Killing Time With The Counterpart
By: Craig Villinger on April 8, 2009  |  Comments ()  |  Share 
The CounterpartThe official website for The Counterpart asks us three questions: "Do you like drugs?"; "Do you like guns?" and "Do you like hot women?" Now, while we'd prefer not to make our stance on drugs public here, lest our Mum's be reading this, pretty much everyone who visits the pages of Digital Retribution would be a fan of guns and hot women, particularly when the two are in the same frame! With "yes" the only logical answer, the site then advises us to "be prepared for one Hell of a ride".

With those few words we were sold and wanted to know more about this low budget (or should that be no budget?) Aussie production, and luckily for us Director/producer Lucas Scheffel was happy to talk about his debut feature, a gangster/horror hybrid that was shot over a two year period in South Australia, with funding coming from his own pocket, along with some some assistance from cast, crew and family.

With The Counterpart Scheffel's aim was to make a movie that starts off as a typical gangster flick with men in white shirts and black ties but soon veers into extreme b-grade blood and gore territory with the introduction of zombies and gun-toting femme fatales. "The film is about an old school German crook, a young rookie gangster, two Mad Max like hit women, and a plague of infected people all crossing paths and battling it out in a small country town" Scheffel told us. "The Counterpart began roughly two years ago now, deriving from a short film I created for a National Youth Week Competition in 2006". He added "Originally I was going to make two indirect sequels to The Corpse and follow what may have happened to the characters I had created in the short film. However after much thought I decided to jump in the deep end and shoot a feature film as the ideas for the sequels I had were beginning to amount to a feature film."

The CounterpartTwo years later, after several script changes, cast and crew health complications, hard drive crashes that erased countless hours of work, and many a long weekend spent covered in fake blood while trying to conduct crowds of roaming zombies, Scheffel was finally able to put the finishing touches on his debut feature in early 2009, and now that it's all finished, how does he expect the audience to react? " It will not be everyone's cup of tea, some will love it and appreciate it for what it is and others will wonder why the hell did he do that?" He continued, "One thing is for sure, the audience will expect a lot of blood in this film, and we've used a hell of a lot of blood". How much blood exactly? "Can't really estimate how much, but if you can imagine over the last two years, shooting most weekends, and at every shoot there's either one litre or ten litres of blood present, that may give you and indication of how much." OK, so, two years divided by fifty two weeks, multiplied by ten litres of blood per week... ah to hell with that – maths was never our favourite subject here at Digital Retribution. Let's just say it sounds like this movie will be bloody!

When asked about The Counterpart's influences, Scheffel reeled off an impressive list of names that should give us an idea of the tone he was aiming for - "Splatter master himself Peter Jackson - Bad Taste for sure! Quentin Tarantino is a definite influence, and Robert Rodriguez". Rodriguez's hands-on approach appears to have been a particularly big influence on Scheffel as a filmmaker, as he directed, produced, wrote, edited and shot most of the movie himself, and also played not one but two main characters.

The CounterpartDuring its long production period The Counterpart has generated its share of publicity on the net. Some of it has been positive, some of it has been negative, and some.... well, some of it it has been pretty strange. "We had some odd internet publicity on the film over the two years - to begin with someone was spreading rumours on the net that there was a real sex scene in the movie, and recently a smoking fetish forum posted some pictures of the main stars Julie Dickson and Amara Young who play the hit women in the film. The photos are of the two hitwomen smoking on set." Is word of mouth on smoking fetish forums a bad thing? Of course not! "We kind of see this as good publicity, and it shows the film is being seen and heard out there, even in the strangest of places!"

When asked for a final word, Scheffel said with a laugh "I didn't think it would take me two years to make The Counterpart - I was hoping to shoot most of it in a month! It has been a worthwhile journey, let's just say that."

The Counterpart stars G.W. Scheffel as "The Boss", Lucas Scheffel as Marcus and Lucas Knight, and Julie Dickson and Amara Young as spunky hit women Loud Lily and Little Marie. The DVD will be available to buy from the official site from May 16, and a special red carpet premiere will also be held in South Australia to celebrate the release.

You can learn more about The Counterpart by visiting the official site as well as the films' MySpace page, and by checking out the trailer below. It certainly looks cheap, but hopefully it'll be a lot of fun.

The Counterpart Trailer
External Links
Official Site - www.thecounterpartmovie.com
MySpace - www.myspace.com/the_counterpart_movie
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