Coming this May, Dead List takes its viewers on a horror-filled ride through the lives of eight struggling actors competing for roles in Los Angeles. Regardless of talent, hard work, or good looks- none of these men could have possibly been prepared for their most excruciating roles.
Calvin (Deane Sullivan) finds himself in possession of a book with the power to end the careers of his biggest competitors in the scene. A struggling actor wielding this much power while he attempts to land the role of his career is bound for trouble. He quickly finds that he is not immune to the dark power he uses, and his vanity will cost him dearly.
Fellow actors Zander (Matt Fowler), Scott (Nick Franchik), Kush (Rob Healy), Jason (Eric Pierce), and Bob (Josh Eichenbaum) have been marked by the book containing a list of their names- the deadliest blacklist an actor could ever be on. The book finds Calvin one day, and him and his roommate Trevor (Jan-David Soutar) decide to take a crack at its possibilities. Trevor insists Calvin perform a ritual that will put him at an advantage over the other actors. Trevor, a more successful actor in the business, is often pushing Calvin. While Calvin and Trevor are friends, they often disagree on what it took to get to Trevor’s status as an actor with steady bookings. Every one of these actors is convinced that their talent and hard work is enough to push them to the top, but none of them are willing to believe otherwise. Behind the façade of Hollywood’s perfect films, here are eight actors willing to get their hands dirty for even a chance at a big role.
What impressed me immediately about this film was the quality of the deaths involved. Each is tailored to a character’s personality, fears, and faults. In doing so, the filmmakers have pushed themselves to creative innovative descriptions of ultimately the same final product: a vengeful, bloody death. Horror films have a wide range of possibilities when it comes to the final blow- such as slasher films, gore, torture- but the real creativity (or fun if you will) of killing off characters is truly evident within the scenes of Dead List. I am clearly an avid horror fan, and while I won’t call myself jaded to the tropes common amongst these films I will say that it’s hard to surprise me. Several times throughout this film I found myself gasping, speaking out loud, and really reacting along with the characters. I enjoyed so many of the creative shots in this film as well, with the camera angles keeping the viewer engaged with the conflicts of the scenes.
Our very own Erin Darling appears in this film, delivering bad news to Bob, an actor who moonlights as a children’s clown.
On a more personal note: as a former clown myself, I found this film’s use of balloons particularly horrifying.
You can watch the trailer right here:
Dead List will be released May 1st on Video On Demand, and July 3rd on DVD from High Octane Pictures.
Keep a look out for my interview Holden Andrews, one of the three filmmakers behind the horrifying genius of Dead List.