Xavier Hawk, Rob Roa, Renda Writer, Nikki Silver, Andrea Steffan, Keith Martin Forman
The J. Hexx Project, Pilot Rai
What happens when you dare to commit a sacreligious act such as smoking weed out of bible paper? An odd pair of friends like bible thumping Mason (Renda Writer) and drug pushing wild child (Free) get stuck in a motel room waiting for Free's girlfriend Samantha to show up, before Free goes on a quick drug run. But things get real brutal after a few hits of the ganja rolled from a page of the Good Book.
WINNER 2007 GrindHouse Death Match (Improv Export)
On July 2007, The Improv Export created a film challenge called - THE GRINDHOUSE DEATH MATCH. 11 Competitors drew film titles out of a hat inside a small bar properly named THE MENTAL WARD. These were to be the titles of our films. Director J.Vinazza drew "CUT YOUR HAND ON THE GOOD BOOK."
At the bar J.Vinazza and his partner Dawn Dubriel were discussing ideas for what their next short will be about. Dawn thought of the idea of having a couple of females smoking weed out of bible paper. Such a taboo subject seemed perfect for the Grindhouse genre.
"We are going to get crucified for this one." J.Vinazza uttered. 2 Weeks later J.Vinazza completed a rough draft of the original screenplay and handed it over to his actor and writing editor, Renda Writer. Renda made a few annotations to his character and they set off to cast the rest of the film.
Casting went rather quickly as Underlab Studios only had 10 more days to complete the film. For the lead they cast talented musician/artist - Xavier Hawk.
Xavier bought in Nikki Silver to play his on-screen girlfriend, Samantha. Director J.Vinazza and DP Dawn Dubriel were very keen to Samantha's persona and knew she would be fitting for the role.
Dawn then cast Keith Martin Forman and Rob Roa who played the notorious "Paco".
Derek Forsyth (AKA Chopp Devize) bought in Andrea Steffen. Once cast was in place it was scheduled to shoot the 3rd Saturday of July 2007. Producers were cutting it close leaving only 5 days to edit and complete.
The film was shot at the Country Haven Motel in Margate, Florida. J.Vinazza knew of the location having lived in Margate for 10 years. It had the perfect atmosphere for wickedness and evil doings, even though in reality the staff of the Country Haven were exquisite and were very nice people. It was what Producers did to make the motel look eerie using lighting techniques.
Joining during the shoot was John Lynn, writer for Broward's New Times Magazine. He got to see first hand the madness of film making. Shooting great performances filled with fake blood, some cow livers, and a brand new DVX 100B, the Producers smiled at 4:30 AM as they wrapped.
The next Wednesday, J.Vinazza met with actors Hawk and Renda to complete the last scene of the film. The bathroom in the Country Haven could not accommodate the space needed. But Renda Writers bathroom worked perfectly. It was in his own bathtub where Renda gives one of the greatest performances of his career.
"I Cut My Hand on the Good Book, There's blood everywhere."
Lastly the producers went to Rob Roa aka DJ Fono to act in the film. It dawned on them to use Rob Roa to also produce the sound and score of the film. Rob was able to complete 75% of the score, and the producers had long time Underlab Affiliate Pilot Rai finish the score applying classic organ based tunes of terror.
The day of the Screening only 3 of the 11 Filmmakers made it in time to compete. And it was a tough Competition especially with "Toilet Bombs Away" which burrowed techniques from Tarantino's version of Grindhouse films. They put a funny spin to their tale. But the judges recognized that this was about presenting a film that truly reflects Grindhouse.
Cut Your Hand on The Good Book lends face to the tasteless taboo gore of the late 70's style of cinema, too despicable for the mainstream, yet breaking down the barriers for future artists and filmmakers to continue to push the envelope.