Alice in Chains have released the first two episodes of Black Antenna, a dark sci-fi thriller set against the backdrop of the band’s Grammy-nominated album, Rainier Fog. Black Antenna was directed by genre filmmaker Adam Mason, written by Paul Sloan and Adam Mason and produced by Elizabeth Mason and Nick Vallelonga, who recently won two Oscars (“Best Original Screenplay”) and (“Best Picture”) for Green Book.
Black Antenna stars Darri Ingolfsson (“Dexter”) as Nil, Lily Robinson as Malum, Eric Michael Cole (Gia, White Squall, Hangman), Mike Hatton (Green Book), Luke Shelton, Jerry Raines, and Daniel Louis Rivas.
Black Antenna tells the story of Alpha (played by Sloan) and his 21-year-old daughter, Beta (Viktoriya Dov), who drive their beat-up truck across California in silence, speaking only telepathically. Together they rob and steal from the men the girl seduces, taking cellphones, laptops, whatever they can find. Alpha is trying to build something – an antenna – desperately trying to find a way to get a message to their people back home. Meanwhile, there are unspeakably dark forces who have discovered their existence, and are now hell-bent on tracking them down and eradicating them before more of their kind can come and join them.
“This movie came out of nowhere for me,” says Mason. “As soon as I heard the album, the music and lyrics spoke to me on a profoundly personal level and the film and subject matter was born directly out of that. I’ve always been a huge fan of Alice In Chains, and this has been a dream come true for me. ‘Black Antenna’ is a perfect synergy of the band’s lyrics, and Black Antenna paints a dark and beautiful canvas of the deeply conflicted world we live in today.”
On the film’s genesis, Mason tells us: “It was a weird synergy actually. When I met the band they told me they were interested in doing a video for every track on their new album, kind of like a concept video that would track over ten songs. Jerry talked about the themes of the album, and a lightbulb went off in my head, cause literally the day before I’d been walking home from my office, past a bunch of homeless people living in their cars… and I started to have this idea about a couple of homeless aliens, hiding on earth in human bodies, trying to get home. I literally just saw the whole thing in my head, knew that Paul Sloan had to play the main dude, and Viktoriya Dov his daughter… and they’d be living together out of my old Ford Bronco I’ve been driving for years.”
“I drew a great deal of inspiration from what Jerry told me about the lyrics,” adds Mason. “There’s a lot of stuff in the album about the concept of hiding behind a mask, and not really knowing what you’re getting. There’s a lot of stuff going on in the world right now that I think fed into their album, and then by osmosis into our movie.
“It’s not a political movie but it’s got a lot to say.”
Mason has also just directed two movies for Blumhouse and Hulu’s “Into the Dark”, with the first premiering this coming weekend at SXSW.
“I just wrapped up a movie for Blumhouse and Hulu called “I’m Just Fucking With You”, that stars Kier O’Donnell, Hayes McArthur and Jessica McNamee. It’s an utterly bonkers film, kind of After Hours meets Fear and Loathing. It actually premieres at SXSW next Sunday, then airs on Hulu on April Fool’s Day. Chino Moreno from Deftones did this absolutely fantastic score for the movie.”
He continues: “I actually just directed two movies back-to-back for Blumhouse. I’m in post now on the second one which is a really scary horror movie called They Come Knocking. It stars Clayne Crawford, Josephene Langford and Lia McHugh.
“I’m really excited about both films – they are so wildly different. It’s been absolutely insane basically doing three feature films at the exact same time. I definitely feel about twenty years older, but I’m really excited to see what people think of them.”
Here’s an early look at “I’m just Fucking With You” with the first two episodes of Black Antenna shared above.