What must be a couple of years back now, Jim Groom (Revenge Of Billy The Kid, Room 36) mentioned he had a project in the works called Zombie God Squad. At the time he was finally bringing cult noir comedy Room 36 to the big screen after a serious of unfortunate events and disasters saw it languish for more than a decade. Since then Room 36 was released on DVD and then out of the blue this little teaser pops up. 


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Teaser trailer for the psychological drama movie The Artifice

"Imagine if you had the ability to see every tiny connection, every movement, every decision, every concept, and every consequence. Would you embrace this gift or try to hide it would you be able to use it without effect or would this knowledge change your life forever?"

Stylistically the promo reminds me of Jamin Winans' Ink and Tony Krantz's Sublime, mixed with a touch of Mamoru Oshii's Avalon. We don't have a lot more info on this project other than it's gained nearly a million fans on facebook on the strength of the intrigue created by the promo, but the crew behind it is going to send further details over.

www.the-artifice.com | www.facebook.com/theartifice | twitter.com/the_artifice

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Trailer for Melvin Van Peebles seminal independantly produced feature Sweet Sweetback's Baadasssss Song.

David Noel Bourke's "No Right Turn"

Four people. Four different paths. One intersection. Nina is the sexy and alluring girlfriend of Johnny, a charming, but petty crook. To escape from her seedy life she has a sexual relationship with Teddy. One night Nina is abducted by a pair of thugs, but is rescued by the beautiful and timid Monella. Together Nina and Monella begin an erotic and passionate relationship that leads to a plot to steal Johnny's drug stash hidden in a safety deposit box. But nothing goes as planned and the two beautiful women get caught up in a lethally twisted tale of revenge and betrayal that send all four characters to their dark destiny. Inspired by 70s film noir, with breath taking plot twists, and shot in colors that pop like a graphic novel. No Right Turn is a modern sexy thriller that is part fantasy...part mystery...and all Pulp!

No Right Turn - trailer

No Right Turn - posters

No Right Turn - Postcards

No Right Turn (Review)

Interview With David Noel Bourke, Director Of No Right Turn


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Trailer for Jamin Winans (11:59) very impressive looking independent sci-fi fantasy film Ink.

"As the light fades and the city goes to sleep, two forces emerge. They are invisible to us except for the power they exert over us in our sleep. These two groups battle for our souls through our dreams. One force supports our hopes and gives us strength through good dreams, the other force leads us towards desperation through our nightmares.

Chris Kelly, Jessica Duffy, Quinn Hunchar,Jeremy Make, Jennifer Batter, Eme Ikwuakor and Shelby Malone star.

Check out the second trailer on our Virb page.


David Noel Bourke

Hi David, tell us a little about yourself.

My name is David Noel Bourke, an independent filmmaker. I grew up in Ireland and studied acting and writing but eventually drifted into spec screenwriting. Feeling a little frustrated moved to Australia and took up drama and creative writing for a few years, tried to do a little acting, didn’t work out, so came back to Europe and settled in Denmark with my wife Catrina, we now are married and  have two kids and try to eke out some sort of living making independent films!

You’re based in Demark, but No Right Turn, to a certain extent, feels like it could be set in any northern hemisphere nation . Was it your intent to deliberately not tie the film too heavily to any specific geographic location?

It must be all the snow in the movie that lends a northern hemisphere vibe, but it was very deliberate to make something not linked to any one place, something with more of a timeless retro-feel. One of the benefits of being timeless, besides giving it a more fairytale feel, is actually it frees up a lot artistically especially with characters, production design and the overall style of the movie.  It’s an English language movie but could be any place, any town, your town, my town and I like that universality.

Your characters have some great quirks and some really funny back stories. Without giving too much away, like the meat remedy and the obsession with trains, how do you come up with the ideas? Is it important to your style that the protagonists are more than just vehicles to move the story on?

Having character quirks makes it more fun if it suits the movie of course. For “No Right Turn” it was cool to create colourful and quirky characters, when your making these type of independent movies especially character based ones it really helps if your characters are larger than life.

About ideas, I believe everyone has ideas everyday, it’s putting them to good use that’s the key, and for a movie the trickiest is will the idea work for the story and character. Everyone who was involved in “No Right Turn” contributed to the movie in one way or another with lots of great ideas which is really cool, it was a big collaborative effort.

What were the differences between shooting your first film Last Exit and No Right Turn, both internally as a director and externally as a production?  Was there more pressure or did the confidence from having a film under your belt balance that out?

I’m always nervous making a movie! “Last Exit” and “No Right Turn” are like chalk and cheese.  “Last Exit” was shot without any crew, very fast, with no production design; no props; no locations; no sound and for 1000 dollars.

So it was very rough around the edges in more ways than one but can’t complain as its  turned into quite a cult film now.

With “No Right Turn” I managed to put some funding together and get a small professional crew which helps enormously. I still ended up doing production type work which is the most pressurised part of filmmaking but from an actual creative and personal level it was a much more enjoyable project.

I was very lucky to have a great cinematographer (Eric Witzgall) and a great production designer (Liselotte Justesen) on board. Most low budget features have little or no production design, but for this movie it wouldn’t have worked if I used only friends houses so it was important to build, dress and design our locations. We also used a special lighting scheme, lighting the whole movie using special neon bulbs which is very unique and gives a special surreal look to the movie with the colour and contrast.

As a writer and director, does what’s going on currently in the world of film have an influence on you or are you very much doing your own thing?

I’m a little old school and prefer to watch movies from the 60’s, 70, 80’s and seem to enjoy them more.  I try to keep up and watch stuff but I have a bad habit of falling asleep when I watch movies!  I actually really enjoy documentaries more and more these days and sometimes even preferring those to movies.  

The cast and crew on No Right Turn is fairly compact.  Is it important that they get along and do you think about the kind of personalities you're hiring or is it the case that you just assume they will be very professional?

I go what’s best for the project, I try to avoid those big egos but I know sometimes its part of the film business so it’s hard to avoid but when folk come on board, the project is number one. It’s one of the jobs of the director to keep everything in check if not the project suffers.

The film is a blend of genres, but there is a modern fairytale at it's heart. Was there a particular inspiration for that?

It’s great to mix genres. I don’t get a chance to make many films, so I like to throw a lot of different stuff onto the screen but it needs to work in the overall storytelling.  If the budget was higher I would probably mix it up even more. Regarding the fairytale element it was very important for the movie “No Right Turn” to have a heart and to have redemption and a fairytale feel, I love those movies that are a little magical but still based on real characters.

As a whole Europe seems to be able to cope with adult themes like sex and drug use etc. Do you feel this is an advantage over Hollywood in that films from Europe can treat the audience with a little bit more maturity?  Not to say that sex, violence and drugs is necessary for maturity, but more that you have the opportunity to make films that will resonate with a slightly older audience, rather than being pigeon holed into making films that are “one size fits all”.

I don’t think about that aspect too much. Of course, when your indie, you tend to naturally push the envelope a little more in general and I like to do that when it’s needed, it’s important to break the rules, you need to try to be a maverick or otherwise there is no point.  At the end of the day, if it works for the story, it’s worth doing, most audiences have seen everything before in movies in one form or another anyway.

Are there any directors working in Denmark and also Europe as a whole at the moment that you feel are doing interesting things in film?

In general not a huge European film fan. Lars Von Trier is still the most interesting in Denmark.  I like French films, especially the genre stuff,  Gaspar Noe movies really get under my skin.  The horror flick “À l'intérieur” was whacky and very gory even for me. Let me think, Terry Gilliam is still making great movies. Tideland was fantastic. There was a movie called “Cashback” that was very cool by Sean Ellis. 

When you watch films, what kinds of things do you go for and over the last few years what are some of your personal favourites and why?

Mainstream wise, I’m a big Kubrick fan; “2001”, “The Shining” being favourites for cinematography, characters and great storytelling. I can always watch Scorsese, Coen Brothers films, especially their early movies, “Taxi driver”, “Barton Fink”.  I admire dialogue driven films very much, like early Kevin Smith in “Clerks” and “Chasing Amy”. I’m a sucker for old Spielberg and Lucas, love “THX1138” and of course “Star Wars” and “Jaws”!

 I try to see new indie films when possible. Over the last few years Darren Aronofsky, Todd Solondz, Takashi Miike and movies like “Sheitan”, “L2DK”, and  “The Dead Girl” are movies I really liked because they push the limits a little, are quirky, funny and original. 

Both of your films so far seem to centre around people who are somewhat on the fringe, losing the game of life you might say. Is there a reason for that?

It makes for great drama and it’s fun. Actors always have a great time playing the bad guys and I enjoy working on getting underneath these type of characters. Anything can happen in their world, there is no law, no rules so it’s interesting.

Creative people tend to be filled with ideas, but film from conception to wider release can be a long process.  Is it difficult to select which idea to go with and do you feel a nagging prescience to move onto the next project? Especially say like now where No Right Turn obviously will need your attention to promote, but at the same the creative process is largely over. In many ways independent directors often have to be their own marketing department, is this a role you're comfortable with and even enjoy, or is it a necessary evil?

I wish I could make a movie every day. Movies are expensive and time consuming , especially if you want to have decent production values, so you cannot jump from movie to movie without fleshing out a good script and promoting your last one. It is indeed a necessary evil, all the marketing stuff, it eats up time required for writing and developing projects, it can get very frustrating.

In some ways the Internet has made indie distribution and promotion easier, but as they mature, the leading websites in any field inevitably become more mainstream and populist as that’s where the page views and therefore the money is. Inevitably they become (knowingly or not) more and more extensions of marketing. In the case of film it’s getting less common to find film sites that really talk about film (i.e. theme and content of the movies themselves) the weight of the content is really promotional material and pre-release hype, casting news etc. (I’m not pointing fingers I’ve felt the pressure to do that to).  Much as I like my site and it does Ok for what it is, I know talking about a film or any other product here is never going to expose it to a huge audience, do you think that internet based writers and the sites they write for pay enough attention to independent film? Have you approached any of the larger sites or do you feel that their audience only wants a certain diet and its best to stick with independent sites and those that specialise in independent film and cult movies?

You touched a few important things there. With indies you usually tend to try get your movie to some film festivals and get some reviews and then make a decision on how best to distribute it to a larger audience.

A lot of the major movies sites tend to ignore the independents because usually we have no Hollywood stars or big directors attached or the fact that your movie is not big budget sequel or remake. The internet helps somewhat and there is some really cool independent sites out there that support us, and every little bit helps, but the net is only one aspect, the traditional marketing of posters in cities, on billboards, buses etc and TV spots still is the best way to market a movie and we independents of course can’t afford that kind of thing. Hollywood usually has 50 million dollars set aside for this kind of thing, for “No Right Turn”, we have a couple of bucks, so of course we struggle.

What’s next for you?

I got a project tentatively titled “Yield”.  It’s a fantasy based psychological thriller about  a man returning home to solve a mystery from his youth,  if you thought “No Right Turn” has some strange characters and a funny story, this movie is off the scale! I’m very excited about it, it’s bigger in scope again and probably needs a larger budget but hope to get it kick started early next year. I’m also developing a big science fiction project, a bio pic, and looking into a TV series based on a couple of concepts.  Lot’s of fun challenges ahead!

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No Right Turn - trailer | No Right Turn - posters | No Right Turn - Review

Room 36

Political intrigue, double-crossing and dodgy sexual shenanigans are afoot at the Midlothian Hotel in the sadly ill-fated, not to mention ridiculously long-awaited, offering from the creators of that rough diamond, Revenge of Billy the Kid.

Any fans of 1991’s filthy Brit gem, Revenge of Billy the Kid, will have been eagerly awaiting the follow-up from the same team…and waiting, and waiting, and waiting, as this production has proved to be a real labour of love, beset as it has been by an unbelievable amount of setbacks. However, perseverance won out and 2002 saw the eventual release of their second and unrelated film, Room 36, and, although unrelated, there are a lot of touches from Billy that we know and love (and vaguely remember) still thankfully intact.

Room 36 is quite an ambitious departure from the aforementioned Revenge of Billy the Kid, with Director, Jim Groom and Producer, Tim Dennison at the helm once more, this time for a far more complex Noir pastiche. In a rather bizarre mix, a comedy of errors leads the way for a murderously dark thriller where a mistaken room number sets in motion a disastrous chain of events. Set in London, the action takes place almost entirely in the Midlothian Hotel, a downmarket and mildly sleazy hovel which brings together workers, lovers, and, in the case of Room 36, enemies with a shared business interest. Not-all-that-good hitman, Connor (Paul Herzberg,) has a rendezvous with stern MP, Woods (Portia Booroff,) the deal; her potentially government destroying film in return for a case of lovely cash. In a much more amusing and ingenious plot device than the old ‘upside-down number’ chestnut, Connor’s visitor and the visitor of another guest (the wonderfully repulsive Dick Armstrong, played to perfection by Frank Scantori) become muddled and so begins this dark comedy/thriller with all its terrible repercussions.

What a strange film Room 36 is; with its happily peculiar mix of Carry On humour, tinges of horror, and brooding noir it’s nothing if not different. Possibly the strangest thing, however, is that it actually works, sometimes better than others, admittedly, but still, it works. Not only that but it serves as a good reminder that the UK can produce something more original than the recent rut of footie films, period dramas, East End gangster flicks and other assorted depressing grimness that we seem to have become stuck in. It is a real shame that the production was hit so badly with problems as it cannot help but have hindered the final product. That said, this film still holds up remarkably well. David Read is on hand once more as cinematographer making a grand job with their specially sourced, grainy black and white stock, heightening the violence with stark red of the (much splattered) blood and the seediness with the enhanced brown of the wandering cockroaches.

Apart from the odd touch, stylization is thankfully low, allowing much of the noir feel to seep in from the brooding atmosphere of the dark deeds afoot. Similarly, rather than relying on parody to fuel the humour, Groom has opted once more for the style of comedy unique to this team. The humour is silly, child-like and grubby, just like its predecessor, but don’t saddle up your High Horse just yet as it is genuinely distinctive and amusing. Unfortunately, the comic elements work better than the serious ones as these guys have a real knack for the humour, with the thriller aspects coming over less well. As the main characters, Connor and Woods, though embedded in something far more deadly and complex, never seem as interesting or as enjoyable to watch as those who have less screen time. With the occasional touches of unpleasantly delicious Lynchian surrealism mixed with some Carry On humour, it’s the moments with the supporting characters that make this film. Dick Armstrong is a particularly wonderful creation who certainly has more than a little of the grotesque about him, and it is his repulsive character along with the surrealism of the hum-drum life of the working-class Londoners that give this film it’s edge in content to complement it’s striking visual style.

Well worth the wait, this dark comedy/noir is a British film to be proud of.

Fi Wilson



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