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What do you do when your furniture thinks? “Oh my Lord, worst statement I’ve ever made,” laughs co-writer Destin Pfaff when asked about the titular living, breathing centerpiece of the upcoming genre hybrid SUSHI GIRL (see previous item here). Focusing on a Who’s Who of iconic dinner guests gathered around one lip-smacking plate, the ultraviolent thriller started production March 8. Hit the jump for exclusive photos and Pfaff’s comments on the film’s unorthodox conception.
“After a night of debauchery spawned from a project [DEATH VALLEY] that got its plug pulled halfway through, my writing partner [and SUSHI GIRL director] Kern Saxton and I started spitting ideas back and forth for the next feature we should do—and finish,” Pfaff tells Fango. “Something contained, something we could control. And featuring things we loved: nasty characters, Japanese culture, horror movies, heists, the ’70s, naked girls and Tony Todd. And thus, SUSHI GIRL was born.”
SUSHI GIRL’s very particular and obscure universe has been described by Pfaff and others as a cross between RESERVOIR DOGS and HOSTEL, with its juxtaposition of the aftermath of a heist with elements of violence and torture. The scripter explains his desire to transcend typical cinematic boundaries: “I love films that can go in any direction at any given moment—movies that keep you guessing. I’m all about the most interesting ride at the amusement park, not necessarily the biggest.
“Don’t get me wrong,” he continues. “I love films that are just horror or exploitation or martial arts or mysteries. But when you take elements of all of those things and throw them into a blender? If your measurements are right, it’s a recipe for something cool…something different.”
For Pfaff and company, that recipe includes the savory blend of Candyman, Luke Skywalker and Hattori Hanzo, among others, all throwing away typecasting to go toe-to-toe for their suppertime showdown. “We have, hands down, one of the most brilliant casts collected in recent memory, all of whom are turning in A-plus-level performances,” Pfaff says. “Tony Todd is a scary, sexy mothereffer—the heart of this film. Mark Hamill will never be looked at the same way again—devious! Jimmy Duval—lightning in a bottle. Andy Mackenzie, a bulldozer. Noah Hathaway…oh my God, award-worthy. Sonny Chiba…come on, it’s Sonny Chiba! And don’t even get me started on Courtney Palm, David Dastmalchian and the rest of our entire cast! Magic on screen and a pleasure off. I don’t want this shoot to end!”
Despite the obvious ties to the film’s cuisine of choice, Hathaway’s character moniker of “Fish” is an choice about which the scripter remains cryptic. “Fish…as in a newbie,” Pfaff says. “The food is a coincidence…or is it?”
As for the casting of SUSHI GIRL’s silent but observant dining-room decor, the film’s interview and audition process represented a further breaking of convention, the search extending as far as the “alternative beauty” community of the SuicideGirls. “We cast a wide net for SUSHI GIRL, interviewing hundreds of actors, SuicideGirls and [adult-magazine] Pets, until finally meeting with Courtney Palm. Plain and simple, she killed it, blew us away. Attractive, smart, engaging…and one hell of an actor. We are also currently working with SuicideGirls to do something very exciting and new as well!”
Anticipating his upcoming projects, the MILLIONAIRE MATCHMAKER co-star alludes with pride to his newly formed outfit, under which he and his collaborators expect to turn out their bizarre brainchildren on a consistent basis. “My producing partners and I—Neal Fischer, Suren M. Seron and Kern—are the best of friends and formed the production company Assembly Line LLC. Our goal is to make amazing pictures with unique casts and unique visions for a fraction of what you’d expect them to cost. It’s all about the material. We have a few spectacular things lined up that I wish I could talk about. For me personally, a feature I wrote, THE DISEMBODIED, is getting ready to go into preproduction next month.”
Can we expect something as bold as SUSHI GIRL’s eclectic platter promises? Are you excited—or skeptical—to see all these vets on one bill? Who wants dragon roll? Leave your comments below.
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