Psycho thriller safari slasher

2012-04-21 19:01

Beautiful young British sisters Angie and Yasmin are touring Africa when they spot a surreal-looking trance rave from the back of their safari truck and decide to join the party.

But their fun ends there – and that’s where the plot of South Africa’s first safari psycho thriller really gets going.

The next morning no one can find Angie and a desperate Yasmin heads into the bush to search, helped by a mysterious biker called Jules. Their trail leads to the remote farm of a charismatic sculptor, Frank. Unknown to them, they step into the lair of a man deeply damaged by civil war.

“One Last Look is a scare-fest with an all-local cast,” says Emmy award-winning producer Dan Jawitz from Fireworx Media. “It’s targeted at the same people who loved movies like Saw and Grindhouse.”

After a month of principal photography, the R8.5 million film went into editing last week. It is the feature-directing debut of local screenwriter Philip Roberts, who describes the stylised film as “Mad Max meets Wolf Creek”.

Apart from pioneering the local psychological thriller genre, One Last Look is notable for being funded entirely by government initiatives – with one eye firmly on an international audiences.

“We are firstly concerned with content for the domestic market, but for filmmakers to stand a chance of seeing a decent return we also need to be able to sell globally,” says Thandeka Zwane of the National Film and Video Foundation, which financed the film with the Industrial Development Corporation and the Department of Trade and Industry.

The star of One Last Look is Neil Sandilands, a former 7de Laan actor who appeared in the film Proteus. Newcomer Anna Capraro and model-turned-actress Stephanie Schildknecht had to refine their British accents to play the sisters, and Marty Kintu is cast as loner Jules.

It was shot on location at a game reserve outside Joburg but is designed to portray a generic Africa. “The story is universal. It taps into Sunjata, a West African griot myth,” says Roberts.

The creators of One Last Look are playing with the Heart of Darkness theme without much irony. They aren’t after intellectual responses – they want gasps of terror.

“Genre film appeals to distributors who buy at markets. We’re keen on a theatre release, but we also want something that’ll play on TV all over the world,” says Jawitz, who’s hoping to show an early cut of One Last Look at the Durban International Film Festival later this year.

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