Shock The Monkey: Independent Filmmakers Again Challenge Hollywood

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A group of New Jersey filmmakers are entering round two of their battle with mega budget Hollywood. In June director Jim Riffel made a feature film for a total cost of $99 and put it up against Steven Spielberg’s $200 million sci-fi epic War Of The Worlds. Now comes Riffel’s second $99 feature and this time he’s challenging Peter Jackson’s $200,000,000 action flick King Kong.

A group of New Jersey filmmakers are entering “round two” of their battle with mega budget Hollywood. In June director Jim Riffel made a feature film for a total cost of $99 and put it up against Steven Spielberg’s $200 million sci-fi epic War Of The Worlds. Now comes Riffel’s second $99 feature and this time he’s challenging Peter Jackson’s $200,000,000 action flick King Kong. “I’m hoping Peter Jackson does to King Kong what Steven Spielberg did to War Of The Worlds. Take a great classic story and screw it all up.” Riffel’s $99 film has a true connection to King Kong. “The original King Kong, made in 1933, was directed by Ernest B. Schoedsack and starred, of course, Fay Wray. The film Schoedsack made right before King Kong, in 1932, was The Most Dangerous Game, starring, again, Fay Wray. Part of my $99 feature film will be incorporating actual footage from The Most Dangerous Game, “modernizing” it, and mixing it with new footage. The end result is a magical potpourri of old and new cinema that, I believe, will be much more enjoyable than watching a big monkey run around New York City.”    

The new $99 film is titled “NIGHT OF THE DAY OF THE DAWN OF THE SON OF THE BRIDE OF THE RETURN OF THE REVENGE OF THE TERROR OF THE ATTACK OF THE EVIL, MUTANT, HELLBOUND, CRAWLING, ALIEN, ZOMBIFIED, FLESH-EATING, SUBHUMANOID LIVING DEAD, PART 4. The $99 film which took on War Of The Worlds had the same title, except the “part 4” was “part 3”. “It’s a sequel of sorts,” said Riffel. “Part 3 did great,” said Riffel. “According to IMDB we have a 6.3 rating out of 10. War of the Worlds has a 6.7 rating. So, to be almost even with Spielberg’s film while working with $100,999,901.00 less than he had, is pretty amazing.” Riffel sent “Part 3” to 100 critics across the country and some critics rated his film higher than “Jodie Foster’s “Flight Plan,” Nicolas Cage’s “National Treasure, “Will Farrell’s “Anchorman,” and other Hollywood pics like “The Longest Yard,” “The Big Bounce,” “Must Love Dogs,” “Bewitched,” and even the art film “Breakfast On Pluto.” What does Riffel attribute this critical success to? “Good taste and maybe the critics having a little frustration with Hollywood. I mean, if you have $50 million or $100 million or $200 million you should really be delivering great movies. So when they fall short, which unfortunately happens every now and then, critics are upset.”

So how do you make a film for a total budget of $99 anyway? “Well, it’s actually not as hard as you would think. As I mentioned, we’re manipulating some footage from old movies. And then we shoot a lot of new footage but everyone works for free and we make sure we can shoot everything we need to shoot in one very long day. It’s sort of like making a stew. Whatever’s around you just throw in. And if you do it right, you can come up with something special. Sometimes a meal at McDonald’s can taste better than a meal at a five star restaurant.” So what’s “Part 4” about? “It’s kind of like The Ten Commandments meets Deep Throat. There’s something in it for anybody. I mean, there’s a bit of drama and violence but there’s a sweet love story too. I think it’s taking the world of film to a place where it’s meant to go...”

The whole idea may sound strange but Riffel does a background in the independent film community. . A graduate of New York University Film School, he has directed seven features. His last two films, MASS OF ANGELS and BLACK-EYED SUSAN played the film festival circuit throughout 2004 and early 2005, garnering more than a dozen awards. MASS OF ANGELS, according to The Northampton Film Festival is “Reminiscent of the finest works of Roman Polanski and David Lynch” and won the 2004 Big Apple Film Festival. “BLACK-EYED SUSAN” won Best Feature at The 2004 Garden State Film Festival.

“NIGHT OF THE DAY OF THE DAWN OF THE SON OF THE BRIDE OF THE RETURN OF THE REVENGE OF THE TERROR OF THE ATTACK OF THE EVIL, MUTANT, HELLBOUND, CRAWLING, ALIEN, ZOMBIFIED, FLESH-EATING, SUBHUMANOID LIVING DEAD, PART 4 will be available for viewing at one of the finest movie sites on the internet, Greencine.com in January. “I wanted to wait until January to give the hype around King Kong time to die down. The film’s budget was $200,000,000 but they also are probably spending another $200,000,000 on advertising and promoting their King Kong videogame and King Kong Chewing Gum and King Kong underwear and King Kong action figure and King Kong soda pop and King Kong calling card and other King Kong open-your-wallet-and-give-me-all-your-money items.”    

Contact Jim Riffel at 973-635-9821.

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Jim Riffel
BLUE CRASH FILM
973-635-9821
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