“Let’s try a different way of reaching audiences where they are now.”
Kill Me Three Times producer Tania Chambers addressed a post-screening Q&A of the Aussie dark comedy, filmed on location in Western Australia. The event, hosted by Empire Magazine and taking place at Dendy Opera Quays, is one stop on an unusual promotional tour for the Simon Pegg plot-twister, with limited showings/Q&A’s taking place around the country, to be followed by the film’s release on digital platforms (including DVD and Blu-Ray) in early September.
Hitman Charlie Wolfe (Pegg) rides into town, handlebar moustache first, intent on doing a job, only to find out that some of the local residents have got the same idea, with couple Nathan and Lucy Webb (Sullivan Stapleton and Teresa Palmer) set on collecting a bogus insurance claim. Joining them are a small cast (including Luke Hemsworth and Bryan Brown), with the film’s action playing out between 7 key characters.
“This film came my way by chance,” explained director Kriv Stenders. “After I finished Red Dog I was developing a number of projects, I was offered a number of dog projects… this script came my way and I had a week to decide… it was such a great script and partly packaged with some of the cast on board already… it was kind of a bit of a no-brainer.”
“I love films from the 80’s and of this kind from the 80s… I loved appropriating films that I loved from the 80s… The last third of the film is completely operatic, the deaths just keep piling up and getting more dramatic… It was so much fun to tap into the opera of that and push it.”
“This film was very much a tip of the hat to Ozploitation… we have all the ingredients, the overseas star, the reappropriated genre plot,” said Stenders, explaining that Mission: Impossible star Pegg had signed on to the film after it was confirmed he could complete the whole shoot in the space of two weeks.
“We literally had Simon arrive on a Friday afternoon, did wardrobe on Saturday, rehearsed as much as we could and started filming on Monday,” said Stenders. “If we went with a generic kind of straight guy it could have fell flat, and comic actors make great villains.”
Easily the most enjoyable aspect of the film, Pegg plays decidedly against type as the flamboyant assassin willing to take on any job for a bit of cash. 300: Rise of an Empire star Stapleton also diverges markedly from his familiar image, playing a timid, soft-spoken yet still very guilty dentist to Teresa Palmer’s double-crossing, conniving femme fatale figure. Palmer rose to international fame following her turn as the Zombie hunter/love interest in Warm Bodies, only one seemingly counter-intuitive yet creative casting decision in a film notable for taking unexpected risks with its talented and accomplished cast.
Evoking memories of Fargo and The Ladykillers as much as any Ozploitation film, the fresh scripting managed to transplant an old screwball-comedy sensibility onto the West Australian coast, wreaking entertaining havoc on a small gang of interesting and frequently underhanded characters.
Kill me Three Times will be released on digital platforms as well as DVD and Blu-Ray on September 9