I received a compilation of shorts under the creation of Mike Pecci. It has been compiled into a nice DVD titled “Grindhouse shorts” collecting 3 short creations that were inspired by the early films of the 70′s. For the talent showcased, Pecci has recruited a few of the Suicide girls for some titillating on screen action.
Instantly on review, I can attest that this is an impressive collection of work that lays its foundation in story and tonality using intelligent editing. The DVD begins with a small piece that actually is just an intro shot in black and white. Even as a small segue it is beautifully lit, retains a nice palette of grayscale compositional frames and actually sets the mood nicely for the rest of the collective. A lady struggles trying to get a chainsaw started as she preps for what we assume to be a major ass kicking coming…..very cool, I wish there was more to that one beyond just an intro.
Now I’ll skip ahead to my favorite of the bunch with a piece called “Capture Device“. Simply it premises on a girl who suddenly is inundated with a mysterious helping of cameras through out her house that she cant seem to locate. As an exhibitionist herself, she finds that this Hitchcockian experience is quickly becoming a twisted nightmare that only is getting worse. The piece is eerie, has a David Lynch (not the credited writer, but rather the famed director) sort of feel to it and leaves a heightened lasting impression. I was most impressed by the instant fear of dread that a few well though out shots can produce on screen. As it progresses it delves into the surreal and finishes off on a haunting note. This note says something about young girls and their reliance on being filmed and acknowledged in the modern age. The piece stars Granny Suicide as the focal character.
“Stray Bullet” is sexier shorter piece that focuses on a hot but mysterious assassin who has just completed a mission pressing to follow thru into her next. By mixing photographs with video, Pecci has instilled a stylistic flavor into this piece that just has to be seen.
“Cold Hard Cash” is an instant hit with me in its mean lewd exploitation 70′s style. The local crime lord wants his cash, and his girls are gonna get it or suffer the consequences. As he calls them …”his dogs”, it’s apparent he runs a pretty mean operation that wastes no time on killing off those who cross him. A highlight of course is a rather unrated lesbian scene complete with full nudity and hearty rubber strap-on.
“Cold Hard Cash” opts for a more hardcore retro style, sexual and twisted as the 2 girls quickly change from naughty to downright nasty. The segments are kept tightly efficient as they move from one moment to the next. A great use of old school violence and well placed compositional editing makes this a powerful piece that ends on a clever note.
The DVD collective set comes highly recommended as a great overall experience. I’m usually a bit more elusive on shorts as there stories present limited impacts, however this set combines a great use of style and cinematic elements that works extremely from one piece to the next. Mike’s individual pieces have gained a following just on there own merits, this compilation is definitely a treat that you’ll want to chew on for quite some time. – horrornews.net
“I love this DVD! A throwback to an era when movies had balls, and tossing in the Suicide Girls for good measure. Three short films you don’t want to miss, and won’t easily forget.” – Dave B. http://www.dvdinfatuation.com
“Grindhouse Shorts collects three films from Director Mike Pecci who has put together a very neat collection. Three different stories from a sniper,to internet obsession and desperation. Filled with gore,nudity and even a touch of worn prints to really give it that look. Cold Hard Cash features a couple of knock out Suicide girls.On top of the great films the dvds have commentaries and plenty of Easter eggs. So if your looking for some good trashy fun Check out Grindhouse Shorts from Mike Pecci who really delivers.” – Digital Macabre
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Designing the variant covers for the Grindhouse Shorts DVD.
by Mike Pecci
One of my favorite things about Grindhouse films are the posters. Growing up I would go through video stores just pulling VHS from the shelves and getting lost in the world that wrapped around the sleeve. I also have a huge love for illustrated posters. Having an artist to create their own interpretation of the characters somehow opens up the word of the film, allowing you to have a setting or scenes that you could never afford to shoot. When I put out the Cold Hard Cash disk years ago, I approached a few comic artists and was blown away with the results. This time around I knew we had to go bigger, with cooler layouts, and stronger colors.
For the Grindhouse Shorts DVD, I approached quite a few artists and in the end ended up picking two. Yasmine and Corlen (WacomZombie). One of the awesome things about commissioning work is that I get to approve the covers throughout the process, which allowed me to see how they developed. I wanted to share this with you, and also show you some amazing work from Grompf that almost made it.
I met this talented lady from Indonesia years ago on Deviant art. I was immediately struck but her cinematic sense, her ability to create action, and the way she drew women. Her characters are tough, but venerable and I love the way she draws this “I don’t give a shit” posture.
We talked early on about doing a cover that featured the toughest girls from the DVD. I wanted originally a layout that you would see on a comic book, featuring the hero’s in a badass pose.
She whipped me up a sketch that I thought was awesome, and also throw in this second one. Her idea was perfect. Just from the sketch I knew it was going to be the better choice.
From there on I was lucky enough to approve it as it developed. Enjoy!
The way he does his layouts is just perfect for cover designs, and I love, love, his use of color.When I told him about the film he was completely on board and all I did was approve a sketch and the next thing you know we had a cover!
Another artist that I worked with on the Cold Hard Cash DVD was a man from France named Philippe.
I met him on Suicide Girls and was captivated by his sketches of women. I have always been obsessed with lines, and rough edges, and he had this ability to create these sexy women with just a pencil.
I asked him do draw me up some quick sketches that I thought looked amazing, unfortunately due to cost we had to just pick two artist covers. I wanted to share his work with you though. They are too good not to see.
Also watch for some of his designs in the DVD menus!
Be sure to buy one or all of these collectors’ covers. We only printed a limited run of DVD’s for the first printing and they have all been numbered. Pick up your copy here: http://www.mikepecci.com/news/?page_id=8
The Fan Membership Cards just arrived!
They will be shipped with selected DVD’s and come with the Variant Disk.
On the back of the card you will find a number that can be used to get special access to blog posts on my site, as well as discount deals, access to parties, and future events. Put it in yer wallet and hold on to it!
“FROM SUICIDE GIRLS TO GRINDHOUSE”
Video Premiere was the store that set Director Mike Pecci on the path to becoming a filmmaker. It was a small shop with your local outcast running the register, watching an obscure title that you had never seen. Pecci walked straight for the horror films, browsing the box covers with exaggerated cover art, promises of gore and dismemberment, whether it delivered it or not, Pecci wanted in. When he wasn’t rocking horror, he was staying up late with his mom who would bust out some vintage Steve McQueen in THE GETAWAY or Bruce Willis in DIE HARD. Mom was just that cool, and Mike was just that interested. Today that interest is paying off in spades.
If that counter geek could see Mike today, he would either give him an approving fist bump, or run the other way if he saw the kind of ideas this cat gets with chainsaws. Point is, Mike Pecci is a badass motherfucker who has just made some outstanding grindhouse short films that are available for the first time in one compilation. We aren’t talking some exploitation lite, we are talking balls to the wall,-chainsaw wielding-oiled up babes out to get bloody-out to settle scores-out to make sure you have a damn good time exploitation. Pecci knows his shit and we were really impressed with his story of bringing these films out so we thought what the hell, let’s make him our next FEATURED FILMMAKER.
DG: Thanks for hanging with us while we bombard you with questions for the next 30 minutes.
MP: My pleasure, happy to do it.
DG: So give us the quick wrap on your new DVD:
MP: My shorts are loaded with hard violence, un-edited sexuality, and brutal women. But most importantly they were made with a sense of humor. All the ingredients to give you entertainment that you would sit down and watch with a 12 pack of PBR and a group of friends. When I set out to make these films, it was really to take advantage of a situation I found myself in. I was really just practicing new photography techniques, and filmmaking skills that I would then implement into my music video work, and serious film work. Turns out that people wanted to see it!
DG: What was the first film you saw that changed your life or had a significant impact on you?
MP: Oh man, that’s a tough question. Probably THE THING.
All of Carpenters films really, THE THING, ESCAPE FROM NEW YORK, but I also really dig Peckinpah. Their films all have a certain style, a certain look and feel, I call it a “smell”. Some directors have this ability to create a world, an atmosphere that is very unique and you know it belongs to them as soon as you see it. It’s more than just a visual style, it’s the combination of all their techniques that give it a “smell”. When you watch it you can almost taste it. Carpenter, Fincher, Bay, Speilberg, Michael Mann. They all have it.
DG: Who are the directors out there right now that you dig?
MP: Well, they’re the guys that don’t really need plugging cause they’re doing so well. But, I am a huge Robert Rodriguez fan because I like his business model which I have borrowed. I like Tarantino cause he’s fucking Tarantino. Carpenter and Peckinpah are big for me, but I love to watch Fincher, Ridley Scott, Micheal Mann, and Michael Bay for camera work. I don’t know, I go through these points of obsession, right now I am obsessed with Nicolas Refn, that trailer for DRIVE looks fucking amazing. I just watched BRONSON and was blown away by that, he really has that slow build down.
DG: Are you a guy that kind of follows a director wherever he goes or are you more of a genre purist who likes to stay put in one style of film?
MP: That’s interesting; I have two classifications of movie going friends. I have the film snobs and I have the regular average Joe and I tend to go between both categories. I have my moods when I am kind of a prick because there are certain things I want from this movie and this guy is an asshole for not doing it right. Then we have our days when I went to see TRANSFORMERS 3 cause I wanted a big fat cheeseburger and French fries. So I try to watch everything and different genres. I get enjoyment from a lot of different places cause I am also a cinematographer so I get a boner for awesome lighting and that kind of stuff.
DG: TRANSFORMERS 3 actually is just like a glossy monster movie, that annihilation of Chicago which goes on for like 40 minutes is a fucking Godzilla film.
MP: I probably should have said this, I started getting into movies when I was younger because my dad would show me all these Godzilla films and I love the hell outta those. I am a huge Godzilla nut, the ones form
1970’s, the ones from 1980’s, so yeah there are parts of that where I am watching a Godzilla movie.
DG: What was that first moment when you thought you were going to make it as a filmmaker, or have you had that moment yet?
MP: I’ve been working in the business now for ten years; I have been a short film director for about that long. I’ve done commercial work and recently in the past five years we’ve done a lot of really good music video work. We recently, me and my co-director Ian McFarland, were just signed to an agent for music video work so that was an interesting moment. When we first started getting representation and we got a phone call for Ozzy Osbourne’s staff for a treatment for one of his videos cause they had seen our work I was like, okay cool, I guess we’re legitimate.
The same thing happens with the film stuff. You make a film and it goes out to the festivals and people tell you how much they like it or go online and buy it like my COLD HARD CASH DVD. I was selling that to people in Germany and France, all over the world. It was this little thing we made in three days for no money and everyone seems to like it. So, it comes in these stages. I’ve learned to spread myself too thin, I am either doing film stuff, music stuff, or photography stuff cause these days it’s the only way to survive.
DG: So out of the films on the new DVD, do you have a favorite?
MP: COLD HARD CASH is probably the most fun and it’s one that is the oldest so I can watch it with some distance between it. Odette Suicide played Dean, one of the leads, we wanted to do a strong Steve McQueen character within our budget. Since then it’s kind of been my mantra that I want to develop strong female characters, like I want the female John McClane. With some exceptions I like to create female characters that make you think like when we were kids “oh man I want to be John McClane or oh man I want to be Snake Plissken” and there’s some of that in COLD HARD CASH so I enjoy that.
STRAY BULLET I enjoy for the photography. That was a film that was made when we where shooting a photo set for Suicide Girls and this was right when they started coming out with the digital cameras, the DSLRs. I thought fuck it, they shoot video at the same time, why I don’t I do this photo-video-grindhouse type thing.
DG: Are any of these shorts going to full length feature films?
MP: (David… not that one) Lynch, the guy who wrote COLD HARD CASH with me, has been begging me to do a feature about the two hit-men in that movie. He doesn’t want it to be a grindhouse type but more of THE GETAWAY type so I said write it dude. We just finished writing a feature, that I can’t talk about, and then we have some really awesome producers on board with us. So our goal is to do the feature we cant talk about, then do a horror franchise.
DG: Your mom is playing a pretty big role on the DVD’s. Not many people toss their mom on a commentary track but you went full tilt and did it.
MP: A friend of mine had suggested it to me because he had worked with my mom, so I said fuck it lets try it and she just tore into me. The whole time she was like “dialogue is terrible, this is terrible” so the DVD is worth it just for that. It’s always nice to hear a directors mom knock him off his pedestal. This is something I am going to do from now on I think.
DG: What do fans need to know about picking this DVD up?
MP: Yeah the DVD has all three shorts on it. I didn’t want to sell a DVD with just short films, so the DVD is loaded with easter eggs and a lot of it is hysterical. We have three separate covers and If you join our referral program and get 2 people to use your name when they buy the disc, you have the option of upgrading to a special variant cover which I haven’t released yet but there is only going to be like 50 of them. It’s more expensive on my end but fuck it, we’re at the point where shit can be downloaded for free so if you’re blowing $20 on something, make sure it’s something that could be worth something.
DG: That’s our time Pecci, thanks for hanging with Daily Grindhouse, hopefully we can toss some new fans your way.
MP: Thanks a lot man, I really appreciate it.
Cold Hard Cash writers David Lynch and Mike Pecci has just finished writing a feature film script!
Word has it that it’s not Grindhouse, but is in the horror/thriller genre!
Push: Madison vs Madison Trailer
Flickers Rhode Island International Film Festival screening August 13, 2011 at noon (12pm), located Paff Theater(Univ. of RI – Feinstein Providence Campus), 80 Washington Street, Providence, RI 02903. To purchase tickets click icon below
HBO NY Latino International Film Festival screening August 19, 2011 at 4pm, located AMC Empire 234 West 42nd Street, New York, NY 10036. To purchase tickets click icon below
Push: Madison vs Madison
Directed by Rudy Hypolite
Cinematography by Mike Pecci
Madison Park Vocational, Roxbury, Massachusetts. A dysfunctional but talented high school hoops team tries to hold itself together. Graced with a handful of sharp shooters and savvy ball-handlers, they also struggle, both on and off the court, in a deteriorating public school system and the turbulence of life in the Boston inner city: rival gangs, a chilling murder rate, destructive families, and the struggle to stay in school and on the team. Closing in on the end of the season, the team has gone 15-0 and has a shot at a state championship and an undefeated season for the first time in history.
At the center of this kettle of hope and chaos is Coach Dennis Wilson, a unique hero for our times. A former semi-professional player, philosophizing history teacher and motor-mouthing disciplinarian, Coach Wilson chants, harasses and cajoles his charges onto the court, asking them: “Whose house is this? Whose game is this? What kinda pride you got?” But is Coach Wilson the MP solution or just getting sucked into the problem? As the team heads into the its final regular season games and tournament showdowns, MP Pride will be sorely tested.
This week we wrapped up post production on 15 brand new living images for the Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences. The pieces will be intergraded into the college’s brand new website design.
This week we start shooting the photos for their print campaign.
Links coming soon.
Was on the phone with a fantastic DP this morning. His work with Spike Jones and his other music videos work is fantastic. Talked about this little film that is slowly coming together. That’s all I can say.
Photographer Mike Pecci and crew shot an inspired collection of photos to accompany the Boston Phoenix summer guide.