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With the American Film Market right around the corner, Fango has been keeping tabs on a number of promising genre flicks. For example, American World Pictures will be shopping around a new supernatural chiller called KILL KATIE MALONE, and you can see some exclusive pix below. The film stars a host of familiar TV faces, including ONE TREE HILL’s Stephen Colleti and former Superman and Syfy movie regular Dean Cain.
The movie concerns an evil spirit with malice on her mind. “KILL KATIE MALONE is about three college buddies who buy a box online that supposedly has a ghost in it,” says director Carlos Ramos Jr., who co-wrote the film with FLIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD’s Mark Onspaugh. “The friends think it’s a joke until they release the spirit of Katie Malone, a vengeful Irish girl who has been reeking havoc on whomever she chooses for generations.”
Ramos and Onspaugh strived to distinguish KILL KATIE MALONE from other supernatural fear fare by doing less than your typical FX extravaganza. “We went back to what you THINK is in the room as opposed to what you SEE in the room,” the director says. “I think audiences are quickly becoming desensitized, and we keep trying to find ways to scare them with more blood and more effects. So I took the killer out of the room and made you guess where she is, and what she’s going to do to you.”
Of course, Ramos had no shortage of previous genre films to consult. He studied the masters, as well as non-horror directors who specialized in everything from sports dramas to teen comedies. “I wanted to go back to the classic horror flicks we all grew up on,” Ramos says. “So when directing, psychologically, I stayed close to the influences of Stanley Kubrick, William Friedkin and Tobe Hooper. But while prepping, I didn’t watch many horror flicks, instead we studied directors like Steven Spielberg, John Avildsen [ROCKY, THE KARATE KID] and John Hughes [SIXTEEN CANDLES, THE BREAKFAST CLUB]. These guys were great at telling stories and that’s what I wanted to do with KILL KATIE MALONE—tell a great story and not just jump out and scare you for 90 minutes. You’ll watch it once or twice for the thrills and effects, but you’ll watch it five years later because of the great story.”
The filmmakers found some diverse locations for the $1 million production. “We shot all over LA,” Ramos says. “An old prison in Whittier, an awesome high-school in the Mission District and a graveyard for priests, which was super creepy.”
Besides Cain and Colleti, KILL KATIE MALONE stars an ensemble cast including Masiela Lusha (GEORGE LOPEZ SHOW, BLOOD: THE LAST VAMPIRE) and Nick Hogan (son of Hulk), plus THAT’S SO RAVEN’s Lil J and Jonathan McDaniel. Ramos remains impressed with his performers. “Wow,” he says, “they were amazing. Masiela Lusha is a real pro. She really took this film to the next level. Jonathan McDaniel is one of my favorite actors; this guy worked around the clock and kept reinventing himself. The same with Stephen Colletti—he just constantly pushed himself. Stephen is a great actor. He’s going to do big things in this industry. And then there was Dean Cain! Dean is brilliant. He came to set ready to rock with ideas and an open mind. A director’s dream! He’s a really smart guy, so he would create these amazing back stories to his character that added some fantastic layers to the story. He did his own stunts too; the guy is tough as nails. That’s just a few. All the actors were 100 percent—Fernanda Romero, Einat Tubi, Cassandra Jean, Madison Leisle, Sylvia Panacione… they were all amazing!”
The tyro director hopes potential distributors will share his enthusiasm for KILL KATIE MALONE when it makes the AFM rounds in Santa Monica next month. “Well, we just signed with a wonderful company, American World Pictures,” he says. “They’re the pros, so I’ll let them guide us.”
Watch for an exclusive KILL KATIE MALONE trailer on this site shortly.
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