28 June 2013

The Controversial Desperate Dolls - PRESS RELEASE

The Controversial Desperate Dolls

 Independently financing a motion picture is always a tricky business. The total sum can come from production companies, private investors, friends, family, crowdsourcing, overseas, and many other channels. In the case of Desperate Dolls – a female-driven retro horror film written and directed by Darren Callahan (BBC, SyFy) – financing a project that’s commercially minded, yet controversial can have its own unique challenges. “Basically, people don’t know how far we’re going to take the sex and violence,” admits Callahan. “It’s been a combination of wanting the movie to be the right level of lurid, but not wanting to turn anyone off by veering into porn or bad taste.”

Desperate Dolls is the story of three young actresses auditioning in1968 Hollywood. Spotted by an exploitation film producer, the three women grab at the brass ring, only to be led astray by another character – a mysterious talent agent named “Captain.” Though the film will feature chills and thrills, it is how far the production will take the sexual scenarios and tragic violence that’s been turning heads.

The film’s crowdfunding campaign posters feature close-ups of beautiful, half-dressed women and blood splatter. Teaser trailers speak of rape, murder, drowning, and all have a dreamlike, snuff film vibe. This is potentially disconcerting material for would-be investors.

“It’s a horror film,” explains co-producer Stephanie Leigh Rose, who also stars in the film. “There’s a certain expectation that we’ll have sex and violence. That’s the market, but it’s also the story. But it’s also a story where the women are the heroes. They’re not victims – not in a traditional, physical way – though they certainly are taken advantage of.”

Callahan equates the women’s journey more to being swept up in a natural event. “These women are lost in a storm at sea and are looking for lights on shore. It’s true that they bought their own ticket for the ride, but they were also very misled by this duplicitous Captain character.”

With a plot full of surprises, it has been tough for the campaign to tease without giving away too much, or without blatantly stating the level of nudity and gore they intend to film. For example, Sony has been working with the production team over the placement of a particular 1960s pop song. How can such a sunny number be juxtaposed with horrific content? “We’ve been basically just confirming that we’re professionals and that, though elements are controversial, that we’re going to handle things in a professional way,” says Callahan. “All the actors are well-known on stage and screen – they do Shakespeare, they win awards, they have careers. The content may make certain people uncomfortable, but everything will be handled in a classic way. This is to be an artful, well-intentioned, well-made film that has its heart in the right place – on telling a powerful story of three doomed women. Though the marketing pulls from exploitable elements, we don’t intend to make trash.”

With his previous projects, Callahan has enjoyed shocking his audiences, but always with a purpose. “Ultimately, I like to entertain. I want people to enjoy my work. I may be a bit confrontational or abstract, or both, but in the end it’s about providing an experience that people enjoy and want to revisit.”

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Darren Callahan, Desperate Dolls, and Doll Films can be found on Facebook, Twitter, IMDb (Internet Movie Database), Vimeo and YouTube, as well as these exclusive domains: desperatedollsmovie.com, desperatedolls2013.com, and darrencallahan.com.

On May 15, 2013, a full Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign launched to raise a portion of the production budget.

Please visit desperatedolls2013.com for specifics. Featuring exclusive teaser videos, behind-the-scenes documentaries, interviews, posters, and special backer prizes, there is a host of things that will interest film fans and those who like to be included in the early start of such a venture.

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