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A troubled veteran returns home to resume his life, but first he must fulfill a dreadful family obligation.
A troubled veteran returns home to resume his life, but first he must fulfill a dreadful family obligation.
157 backers pledged $12,682 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

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$12,682

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The Story

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.

The Production

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. 

THE CAST

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.

THE CREW

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.

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    Pledge $5 or more About $5

    VOTE OF CONFIDENCE

    Voice your support for TWD2D and for the spirit of original, transgressive cinema. Allows you to follow along on our journey and receive updates for backers only.

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    WANTED!

    In addition to following the progress of the campaign, you will receive a passcode allowing you to download or stream Bret Wood's 2014 film THE UNWANTED.

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    AMERICAN STREAMER

    In addition to following the progress of the campaign, you'll get an access code allowing you to stream a variety of Bret Wood films: THE UNWANTED (2014), THE LITTLE DEATH (2010), PSYCHOPATHIA SEXUALIS (2006), as well as the short films THE OTHER HALF, RAPTURE, and JUDGEMENT.

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    THOSE WHO DESERVE A DVD

    In addition to the above, you will receive a DVD copy of THOSE WHO DESERVE TO DIE when commercially released (Region 1 only).

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    THOSE WHO DESERVE A BLU-RAY

    In addition to American Streamer rewards, you will receive a Blu-ray copy of THOSE WHO DESERVE TO DIE when commercially released (Region A only).

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    DRESS UP TIME

    In addition to American Streamer rewards, you will receive a promotional T-shirt for TWD2D (featuring Alice Lewis as Berenice).

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    CAST AND CREW

    In addition to American Streamer rewards, you will receive the official cast-and-crew T-shirt for TWD2D (featuring the iconic hammer).

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    FOR OUR EYES ONLY

    In addition to American Streamer rewards, you and a friend can attend the private cast-and-crew screening of TWD2D. Atlanta area only; date TBA.

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    TWO GRAPHIC!

    In addition to American Streamer rewards, you will receive two limited edition screen litho posters designed by Mark Kenny (bobsposters.com) for THE UNWANTED. Available clean or autographed by the actress depicted on each poster (Hannah Fierman, Christen Orr). 18 x 24" printed on heavy art paper. Mailed in a cardboard tube.

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    FAMILY

    Family backers will get American Streamer rewards, plus a DVD or Blu-ray of TWD2D upon commercial release; choice of promotional T-shirt or cast-and-crew T-shirt, two tickets to the cast-and-crew screening (Atlanta; date and location TBA); the opportunity to appear as an extra in TWD2D (Atlanta, date and location TBA), and your name will be listed under "Special Thanks" in the closing credits of the film. Rewards will be delivered in two shipments.

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    MOGUL

    In addition to Family rewards, you and a friend may attend a work-in-progress screening of TWD2D with the filmmakers and provide feedback on the final shaping of the film (Atlanta, late Summer 2017). You will also receive a copy of the screenplay, autographed by key cast and crew.

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    THE ARCHIVIST

    A library of Blu-rays and DVDs of Bret Wood's award-winning film restoration projects. Includes PIONEERS OF AFRICAN-AMERICAN CINEMA (5-disc set), EDISON: THE INVENTION OF THE MOVIES (5-DVD set), THE BUSTER KEATON COLLECTION (14-disc set, goes out of print March 2017), Stanley Kubrick's FEAR AND DESIRE, and THE DEVIL'S NEEDLE. Retail cost: $560; Amazon cost: $325.

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    NIGHTMARE ALLEY COMBO

    In 2013, Bret Wood edited and wrote the introduction for two limited hardback editions of the works of novelist William Lindsay Gresham, from the boutique publisher Centipede Press. Only 200 copies of NIGHTMARE ALLEY were printed, and 300 copies of GRIND SHOW: THE SELECTED WRITINGS OF W.L.G. Both sold out immediately. GRIND SHOW currently sells for $500+ on Amazon. Contributors will receive both books, signed by Bret Wood and cover artist David Ho. These are lettered contributor copies, X and XI.

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    YOU DESERVE IT

    In addition to Family backer rewards, you will have the option to appear in TWD2D as a victim of Jonathan and Berenice, brutally murdered on-camera (to be filmed in Atlanta area, travel and lodging not provided, date TBA).

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    MILLARCA'S HEAD

    In addition to the Family backer rewards, you will receive the one-of-a-kind prop of Millarca’s head, still wrapped in the burlap bag, as seen in the film THE UNWANTED. The latex head was a cast of actor Kylie Brown, created by Blake Myers and Nick Morgan. See photos in the February 1 update.

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    DAVID LYNCH'S HEAD

    Monoprint by filmmaker David Lynch, 1998. Not a limited edition. There is only this one print of this particular design. The print comes in archival framing by Tandem Press, of the University of Wisconsin, Madison, where Lynch served as artist in residence. Letter of provenance provided. Shipped in a wooden art crate. This print was featured on the cover of Art Papers Magazine (accompanying an essay by Bret Wood). An actual shipping surcharge (based on location and method of shipping) will be added, if the print is not personally picked up.

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Funding period

- (30 days)