OPIATE OF THE MASSES, LLC has just wrapped its first feature length film and is making the film festival rounds. KILL ME, DEADLY, with principal photography done throughout Los Angeles, under the direction of first time director, Darrett Sanders. The film is a love letter to Old Hollywood — an inventive spin on the beloved Film Noir genre with twists and turns that will delight contemporary audiences and hard core Noir fans alike.
Set in Hollywood in 1947, Kill Me, Deadly is a rollicking satire of classic 1940’s Film Noir genre with a contemporary spin on the archetypal characters that pack this lush world of murder and intrigue. Charlie Nickels (Dean Lemont – Criminal Minds), a hard-boiled but fairly clueless private dick, has been summoned by his prospective new client, mega-millionaire widow and coconut-obsessed Lady Clairmont (Leslie-Anne Down – The Bold and the Beautiful, Upstairs/Downstairs), who believes someone is going to kill her. Why? An anonymous note that reads, “I’m going to kill you.”
Later that day, Lady Clairmont is murdered --shot and then thrown off a bridge, which puts Charlie on the case to find her murderer and her missing prized possession the spooky 300-karat Bengal Diamond, a gem saddled with as many curses as karats.
Due to Lady Clairmont's contemptuous personality, Charlie’s list of suspects is long: Could it have been her cowed son, Clive Clairmont (Nicholas S. Williams)? Or is it her ice-cold but steamy daughter Veronica (Raleigh Holmes)? The butler, Wilson (Time Winters - Sneakers, Defending Your Life)? The erudite gardener with a grudge, Jamie (Paul F. Thompson - There Will Be Blood, Tangled)? Or, maybe Bugsy Siegel (Joe Mantegna – Criminal Minds, Cars 2 and The Godfather III) killed her and stole the Diamond to fund his fantastical vision for Las Vegas!
Charlie's search for the killer and missing diamond sends him crisscrossing 1940s Los Angeles - grilling a lithe heiress, dodging menacing hoodlums, sparring with befuddled LAPD detectives, and falling hard for the most “fatale” femme-fatale he's ever loved: cocktail waitress and vibraphonist, Mona Livingston (Kirsten Vangsness – Criminal Minds).
Will Charlie solve the Clairmont murders?! Will Charlie find the Bengal Diamond?! Will Mona and Charlie realize their dysfunctional love?!
The cast is led by Dean Lemont and Kirsten Vangsness and features Leslie-Anne Down, Joe Mantegna, and Paul F. Tompkins with Raleigh Holmes, and Shemar Moore in supporting roles,. The film also features ensemble actors including Keith Allen, Phinneas Kiyomura, Lynn Odell, Joe Roche, Darrett Sanders, Nicholas S. Williams and Time Winters.
Kill Me, Deadly, by Bill Robens, was originally produced as a stage play, premiering at Theatre of NOTE in Hollywood in July of 2009 for a critically lauded, thrice-extended, sold-out run. The world premiere production smashed box office and attendance records for the thirty-year old theater company.
Bill Robens' screen adaptation explores elements of the film noir genre that could never be executed on stage, and does so without losing the energy and cleverness that made the play so successful. The adaptation offers the wonderful opportunity to bring back the style and excitement of the beloved noir films of the 1940s. Kill Me, Deadly lovingly has fun with the genre, but without losing the danger and glamour that have enshrined those films as an enduring part of the consciousness of filmgoers to this day.
The executive producers are Kirsten Vangsness, (Criminal Minds) and John Money, one of the founding members of OPIATE OF THE MASSES, LLC. Other members of the distinguished behind-the-camera crew include cinematography by Nicholas Trikonis and production designer Krystyna Łoboda (Cesar Chavez and Stitch), costume designer Kimberly Freed, and original music composed by Bill Newlin (Scream Of The Bikini, Malpractice).
OPIATE OF THE MASSES, LLC – It takes a village.” The Opiate of the Masses, LLC roster boasts a core group of dedicated, experienced, and award-winning artists, and an experienced low-budget production team with a collective resume featuring countless produced plays, films and web series that routinely garner awards and critical acclaim by incorporating an enthusiastic team dynamic and ethic focused on U.S. theatrical release and optimal overseas returns.
In the vein of Monty Python, Opiate was founded by a close-knit handful of artistic collaborators, consistently producing exceptional work in a wide variety of styles, venues and formats. The collective core of Opiate met at the venerable Theatre of NOTE in Hollywood. In subsequent years, they have written, produced, directed and/or starred in dozens of hilarious and touching collaborations for both stage and screen. Their films, television shows, stage productions, and web series have garnered widespread critical acclaim, fervent audience admiration and multiple