Kootenay-raised filmmaker Chris Shalom describes his fourth feature film Space Rippers as “Evil Dead 2 meets Pirate Radio in space.”
Set in a future where illegal torrenting has been eradicated from Earth, the full-length movie tells the story of media pirate astronauts who face down a soul-sucking witch they inadvertently released from an infamous cursed DVD.
“It has those elements of camp and cheese from the 80s,” Shalom told the Star. “We’re using the term space-ploitation.”
Scheduled to start filming in August, Space Rippers is in the midst of an IndieGogo campaign to help raise the $20,000 it’s going to take to make it a reality. Along with his co-director J.S. Johnson, who Shalom met in film school, he’s hoping that this project will differ significantly from their earlier collaborations.
“Our first three California Balloon films were quiet and artsy. Very slow, kind of Polanski-Hitchcock-Kubrick-style supernatural thrillers. Now we’re moving in a direction that’s a little bigger, and we’re going for more of a fun crowd-pleaser type of movie.”
(Their previous films, with memorable names such as Android Night Punch, are available for free online.)
Shalom said the funds raised will primarily go towards building a spaceship and doing “cool gore stuff”. Ultimately he wants supporters to end up with a physical copy of the film in their hands.
“Space Rippers, ironically, is the first time we’re going to try to sell a movie. We want people to be able to have a physical copy of it,” he said.
He likes to imagine one day that someone might find a VHS of Rippers at a garage sale.
Shalom has a passion for the analog era, and in many ways he’s trying to embrace old-school filmmaking techniques.
“We’re using miniatures to do the space ship shots. We’ve got wires to do zero gravity. We’re trying to physically do it exactly the way they would have done it in analog times.”
The film will be shot in Calgary.
The Mt. Sentinel grad took an opportunity to mention his high school teacher Heather Shippit, who taught the first filmmaking class at his high school and encouraged him to pursue his film ambitions.
As of press time, Rippers had raised just over $1000 of its $10,000 goal. The prizes for contributing include VHS versions of their earlier features and a ticket to the film premiere. You can also get an executive producer credit.
For more information visit Space Rippers on Indiegogo.