Blue-collar independent horror is still alive and thriving in the Chicagoland area. One of the staple movies of Cheevies Films is Murder for Pleasure, directed by Derek Braasch. If that name sounds familiar to you, it’s because he’s one of our very own members of World of Death. Hollywood big budget horror has recently seen a spike in viewers with releases like Annabelle Creation and IT, but we should always take a step back and dig deep to find some good independent films by hardworking filmmakers doing what they love.
Braasch has been making his own indie horror films since 1996 getting a start like most of us in the horror section of our local video stores. Cheevies productions can range anywhere from a couple hundred bucks to just over $20,000, depending on the content. After getting a film degree from Columbia College Chicago, his first big feature, The Icing, is what really moved him forward and gave him a working knowledge of the filmmaking process.
“One of the days we were shooting The Icing, we were shooting a scene at 115 Bourbon Street. We lost a lot of crew that day and thought we were fucked because we were filming at a business and couldn’t be there all day. We all talked about our objectives for that day and we moved faster than ever. We were totally efficient and the scene came out great!”
When I asked Derek why people should watch his movies, he explained:
“Horror fans should watch my films because we deliver when it comes to graphic violence, unsettling scenes, and some great metal music, which I think goes hand-in-hand with horror films. I think many horror fans love to be shocked, or see the most unsettling thing ever or something they haven’t seen at all. I try to do that in our films.”
Murder for Pleasure is no exception. The story centers around Victor; a young man traumatized as a youth as he watched his parents get murdered in front of him. This violence is deep-rooted within him, almost bonding with his DNA, as he becomes a destructive force and remorseless killer. No one in his path is safe, except for a young woman named Maxi. Or is she? Victor struggles with his past while trying to build a future for himself in the wake of sex, violence, and gore created by himself.
Braasch certainly delivers on his promise to shock audiences. At times, the movie is snuff-like and raw, making it hard to watch and hard to look away at the same time. Given the budget of the film, I think he does a great job of utilizing the resources available to him when it comes to effects and actors. Independent films like this give you exactly what you expect from it. It reminds me of Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer with a lower budget. Victor may not be Michael Rooker-like, but he definitely proves to be a sadistic sociopath, all the same. If you’re offended by senseless nudity and violence, this isn’t for you.
Cheevies Films recently organized their very own independent film festival for filmmakers all over the Chicagoland area. In association with close friend and partner Anthony Cooney and his T-Nasty Productions, they were able to put together quite a night in the name of horror. With over 120 attendees and a solid lineup of movies and metal music, it was a small success that will grow in future events.
You can catch these guys at any con or horror event in the midwest. Go to www.cheeviesfilms.com and check out their lineup of films. Murder for Pleasure can be found on Amazon Video if you want to check it out. They will be premiering Cheevies Films new short film Mutilation Massacre and Anthony Cooney’s Leaf Blower Massacre 2 at the Patio Theater in Chicago on October 28th. If you’re in the area and looking for something to do before Halloween, check it out!
Let’s keep independent horror alive!