May 29th, 2013
The Varsity Theater - Screening Tour
"Oh, that sounds cool," my assistant replied.
"Yeah, they're doing a panel at 7pm. I want to hear more about this film." And on that note, we went to the panel discussion, which started with footage from the film and ended with the trailer.
I was intrigued.
We found out that tickets were being sold in the Crypticon dealer room. We bought two VIP black bands - I didn't spring for the top level orange VIP bands (I was considering it but a lack of funds made my decision for me). I left Crypticon looking forward to Wednesday evening.
Upon arriving at The Varsity on "the Ave" in the U District, there was a distinct line of people waiting outside. Inside, co-star Renae Geerlings checked off names from her list of ticket sales while star Tyler Mane stood at the entrance of the theater, greeting fans, taking photos, thanking them for coming to the screening and such. I told Tyler I was there to review the film and that I would make sure I got it to them once it was done. He gave my assistant a hug and we entered the theater to find a place to sit.
After a few introductions, a behind the scenes clip was shown to the audience. Tyler had interviews with the cast, intercut with on the set footage. I particularly liked the brief clip of craft services in the kitchen with Little Caesar's pizza boxes laying about.
Tyler and Renae then went through a few items for raffle. If you bought a VIP level ticket, your name got put into a drawing for prizes, the grand prize being a poster signed by the entire cast. Grand prize winners were then eligible for another prize once the screening tour was over. Seven or so items including props from the film, were the prizes, with two unique prizes capturing the audiences attention: a screen worn jumpsuit from "Halloween" and a walk on role in Mane Entertainment's next film "Penance Lane" where Tyler's character will kill you on screen. How fucking cool is that? My name didn’t get drawn for any prizes. I was picturing how my death would play out on screen (something Tyler and Renae had fans do for one of the earlier prize drawings) but alas it was not to be. I'm Asian so perhaps I can convince Tyler and Renae to add me as the token minority character in an upcoming film. One that eats too much, never gets the girl, and dies a horrible death mid way through the film. Pretty please?
I wasn't sure what to expect from "Compound Fracture". With Tyler and Derek's credentials, one would assume it would be a slasher flick. But that much I knew wasn't true after hearing their panel at Crypticon. And sure enough, it wasn't even close to being a slasher flick. I dare say it's not even really a horror film. I've described to others that missed the screening that it was like a supernatural thriller with tones of horror weaved within it's storyline.
Instead of rehashing the plot, you can read the synopsis on the website (and purchase your tickets for upcoming screenings):
Shot in 18 days with a grand total of 180 hours of footage and being the first film out of the gate for the newly formed Mane Entertainment, I found myself immersed in the character development early on in the film. And for any of you non horror genre nay sayers out there, let me tell you something; Tyler and Derek can act. In their better known roles, they were physical actors, having to portray emotion through masks without dialogue. In "Compound Fracture" they get to show what they can do as students of the craft. Impressive stuff, really!
The story builds nicely toward the finale that pits Tyler and Derek's characters against each other. For horror fans, it somewhat reminded me of the build up in Michael Mann's classic film "Heat", where the audience is waiting for the face to face between DeNiro and Pacino's characters, which they finally are rewarded in the end.
In all honesty, I was really hoping this wasn't going to be one of those films that I wanted to desperately like only to be disappointed. I am happy to report this was not the case at all. "Compound Fracture" harkens back to the earlier days of horror where storytelling was an integral part of setting up the mood, the creepy atmosphere, that made you slink deeper and deeper into your chair as you waited for the next surprise.
After the film finished, Tyler and Renae came back out to answer questions from the audience as well as finish the raffle prizes. My assistant and I left the theater very impressed with the film, the people behind it, and were very glad we went.
If the "Compound Fracture" screening tour hits your town, do yourself a favor and check it out. It's worth your time and money. But, perhaps more importantly, it's worth spending an evening supporting a group of talented individuals who are passionate about making quality films.