"Weirdsville" launches 2007 Slamdance | ParkRecord.com

"Weirdsville" launches 2007 Slamdance

Frank Fisher, Of the Record staff

Not only did the movie "Weirdsville" get accepted at the 2007 Slamdance Film Festival, Slamdance is rolling out the red carpet for the quirky surreal comedy. It was selected as the opening film for this year’s event.

The world-premier of "Weirdsville" on Jan. 19, launches Slamdance’s 13th year supporting truly independent films, most of which proudly come to Park City still independent, with no studio backing, although most filmmakers likely wouldn’t mind signing a contract after their Slamdance exposure.

Expected to attend the premier are stars Wes Bentley, Taryn Manning and Scott Speedman, director Allan Moyle and Canadian writer Willem Wennekers.

The film opens with a rat struggling to escape from the water in a toilet bowl. The dark but downright fun comedy takes place in a cold town near the Canadian border. Three pals, who share the commonality of drug habits, do the minimum to get them to their next high. When Matilda overdoses, Royce and Dexter go into a panic, thinking she is dead. They try to bury her body in the basement of a drive-in theater, closed for the winter. There they encounter a satanic cult involved in a sacrifice. Matilda awakes, and the trio spends the rest of the evening being chased by the cultists, a drug dealer whom they ripped off, encountering a vigilante group of little people along the way. The participants either know each other as adversaries in high school, or by the end of the evening they know each other well.

"Weirdsville" director Moyle, a self-described child of the ’60s, admits to earlier personal experience with drugs, which made making the film all the more interesting for him. He said, these days, his wife claims he is addicted to sugar.

Screenings were held to get public reaction to the film to make sure it was interesting to a wide range of viewers, and Moyle says it was getting more and more frustrating trying to tailor-make their film to get the best response.

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"I don’t know how to make a good movie, I’m trying to learn," said Moyle. "But I do know how to make a bad movie, and that’s trying to please everybody." He, writer Wennekers, and the actors agreed that if they made a movie they liked, all would be well. And now they have the featured film at Slamdance.

"I didn’t know our producer had submitted "Weirdsville" to Slamdance. The actors had been begging us to submit it to Slamdance thinking it would be cooler than Sundance," Moyle said.

"I was overjoyed when I found out we were selected for Slamdance, which I see as the rebellious younger brother of Sundance," Wennekers said.

He reflects on the struggle of the three-year "journey so fraught with rejections."

Moyle was delighted with the cast and spoke of sitting next to Bentley and listening to his comments during a screening of Weirdsville. "Oddly, Wes is spiritual in his approach to life in a partnership with some other energy. Scott is completely different, hard working, wanting to get it right."

Wennekers wanted to write a screenplay about how much of a struggle it is for people to leave a town which is all they know, but in addition these characters have the added weight of drug addiction entrapping them in their snowbound hell.

As to the "little people" in the story, he said that years ago he worked of the film horror film "Bride of Chucky." He said that actor Ed Gale, a little person who played Chucky, lamented that he wished he could play a role where he was not hidden in a costume. "Weirdsville" was the ideal vehicle for the little heroes of the movie.

Weirdsville debuts Friday, Jan. 19 at the Treasure Mountain Inn, 255 Main Street in Park City. Ceremonies begin at 8, with the film starting at 8:30 p.m. Remaining Slamdance tickets will go on sale beginning Jan. 18, 2007 at 9 a.m. in the Slamdance Festival Box Office at Treasure Mountain Inn. For more information visit http://www.slamdance.com.