Written and directed by Greg Francis, Poker Night promises to mix the detective and horror genres in a whole new way with a large cast of recognizable names including Ron Perlman, Giancarlo Esposito, and Beau Mirchoff. Francis’s other work is dedicated to the detective and horror genres in various tangential projects, but we’ve seemingly got a lot to expect from his newest venture into a hybrid of the two.
We’re all familiar with poker scenes in movies. In the good ol’ Wild West, they indefinitely ended in guns blazing and death faces with the iconic tongue-out-of-the-mouth, ultra-cheesy look. But how do you handle a poker game in which the stakes turn out to be life and death? In the case of Poker Night, the protagonist is caught up in a life-or-death situation while matching wits with a sadistic killer who’s bent on ruining the protagonist’s new occupation to settle an old score with one of the protagonist’s colleagues.
In the film, leading man Beau Mirchoff as Stan Jeter has just signed on with Indiana’s Warsaw Police. As a rite of passage into the role, Jeter joins a poker game with the highest-ranking cops around and hears about the ups and downs of their careers.
Once the game is over, things do not go well for Jeter. He gets abducted by a psychopath, who locks Jeter in a basement. Escaping proves not to be his first priority, though. It turns out that he finds his girlfriend Amy there. Using the tips he received from poker night, Jeter finds himself tasked with not only saving himself but saving Amy and taking in—or taking out—the serial killer in one fell swoop. Hard first day on the job!
Poker is a popular catalyst in films that follow the trend of a life-or-death gamble. Perhaps we can attribute this trope to the woes of gambling addiction and those Wild West killing sprees linked to the extreme stakes placed on any given game.
However, poker is hardly the only gambling-related game that stars in the movies, and bets come in all sizes. 21 featured counting cards in blackjack, The Gambler (based on a Dostoevsky novel) is really just about a guy who gambles in all games possible, and Vegas Vacation is loaded with more fallout from bets and vested interest.
Poker Night has an interesting take on those topics, in its weaving knowledge and understanding on a darker level into the inner workings of the game. It will be interesting to see if we can match card hands and physical moves by Mirchoff and the killer in the film. For example, will they play per the basics of Texas Hold’em? Or will they throw caution to the wind, so to speak, and take on something like Omaha?
It’s likely they’ll go the way of Texas Hold’em, if not only for its popularity but also for its action. Betfair’s poker site highlights the latter quality by noting here that Hold’em is “one of the simplest, most action-packed and prestigious of all the poker variants.” It’s also described as being one of the “best poker experiences available,” which leads me to believe it could make for some great cinema. Either way, it should please both horror and poker fans alike.
There is no secure distribution for the film just yet, so don’t expect to see it on the silver screen just yet. Yet, there seems to be hope with names like Mirchoff, Perlman, and Esposito attached. To that end, you can be sure that even if the film hits as a B-crime flick, the movie will surely be worth your time.
This is a guest post by Ron Johnson, a freelance movie writer with a special place in his heart for old Westerns along with the work of Mel Brooks. As you can probably guess, Blazing Saddles is his favorite film of all time.
You all know how I love my horror movies and as I got sent this the other day and think it sounds like it’s going to be hella fun, I thought I’d share!
“SURVIVAL IS NOT AN OPTION” IN THE NEW FEMALE-DRIVEN
HORROR FILM ‘SAVE YOURSELF’ SHOOTING THIS SUMMER
Scream Queen Jessica Cameron Set to Star in Ryan M. Andrews’ Latest Horror Film
Following the success of his recent features, SICK, a festival favorite and Black Eve, currently available on DVD, award-winning director Ryan M. Andrews is set to direct his originally scripted Save Yourself this summer. Scream Queen Jessica Cameron will be starring in as well as producing this sexy horror flick along with Producer Emma Sutherland. Overseeing the project are executive producers Pino Halili and Allen Ormerod from multi-award winning studio
Post City Sound Inc.
The plotline for Save Yourself is as follows: En route to L.A., director Crystal Lacroix, along with by-the-numbers producer Dawn Summerville, neurotic writer Lizzy Miller, and star sisters Kim and Sasha Tobin, are riding high after a successful screening of their new horror film. But when Crystal goes missing at a rest stop, their mood suddenly changes. The others, splitting up to search for Crystal, spot an isolated farmhouse and enlist the help of its owners, quickly discovering that appearances are not always what they seem. Life imitates art as all five ladies find themselves pitted against a deranged couple hell-bent on using them for their mysterious research. Who will survive and what will be the fate of their ultimate discovery?
Having worked together in the past, Andrews and Cameron have discussed collaborating on a feature for years. Together they decided that Ryan’s script Save Yourself is the ideal choice. Award winning actor Ry Barrett (Neverlost, Desperate Souls, Antisocial) will join the cast as Save Yourself’s intense villain. This will be the first time Andrews, Cameron and Barret have collaborated since last year’s experimental short film Klymene.
Cameron’s latest film Truth or Dare has won more than two-dozen awards playing the festival circuit. She is also known for such films as the Roger Corman produced Camel Spiders, currently airing on the SyFy channel, and Steven C. Miller’s remake of Silent Night. Save Yourself marks Cameron’s 5th movie in under a year in which she is starring as well as producing.
Cameron was recently quoted as saying “This script is the sexiest and smartest female-driven horror flick that I have had the pleasure to read and I cannot wait to bring it to life with Ryan”. Talking about the female-driven story Andrews says, “I love Jean-Luc Godard’s quote ‘all you need for a movie is a gun and a girl.’ In the same way all you need for a horror is blood and a girl – and we’ve got five girls. It’s definitely going to be fun and sexy, but most importantly the women are not just one-dimensional. There is a lot of depth and development to their characters. And as a die-hard horror fan, I know just how important this is. It can’t just be another pretty face. There needs to be layers there for anyone to care when that face gets smashed.”
Filming begins later this year in Ontario, Canada. Expect more Save Yourself updates including full cast details coming soon! Please “Like” Save Yourself’s Facebook fan page and follow them on Twitter for more up-to-date information about this exciting new horror film!
Facebook.com/SaveYourselfMovie Twitter: @SaveYourselfMVE