Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Have a bite of SUSHI GIRL

By Samuel Zimmerman
Writer/producer Destin Pfaff sent Fango the scoop on a nice little sashimi roll of exploitation called SUSHI GIRL. The film, which Pfaff co-wrote with its director Kern Saxton, begins production this March at Universal Studios, and tells the tale of a robbery crew reassembling to celebrate one of their own’s release from prison—and reminisce about a job gone wrong—while eating a buffet of sushi off the nude body of a beautiful young woman. However, things quickly spiral out of control and, as Pfaff describes it, “torture, madness and violence ensue.”

Saxton further explains to Fango that the genesis of the story lay in everyone’s favorite inspiration: “Alcohol. Actually, we were seeing our friend’s band, After, at a local dive and discussing the challenges we were having with getting a few larger-scale projects off the ground—including the feature-length version of DEADER LIVING THROUGH CHEMISTRY [a Saxton short featured on the DVD of George A. Romero’s DIARY OF THE DEAD]. And it hit us: We should make a throwback heist film that we can fully contain ourselves without having to depend on others. We ended up being lucky enough to involve our producer friend Suren Seron, as well as a few others who totally got what we wanted to do, and it grew into a larger project—in a good way. It’s like RESERVOIR DOGS meets HOSTEL.”

No doubt the titular girl will be a feast for the eyes, so it’s no surprise when Pfaff reveals that they’re casting the character from the very popular Suicide Girls website. “I did an interview with Sean [of Suicide Girls] last year about MILLIONAIRE MATCHMAKER [which Pfaff co-hosts] for their website, and we really hit it off,” Pfaff recalls. “He’s a great guy, and they’re doing some really innovative things with the girls and their site right now. We’ve been talking about doing something together, and I’m hoping this is just the first of many projects with them. On top of that, their girls are not only stunning, but incredibly talented. We’re looking forward to choosing a fresh face and featuring her in a unique and surprising role—one that forces her to shed her Suicide skin and lose herself in the character.”

Pfaff goes on to assure that while SUSHI GIRL’s budget may be low, this is no small affair. “We called in some favors and are lucky enough to be able to shoot at Universal Studios and have an Emmy-Award-winning DP [Rick Darge], a veteran casting director, a fantastic composer [Friedrich Myers] and a producing team who are able to work our budget to feel 20 times larger than it is.” Special makeup will be created by Tom Devlin and 1313 FX, and stylistically, the movie’s influences are spread across the board, but mostly rooted in good old ’70s fare. “We took our love of horror and vintage exploitation films and married it with a modern thriller twist,” Saxton says. “We’re shooting on the RED [hi-def] camera, and going for a vintage look: THE SHINING meets FRENCH CONNECTION.”

Pfaff interjects, “It’s got Hitchcokian elements too.  This is a total blend of movies we love—ROPE, DETROIT 9000, STRAY CAT ROCK: SEX HUNTER, CANDY TANGERINE MAN and AUDITION. With a dash of old-school film noir for good measure!” Look for more on SUSHI GIRL here as it heads into production and beyond, and check out its official website here.


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