Interview with Death Kiss writer-director Rene Perez
Death Kiss (2018)
Director: Rene Perez
Writer: Rene Perez
Stars: Robert Bronzi, Daniel Baldwin, Richard Tyson, Eva Hamilton, Stormi Maya
A vigilante with a mysterious past moves into a city that has been infested with crime and terror. He then takes the law into his own hands so that he could save and protect a young mother and her child.
With the DVD release of the action film Death Kiss in the US, I got a chance to ask writer-director Rene Perez a few questions including; the inspirations for writing the film, working with Charles Bronson lookalike Robert Bronzi and the controversial views of Daniel Baldwin’s character as radio host Dan Forthright.
Q. What can people expect from your new film Death Kiss?
Death Kiss is an ultra-violent action movie in a retro style. And it’s very non-politically correct.
Q. What were your inspirations for writing Death Kiss?
Death Wish (1974) for sure. But mainly early 80’s movies from an old movie company called Cannon films. I think Death Kiss is more in tone like Death Wish 2 (1982).
Q. With the film taking inspiration from films such as Death Wish, did you write the role of The Stranger with Robert Bronzi in mind?
The only reason I could conceive of this type of project is because of Bronzi! Without him, I wouldn’t have ever even thought of doing something like this. Happily, I found Bronzi and bizarre options like Death Kiss became possible.
Q. This is the second time you have worked with Robert Bronzi, who delivers an extremely intense and quite performance throughout the film – but what is he like to work with?
Bronzi is basically Bronson reborn. He moves like him, he behaves like him, he just naturally is this way. It’s pretty amazing. When I’m filming with him, Bronzi, I really feel like I’m doing an actual Bronson movie. So fun!
Q. Daniel Baldwin delivers a powerful performance as the radio host Dan Forthright, whose extreme opinions may lead towards the extreme – although there is always justification behind his comments. Does this reflect some of your own feelings?
From my brief observations, yes. I thought he might be a little weary of saying all of the things I wrote, but he is a strong guy and doesn’t bow to Hollywood politics. He was professional about the lines and even his few ad-libs where in the same direction. Very helpful and impressive. Most actors are afraid to say anything that goes against the Politically Correct Hollywood Doctrine, but he stood his ground.
Q. Are there any elements of the finished film which changed from the original script?
So many. I see scripts as just a blue print. I have no choice, with the low budgets I’m given, things change on a daily basis in order to accommodate our production limitations. I’ve gotten pretty clever at making last minute changes and making them work under these circumstances. I’m hoping to not always have to do things this way, but for now, I can still handle it.
Q. Did you face any issues during filming?
There are daily issue’s filming these micro budget films. No way around it. But the important thing is that all of our cast and crew were great. All of the places we filmed at were welcoming. Made for a happy film shoot. Stressful and exhausting but very happy film shoot.
Q. What was one of your favourite scenes to film?
I love the scene in the alley way. Where our hero blows away the two guys were going to mug him. That is like a perfect encapsulation of my memories of the old Bronson films. It took me all night to film, but I knew it was going to be my favourite scene and I made sure the music was also as good as I could make it.
Q. Are there any plans for a sequel to Death Kiss?
I would love to. I’ve spoken to the producer Jeff Miller and he seems to be interested as well so fingers crossed. I’d love to make another one. I have an interesting take on it so I’m just waiting for the phone call.
Q. Do you have any other projects which you are currently working on?
I’ve got a Ninja movie coming out in 2019 called The Dragon Unleashed (2019). I’m very proud of that one. You can see the trailer now on-line. I’m also in the middle of filming a sequel to Playing with Dolls: Havoc (2017). A movie called Cry Havoc. Also starring Bronzi. This time he plays a police man who is chasing after the world’s most brutal killer.
Q. What advice would you give to someone who is looking to write and direct their own movie?
I suggest making movies as a hobby. Don’t do it as a career if you can find joy in anything else in your life. Only follow a career in this field if you absolutely positively cannot find joy without it. And don’t decide until you’ve made at least one complete feature length movie. There are 4k cameras out there for cheap. Amazing camera’s and gear for such low prices. There is no excuse! This is the easiest time in history to make your own film. Film a movie on the weekends or whenever you have free time. Get people to work with you for free so that you can develop your skill and see if you are a contender before you dedicate too many years into this. That’s my advice.
You can find out more about Rene Perez on hi website http://www.thedarkestmachines.com/ and the following Facebook pages: