When they're laid off, some people give up. Cory Udler made a feature film.
Every auteur begins with a vision, and Udler's vision was of a brother and sister who love each other (in every way) and murder tourists in the name of God. Thus was born Incest Death Squad. It opens Oct. 2 at the Madison Horror Film Festival, and it soon may be released on DVD.
"There's a lot of disturbing stuff in it," says Udler, the writer-director-producer-editor-cinematographer. "I tried to make it where you'd feel guilty for laughing at it, and then you'd want to shower afterwards."
Udler, former promotions manager at WBUW-Channel 57, places his first feature film in the "grindhouse" genre: a combination of sleaze and slasher that may include camp, popular especially on drive-in double bills in Southern states. The provocative title was provided by Wisconsin native Bill Rebane, director of Monster a Go-Go and The Giant Spider Invasion.
The movie's story comes together thanks to an intrepid reporter, played by Tom Lodewyck. As the film opens, says Udler, "He's being lambasted by his boss for not getting enough stories about dead hookers." Like just another day at Isthmus. However, when we meet the siblings, portrayed by Carmela Wiese and Broom Street Theater veteran Greg Johnson, things get literally sticky.
"We used a ton of fake blood," explains Udler. "The blood concoction that we used was basically just Karo syrup, a little bit of water, a ton of red and blue food dye. There's actually a scene in the movie where our main incestuous two are rolling around in blood. They were almost like mummies at the end of it."
Udler and his crew digitally shot the 90-minute film from March to early June, and still had time to take a month and a half off. Post-production was finished by mid-July. The final cost was around $10,000, out of Udler's pocket.
The premiere is already half sold-out. (Tickets are available at www.madisonhorror.com.) A DVD distribution deal is pending with Troma Entertainment. A sequel has already been written, and locations are being scouted. But watch out.
"The second one I intentionally wrote with no camp value at all," says Udler. "It's very dark, very, very savage compared to the first one. Everyone who's read it has said, 'My God, what's wrong with you?'"
The cast has signed on to return, and Udler cannot praise them enough. "They're fearless," he says. "They're really willing to do anything for the sake of art."