While confronting his unfaithful boyfriend, Dusty (Van Hansis) blacks out during an attempted robbery at a liquor store. When he wakes up, his boyfriend (Gale Harold) is found dead and Dusty is considered the prime suspect.
The film Kiss Me Kill Me was inspired by traditional classic thrillers.
“Growing up, I always liked the Alfred Hitchcock and Agatha Christie type thrillers and it occurred to me that there has never been one done in a gay setting,” explains writer David Michael Barrett. He got very excited about the genre of the thriller the more he thought about it.
“A thriller is generally a very heightened drama, what people used to call melodrama, and violence erupts out of it,” says Barrett. “If you think about melodramatic characters, who’s more melodramatic than gay men?”
Barrett wrote the script thinking about the different elements that appealed to him, such as hypnosis. He also liked the idea of a powerful gay man in the West Hollywood area who had all the young good-looking men beg for his attention.
“Asking the question, ‘Where does loyalty and fidelity fall into a sexual dynamic when there’s more than two people in play?’ was a good place to start in terms of telling the story,” he says.
“There is a lot of humour in the movie, but it’s not what I would call comedic, it’s more of a release of tension kind of humour,” Barrett explains. These elements of humour are present in Hitchcock films and thrillers of the 80s or 90s such as Basic Instinct.
Barrett wrote the script and gave it to director Casper Andreas, who fell in love with it. They developed the story together, doing many rewrites until they got the film’s tone right.
“One of the really exciting things about making this movie was working with a tremendously talented cast who were excited and embraced the film even though we are not super high budget,” Barrett says. It was exhilarating for him to see his script come alive with the actors.
They shot in 18 days last January and it was a challenging production. They had many locations and moving the entire crew was challenging.
“Because it’s a neo-noir, we’re shooting at night and that brought its own challenges to try and stay focused, and have everybody be able to deliver their best performances, cast and crew, while it’s 4 am,” he says.
Kit Williamson, the co-producer, was very helpful in connecting Barrett and Andreas to some of the cast members. They are thrilled by the musical score, which was produced by Jonathan Dinerstein.
“Our goals for the films are not super high in terms of trying to change the world or reveal the triumph of the human spirit,” Barrett explains. “We are simply trying to tell a good story and entertain people.”
They hope the Image+Nation will love the film. Audiences at other film festivals were very enthusiastic about it.
Kiss Me Kill Me will screen tonight as part of the Image+Nation Film Festival in the presence of director Casper Andreas. The film plays at the Museum of Fine Arts at 7:00 p.m. and a second screening of the film will play at Judith-Jasmin at 9:15 p.m. due to the film’s popularity.