The collaborative camp of horror film 'Death Drop Gorgeous'
October 9, 2021
A deranged masked figure lures and kills drag queens in this balls-to-the-wall camp horror flick by filmmaker friends Michael J. Ahern, Christopher Dalpe, and Brandon Perras.
Based on the film's title alone, I was sold. which was a brainchild of Dalpe himself.
“We had a working title for the longest time. I think it was called Blood Bath for a while. The joking title when we first started writing was Tuck Everlasting, but we were worried about lawsuits if we did keep that. So we decided what a better name for a drag movie, than a play on a drag name?”
Getting to the finish line of Death Drop Gorgeous took “lots of whiskeys,” jokes Ahern. "Brandon and Chris were talking about these apps that we use for dating are kind of like a tool for serial killers. Brandon and I would bond over horror movies and at some point, he told me about the idea and I was just like let’s write it! What I love about the kernel of that idea was that danger of cruising for gay men has just existed for so long for us, so it was like an updated version of what cruising looks like now and how the danger has changed."
Which is partially why the filmmakers were very protective of the drag community and its portrayal while crafting this film.
“I used to manage drag bingo and work in a community of drag queens. We never sought out to exploit this community. In our film, the drag queens are the ones with power. All the drag queens in the film work and perform in Providence. Each person we gave the script to, we asked them how they felt about it and would they do it and they all said yes and we rolled with it," says Dalpe.
Not only were the threesome writers and producers of the film, but they co-directed with each one serving a different role during production.
“We really had to figure out the best way to use our time because everyone was volunteering their time including the actors,” says Perras. I went to school for digital recording, so I jumped into the director of photography role and storyboarded out a good chunk of the movie. Chris and Mike were co-directing. If I was on set acting, someone would take over the camera. It was really long days, but we played to our strengths.”
The film is currently streaming on Amazon, iTunes, and Voodoo, bringing the film's five-year production journey to a close — and the team is already submerged in their next project.
“Monster Makeup Productions was born to house the rest of our ideas. The next project is halfway through production right now in Providence and is really creepy and spooky, but still very niche queer issues. It’s darker and crueler,” says Ahern.
Dalpe credits the Providence community for their ability to keep making films.
“Our community is so close-knit and tight that if we approached a bar and asked if we could shoot there it wasn't about permits. They just said, 'what day?' So I think that the collaborative process just speaks to the community."
Death Drop Gorgeous was released on Digital by Dark Star Pictures on September 10.
Written by: Sade' SellersSade’ Sellers is a screenwriter and producer based in Burbank, California. Originally from Michigan’s capital, Lansing, Sade’ has been working in the entertainment industry since 2009. In 2017, Sade’ was a finalist for Tv One’s Screenwriting competition for her teleplay The Replacement. This achievement motivated the network to hire her as a writer for their upcoming movie of the week event, Deadly Dispatch, which premiered on the platform in the summer of 2019. Through that production process, Sade’ met casting director Leah Daniels-Butler who was in the midst of staffing her production company, 1oneninety5. Sade’ then rose to the role of Vice President of Content Acquisitions and Development and spent the next year learning the ecosystem of film and television development from pitching to production. Using that experience, and bound at home due to COVID-19, Sade’ made a return to her first love, screenwriting, utilizing her free time to write new content. www.sadesellers.com