Friday, January 13, 2012
'A Thousand Cuts' Movie Delivers Thrills at PS Film Fest
'A Thousand Cuts' is a high-suspense psychological thriller about a strange guy who crashes the party of a Hollywood horror director, with a warped determination to teach him what it is like to live horror and experience terror--personally. While the film has a few squeamish scenes intended to titillate horror fans, this is primarily a suspense film that leaves you on the edge of your seat through most of the movie. The cleverly written storyline pulls you in like a tractor beam. A party scene at the home of Lance (Newcomer) defines the world in which he lives, and becomes an important backdrop for later in the film when he questions what is important in life.
Frank, the stranger (O'Keefe) who crashes the party slips in unnoticed and tampers with the power, covering the house in darkness several times, which forces everyone to exit, leaving Lance home alone where Frank has the opportunity to unleash a rage of pent-up revenge. Olysa Rulin plays Lance's sister Melanie, whose character is off screen for much of the high tension moments but is at the very center of the fear that is so deftly delivered. The fate of Melanie is of high interest to the viewer, and Rulin does not disappoint. The suspense filled plot is so well done that I found my own imagination racing ahead trying to imagine what would come next, almost to comfort myself and release fear of the unknown. The timing of this film is excellent, raising tensions just long enough to bring the viewer leaning forward in their seat, and relaxing long enough to ease your mind to catch you off guard for the next scene.
During Q&A time after the screening, Producer Kim Waltrip explained that ATC was filmed entirely here in the Palm Springs area in just ten days. The cast spoke of the intensity of the production schedule and working in limited set space. The entire film is set in one house, primarily in a few rooms. This Independent film production has a major production feel but includes a few clever winks to the audience; a movie poster in Lance's office for "I Didn't Come Here to Die" is more than a set prop, it was a nod to the last film from Producers Waltrip and Casey.
After the screening, when the cast and crew assembled on stage to discuss the film. Writer/Director Charles "Chuck" Evered answers questions along with cast members including Michael A. Newcomer, Michael O'Keefe and Jimmy Van Patten. A Thousand Cuts is masterfully presented and offers sheer delight to fans of the suspense thriller genre.
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