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We’ve been following filmmaker John Michael Elfer’s Kiss Before the Slaughter since its down and dirty desert shoot earlier this year, and now we are proud to offer you, our Dread Central readers, an early look at the project’s high-octane trailer! Read on!
Voted onto the ‘Blood List’ of 2010 (an industry insider list of the top not-yet-produced horror scripts in Hollywood), Kiss Before the Slaughter follows the exploits of ex-paramours Bradley and Raquel (actors Chandler Maness and Natalie Pero, respectively), who journey to Mexico for a black-market lung transplant for the latter, only to discover an underground organization who butcher the unsuspecting ‘donors’ on which Raquel had relied. Struggling with both their mortality and morality, Raquel asks Bradley – in an effort to save the group of complete strangers which the organization have ensnared as ‘donors’ – that instead he let her die. Needless to say, all hell breaks loose. R.A. Mihailoff (Leatherface, Hatchet II) too appears in the trailer.
Elfers, whose previous feature horror flick Finale racked up globally myriad festival awards before acquiring DVD and VOD distribution (via Image Entertainment), joined forces once again with that film’s co-conspirators Michael Elkin (who produces) and R. Stevens Harris (behind the camera), as well as new allies Denesa Chan (actress and producer) and director of photography Mario Contini, in order to deliver his ambitious vision.
Catching up with Elfers, he told us of his Kiss Before the Slaughter post-production experience (which was a labor of love and dogged determination for all involved), “By revisiting many of my Finale co-conspirators, post ran like a tightly-oiled machine. Deluxe cut us a sweet deal on processing the 35mm footage, Laser Pacific gave us an amazing rate on transfer, then I worked with Ryan Harris to slice it bullet fast, highlighting the horror, action, drugs, sex, violence and romance. Matt Doyle kicked ass on sound design, and (Trisol recording act) Die My Darling contributed the dark industrial, epic soundtrack. With everyone’s help, I feel like we achieved the goal of making it look like we had the resources and budget of a studio picture, when we did it all independently.”
As for his hopes for the trailer (which was produced in order to acquire production funds for Elfer’s planned feature-length version of Kiss Before the Slaughter), “We finished the trailer last week, and my manager Mike De Trana of Anvil Entertainment sent it around to a small group of his close industry contacts,” Elfers tells us. “I held my breath that first day. It was a year of hustling to get this made, and would it pay off? To my delight, the response has been overwhelmingly positive! A slew of companies have already requested the screenplay, and in the next few weeks we’ll cast a wider net. As if on cue to help stoke the fire, the feature script also just won Best Screenplay at ‘A Night of Horror’ in Sydney, Australia! It couldn’t have come at a better time. It looks like we’re on the verge of snaring some serious backers or co-production partners, and getting this made the way it deserves to be – with a real budget, headed for theaters.”
In regard to his future plans, “After sneaking into a luxury hotel to take a dip in their rooftop pool tonight and enjoying a cocktail to celebrate our first victories, I’ll be plowing forward with promoting the film and seeking financing. Oh, and to include a shameless plug, we’re competing in the International Trailer Festival.” (You can vote for it here if you so choose to. Simply do a search for ‘Kiss Before the Slaughter’ and you’ll be whisked to the voting page).