April Mullen and Tim Doiron leave comedy behind for 88
It has been a long time coming for Niagara Falls filmmakers April Mullen and Tim Doiron, but their baby is about to go public. There latest film, 88, is due out on DVD and video on demand service starting Jan. 6 south of the border with a Canadian release scheduled for the spring.
Doiron’s script for the film had been on the backburner while the duo completed work on films that were heavy on comedic elements including 2012 Dead Before Dawn 3D. The new film, however, is a big departure.
“We feel that it showcases a whole new side of us,” Mullen said. “It’s and unconventional script. There’s a whole bunch of puzzle pieces and they have to be put together.”
A thriller, 88 stars Katharine Isabelle (American Mary, Ginger Snaps, NBC’s “Hannibal”) and Christopher Lloyd (Back to the Future trilogy, The Addams Family, Who Framed Roger Rabbit) in a rare serious turn as the film’s villain. The film revolves around Gwen (Isabelle), a young woman who comes to in a roadside diner with no idea where she is or how she got there. Split between two timelines, blurring reality and fiction, Gwen gets taken on a revenge-fueled journey as she seeks out the person responsible for her lover’s death.
The movie also features Jesse McCartney (“All My Children,” Alvin and the Chipmunks franchise, Chernobyl Diaries) and Michael Ironside (Top Gun, Total Recall, The Machinist). “There are no instruments of comedy,” Mullen said. “It was exciting and something we’ve always wanted to do.”
Both Mullen and Doiron also have roles in the film while Mullen is also 88’s director. And as with all of the movies made under the pair’s Wango Films banner, the duo made use of locations throughout Niagara, including such spots as the Cadillac Motel on Ferry Street and the Crystal (adult entertainment) Club on Lundy’s Lane.
“We got to go to all the underbelly locations,” Mullen said. “We used a whole bunch of different motel rooms and we used some classic historical buildings. People will recognize things.”
But the real highlight for Mullen and Doiron was getting the chance to work with a second time with Lloyd, who also appeared in Dead Before Dawn. “I absolutely loved working with Christopher Lloyd again,” Mullen said. “This was the polar opposite of anything he’d ever done. He had a captivating, understated menace.”
Once 88 is officially released in the United States, Mullen said the plan is to take the film to Europe for several film festivals before the Canadian release, which Mullen said would most likely come sometime in March.