A little trip on a hot Wednesday night to Ahrya Fine Arts Theatre on Wilshire for the premiere of Circus Kane, the latest film by director, Chris Olen Ray, is circus horror done right and its tripped out ending does not disappoint! The film kills in glorious old school ways and hosting it at the Ahrya was perfect pandemonium.
The vibe on the red carpet was fun and it was evident how much everyone loved working with each other in this thoroughly talented ensemble cast, like Jonathan Lipnicki, Mark Christopher Lawrence, Tim Abell, and Victoria Konefal. Even some horror faves like Angie Stevenson attended Wednesday’s premiere looking statuesque graced in a gold dress.
Meanwhile, the audience was electric as guests filed into the Ahrya’s atrium. It’s always fun to get side looks from passersby who are completely out of touch with movies. Director Christopher Olen Ray, had a humble yet grateful attitude as he walked mic to mic giving interviews about next month’s Circus Kane VOD release. Also in attendance were a special crew of our military, who easily livened up the eve. And a walking duo of circus performers kept everyone on their toes.
The movie was look-away-every-now-and-then creepy grossness with no real clues as to the ending’s twist along the way until the montage at the end tying in a key character. The performances by the cast were fabulous and although I consider it an ensemble cast, there is no denying the magic Victoria Konefal and Tim Abell pulled off together in this incredible flick!
After the screening, there was a question and answer session with director, Christopher Olen Ray, along with writing team James Cullen Bressack and Zack Ward (a cool actor in his own right), Jonathan Lipnicki, Mark Christopher Lawrence, Tim Abell, Victoria Konefal, Ted Monte, executive producer Sinjin Rosa, Bill Voorhees, Erin Micklow, Kevin Yarbrough, and producer Gerald Webb.
Q&A with the cast and crew:
Q: Zack (Ward), when you’re writing, how much do you take logistics into consideration and how much do you say ‘know what, let’s just write Mission Impossible24, and just pare it down to whatever we can practically do?
A: that depends on who you’re writing with and that’s a question we ask in the beginning, and with Chris, he just said ‘Don’t worry about it, we’ll figure that out later.’
Q: How did you come up with the look of the sets? You really defined each room, too, with a different color…in general, how did you come up with the look that ended up being (in the film).
A: This is not my first project with Chris. We have an extensive collaborative history. When he told me about the project, he gave the reference of Rob Zombie, and a lot of other stuff in there; although that was foundational, a lot of it didn’t come together until we saw the sets. We did a lot of stuff with theatre lighting, very theatrical, so there was a lot of that, too.
Sinful Celluoid: From idea and concept to pre-production, and then pre-production through wrap, how long did those two aspects take?
A: (Chris) I think conceptually we handled the idea in 8, and then James and Zack 3 weeks for the script. And then, another 4 weeks that point til production, and then we shot in 12 days. It took about 2 and a half months to edit, and then visual effects came, and he did his stuff in probably 3 and a half weeks.
The vibe after the Q&A was grotesquely giddy for Christopher Olen Ray’s gift of killin’ and suspense horror done right. If there was an after party, I did not attend because unfortunately, I have a day job.
Grab a vomit bag and make sure to check it out on VOD in September 2017. There will be blood, guts, severed heads, and a little twist of Kane!!