Review by Robert Long II ©2012
Starring Richard Cutting, Danielle Lozeau, Beau Peregino, Andrew C. Ely and John C. Bailey
With Carl Stevens, Manuel Poblete, Vanessa Rae Bent, Daniel Ross, Robert Haag, Leanna Chamish, Frederick Cowie, Paul Sieber, Kimberly Kerr, Ryan Thomas, Jesse Layne
Written and Produced by Kevin Kangas and Luke Theriault
Director of Photography: Jarod Noe
Music by Chad Seiter
Directed by Kevin Kangas
Synopsis: Owen, a police detective wakes up in a bedroom with a dead body. Taking photos of the corpse with his cell phone, he proceeds to leave the room – finding himself in a very strange mansion filled with people steeped in hedonism and debauchery. All too quickly Owen finds that he – and the inhabitants – are cut off from the rest of the world, and that the body count in the manor is rising. He takes it upon himself to solve who is behind the murders before another body drops.
I saw the premiere of this movie on April 26th, 2012 to a packed house at the Landmark Theater (Baltimore). I got a few interviews and hope to have some clips up soon on a segment of Smash or Trash TV. The who’s who of the Maryland film scene were all on hand. It was great to know that Mitch Klein, Leanna Chamish, Les Bradley and Judy Furlow Grannas (all Smash or Trashers) were in attendance as well.
I had been on the set a couple of days, so being a know-it-all I thought I had the story all figured out. Boy was I wrong! The film that unfolded upon the screen was nothing like my pre-conceptions of the movie. This is a good thing – Kevin Kangas had once again surprised me! I was wrong, wrong, wrong about everything I thought was going to happen. Of course – I cannot say too much as that would be spoiling the suprises of the movie. I will say this much; this film crosses several genres – including horror, science fiction, giallo, and murder mystery.
The acting is top-notch across the board. Richard Cutting portrays Owen, the police detective that wakes up in the bizarre manor. John C. Bailey portrays Tom, the ever helpful gent that roams the corridors. Carl Stevens plays Father Leon, the priest of the grounds. Danielle Lozeau plays the mysterious chocolate craver. Andrew C. Ely plays the all powerful, almost mute Servant.
And boy does Owen have a bevy of suspects to work through to find the killer! Manuel Poblete portrays Oscar the lawyer, Beau Peregino is Geoffrey the gambler, Leanna Chamish as Betsy the lush, Robert Haag as Grant the liar, and so on. This house of hedonism is chock full of bizarre, interesting characters – anyone of them could be the murderer.
A lot can be said about the production values of the movie. First up – the locations and sets are absolutely stunning. Kangas and crew filmed at a castle and other various settings to make the halls of this Hedonistic Haunts seem endless. It is plush and rich with atmosphere. The camera work was done by veteran cinematographer Jared Noe on a RED, and the incredible musical score was done by Chad Seiter (of LOST fame). The story, editing and mature themes the film tackles will not leave lovers of sex and violence disappointed. All combine to give this movie and incredibly professional sheen.
So the end result? A very good film brought to the viewer from the team of Kangas and Theriault. I am looking forward to this coming out on DVD – hopefully with a boatload of extras. Word is that Kangas is going to tweak the movie a little before it goes up for sale for distribution. In the form we saw GARDEN OF HEDON – premiere ready – I would give it 8 out of 10 stars. Once again Kangas Kahn Films shows that they are ever going up the ladder of quality and success, not descending it.
To find out more about Garden of Hedon and Kangas Kahn Films, click on the link below: