I was introduced to the film Death Is No Escape when, neighbor and fellow ex-Vox Popper (the term refers to peeps that used to hang out the now defunct and once beloved coffee house Vox Pop on the corner of Stratford & Cortelyou Rds) Angela Stucker invited me to a showing of the film. Angela helped produce the film and she happened to be in it. I am all about supporting local artists and I certainly wanted to see her in a full length feature film that was shot in the hood. “How cool is that?”, I thought. Well, she did mention that it is a horror film. Okay, so how horrible is this horror film? I was told from the get go there was no gore, which was great for me because I can't handle gore. I remember all too well how when I saw Jurassic Park and the guy's head got chewed off as he sat on the toilet, the entire theatre roared with laughter when they heard my piercing shrill scream fill the theatre.
So there I was in their screening room of choice, the actual creepy basement where the film was shot, and since I was with about 15 other adults, one of which was my husband, I felt sufficiently fortified against the creepy crawlies. Yeah, whatever! The storyline starts out with a ghost hunter reality team going to a building with more ghosts than the goosebumps on my arm. And so, there I was laughing it up and beginning to feel that this was a spoof of a horror film; uh no. There came a point, and I will not disclose which point because I don't like to spoil films for everyone else, when I just knew something was going to go down and by this time the tension had built up in the movie to the degree that my stomach starting doing flips. I started to look for the escape hatch, and before you could say “Death Is No Escape” I bolted the room and left my husband behind to fend for himself. To my husband's credit he followed my blur out of the room, but I told him I would be okay and he should finish the film. At this point I got to meet and talk with Franklyn Strachan, the filmmaker (writer/director/cgi guy) of this neighborhood classic. It was with his encouragement that I was able to return to my seat and finish the movie. Full disclosure here, he did have to tell me what to expect so the grip of the tension in my stomach would be released. Wow, okay the writing was clever, the special effects really set you up and the music, that was composed by Vincent C. Parker and Melvin Van Peeples, (who so impressed with the film he decided to collaborate on the music) was so on target that it came as a surprise to me when Franklyn said the film was made not even on a shoe string budget (his words exactly “On no budget!”) He also said that he had to learn the CGI techniques for the film on the fly because his special effects person basically dropped the project at the last minute. Since the viewing of “Death Is No Escape,” I discussed the film with local screenwriter Rick Menello who also saw the film and said, “The CGI effects in the film really made it scary.”
Before I forget to mention, that also standing next to the screen.... no, forget it! I am not going to tell you. You will have to go see for yourself.
So if you haven't seen it, you probably should if only because the Salahi Deli Grocery Mart on Cortelyou and Argyle is in the opening scene of the movie. I believe the next screening is June 9th @ 8PM, 847 East 19th Street and there is a $10 donation requested. The donations collected are being used to enter the feature into film festivals.
For other screening information you can go to www.deathisnoescape.com or to their facebook: death is no escape