Thursday, October 16, 2014

Inspirations from the Dark (part two)

As we continue our preproduction process on "NOIR" with casting and storyboards, here's Part 2 of our little backstory of how the project was inspired…  And stay with us for future blogs as we take you step by step through the whole creative process of how we're producing this epic horror/thriller with only a micro budget. (Below) "Noir" Filmmakers: Lee Anthony Smith, Gregory J. Bradley, Gerald Nott.


(Warning: "Kiss Me Deadly" Plot Spoilers ahead…)

Looking back, my first film-noir experience - or at least my first memorable film-noir experience - had to be Director Robert Aldrich's 1955 take on Mickey Spillane's pulp classic, "Kiss Me Deadly."  

Only memorable because of the final scene that takes place in a beach house at night–in which the mystery box "the great whatsit" that PI Mike Hammer (played by Ralph Meeker) has been searching for is finally opened...

Inside, a horrifying energy source is revealed as a young, beautiful woman, eagerly anticipating something wonderful, is instead burned alive in a blinding white light that engulfs everything…  

As a kid, that image really messed me up!  It terrified me like a macabre nightmare that sticks with you long after you wake up in a cold sweat.

But what's even more interesting was the circumstance of how I saw the movie in the first place, which was under completely false pretenses.  

You see, as a kid back in the seventies, you couldn't wait to check out the cool monster movies playing on Shock Theater every Saturday and Sunday afternoon on television.  But on this day, instead of "Frankenstein" or "Wolf Man," they were playing "Kiss Me Deadly."  

So, all I thought was… "Wow! That's a cool title.  Can't wait to see what crazy beast is going to show up in this one – figuring that from the description, it's probably some kinda sexy female vampire with lots of cleavage like from those Christopher Lee, Peter Cushing  Hammer Films… Oh, boy!"

But as the movie progressed, I started getting bored and started wondering when the hell this giant dinosaur or mutated bug was gonna show up.  And I know it may be hard for this generation to understand the horror of this–but back in the day, you only had three channels on television, which meant you didn't have a heck of a lot of options, so I had no choice…  I hung in there.

The one thing keeping my hopes alive was that they kept talking about this box…  this creepy little box.  They talked about it as if the devil himself was hiding inside. 

 So I thought, "Well, that's gotta be it. There must be some kinda demon head in that thing. Can't wait to see what comes out of there."  


My imagination had run amuck!  I was glued to the TV set now.  I just knew that at any moment, my patience would pay off and that the horrendous creature would show itself.

And at the same time, I was kinda digging this Mike Hammer guy.  He drove a hot car and had a way with the ladies…  And all of the characters were riffing these really cool lines like… 

"I don't care what you do to me, Mike – just make it quick" or "Keep away from the windows. Somebody might… blow you a kiss."  Even as a kid, I got the jest and I was amused by it.



And before I knew it, I was liking this movie in spite of the fact I hadn't seen a single monster so far.  

In fact, I was soon lulled into this false sense of security that our hero had this thing all sewed up.  He was way too cool for anything really bad to happen, so I went with it, figuring the programers at Shock Theater just got it wrong and put up a tough-talking detective story by mistake.

But what I didn't realize…  What I wasn't prepared for…  What I couldn't imagine in a million friggin' years…  Was the true horror hiding inside that damn box.  

It was greater than any mere monster ever could be. You couldn't run from it….  You couldn't destroy it…  You couldn't reason with it…  You couldn't trick it…  You couldn't hide from it…  You were completely helpless… because this horror…  this monster…  was REAL
It was science, baby!  

It was nuclear radiation and at the end, it destroyed everything and everyone.


I remember that stuck with me. That ending was like a nightmare playing over and over in my head. The black and white images seared into my memory forever. It scared me like no other monster movie ever could, because there was some sort of truth to it. For the first time, I realized that reality could be more horrible than any grotesque creature created by Hollywood. And unlike the dark, this monster was light… brilliant-blinding-white light.

So now that Pandora's Box had been opened, I started noticing a whole slew of movies within this shadowy world, leading me down the murky, twisted alleys of mystery and suspense… where the real monsters were flesh and bone and looked just like you or I… and like some teenager in a slasher flick going against all common sense and investigating a creepy-dark room without the lights on, I couldn't get enough.

Then, right when I thought I had seen it all…


 There was Orson…

Orson Welles

(to be continued… Next, the impact of "Touch of Evil")

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For more deadly kisses

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