With Hammer-type horror movies absent from theatres, Islas makes them himself

Ch. 20 editor Ricardo Islas continues his string of Hammer Films-inspired low-budget horror pictures when he shoots his lesbian vampire thriller this August. “Night Fangs” tells the story of two art teachers who perform an ancient immortality ritual. “Something goes wrong and vampires start to show up,” said Islas, who wrote the script.

“It follows in the tradition of Hammer movies with Ingrid Pitt like ‘Countess Dracula’ and ‘Vampire Lovers,'” Islas said. “They weren’t the best ones from Hammer but they were very commercial and very appealing. What makes me write and produce these types of movies is that I can’t find them in the theaters anymore. I have to make them myself.”

Islas is self-financing through his Alpha Studios. If he can raise $50,000 by the start of principal photography in late August he’ll shoot on 16mm, he said, otherwise he’ll go digital. He aims for a video release, possibly through BCI Eclipse, which has carried some of his previous films, and he’s in talks with new Denver satellite network Colors TV for a broadcast deal. He’s still hiring cast and crew.

An Uruguay native, Islas came to Chicago when his film “Mala Sangre” (“Bad Blood”) premiered at the 1996 Chicago International Latino Film Festival. His credits include the features “Headcrusher” (1999) and “Hacienda en el Amor?Brujo” (2002), which also screened at the Latino Fest.

Last fall Islas directed the 16mm thriller “To Kill a Killer,” financed by writer-actor Salomon Carmona, produced by Diana Romero of I-Media Entertainment, and featuring Mexican stars Jorge Reynoso and Hugo Stiglitz. “Kill a Killer” shot simultaneous English- and Spanish-language versions to target both the U.S. and Latin American markets.

Picture is locked on “Killer” and Andre Tonku, who also recorded location sound, is at work on the sound mix in Rumania. “I think it can go far,” Islas said. “It’s not a festival movie, it’s a commercial movie. It can go far in the commercial circuit.”

Reach Islas at 773/610-5407 or see www.alphaflicks.com.

? by Ed M. Koziarski, edk@homesickblues.com