Actor turned filmmaker Jeff Dylan Graham gave Fango some news, snaps and an exclusive trailer for his new feature ‘Psychosomatika’. You can check out the trailer here.
Following a severely traumatic event, Lionel Perkins [Graham] suffers from a psychosomatic illness, a condition which causes him to lose some of his sight and most of his memory. Our goal is to keep the audience guessing along with the protagonist as he tries to unravel a skein of secrets about his past – secrets he may be surprised to find.
Jeff Scripted alongside J.T. Seaton and Dan Casserole and even stars in the flick himself. Graham co-stars with horror veteran Lynn (The Crazies) Lowry, Peter (Cemetary Gates) Stickles, Lee (Katiebird) Perkins, Elissa (Live Evil) Dowling and scream queens Brinke Stevens and Fango’s own Debbie Rochon.
Graham and producer Ned Christensen shot ‘Psychosomatika’ in 30 days over the course of nine months last year in Hollywood and its surroundings. “I’ve been a working indie actor for about 10 years, and I’ve always had a desire to direct,” he tells us. “I’d received a lot of encouragement from people to pursue it, so when that opportunity came, I began searching for the perfect project—one that could be done on a low budget, with a small cast and limited locations and effects.”
Enter director Curtis Harrington’s 1970 made-for-TV flick HOW AWFUL ABOUT ALLAN, which got Graham’s creative juices flowing. “The whole idea [at the center of that film] of psychosomatic illness, a condition which can be brought on by a traumatic experience, was really fascinating to me,” Graham recalls. As he started developing the script, he “felt like we had something much cooler than a remake, especially since I’m not really a fan of remakes to begin with. My producer and I were confident that we had a strong stand-alone piece, so I began developing it into what it is today: a very different story and style than the television movie that inspired it.”
And how different is the end result from the Anthony Perkins-starring original? Quite a bit, if the filmmaker’s summation is any indication: “I tried to mate the sensibilities of 1950s sitcoms with elements of the PSYCHO series, a little bit of the 1987 flick PARENTS and of course Harrington’s original ALLAN. Really, PSYCHOSOMATIKA is like a storybook come to life, with its blend of satirical comedy, drama, horror, and eccentric visuals [framed by cinematographer David Collupy]. It’s almost like we took LEAVE IT TO BEAVER, mixed in some Dario Argento with a dash of Tim Burton and a bit of those ’70s psychedelic acid flicks and put them into a blender.”
As for the gore quotient, newcomer Jacob Gillman was tapped to handle the wetwork, and while Graham says that the film “isn’t quite a bloodbath, it does have some disturbing imagery and an ample amount of gore.” Postproduction on PSYCHOSOMATIKA is scheduled to be completed this May, and Graham is “hopeful for theatrical premieres in New York and Los Angeles” while working on securing a distributor. Stay tuned to Fango for further developments, and in the interim, have a look at the movie’s official website for PSYCHOSOMATIKA here.
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