Now for something completely different. Buffalo cult filmmaker Greg Lamberson has outdone himself this time with his latest release of Killer Rack. The frightful comedy might not be for everyone (you can say that again), but for those who into this sort of slapstick horror, Lamberson is gaining a dedicated following around the nation.
For the lovers of b-movies, big boobs, and bit parts, Killer Rack offers a multitude of rudimentary, reckless abandon. The movie is not for the faint hearted, or those who were hoping to see Meryl Streep in a starring role. Even without Meryl as the lead actress, Killer Rack still managed to come away with Best Feature at the Scare-A-Con Film Festival. The film is also creating quite a stir at a number of film festivals throughout the country.
Killer Rack was written by Paul McGinnis and co-produced by Gregory Lamberson and Rod Durick, all of whom are from Buffalo
Killer Rack tells the story of Betty Downer (local newcomer Jessica Zwolak), a naive young woman who discovers her new breast implants are actually man-eating monsters hell bent on world domination. The film co-starts genre favorites Debbie Rochon, Lloyd Kaufman, Michael Thurber and Brooke Lewis, and features a large cast of local actors including McGinnis, Michael O’Hear, Alexander S. McBryde, Robert Bozek, Sam Qualiana, Julian Dickman, Timothy OHearn, Brittani Ohare, Erika Frase and Drew Bialy. The production was shot entirely in Buffalo, largely at the Pierce Arrow Film Arts Center, using a local crew.
Following is an interview with Greg Lamberson:
Greg, did Lloyd Kaufman (President & Co-Founder, Troma Entertainment) really come to Buffalo?
We did bring Lloyd to Buffalo for one weekend (me standing with Lloyd – inset) to shoot his scenes in KILLER RACK. We also brought him out for the premiere of RETURN TO NUKE ‘EM HIGH at Buffalo Dreams Fantastic Film Festival, and before that he came to town for a cameo in my film SLIME CITY MASSACRE. So he’s directed three movies here – POULTRYGEIST, RETURN TO NUKE ‘EM HIGH VOL 1 & II, and he’s appeared in two of my films, and while he was here filming KILLER RACK he shot a cameo for Ken Cosentino’s ATTACK OF THE KILLER SHREWS. Lloyd is an honorary Buffalo-Niagara filmmaker, just like Debbie Rochon.
I usually make DVD deals for my films before I even premiere them, but I decided to take a different tact this time: I submitted it to 52 film festivals, most of which aren’t until the fall, and don’t plan to shop it around until after that. It’s what you might call an “audience picture.” We’re now in the anxiety inducing phase waiting to see which festivals will accept us, but I’m confident we’ll get into quite a few, including several overseas ones.
Where can people find it playing, and when?
Here in the Buffalo Niagara area, I’m saving it for Buffalo Dreams in November, but I expect it to screen at several festivals nearby before then. We have a long term strategy that will take us into next year. Because it’s a comedy, it’s important to me that as many people as possible see it with an audience.
How long did it take to get produced?
Paul McGinnis wrote the screenplay and submitted it to Buffalo Dreams almost three years ago, and our guest judge selected it as the winner. Six months later, while Paul was acting for me in another film called DRY BONES, he reminded me about the script and I read it for the first time. I couldn’t stop laughing, and I took him out for coffee and told him I wanted to direct it. We struck up an agreement to co-produce it with a mutual friend, Rod Durick, but almost a year went by before we got serious about it. We tried to raise $25,000 on Kickstarter and failed, so I went to my regular investors and raised that amount in one week. Since then we’ve run two successful IndieGoGo campaigns and brought in more investors, so the final price tag is $50,000 – far less than a Hollywood movie spends in just one day. We filmed on weekends over two months, then did some pickups for special effects later on.
Was it shot solely in Buffalo?
One hundred percent. We shot more than half of it at Pierce Arrow Film Arts Center, both on their sound stage, in some basement offices, and in their back alley. It was a different experience for me driving to a studio every day instead of shooting in my house – but of course we shot there too! I only paint the inside of my house so it will look different from film to film.
The response has been tremendous. When I read the script, I not only knew how I wanted to direct it, but how to market it. Major websites like Moviepilot and io9 have covered it in addition to the horror sites that usually support me, and our trailer generated 20,000 views on YouTube the week it went live, and we’ve nearly doubled that amount since then. The important thing to remember is that this is a comedy first and a horror film second – I call it a screwball horror comedy – and people love the ridiculousness of it, like a Zucker brothers comedy. I can’t wait for people to see it, because we’ve got some amazing performances from Buffalo talent, especially our lead, Jessica Zwolak, who had only done a couple of short films before this, and had a small role in one of mine. We have a fantastic score by Armand Petri and Joe Rozer, and of course some outrageous special effects. People will go into it expecting one thing, and it delivers some of those elements, but it’s really something else, with a positive message and a sweet love story.
If you liked these three movies (name them), then you would enjoy Killer Rack.
- Little Shop of Horrors (the musical)
- Psycho Beach Party
- The Man with Two Brains
To learn more about Gregory Lamberson, check out his Author Page on Amazon.
To see the movie at a festival or theater, take note of the following:
Upcoming festival dates include screenings at the
Eerie Horror Film Festival in Erie, PA on Friday, October 16th; Fright Night Film Festival in Louisville, Kentucky on Friday, October 16th; The Yellow fever Independent Film Festival in Belfast, Northern Ireland on Thursday, October 22nd; Puerto Rico Horror Film Festival the weekend of October 23rd; and Fright Night Theatre Film Festival in Hamilton, Ontario on Saturday, November 14th.
In addition, the film will hold its Buffalo premiere on Saturday, November 7th as a non-competition feature at Buffalo Dreams Fantastic Film Festival, which Lamberson co-directs, with a follow-up local screening at The Screening Room Cinema Cafe on Friday, November 13th.