Friday, October 05, 2007

Hell on Pensacola Beach

Duwayne Escobedo of Pensacola's weekly Independent News puts down his investigative pencil momentarily this week to devote the cover story to a made-on-Pensacola-Beach "post-apocalyptic" independent film titled "Beach Party at the Threshold of Hell."
[A]fter three years and against all odds, the movie shot on Pensacola Beach in July 2004 by Gulf Breeze product Kevin Wheatley, aka "Tex," is hitting the big screen Oct. 19 in more than two dozen cities across the United States. "We knew it had this potential or otherwise we would have quit," says Wheatley, the movie's star, creator, director and executive producer in an exclusive interview with the Independent News from Los Angeles. "We knew 99 percent of all independent films never end up in theaters at all. I was coolly optimistic. But if it didn't make it I would've been upset, knowing we had great scenes and knowing how much everyone involved with it believed in it."

National Lampoon, a comedy powerhouse for 40 years with motion pictures such as "Animal House" and the "Vacation" series by comedian Chevy Chase, announced plans recently to distribute "Threshold of Hell."

Wheatley and friends shot the film at Fort Pickens just two months before Hurricane Ivan wiped out all land access to the historic site. The movie is set in the year 2097. Among other things, Escobedo tells us, it features "two robot companions, "Cannibal" Sue, the great, great, great grandson of Fidel Castro, a giant sea snake, a Satanic cult and other bizarre heroes and psycho villains."

If that isn't enough of a hint, Variety has described the film as a "hallucinogenic and crazy-quilt" movie that's "part mock-History Channel, part post-Apocalyptic frat fracas and entirely midnight movie in sensibility." The film, says Variety, includes "non-stop violent shtick ... slapstick and action set pieces... chasing and killing... with healthy doses of improv and incongruent casualness."

Sounds to us like a typical day at the beach. Not to everyone's taste, perhaps, but then Wheatley's film is intended to be a cult film. Formal wear will not be required at the opening.

Read the rest of the Independent News article to learn more about local film guru Kevin Wheatley and his plans for a TV spin-off, plus another script he's working on tentatively called "Henchmen." We're told the script is "about two expendable villains who decide to take matters into their own hands."

Out of control high rise developers brought low by mutant sea turtles and a mischief of Santa Rosa beach mice? We can only hope.

Click here to see the official National Lampoon web site for the film, "Beach Party at the Threshold of Hell" and enter the site to see the newest trailer for the movie. Or, below, you can watch an earlier version of the trailer -- probably the one that first attracted the attention of the National Lampoon people.

corrected 10-05

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