World premiere of shocking film AMATEUR PORN STAR KILLER 2 coincides with Weekend of Horrors
PREVIEW: AMATEUR PORN STAR KILLER 2
Starring & Written by Kai Lanette & Shane RyanDirected by Shane Ryan
Screenings: April 25-26, 2008 (Laemmle’s Sunset 5, 8000 Sunset Blvd., West Hollywood)
DVD Release: May 13, 2008 (Cinema Epoch and Koch Entertainment)
Some artists thrive when their personal relationships are suffering. Rapper Eminem is a great example. Some of his best material was written when he was fighting with his wife or mother. The same can be said about Papa Roach frontman Jacoby Shaddix, who often writes full albums about relationship problems even though he’s been married for 12 years. Filmmaker Shane Ryan, whose world premiere of “Amateur Porn Star Killer 2” coincides with Fangoria’s Weekend of Horrors in Los Angeles, can relate.
Both “Amateur Porn Star Killer,” which he co-wrote and starred in with Michiko Jimenez, and its sequel, which he co-wrote and starred in with former stripper Kai Lanette, were made in the mist of ugly romantic breakups.“When I made the first film I had just been dumped, I was depressed and I decided ‘What the hell, I’ll make a movie. If I do it in one night with no money, I got nothing to lose,’” Ryan told www.PollyStaffle.com.
Ironically, the character Michiko played ended up resembling the girl Shane had just broken up with. “She was shy, didn’t have much to say, but was hiding something,” Ryan said. “What’s weird is I didn’t tell Michiko to act that way and they didn’t even know each other.” The faux snuff film was made for just $45 and followed Ryan’s character Brandon picking up a young girl from the street, taking her to a hotel, and then raping and killing her on camera. Three years later the film had a couple of midnight screenings and was distributed on DVD by Cinema Epoch.
The company soon hoped Ryan had a few more “APSK” movies in him. Lucky for them another relationship of Ryan’s was near its end. “We had been on and off for a while, but this time it felt off for sure,” Ryan said. “I was depressed again and thought, ‘What the hell? I’ll make another movie. A sequel. I can do it in one night. I got nothing to lose.’ Plus, I figured I had a guarantee of getting it out there.”
Ryan didn’t want to remake or water down his first film as most sequels do. So he started by intentionally trying to find a different kind of victim. “I wanted her to be a much more promiscuous girl,” Ryan said. “Stronger, more experienced with a bit of an attitude, but not a bitch. More like the type who would be considered one of the guys. A cool girl. A fighter. But I don’t think I really knew what I was looking for until Kai came on board. That was who she was in real life and we decided to just have her play off of that.”
And again, looking back, Brandon’s latest victim ended up resembling the girl who had just broken Ryan’s heart in real life. Kai had never met his new ex-girlfriend. “These coincidences about the victims mirroring the relationships I had just been in didn’t even cross my mind until just recently,” Ryan said. “Some might think that this means these films are my revenge fantasies, but I insist it’s nothing like that. They are both amazing girls who I don’t have any regrets with, which is why both breakups were very difficult.”
But Ryan’s personal frustrations definitely fueled his project, which would explain how a guy Kai describes as “a total sweetheart” can play such an evil character. It might also explain why both films have such bleak views of the world. “I’m just venting,” Ryan said. “I have so many fucking thoughts that clog my mind that they just force their way out.”
“Amateur Porn Star Killer 2” is Ryan’s latest vent. The filmmaker takes what he did with the first film, adds to it, ups the ante and flies in the face of his original concept. This time there’s more violence as Brandon has many more victims. The sex is more graphic, veering into pornographic, but as Ryan has said it’s “about ten percent sex and only three percent goes past R-rated and into the porn category.” The sequel also explores the criminological background of his character.
The project is also extremely experimental on the level of Justin Paul Ritter’s “KatieBird*Certifiable Crazy Person.” “APSK 2,” which cost even less than the first with a budget of just $20, is filled with lots of editing tricks and atmospheric music. The end result is a piece of cinematic art that works on many levels. The movie can stand alone and works as a great sequel. It’s also is an experience that makes you question entertainment and the whole voyeuristic, sexual and hateful climate that our country is in right now. It also works as a cautionary tale like the first film that shows how easy girls can get into domestic violence, sexually exploitive and rape situations, and how once in those situations how easily they can become deadly. Unlike a film like George Romero’s “Diary of the Dead,” however, Ryan’s film is not at all preachy.
“I’m just painting a picture,” said Ryan when asked if his film had any specific message he hopes the film conveys. “If people can take something away from that picture that can make them think more about something that should be thought about, make them take action on something they should act on, or if they can just appreciate the picture as the art they came out to look at, then there it is.”
It’s also a picture that doesn’t fit perfectly into any single category. It’s part arthouse, part erotic thriller, part reality televsion/mocumentary, part grindhouse and part torture porn. Ryan is hopeful the film doesn’t get lost among viewers with some finding it too horror or porn oriented, and others feeling its too experimental and not bloody enough.
“Many seem to get it, but I’ve already taken some flack from a few people,” Ryan said. “Some say I’ve actually made a porno and they talk down about my choice to be graphic with it. It’s just bullshit American attitude. I don’t understand why it’s all right to blow a girl’s brains out, but we can’t show her private area up close.”
The young director and actor has absolutely no background in the adult business. In fact, his resume includes work as an extra in family friendly and PG-13 projects like “That’s So Raven,” “Bad News Bears” and “Drillbit Taylor.” So why did he decided to take the plunge that may have some calling his movie triple-X trash? Ryan said it’s all about what’s best for the movie.
“In the first film, the girl was more mysterious, so the sex was more mysterious,” Ryan said. “I felt this victim is more bold, so the film should be more bold. Plus, I figured when you cross that line it really helps even more to capture the realism of the situation. Even though you know it’s a fake snuff film, you can feel the reality of what’s happening.”
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