Walter Pierce

'Rough cut' of locally filmed horror flick premieres

by Walter Pierce

Maxim Entertainment gave insiders a first look at its inaugural feature film Thursday night at the Carmike Cinema. Shot entirely in Acadiana, mostly in Opelousas, Macumba is studded less by stars and more by local unknowns, several of whom double as lurch-footed zombies in the movie and labored as production technicians during the filming last year. The main players in Macumba burn brightest in the firmament of Mexican television: Adriana Cataño, Roberto Montesinos, Monika Muñoz, and the one-named Khotan, who spends most of the movie tramping around as a zombie with a bullet hole in his forehead and a burning desire to choke anyone he can get his hands on.

Macumba was written and directed by Ricardo Islas, an auteur of Spanish-language horror flicks. English and Spanish versions of the movie were shot simultaneously, and when Macumba premieres for the public this spring, both versions will be shown.

Thursday night's debut, following a lengthy red-carpet launch, got off to a rough start for a mostly packed house, due mainly to production errors that delayed the start of the movie. But producer Blane McManus acknowledged before the lights went down that what the audience was about to see was a "rough cut." McManus also suggested Macumba is more or less an "icebreaker" for feature film production in the Lafayette area, and even quipped before the movie began that last year’s production "turned out to be the most heinous film-making experience I’ve ever had."

The crowd appreciated his humor, and his candor.

City-Parish President Joey Durel, tourism chief Gerald Breaux, and LCG entertainment liaison Marcus Brown were among those who turned out to support the movie. Maxim Entertainment, meantime, is getting ready to partner with a New Orleans studio for a feature film titled Fight Game, which will be shot on location in the Crescent City.