as we shot the whole thing in two weekends. two nights and three days and then three nights and four days. There wasn’t much sleep on the first weekend – only a few hours a night – and by the second weekend there was no sleep at all for key cast and crew. The first weekend was also plagued by rain but the crew held it together dragging lights in and out every 15 minutes. The second weekend was hilarious. By the first evening the supporting cast had been wrapped and we had a much smaller crew, so there weren’t as many people on set which meant everyone had to work twice as hard. At one point we had two scenes happening at the same time with the sound recordist running back and forth between both scenes happening at either end of the corridor. All sleep was forgone and we lived on cans of V and caffeine pills. I had so much fun working with the cast and crew over this weekend. I remember it was about 3.30am on the second “morning” when Dryden Bingham, Daniel Johnston and I had to shoot our “dark room” scene. It was being shot at a cabin that was a bit further away and all of the crew and remaining cast that had come down to help had fallen asleep on the beds so we were covered in blood and screaming and there’s ten people sleeping like babies around us.
Joe Bauer is a brilliant person to work with both as an actor and director. It’s great watching him jump from behind to in front of the camera and because he was editing the film it made it easier to shoot, rather than covering every scene from every angle we just took the shots he knew he would need, which saved us a lot of time.
Let’s talk a bit about you Rita. What made you want to get into acting in the first place?
As long as I can remember I have wanted to be an actress. I was reciting books before I could read – Mum would read them to me, I’d memorise it and recite them back to her. I was about 3 years old when one of my parents’ friends asked me what I wanted to do when I grew up. I remember having had this conversation with my Mum and Dad but I couldn’t remember the word for my chosen profession so I pointed at the TV and said “That’s what I want to do, be the person in the TV”.
I love the way you can express yourself as an actor. Becoming a different person is a fascinating experience. Acting allows you to learn so much about yourself, others and the world around you.
What advice would you give to anyone wanting to get into the industry?
If you can picture yourself doing anything else, do that instead – it’s a long, brutal road. If you can’t see yourself doing anything else than never give up! You will go to hundreds of auditions and you won’t get the roles for all sorts of reasons, many of which aren’t within your control. You need to be able to handle a lot of rejection but it prepares you for the future. Make your own work – you are a business, if you don’t employ your own services why should anyone else? Making your own work is great because you can cast yourself as anything and show off all your skills.
What is currently on your I-Pod right now?
Ha ha. If you’d asked me this six months ago I would have said “What I-Pod?” but my sister decided I needed to be cooler and bought me a Nano for my birthday. She knew I’d never get around to changing or adding any music so she filled it up with my all time favourites like Tracy Chapman, The Eagles, Cat Stevens, Fleetwood Mac, Elton John and the Backstreet Boys. I’m totally one of the cool kids.
If you could have dinner with three guests (living or dead), who would you choose and why?
William Shakespeare – I am the biggest Shakespeare fan. I would love to talk to him about his work and the controversy surrounding it. Stella Adler – I studied the Stella Adler acting technique and would love to be able to talk to the amazing woman who created it. My grandmother, Doreen – she was always so supportive of my dream to become an actor – she died shortly after I started studying so I would love to have the opportunity to catch up and thank her for everything she did for me.
If you were stranded on a desert island – what three things could you not live without?
- A toothbrush!!
- A blanket – I get cold everywhere!
- Seinfeld DVD box set – you can watch it all day and it never gets old
What’s coming up for you in 2012?
‘The Killage’ has just screened at the Gold Coast Film Festival. In December I am flying to Germany for the International Comedy Film Festival in Berlin to watch ‘The Killage’ there. I have just finished work on a TV show called ‘The Void’ which is currently on air in Brisbane so I hope to have a bigger release for that next year as well and start work on another feature.
I hope my career will take a few steps forward in 2012 and that I can continue to work with such talented and creative people.
Thanks for the interview!
15 December 2011
I was pleasantly surprised upon viewing this comedy horror film. I don’t normally like horror films, but the hilarious send up of the horror genre won me over. The combination of hilarity and genuine horror was superb. Director Joe Bauer (who is also one of the actors in The Killage) has written a brilliant film script and executed its direction to perfection. The cast performs wonderfully and the result is a movie that I thoroughly enjoyed (even though I could barely look at some moments of the film: such was the tension and horror). I have no doubt that this movie will be a cult classic: an excellent horror spoof. I congratulate Joe Bauer, all actors, and everyone involved in the production of this movie. This young Australian director has a bright future, as do many of the cast.
13 Dec 2011
…und tot bist du.
Wo gehobelt wird, da fallen auch Späne. Diese alte Weisheit, die seit jeher dazu dient, rüdes Vorgehen gegenüber den Mitmenschen zu rechtfertigen, wird bildhaft bereits in den ersten einleitenden Szenen umgesetzt, bei denen wir eine vermummte Gestalt sehen, die in einer Werkstatt voller potenzieller Mordinstrumente an einer Holzmaske feilt und hobelt. Wer sich im Genre des Schlitzerfilms auskennt, ahnt schnell, dass wir hier einen Mörder sehen, der seinen brutalen Feldzug gegen die Menschheit vorbereitet.
Seine potenziellen Opfer entstammen einem Wochenend-Camp, bei dem 11 mehr oder weniger motivierte junge Menschen sich einem Teambildungs-Workshop unterziehen. Unter der Anleitung von Patrick, der eher wie der Leiter einer Pfadfindertruppe wirkt, sollen sich die Damen und Herren beweisen und ganz nebenbei verdeutlichen, wer sich als Teamleader eignet und wer nicht. Neben den üblichen Animositäten wird das Ganze unheimlich, als bei einer abendlichen Runde am Lagerfeuer nicht nur schaurige Geräusche aus dem Wald dringen, sondern zudem ein offensichtlich der Gruppe entstammender Wahnsinniger ankündigt, alle Beteiligten der Reihe nach umzubringen – und zwar auf überaus kreative Weise. Als Patrick dann plötzlich wie vom Erdboden verschwunden ist, ist die Gruppe auf sich allein gestellt und muss hilflos mit ansehen, wie einer nach dem anderen auf wirklich bizarre Weise sein Lebenslicht aushaucht. Schnell wird dem sich rasch verkleinerten Grüppchen klar, dass man einerseits zusammenstehen muss, wenn man die Nacht überleben will. Doch andererseits: Wem kann man überhaupt noch trauen?
Für gerade mal 5.000 australische Dollar und mit sichtbar viel Herzblut und noch mehr schrägem Humor seitens der Beteiligten realisiert, ist The Killage ein schräges kleines Ding, das zeigt, dass Kreativität und Lust am Spiel mit den Versatzstücken des grausligen Genres ein minimales Budget locker aufwiegen können. Die rotzfreche Slasher-Satire, die statt in den amerikanischen in den australischen Backwoods spielt, dreht lustvoll sämtliche Stereotypen (der dumpfe Sportler und seine ebenso strohdoofe Freundin, die Grufti-Frau, der zynische Rolli, der chronisch Dauerverliebte, die Tucke, den Kiffer usw.) und bis zum Exzess durchgespielten Konstellationen durch den Fleischwolf der Satire und fabriziert daraus nicht nur jede Menge Leichen, sondern vor allem ganz viele urkomische Momente, die den Zuschauer trotz hohem Bodycount mit einem breiten Grinsen in die Nacht entlassen.
Der nächste Film, das haben die beiden Produzenten und Hauptdarsteller Rita Artmann und Joe Bauer (der nebenbei Regie führte, die Kamera und den Schnitt besorgte und auch sonst nahezu jede technische Disziplin des Films ausführte) angekündigt, soll ein Vielfaches von The Killage kosten, nämlich 150.000 australische Dollar. Man darf gespannt sein, was die beiden mit dieser für ihre Verhältnisse astronomischen Summe auf die Beine stellen werden. Wenn sie den bisher angeschlagenen Tonfall beibehalten werden, wird auch der kommende Film mit Sicherheit eines werden – ein Mordsspaß für Trash-Fans.
13 Dec 2011
Attention filmmakers and producers!
COMEDY FILM FESTIVAL – BERLIN PART 3!
HONKs third movie at the Comedy Film Festival gives a good example how to make a great movie without spending a budget of millions. Joe Bauer and his beautiful partner – Rita Altmann made a really amazing horror comedy “The Killage” and they spent just only 4.000,-$! This movie could compete with any blockbusters made in Hollywood. Well for sure they had to work a lot on this movie as they have written, directed, produced and filmed the movie. More of that – they acted in it, made the costumes, the production design, editing, visual effects, post production and and and…
There you can see that Joe Bauer is totally passionated about doing movies, especially the comedy genre. By the way, he lives in Australia and he started making comedy at the age of 11!
Comedy is the only genre!
“Comedy is the only genre I’m interested in being involved it at the moment, and this is mainly due to budgetary concerns. You can make a comedy very cheaply – the only requisite is that the audience is laughing, and oftentimes limited resources can be an additive to the humour.” – Joe Bauer
So what is this movie, which doesn’t leave out a single cliché of the horror or slasher genre about?
Eleven stereotypes come together for a team-building workshop in the wilderness. The weekend starts out as boring as expected – until one of them turns out to be psychotic mass murder. But who? The vain jock? His dump girlfriend? The nerd? The lesbian? The sexy “bitch” or the handicapped “asshole”, sitting in the wheel chair? Or is it the sensitive guitar freak taking down his colleagues one by one? While the group is being decimated faster than anyone can unpack their suitcases, time is running out to expose the sick slasher so that one of them can make it to the last scene as the last man/woman standing. Based on a Pulitzer Prize-winning story, this film is an insane, bloody trip into the human intestines. From the extremely stereotypical protagonists to the detailed reconstruction of typical image compositions and the use of sound to built up shock moments, Bauer uses the whole repertoire just to exaggerate it to the point of absurdity. As a result, shock and fear give way to roaring laughter!
Comedy Film Festival: International Comedy Film Festival beginnt in Berlin
THRILLS AND SPILLS ON THE COAST
Filmink (Australia) – Dec 2011 – page 48
Festival Action on the Gold Coast
by Oliver Pfeiffer | November 29, 2011 14:08 | Edited November 30, 2011 09:54
… And audiences absolutely lapped up the locally made entries in this year’s ‘Queensland Showcase’, with sold out screenings of genre films such as Paul and Ben China’s (pictured) heart-stoppingly suspenseful thriller Crawl and Joe Bauer’s hilarious stalk ‘n slash pastiche The Killage. …
Blog Review: The Killage (2011)
I enjoyed this film the second time around much more, and I’ve spent most of my caffeine-induced sleepless night thinking about why. I think I might have worked it out. The first time I was just watching it for entertainment, and to see my friends on the big screen, but there was more to it the second time around.
Last night, I paid a lot more attention to the technical stuff.
The way the film starts, is one character at a time. As each character enters the first scene, they start with a line that gives you some indication of their personality, and then they interact with the others in the scene, giving you an indication of where they fit in the social hierarchy. Some great writing by Joe Bauer there!
The soundtrack is something that is quickly noticeable as one of the greatest parts of the film, second only to the screenplay.
I was impressed with David Lazar’s ability to create music that was so complimentary to each scene. It contributed to many of the laughs being louder than if someone else had written the score, and also increased the scare factor in quite a few scenes. I particularly loved how he handled the music in the flashback scenes. Between the screenplay and the score, the film builds at a comfortable speed and catches you by surprise.
Not all of the acting was brilliant, but there were some great performances.
It was Rita Artmann, Joe Bauer and Jess Thomas-Hall who were my favourite actors for their comic ability mostly, but also teamed with the skill in which they brought their characters to life. A character that can make me laugh while believing in their existence is a truly beautiful thing. Each of the actors were either good at bringing the character to life, or their comic ability.
For once there wasn’t a character that I hated seeing on the screen.
That said, I was happy to see some of them die. Any my, what creative ways they managed to off them! My favourite was the stiletto. I always knew those things were bad for your health. People just don’t realize how bad a stiletto can be for you. Of course, I’m sure they don’t usually cause death, but, er, um, I have no idea what my point is now.
Great film, and I’ll be surprised if it doesn’t reach cult status eventually.
Festival reels in film buffs
Gold Coast Bulletin (Gold Coast, Australia) – Wednesday, 23/11/2011 – page 30
Action! Lights go up on film fest
The Courier Mail (Brisbane, Australia) – Friday, 18/11/2011 – page 72
P&S Steve at Gold Coast Film Festival
Uploaded by PilotsandShorts on 4 Nov 2011
[VIDEO INTERVIEW – Rita Artmann interview on The Killage begins at 6:30]
GOLD COAST FILM FESTIVAL LAUNCHES WITH ONE MONTH TO GO
October 26, 2011
Movies starring some big name Hollywood actors will make their Australian premiere in the Gold Coast’s upcoming Film Festival.
The week-long event will this year feature a number of international films as well as Queensland-made productions.
Local horror film hits big scream on Coastg
Gold Coast Sun (Gold Coast, Australia) – Wednesday, 26/10/2011 – page 22
Coast comedy dead right
Weekend Gold Coast Bulletin (Gold Coast, Australia) – Saturday, 22/10/2011 – page 28
Low budget horror lands big break
The Courier Mail (Brisbane, Australia) – Friday, 21/10/2011 – page 23
Movie buffs get taste of Cannes
Tweed Mail (Tweed Heads, Australia) – Thursday, 20/10/2011 – page 31
The Killage – ArtSpear Entertainment presents
19 October 2011
A group of eleven recruits, composed entirely of excruciating social stereotypes, and one dorky camp instructor, embark on a weekend-long work retreat in the quasi-wilderness of northern south-east Queensland. Everything goes relatively smoothly, that is to say, lamely, until (you guessed it) one of the group turns out to be a homicidal maniac hell-bent on dispatching the others in a variety of creative ways. The only question is, who is the killer? Is it the jock? The goth? The crippled arsehole? Only time, and a suitable bodycount, will tell. Based on the Pulitzer-Prize-winning novel (sic), The Killage is a wacky, fright-filled journey into the darkest recesses of the human intestines.
The Killage was produced by ArtSpear Entertainment with support from The Actors Workshop.
Principal photography on The Killage was shot over just two intense long weekends at a remote location in Queensland. This demanded an extraordinary amount of dedication from the tireless cast and crew who worked around the clock (often with no sleep) in order to get every last scene shot.
The Killage has been accepted into the Crystal Palace International Film Festival (London), the Bram Stoker International Film Festival (Whitby England), Spookie Movie and Spooky Movie Trailer Festivals (Arlington USA) Mile High Horror Film Festival (Denver, Colorado)
Half of the film’s twelve principal cast-members are from The Actors Workshop, including graduates Rita Artmann, Jess’ Thomas Hall, Cameron Sowden, Johancee Theron, Carmel Savage and Dryden Bingham.
Action: film festival launched
Daily News Tweed Heads (Tweed Heads NSW, Australia) – Tuesday, 18/10/2011 – page 7
Gold Coast rolls out action for film festival
Fiona Purdon From: The Courier-Mail October 18, 2011 12:00AM
THE Gold Coast is Australia’s third-biggest movie-making venue, and deserves a film festival to celebrate its stature.
That is the opinion of Gold Coast Film Festival director Casey Marshall Siemer, who will deliver the biggest program in the event’s 10-year history with a 30-film line-up kicking off at Australia Fair’s Birch Carroll and Coyle Cinemas on November 21.
Mrs Marshall Siemer says the festival’s action theme is evident with opening movie, China’s biggest-ever box office release Let The Bullets Fly, and closing movie Attack The Block.
Mrs Marshall Siemer says three local films from about 20 entries were selected for Queensland Showcase, including the world premiere of Dartworth, a drama filmed around Brisbane; The Killage, a horror comedy filmed on the Sunshine Coast and around southeast Queensland, and Crawl, a thriller set on the Gold Coast.
Killage, The (2011) – 3/5
Sunday, October 9, 2011
Although crafting a satire on slasher films isn’t new (it fell to new lows with “Shriek”), it can still be presented in such a way to earn its own merits as both a comedy and a horror film. This Australian slasher satire, as if you couldn’t tell it be one from its rather cleverly silly title, is hit and miss all around though occasionally dredging up some legitimate laughs with its ridiculousness only to fall prey to the wishy-washy cast and sometimes too basic jokes.
A group of young men and women, all of cliche personalities ranging from the Goth girl to a beefed up knuckle head that goes by the name Jock, are off to a work retreat to figure out who in the new company has the stamina to be team leader. Unfortunately for this group of dim-witted campers, one of them happens to be a murderous psychopath. Which one of them is the killer? Is it the forlorn heroine? The nerdy photographer? The stoner? Can the mystery be solved in time before everyone gets knocked off in creative ways? Is this too many questions?
Often enough, “The Killage” does exactly what it needs to for the satire on slashers to work. Our group is perfectly by the numbers, the kills are clever but ridiculous enough to earn some laughs (a woman is killed with dental floss and an electric toothbrush), and the plot moves in ways one often recognizes as basic slasher premises. In this way, this Australian indie film succeeds in spades. It’s delightful in many of the asinine conversations and off beat re-occurring concepts (including a nude joke with the Jock character that never seems to end – which is part of why it works so well) and many of the cast members play it up as much as possible, selling it. It’s hard not to claim that I didn’t laugh my ass off at many moments, including an incorporated parakeet riff that pops up in the most random spots.
Beyond the basics though, “The Killage” suffers a bit. As fans of slasher satires, we’ve been spoiled with films like “Scary Movie” and “Scream” who push the boundaries of the idea to new areas catering to their audience with unrelenting grace. Even though I admire that “The Killage” was unafraid to be offensive in many ways with its odd gore and stereotypes, it could have pushed it further. Take out some of the serious undertones towards the end, throw in some quips, quotes, and homages to classic slashers and it would have done it perfectly. It has the foundations down, but some more details that let us know that they know what they are talking about in its slasher/comedy and it would have nailed a home run.
All in all, “The Killage” is a hilarious time for those willing to pull back their horror pretensions for the sake of a few ridiculous laughs. Not quite as tight in writing or executions as some others that take the idea running, but its often silly enough to evoke the joy that we get out of B-grade slashers.
Written By Matt Reifschneider
Posted by DarkReif at 10:26 PM
Best budget horrifunny film I’ve seen in a long time.
17 September 2011
My girlfriend was given tickets to see the premiere of this film. I was pretty hesitant to go because we had to drive some distance. But I’m glad I made the journey to experience it.
The Killage is a comedy slash thriller slash horror slash slasher film.. Hilarious, gore filled and a lot of fun. I loved it.
While it seems to cover pretty much everything in the ‘camp horror’ niche.. it also felt very original and fresh. You definitely won’t feel like you’ve ‘seen this all before’.
The entire audience seemed to be splitting their sides in laughter (or squirming at various things been split on the screen). And I think the big audience really helped me enjoy this film. If you go to buy a copy or see it at a cinema (if you can) I highly recommend getting some friends around to watch it with you as it’s a lot of fun. It’s a fair dinkum popcorn companion.
2011 Spooky Movie International Horror Film Festival: Official Lineup
By Mike Everleth ⋅ September 8, 2011
The Spooky Movie International Horror Film Festival is, once again, set to push the boundaries of modern horror with their sixth annual edition that will run for four terrifying nights on Oct. 13-16 at the Artisphere theater in Washington, D.C.
For the opening night event on Oct. 13, Spooky Movie proves its international flair with the over-the-top Japanese zombie gorefest and action flick Helldriver, directed by Yoshihiro Nishimura, which will have two screenings, one for the early birds at 7:00 p.m. and one for the late-night crowd at 10:00 p.m.
The closing night film on the 16th is also an international affair: Joe Bauer’s The Killage, an Australian horror comedy that sends up the teen camp counselors slasher genre. Plus, there will be several Aussie short films accompanying this final feature.
The Killage: an independent Australian horror movie
August 2, 2011 | New Film | by Courtney Beck
Love horror films? Think you’ve seen them all? No, you haven’t! Keep your eyes peeled for the Australian film, The Killage, created by ArtSpear Entertainment. This low-budget independent horror film will have you in fits as it exposes every horror cliché’ ever made.
A group of easily categorised adolescents (including the jock, the bimbo, the yuppie, the hot-smart girl, the lesbian, and one guy that just seems to be naked for the entire film) head to an isolated location, with, surprise, surprise, no network coverage.
All seems fine until a lunatic, with a completely impractical costume and wielding sharp objects, starts killing each of them in grisly, yet inventive ways. There’s a blackout, someone gets naked, and someone gets lost in the woods. Gruesome, hilarious, and very clever. Watch The Killage and die of laughter.
Submitted by EllahRose on Mon, Jul 11, 2011 – 10:45am
Poking fun at what has become the indie film staple – the low budget, lower class horror flick – The Killage at first glance looks like it will simply be just another B-Grade gore-fest like so many that have come before. Even the admittedly hilarious trailers didn’t have me convinced, we’ve all been fooled by previews that showcase the best two minutes of the film. Even the foreword by director Joe Bauer explaining that it’s an intentionally B-Grade film shot over two weekends only furthered scepticism, sounding like the go-to defence move of a plethora of bad film makers “It’s only bad because I intended it that way, you couldn’t possibly understand”.
I needn’t have been concerned. Within minutes of the film’s starting we were all putty in this talented young writer/director/actor/editor’s hands. The packed audience laughed and gasped as one; The Killage simply is the perfect mix of humour and terror, the humour a perfect mix of slapstick and sarcastic wit.
The story centres around 11 socially stereotyped recruits on a weekend work retreat (at a summer camp with no phone reception, naturally) hunted by a homicidal maniac in a scary mask. Each of the young actors plays their stereotype brilliantly, adding life and realism to their characters where it could have all become terribly silly. Not once does it stray into ‘too far’ territory, drawing genuine, deserved laughs rather than relying on uncomfortable, gross-out moments (although those do happen).
There are standout performances, most notably by newcomers to the big screen Rita Artmann (cast appropriately as ‘The Hot Chick’) and Laura-Jane Turner, both managing to inspire you to care about them despite their character’s shortcomings. And of course Joe Bauer, whose self-depreciating humour and seeming inability to feel embarrassment stole the show.
Everything from the lighting to the blood splatter feels polished and complete, if ArtSpear can make a film of this standard with no budget in such a short time then what’s everyone else’s excuse? Possibly that they don’t have Joe Bauer, who single-handedly obsessed over the 400 visual effects shots, managing to create gore excessive and realistic enough to make one flinch and squirm while successfully creating an homage to retro horror flicks of old.
The score, composed by David Lazar in just 8 short weeks, perfectly complements the film, bringing tension, lightness and romance when they’re required without ever becoming overblown or in your face, except when that’s appropriate and somehow adds to the overall experience.
In short The Killage is simply the funniest movie I have seen in quite some time, a brilliant debut by ArtSpear Entertainment, and a worthy selection to the Bram Stoker Film Festival in the UK this Halloween.
BSFF 2011: Aussie horror comedy THE KILLAGE overcomes cliche with charm
By agentorange July 6th, 2011 13:45 Filed under: Celluloid
Riffing on the 80s slasher genre is nothing new and when a movie start to get too smart for their own good it can really run off the rails (ie. Detention). The Killage, a new and VERY independent Australian slasher parody looks like it might avoid the pitfall of being straight-up annoying by actual being funny and oozing a ton of indie charm.
A group of eleven recruits, composed entirely of excruciating social stereotypes, and one dorky camp instructor, embark on a weekend-long work retreat in the quasi-wilderness of northern south-east Queensland. Everything goes relatively smoothly, that is to say, lamely, until (you guessed it) one of the group turns out to be a homicidal maniac hell-bent on dispatching the others in a variety of creative ways. Based on the Pulitzer-Prize-winning novel (sic), The Killage is a wacky, fright-filled journey into the darkest recesses of the human intestines. Bring a box of tissues.
The Killage plays at the Bram Stoker International Film Festival in Whitby England in October.
Written and directed by Joe Bauer, it stars Rita Artmann, Joe Bauer, Dryden Bingham, Jess’ Thomas-Hall, Daniel S. Johnston, Meisha Lowe, Andrew O’Sullivan, Carmel Savage, Cameron Sowden, Mark Theodossiou, Johancee Theron and Laura Jane Turner
FREAK OUT FORMULA
MX (Brisbane, Australia) – Tuesday, 05/07/2011 – cover
Hunt to Kill… it’s tough out there.
The Actors Workshop Newsletter – Issue #11 – Winter 2011
Within 18 months of graduating, Rita Artman met Joe Bauer and together they formed production company ArtSpear Entertainment over the gentle sounds of self-confessed B Grade horror film The Killage. Their first feature, The Killage is a schlock-horror/comedy about a group of stereotypes who go on a work retreat and end up getting butchered by a psycho in a wooden mask who may or may not be one of them, so it’s also a whodunnit. Sound like fun? Don’t be fooled, making a feature film is hard work – horrifying even. Amazingly, they shot the whole film in only a week, round the clock.
“Making a film on such a ridiculously tight schedule obviously demanded an incredible amount of patience and commitment from our tireless crew and one or two unfortunate key actors, who had to forego sleep in order to get every last scene shot. Things were made all the more difficult by the fact that we were plagued by intermittent rainfall.” Timing was lesson #1 says the ArtSpear Duo: “Don’t try and shoot a whole film in less than a week. Yes, we managed, but it did put a lot of strain on everyone and added a tremendous workload to post-production. The mantra on set was “ah – we’ll fix it in post”. Yes, we did – it took over 470 visual effects shots to remove things such as cables, light stands, etc. One of the problems was that the lack of time for shooting didn’t allow for more than one take in most instances. Instead, performances were only able to be refined through ADR, and since the on-set sound was mostly unusable, the entire film’s dialogue ended up being 100% ADR. We joked that it had now become an animated film.” For a pair so young, they have already achieved beyond their years, an inspiration! Rita is brutally honest about a tough industry: “Being an actor is a tireless effort – you need a lot of commitment, determination and hope. Make your own work because there’s not a lot of work out there – if you don’t want to give yourself a job no one else will. Network and take advantage of the connections you make in the industry. Behave yourself on set – especially when there’s a behind- the-scenes camera documenting your every little whinge. And finally, make sure you have a great technique and train at the right place. This will be the foundation of your career.” While the duo keep one foot firmly planted on the ground in a sometimes turbulent industry, their hopes for ArtSpear’s future are set sky high, with a mission to “give work to the many talented young home-grown filmmakers and actors out there – to employ people based on their ability and not on their renown. The ultimate goal is to put the Australian film industry on the map by expanding the possibilities for what an Australian film can be.”
ArtSpear are currently working on their next project Astronomo – a sci-fi comedy adventure. As well as Rita, The Killage also features fellow Workshoppers, Jess Thomas-Hall, Carmel Savage, Johancee Theron and Cameron Sowden. ArtSpear are now seeking distribution for the film which has its first public screening at Palace Centro Cinemas on Thursday July 07th. Tickets can be purchased at StickyTickets.
Friends of the Workshop
The Actors Workshop Newsletter – Issue #6 – Winter 2011
Graduate Rita Artman and Director / Writer Jo Bauer have wrapped shooting their feature The Killage for ArtSpear Entertainment and are now busy in post – many students and graduates participated in the production including Rita Artmann, Cameron Sowden, Carmel Savage, Jess Thomas-Hall, Dryden Bingham and Johancee Theron. Other cast are played by Joseph Bauer, Laura Jane Turner, Meisha Lowe, Andrew O’Sullivan, Daniel Johnston, Mark Theodossiou.