Filmmakers talk scary shorts “BAGGAGE” and “THE DAYS GOD SLEPT”
Filmmaker Jeremiah Kipp, who has served as an assistant/director and/or producer on the likes of I SELL THE DEAD, SATAN HATES YOU and the upcoming TALES OF POE, has also helmed a number of notable short films, and he and his collaborators (including a FRIDAY THE 13TH veteran) gave Fango the word on two of his new minimovie ventures, BAGGAGE and THE DAYS GOD SLEPT.
BAGGAGE (pictured above) is the brainchild of writer/lead actor Rob Dimension, who previously took those roles and was co-director of NO CLOWNING AROUND, a tough and gritty study of a has-been clown who descends into drugs, depravity and murder. For BAGGAGE, Kipp tells us, “he wanted to go in the opposite direction: a quietly unnerving thriller about a day in the life of Benjamin, a guy who struggles to fit in with everyday life. As soon as he leaves his idyllic home, where his girlfriend is able to nurture and protect him, we see Benjamin under enormous pressure to behave as if he can function normally. But the struggles of the day push him into situations beyond his control, and BAGGAGE eventually builds towards a brutally violent, gore-soaked climax where we see everything in his world unravel.”
Dimension chose Kipp to helm BAGGAGE after seeing his short CRESTFALLEN, starring Deneen Melody. “CRESTFALLEN had a similar look and feel to what Rob was going for,” Kipp notes. “BAGGAGE immediately captured my interest as a beautiful and macabre tale of a man haunted by desire. It’s got the feverish, melancholy intensity of an Edgar Allan Poe story, but told in a modern and transgressive way. Rob wanted a genre film that was aesthetically stunning, and combined with the visual sensibility of our cinematographer Jeffrey Gould, we were going for a style that felt like Alfred Hitchcock circa 1960: Bold camera angles, a constantly moving camera to sustain the tension and unnerving God’s-eye-view overhead shots that make Benjamin feel small and oppressed. Every image should resonate with the beauty of a painting, but one where if you look at it too closely, you realize you’re caught up in the swirls of a nightmare.”
Dimension, who stars with Ilaria Malvezzi, Kelly Rae LeGault, Jerry Janda, Kim Dimension, Amber Marchese, Thomas Mendolia and Chris Raddatz, adds, “Having Jeremiah want to be a part of this and help lead the film in the right direction solidifies that we are on to something good. Kipp can see the vision I’ve written, and he pushes me beyond my safe place. We have an amazing cast and crew involved, and the atmosphere transcends modern horror with a very vintage, elegant style.” Here’s a look at BAGGAGE’s trailer:
For more information on BAGGAGE and Dimension’s other work, go to his official site.
THE DAYS GOD SLEPT, which Kipp directed from a script by Joe Fiorillo, who produced with Lauren Rayner, boasts cinematography by Dominick Sivilli (TALES OF POE, GALLERY OF FEAR and the upcoming RAZOR DAYS) and music by FRIDAY THE 13TH stalwart Harry Manfredini. “It’s a fever-dream version of the boy-meets-girl story, starring Malcolm Madera and Lauren Fox, from Darren Aronofsky’s PI, that seems to be set in an phantasmagoric strip club,” Kipp explains. “Regular customer John wants to get to know stripper Kristy better, and she tells him her story. As he presses her for information, we get the feeling he’s opening a Pandora’s box. We see her trapped in a room with someone [Lukas Hassel] whom some audiences have referred to as a vampire or a devil…and he’s brought along a couple of his friends.” The theme of the movie, Kipp says, is “The more we learn about someone, the more mysterious they become.”
“THE DAYS GOD SLEPT is my second film with Jeremiah at the helm and Dominick doing the cinematography; CRESTFALLEN was my first,” Manfredini says. “I cannot find the words to tell you the joy I find in these films. They’re compelling and full of nuance, challenging and visually full of images that burn in your mind. As a composer, it is a complete delight to work with such material. Moreover, Jeremiah is a giving partner in the process, perfectly blending the creativity and insight I bring with his aural vision. These films are often referred to as dreamlike, but I can assure you that scoring films of this quality is a composer’s dream.”
THE DAYS GOD SLEPT recently premiered to a packed house at New York City’s Anthology Film Archives, and it’s about to begin its festival tour. You can see the trailer below and find out more about the movie here, and see Kipp’s official website here.