Based on a novella by Thomas de Quincey (Confessions of an Opium Eater) and fueled by visions of '60s gialli, Those Who Deserve To Die is a thriller that subverts the formula of the revenge film, following its "hero" as he enacts a series of brutal crimes in the name of justice—without revealing to the viewer why these heinous acts are being committed. Goaded by the cold-hearted spirit of his undead ten-year-old sister Berenice, Jonathan wades into ever-deepening, ethically muddier water—for their plan is to not just punish the guilty, but extinguish their bloodlines entirely.
A cynical social worker, Margaret, senses that Jonathan's moral judgement has been damaged by his combat experiences (not realizing his trauma runs deeper than war). As Margaret tries to reorient Jonathan to a healthier path, Berenice looks for sadistic new ways to insure the completion of his task... for somewhere on the list of Those Who Deserve To Die... is Margaret herself.
Principle photography is 75% complete. Funds are needed for the remaining eight days of shooting, which entail the rental of locations, special makeup effects, and the costuming and feeding of extras. $45,000 has already been invested in the production, and post-production resources are already in place. The $10,000 Kickstarter funds are necessary to finish the last stretch of principal photography.
The recent influx of Hollywood film production in Atlanta has driven up location rental prices city-wide, complicated permit requirements, and forced DIY films such as this to compete with Hollywood productions for crew (since our regular collaborators are now booked on well-paying gigs and can not afford to spend vacation days as volunteer crew). Added to which, low-budget productions do not qualify for the 30% tax breaks given to those projects costing $500K and above.
We're proud of the explosion of film production in Atlanta. However, it is taking a toll on the home-grown community of writers and directors. So we need your help to push us up a notch higher on the budgetary food chain.
JOE SYKES - Moviegoers remember Joe best from V/H/S ("Amateur Night") and Bret Wood's The Little Death. TV viewers may recognize him from BET's Being Mary Jane and The Game. A transplant from upstate New York, Joe is a celebrated actor on the Atlanta stage, most notably in three plays by Steve Yockey: Wolves, Pluto, and Blackberry Winter at Actor's Express. He is a core ensemble member of Out of Hand Theater and has performed with the Aurora Theater (where he shared a Suzi Bass Award for Clybourne Park), Alliance Theatre, and the national comedy beacon Dad's Garage.
ALICE LEWIS - From an early age, Alice has been fascinated by horror and fantasy films. With the help of her mom, photographer Kelly Lewis (kellyisnice.com), Alice has spent the past few years assuming the identities of some of her favorite big-screen characters in elaborate photo shoots: Carrie White, Leeloo, Imperator Furiosa, Mathilda, Joan of Arc, among many others. In Those Who Deserve To Die, her first starring role, she looks forward to crafting an iconic character just as bold and unpredictable as those she admires. To view Alice’s work (and read her remarkable life story), visit her website at maliceofalice.com.
RACHEL FRAWLEY is an Atlanta Shakespeare Co. Apprentice Company graduate and currently studies at The Company Acting Studio. Some favorite theatre credits include Abigail in The Crucible, Charlotte Corday in The Revolutionists. Rachel can currently be seen as Hermia (and sometimes Helena) in Shit-Faced Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream, and also in a staged reading The Taming by The Weird Sisters Theatre Project, for whom she is also a producer. She earned her B.F.A. in Theatre at Michigan State University.
BRET WOOD (writer/director) is known for twisting the genres in which he works, finding fresh substance in the vampire film (The Unwanted), documentary (Hell’s Highway: The True Story of Highway Safety Films), erotic film (Psychopathia Sexualis), and stage adaptation (The Little Death). Likewise, Those Who Deserve To Die revisits the revenge film and clouds it with moral ambiguity and is injected with the same visual beauty and haunting tone that characterize Wood's other work.
Wood is probably better known as a film historian. He is an award-winning producer of Blu-rays for Kino Lorber, specializing in silent and classic cinema. His Pioneers of African-American Cinema won the 2016 Film Heritage Award from the National Society of Film Critics. He has produced Blu-ray releases of the films of such diverse filmmakers Mario Bava, Jean Rollin, and Jess Franco... D.W. Griffith, Stanley Kubrick, and Erich von Stroheim. As a writer, Wood’s books include Forbidden Fruit: The Golden Age of the Exploitation Film (co-written with wife Felicia Feaster), and Marihuana, Motherhood, and Madness: Three Screenplays from the Exploitation Cinema of Dwain Esper. His essays have appeared in Sight and Sound, Video Watchdog, Film Comment, and Positif.
Adam Thompson (producer) In real life Adam works as a producer and photographer (amongst other things) for a local non-profit, but on the weekends he's a filmmaker jack-of-all-trades (because you know... indie film). A staple of the Atlanta film scene since 2000, he's eager to tell stories, whether his own or those of others. While he might prefer gaffing or directing photography, he saw the need for a producer and decided to try his hand.
Chris Tsambis (director of photography/editor) Chris is an Atlanta-based filmmaker and d.p. who lensed several of Bret's previous films: The Other Half, The Little Death and The Unwanted. His works as director include 4 A.M. and an untitled Shia Leboeuf project, as well as music videos for Rebecca Loebe and New Terminus. When not making movies, Chris makes music, as guitarist/vocalist/songwriter for Eureka Failure, which is soon to release its second album. https://soundcloud.com/eureka-failure
Kendall Keeling (co-producer) A longtime aficionado of horror film of the most vicious variety, Kendall Keeling was, in 2011, recruited to help produce the extreme zombie film Abed, from director Ryan Lieske and writer Elisabeth Massie. Next, she co-produced the horrific Crazy2Crazy, written and directed by Greg Daniel (currently in post-production). She only works on films that leave you feeling gut-punched.
Risks and challenges
Every film production is a speculative endeavor. But since so much of this project has been filmed, and because Bret Wood and Illustrated Films LLC have never abandoned a project during production (and all their films have received commercial DVD distribution), we can say with extreme confidence that Those Who Deserve To Die will come to fruition. The speed at which we can complete shooting and move into post-production will be largely determined by the amount raised in this campaign, so the timeline for completion is somewhat fluid.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)