Falls filmmakers ready to unleash their twisted thriller
When you’re a filmmaker, there’s a lot of places you can go that maybe others can’t — or won’t. That was the case for April Mullen and Tim Doiron and their crew as they went about shooting the film 88 in 2013 at locations across Niagara.
“In Niagara Falls, we show a much darker underbelly,” Mullen said as the Niagara Falls natives prepared for a limited release of the film starting May 8 at the Pen Centre’s Landmark Cinemas.
“Then there was the bowling alley in Welland,” Doiron added. But the location that left the biggest impression — on Doiron at least — was the Cadillac Motel on Victoria Avenue. “That place had a really cool vibe.”
The film is a thriller, something new for Mullen and Doiron, who to this point had focused mainly on comedies, including 2013’s ‘Dead Before Dawn 3D’.
The story of 88 weaves between two timelines, chronicling the journey of Gwen (Katharine Isabelle), as she seeks out the person responsible for her lover’s death. As the film flips between timelines for Gwen and her alter ego “Flamingo,” she learns her former boss; a strip club owner named Cyrus (Christopher Lloyd) is implicated.
It’s the kind of film that took a lot of preparation, Mullen said. “There’s two timelines,” she said. “It was very mathematical to make.” That made storyboarding the film crucial, she added.
In addition, Mullen said she watched “A lot of dark films” in order to become better acquainted with the genre. She is pleased with the way Isabelle tackled her Gwen/Flamingo characters. “It’s hard to find the perfect leading lady,” Mullen said. “She’s the consummate performer.”
As for Lloyd, who’s Cyrus is not the kind of character most are used to seeing Lloyd tackle, Mullen could not have been more pleased. “He’s dark, very passionate,” Mullen said of Lloyd’s Cyrus. “He’s an evil man.”
Isabelle will join Mullen and Doiron at a red carpet event for the movie on Saturday, May 9. It is the first time the Pen has been the site of a premier of one of their films since ‘Rock Paper Scissors: The Way of the Tosser’ in 2007.
“It’s a real big memory for us,” Doiron said. “It’s exciting to be there,” Mullen added. “I’ve been going to the Penn since I was two-years-old.
The red carpet gets under way at 6 p.m. followed by a screening at 6:50 pm. A question-and-answer session with Mullen, Doiron and Isabelle will be held afterwards. The event will include live music performances and giveaways.
Later this month, Mullen and Doiron will head off to France for the Cannes Film Festival, where 88 will be shown as a part of the Canadian Perspective Series.