Friday, July 10, 2009

Getting a Rise Out of the Lehning Brothers

Hey Hollywood! Hey NY! Hey indie film distributors anywhere! Get wise, already.

I didn't get to see Make-Out With Violence during the Nashville Film Fest because I just can't stay up that late, all right? Lucky for me The Non-Commissioned Officers, the band formed by the film-makers in order to provide a cheap soundtrack, is playing a showcase with us Saturday night at the Exit, thus creating a good excuse to plea for a screener ("don't you wanna come in on my show ...?") and get a live in-studio performance from some of the band/company members.

Eric Lehning gives the run-down of the plot in the interview's sound file, below, but basically it's boy meets girl, boy doesn't get girl, girl dies, boy gets girl's zombie and assumes care-taking duties. All, narrated by boy's younger brother as we watch the fall-out and the toll it takes on everyone involved.

It's not really a movie you can make a typical sort of judgment call on, like "great" or "good." "Highly memorable" would work. It has flaws; it's probably 20-30 minutes longer, and with one or two characters more, than there needs to be. What the story, the story-telling, the visual style and images bring to the table, however, rises so far above those flaws that it's impossible to believe Make-Out With Violence isn't destined to at least become some sort of cult classic.

Lehning, who wrote the script along with Cody DeVos and others, doesn't want to say "zombie." Instead he reaches for "the z-word." I can't blame him, because there's a bit more going on than some creature stumbling around with a vacant stare and outstretched arms. If Make-Out has to be filed under "horror," it could sit well on a shelf right next to Let the Right One In. Like Eli, in that movie, the undead in question doesn't have to go in search of her own food; she has a willing accomplice. Unlike Eli, she has nothing to offer her keeper in return.

Anyway, you can listen into the interview and two songs from the soundtrack, in acoustic performance:

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