Art & Entertainment | Book Reviews | Education | Entertainment Video | Health | Lifestyle | Sport | Sport Video | Search


Melanie Lynskey & Crew Enhance U.S. Horror Movie

Kiwi Star, Crew Enhance American Horror Movie

Cassava Films - Although the independent horror/thriller "Serial Slayer," released today, November 3, on DVD in New Zealand, was shot entirely in California, the film boasts a healthy amount of participation from New Zealand's own.

First and foremost, there's New Plymouth's Melanie Lynskey, famous for her role as Pauline Parker in Peter Jackson's "Heavenly Creatures." As the star of "Serial Slayer," this was Lynskey's second collaboration with American writer/director Mark Tapio Kines: Kines is credited with bringing the actress back in front of the cameras after her initial post-"Heavenly" relocation to Hollywood. After starring in Kines's debut feature "Foreign Correspondents," Lynskey went on to appear in a wide variety of studio films, including "Ever After," "Coyote Ugly," "Abandon" and "Shattered Glass." (She also found time to star in the NZ production "Snakeskin.") She's now a regular on the hit TV series "Two and a Half Men."

Click for big version

New Zealand's Melanie Lynskey Turns Out Another Hit Performance In USA.

Click for big version

No fewer than four other Kiwis filled out the small "Serial Slayer" crew. Second assistant director Lucas Young, originally from Taranaki, had long ago befriended Kines on the Internet (where Kines also "discovered" Lynskey back in 1996). He met Kines in Hollywood in 2001, bringing along his business partner Daniel Crothers and Daniel's brother Bevan. One year later, all three were in Los Angeles, helping Kines make his film. Daniel held the title of boom operator while Bevan, one of TVNZ's finest cameramen (having worked on "New Zealand Idol," "Shortland Street" and "Intreprid Journeys," among many other shows), became the film's director of photography. The quartet of Kiwis was rounded out by Bevan's TVNZ colleague Kelvin Wells, who ran sound. The four eager young filmmakers funded their own journey to Los Angeles in June of 2002, solely for the experience of working on a feature. A grateful Kines put them up in corporate lodging known for housing countless show biz aspirants (Nirvana stayed there while recording "Nevermind") and within two hectic weeks, "Serial Slayer" - under its original title, "Claustrophobia" - was shot.

Bevan Crothers continues to jet around the world as an in-demand cameraman. Aside from developing their own film projects, Lucas Young and Daniel Crothers run a web design firm in Auckland, Digitalus Limited. Young also worked in WETA's effects department during post-production of "Lord of the Rings: Return of the King."

The film was completed in 2003 and quickly sold to powerful American distributor Lions Gate. Australia-based Imagine Entertainment picked up the film for Oz/NZ distribution in early 2005. It is now available for sale or rental at many New Zealand video retailers, as well as online rental house DVD Unlimited.

© Scoop Media

Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines


Howard Davis: Controlling the High Ground

Stephen Johnson's raw and angry film not only poses important questions with scrupulous authenticity, but also provides a timely reminder of the genocidal consequences of casual bigotry and xenophobia. More>>

Howard Davis: Dryzabone - Robert Conolly's The Dry

After the terrible devastation caused by last year’s bushfires, which prompted hundreds of Australians to shelter in the ocean to escape incineration and destroyed uncountable amounts of wildlife, The Dry has been released during a totally different kind of dry spell. More>>

Howard Davis: Benjamin Ree's The Painter and The Thief

The Norwegian filmmaker had long been fascinated by art thieves who commit high-stakes crimes with a delicate touch when a chance Google search in 2015 uncovered a botched heist in Oslo. More>>

Howard Davis: Hit the Road, Jack - Chloé Zhao's Nomadland

Nomadland is perhaps the ultimately 'road' movie as it follows a group of dispossessed and disenfranchised vagabonds who find a form of communal refuge in camp sites and trailer parks after the economic contraction of 2008. More>>

Howard Davis: Byrneing Down the House - Spike Lee's American Utopia

Lee does an admirable job capturing Byrne's stunning live performance of his latest album, but the real star of the show is the staging. More>>

Howard Davis: The Phoenix Foundation Friend Ship Tour Docks in Wellington

A sense of local pride was certainly running high at the Opera House on Saturday night, as the lads ran through a tasty little set drawn mostly from their latest album Friend Ship (splash out for Xmas on the shocking pink extra-thick vinyl edition). More>>



  • Wellington
  • Christchurch
  • Auckland