FILM REVIEW – Greek myth thrives with THE LADIES OF THE HOUSE – VOD 5/1/15 iTunes
THE LADIES OF THE HOUSE was executive produced by Ruth Mutch (INFINITELY POLAR BEAR, LITTLE ACCIDENTS), and co-executive produced by Debbi Berlin. The film was shot and produced in Dallas, Texas.
The film is currently available for pre-order on iTunes:
THE LADIES OF THE HOUSE follows the fate of two brothers, Jacob and Kai, who, along with their friend Derek, go to a dance club to celebrate Kai’s birthday. After Derek convinces the other two to follow one of the dancers home, things take a tragic turn resulting in the young woman’s death.
John Wildman’s THE LADIES OF THE HOUSE launches on VOD, May 1st. The grindhouse-style feminist thriller will wrap up a successful year-long film festival run with an appearance at the Nashville Film Festival on Friday, April 16 as part of the fest’s Graveyard Shift lineup prior to the VOD date.
Feminist Grindhouse-thriller stars
Melodie Sisk (Summer of Blood), Brina Palencia (“Star-Crossed”),
and Michelle “Belladonna” Sinclair (Inherent Vice)
THE LADIES OF THE HOUSE is a post-feminist thriller, following the events surrounding a
birthday outing with two brothers and their friend which turns into a fight for survival after they
become trapped in a house with a pin-up style-loving “family” of malevolent women.
In addition to its origins as a feminist fable, THE LADIES OF THE HOUSE celebrates the mythology of ancient Greek lore : the BACCHANTE.
The BACCHAE is one of the most renowned Greek tragedies, written by Euripides and first performed around 405 B.C. The Bacchae is often perceived to describe the perils of denying or ignoring human desire: that those who celebrate will find spiritual power, while those who repress it will be transformed or consumed by destructive forces.
Well this is an elaborate modernized retelling of the story of the women who worship Dionysus. Celebrated for pleasure, repression or perversion turns them deadly. On the one hand, it considers a feminist empowerment respectful of strippers; on the other, it fulfills a vengeful wish fulfillment for the woman wronged.
This film, of course, overtly and cheekily brands the tight band of women Dionysian worshippers as lesbians. It doesn’t degrade them by that status, by any means, but make no mistake – this IS a horror movie. Greek tragedy does not favor or reward the squeamish. THE LADIES OF THE HOUSE is A BOLD MOVIE.
Borrowing the horror tropes of 80’s exploitation films, the club is a bare-bones set, but maybe stripper clubs in the mid-West were scaled down to exploitation movie styling in real life. We weren’t there. The fun is all in watching the ladies act. (Not so much the men, who, although diverse in colors, shapes, and sizes, aren’t the point of the movie.) The cast includes Belladonna from the Adult film world (Michelle Sinclair), so the proto-feminist views might be entirely accurate.
But this is not a man-hating castrating female movie. Although actor Gabriel Horn as Jacob acquits himself nicely in the role of Jacob, we are firmly rooting for the ladies. The film’s co-writer, author and playwright Justina Walford, cannily subverts expectations and delivers exploitation horror. This will be a 21st century cult classic. In the same way that Erich Segal reinterpreted Ancient Greek and Roman classical literature to great modern effect with his novel LOVE STORY (Young noble defies his patrician family and loves and marries peasant girl; peasant girl dies), so Walford and co-writer and director John Stuart Wildman modernize ancient Greek myth to great modern effect, albeit in a zombie mode. Sit up with your date or your friends and make a party of it when it arrives via iTunes and Video On Demand on May 1st. Have a Dionysian bacchanal!
John Stuart Wildman – Director/Co-Writer/Producer
The Senior Publicist for the Film Society of Lincoln Center and writer for Film Comment.com as
well as a columnist for Film Threat “Films Gone Wild”, John Stuart Wildman has enjoyed an
eclectic career in entertainment and film. The former Head of Press & Public Relations for the
American Film Institute, as well as the PR Director for AFI FEST and the DALLAS International
Film Festival, Wildman has headed the PR efforts for several film festivals across the country.
THE LADIES OF THE HOUSE will mark Wildman’s feature directorial debut following a series of
short films including THE DANCER’S BEATDOWN, PAIN TALK SHOW and MONEY STORE,
which he directed from his own scripts. Film credits as an actor include David deCoteau’s cult
classic, SORORITY BABES IN THE SLIMEBALL BOWL-O-RAMA, Josh Evans’ THE PRICE OF
AIR, Kevin Alber’s MIND GAMES with Brian Krause, Don Jones’ LETHAL PURSUIT, Michael
Miner’s DEADLY WEAPON, and Nick Marino and Andre de Toth’s BLOODY MOVIE. On the
television front, Wildman wrote and produced THE VISION AWARDS from 2007-2011. The
award show, which benefited Retinitis Pigmentosa aired on the ION Network.
Justina Walford – Co-Writer/Producer
After a number of years in Los Angeles theater, Justina Walford moved to screenwriting after
teaming up with John Wildman on LADIES OF THE HOUSE. She was a finalist in the Queens
International Film Festival Screenplay Competition and the Beverly Hills Film Festival with the
film adaptation of her theatrical production of EVOLUTION OF SUNDAY. The stage version
enjoyed four successful runs – twice at Walford’s own Split Id Theater, the Hudson Guild
Theater in Hollywood, and the Camino Real Playhouse in Dana Point, California. Praised by
both the LA Weekly and Backstage West, the play was described as “a thoughtful and affecting
drama about faith, love and forgiveness.” For her productions on the stage, Walford was a
proud recipient of the 2004 Women in Theater Red Carpet Award. She was the Artistic Director
of Split Id Staged Performances in Hollywood for three years. During that time, she produced six
full-length productions a year and countless one-night shows where she acquired a talent for
improvised storytelling. Walford is currently a regular host and speaker at New York’s Sunday
Assembly and a performer at various storytelling events. Her non-fiction book, BAD SEXY
GOOD BORING, will be published in 2015.
A Gravitas Ventures release.
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