Just over three years since the start of filming, a locally directed and filmed comedy is set for release on Saturday evening.
Dennis and Traci Fick, owners of DAT Bar – who also happen to be cast members of the film “Attack of the Psychedelic Zombies, Man” – will be showcasing the film as part of a Hollywood style red carpet event.
As Dennis explains, the film’s original script was written by former Merrill resident John Luedtke in 2006. Then in the summer of 2012 filming kicked off and ran right on schedule, until tragedy struck and delayed release.
“John Luedtke teamed up with two former college buddies by the names of Aaron Hilden director and Aaron Moe. Aaron Hilden directed the film and Aaron Moe produced. We had a cast of around 75 people and filming went great! It was a lot of fun and things wrapped up the following fall.
“When filming wrapped up, Aaron Hilden went to work with the post-production, editing and so on. We lost Aaron unexpectedly in October of 2013 due to complications from diabetes,” he adds.
“This was Aaron’s dream and vision,” Fick continued. “He was taking care of all the post-production work so we had to put it all on hold until lead actor Klaus Von Hohenloe stepped in to pick up where Aaron left off. It was up to him to try and complete Aaron’s vision without him.”
As for how the Ficks became involved in the film, it was a matter of having close ties with Luedtke as well as having the ability to accommodate necessities for the film.
“I’ve known John since he was the drummer in ‘Stone Nowhere,’ which is the same band main character Scott Hass (former owner of Big Hass BBQ) was a bassist in. All three of us have been friends for a long time and go way back.
“John and Aaron needed a kitchen for one of the scenes and it just so happened we have a bar with a kitchen!” Traci adds with a chuckle.
“We had a bar with a kitchen which was a necessity for some scenes in the movie.”
The couple have big plans for Saturday night, including an 8×16-foot theater screen, HD projector, and a surround system courtesy of Josh Jaeger of Merrill as well as a Hollywood style red carpet on order.
The film premier includes two showings at 7 and 9 p.m.
“The cast will be seated first then we will seat general admission.” Traci explains. “The film is around 85 minutes in length. We will also have themed beverages, food and free popcorn for our guests! Being it’s a ‘red carpet’ style event, formal attire is welcome or zombie attire is fine too!”
Due to some content in the movie, Traci and Dennis recommend the audience be ages 17 and up, however anyone under the age of 21 must be accompanied by an adult.
“Don’t let the name fool you though!” Traci says with a grin. “This is not your typical zombie movie. We will guarantee plenty of laughs!”
The Ficks are currently working on organizing a film showing for a charitable cause with the Cosmo Theatre. Anyone interested in more details are asked to contact Dennis or Traci at DAT Bar (715) 536-7004.