Back in January of 2015, our own David Basile reviewed the indie thriller Psychic as filmmakers Paul Andrich and Dale Krawchuk of Terribly Important Films were trying to kickstart money for their second feature. Even though the fundraising didn’t come through, Andrich and Krawchuk forged on and are now in post-production on Vampire Season and submitting to festivals as we speak. And I got a chance to take a look at that rough cut! Made for just over two grand (!!!) with a working crew of five (!!!), Vampire Season tells the tale of four men traveling through the Canadian landscape on a revenge mission in a world where vampires have destroyed society. Andrich directs a script by him and Krawchuk and they play two of our leads (Alex and Dave) alongside Tyhr Trubiak as Rodney and Murray Davidson as Parker. That’s about all I want to say about the specifics of the plot since I don’t want to wander into spoiler territory. The storytelling here is all about the dialogue, from the opening scene where the boys do their best to out-disgust each other describing just how bad Rodney’s jerky smells. The scene starts casually enough but builds up to a monumental tidal wave of filth that was pretty damn funny and gross at the same time. And this gives you an idea about how the film is going to play out from a narrative standpoint. The structure of the film is essentially a series of vignettes where our heroes, drive, walk or stand around shooting the shit with each other as they make their way to their destination. In between these bits, there are mysterious figures following them, beautiful black and white cinematography, and occasional outbursts of violence. The comedy is solid, with Trubiak taking center stage as the comic relief, while Krawchuk plays Andrich’s father-in-law as serious, short-tempered, but also bitterly funny when he needs to be. Andrich, as the straight man of the group, is excellent setting up the others and providing a center for the other characters to interact with. Davidson’s musclebound Rodney is the man who is going to make sure everybody gets where they’re going safely and gets a few good bits himself here and there. Vampire Season makes great use of landscape to create a sense of emptiness, in much the same way Cam Clark’s The Stray or Jason Trost’s How to Save Us do, by finding settings that are virtually uninhabited in which to shoot. When you’re shooting a film for what amounts to a month’s rent in many places (three month’s rent where I live), you have to adjust your script and your storytelling expectations in a way that allows you to tell the story you want without all the smoke and mirrors. Andrich and Krawchuk do this perfectly. It’s practically a clinic in getting your no-budget film project from the page to the screen. And while not all of the jokes land and the effects and staging of some action sequences could use work, there’s a lot more to love in this than there is to criticize. The characters are strong, they have great chemistry, and there are genuine moments of tenderness and sadness mixed in with the vulgar humor and monster fighting. This is what indie filmmaking is all about. Here’s a look: Share this:TweetShare on TumblrLike this:Like Loading... Related One Response John E. Meredith August 10, 2016 The LIKE capability seems to be disabled, but I do like. Log in to Reply Leave a Reply Cancel ReplyYou must be logged in to post a comment.