If you love bad cult movies, you'll love Bleak Future
Slangman, a travelling salesman of words and relics from the 21st century (like toiletpaper and Twinkies), teams up with a tongueless Scottish warrior and a semi-retarded blonde bimbo to cross the post-nuclear wastelands, battling savage mutants and the pathetic remnants of humanity in search of a legendary place called "The Source" ... an oracle of ancient wisdom rumored to hold the power to enlighten the world... or destroy what's left of it.
Perfect for a Bad Cinema Night with friends, Bleak Future is the ultimate low-brow, no-budget, off-beat, Super 8 B-movie science fiction satire, in the cheeseball spirit of A Polish Vampire In Burbank and Troll 2 that's sure to gross you out and leave you groaning.
A post-apocalyptic science fiction film comedy that'll have you laughing at it, screaming at it, and throwing things at the screen, BLEAK FUTURE is a sand-smoking, mutant-slashing, head-tripping, hippie-exploding, blood-bursting ride into low-rent independent sci-fi filmmaking. It's as if Thundarr the Barbarian and TSR's roleplaying game Gamma World met and had a retarded baby, and that baby grew up and was a huge fan of films like Bad Taste and Street Trash, and then got arrested for meth and was put in a detox center where the only two VHS tapes were Mad Max and Monty Python and The Holy Grail.
The free DVD features tons of bonus material, including two commentaries and over 55 minutes of bonus video, comprised of 7 behind the scenes featurettes which tell the sordid tale on what sweet living hell B. O'Malley and the crew of Bleak Future went through to complete the film. And it's not your typical "Waaah, I'm a filmmaker and it was so hard to make this movie" bullshit.
The DVD was called "One of the most impressive discs in recent memory" by Film Fan Addict Magazine. And those guys have to know what they're talking about, because it says right there in their name that they're addicted to film fans.
Wait... What? You said SUPER 8?
Yep. Some 15 years before JJ Abrams made his homage to Spielberg with a bunch of kids and exploding trains, and just a few months before the DV revolution took filmmaking by storm, the Bleak Future embraced Super 8 with open arms. (Mostly because we couldn't afford 16mm, and there was no such thing as widely-available consumer DV in 1995 when we started shooting.)
Super 8 sound-striped film cartridges were the consumer favorite of the 1970's (polyester pants) but were quickly made obsolete by the video revolution of the 1980's (polyester hair). The filmstock came in 2-minute cartridges, and were able to record sound on a magnetic stripe alongside the actual film itself. Kodak ceased production of this sound-striped film about mid-way into Bleak Future's production.
Two $800 Super 8 cameras were destroyed by the brutal desert filming, which took place on the outskirts of Death Valley, California. Sticking fiercely to that now-tired filmmaking cliche, Writer-Director B. O'Malley funded the film entirely with credit cards and what little money he raised from delivering pizzas and land surveying, while working his way through the Film program at Cal State Fullerton to piece together this low-rent magnum opus of blood, mutants, and painful comedy.
The DVD is even better than the film. Seriously!
After nearly 3 years of painstakingly re-cutting the film, returning to the desert to shoot several missed pick up shots, re-recording every last bit of dialogue and sound, restoring over 500 photographs, compiling over 50 minutes of behind the scenes footage, assembling 8 different subtitled language tracks (including one in Pig Latin) and designing and animating 30+ menus, the DVD of Bleak Future is now complete. And now you can own the ultimate cheeseball low-budget science fiction film on the ultimate, feature-packed DVD.
So what's on the DVD?
Director, Producer, and Special Makeup FX Creator Commentary
Featuring Director B. O'Malley, Co-Producer Marc Campos, and Special Makeup Effects Creator Travis Rindahl. (Producer Steve Darancette was off cavorting with drunken Filipinos.)
Featuring Slangman (Frank Kowal), Atlatl (Brad Rockhold), Femme (Wendie Newcomb), and Brother Alfonze (Steven A. Kowal) (If you said "Who the f*ck is that?" to any of those people, you're not alone.)
Newly Restored and Color-Corrected Picture
The crappy Super 8 grain is now officially more colorful and bright.
Blooper Reel and Outtakes
Watch what filming in the desert in 110-130 degree heat will do to the human mind. Good thing we didn't bring chimps out there.
Deleted Scenes and Shots Including the alternative Femme scene, the Dr. Marbury V. Madison scene, and more!
All-New Soundtrack Cues
Specially-written cues for the DVD release! If you haven't shit your pants by now, go ahead and do it.
Comprehensive Technical and Production Details
Want to know what cameras we used? What kind of film? How long it took to shoot each scene? Where each scene was shot? Horror stories from behind the scenes? The DVD holds the answers! And your mom holds herpes.
Scrapbook and Production Sketches
Including early costume sketches of all the main characters, set design sketches, and more. And by "more," I mean "that's pretty much it."
Cast and Crew Biographies
Want to know more about the cast and crew? 16 of the main cast and crew are detailed in the Bleak Future Bio section. Where are they now? What have they been up to? Why were they arrested in 2000 for shooting guns nude in public?
It's up to you to find them. Femme's Drinking Game, Travis Rindahl making noise with a pumpkin and an axe, and more.
Interactive Map of the World of Bleak Future Your mind will be blown by this map! (Not really)
The Bleak Future Trailer In case you forget how to get to YouTube.
Animated Scene Selection Menus
Wow. Just, wow. Animated? Seriously? You mean, they move?
The Bleak Future Soundtrack in MP3 Format (DVD ROM)
Put this on your iPod and play at parties and watch people call you a goober.
The Bleak Future Shooting Script (DVD ROM)
Because who doesn't want to see a blueprint on how to make a bad movie?
Bleak Future Wallpapers (DVD ROM)
Because wallpapers are one of those super-cheesy features you kinda have to do to fill space on a DVD-ROM. That's why they're listed last.
The Making of Bleak Future
Nimroddingly encouraged by the successful do-it-yourself independent films of Robert Rodriguez
(El Mariachi) and Kevin Smith (Bridge Over The River Kwai), we shot the film on Super 8 filmstock.
The filmstock came in 2-minute
cartridges, and were able to record sound on a magnetic stripe alongside the
actual film itself. Kodak ceased production of this sound-striped film about
mid-way into Bleak Future's production.
Two $800 Super 8 cameras were destroyed by the rugged, sandy desert filming, which
took place on the outskirts of Death Valley, California.
After nearly 3 years of painstakingly re-cutting the film, returning to
the desert to shoot several missed pick up shots, re-recording every last bit
of dialogue and sound, restoring over 500 photographs, compiling over 50 minutes
of behind the scenes footage, assembling 8 different subtitled language tracks
(including one in Pig Latin) and designing and animating 30+ menus, the DVD
of Bleak Future was finished in 2005.
* It went on to win numerous awards, but not really.
*Bleak Future was featured in a 1997 issue of Fangoria Magazine, and then the DVD was reviewed by Fangoria in 2006. We love us some Fangoria.
*Bleak Future won the Bronze Seal at the 1997 IAC Awards in the
U.K. The U.K. stands for "United Kingdom" and is apparently somewhere to the right of New York City. * During shooting, the Bleak film crew had the Nevada State Police pull guns on them, thinking
we were performing some sort of Satanic ritual. The cops almost opened fire at our Malathion Man, Tom Johnson, who had a shiny silver spray nozzle strapped to his hand, which looked very much like a pistol, and which he very much couldn't take off as it was very much securely fastened to his arm.
* Director B. O'Malley's truck, with all the film equipment in it, including a 300 pound dolly, got stuck in the mud at Bristol Dry Lake for 36 hours. It took two tow trucks and a military vehicle from 100 miles away to get the truck dislodged. O'Malley suffered from sunstroke and Taco Bell food poisoning and barely made it out with his life.
* The film's big premiere was at night during a record torrential rain in Santa Monica in December of 1996, soaking the film's chances for a large turnout.
* During the 2006 DVD authoring, primary and backup data drives
crashed, forcing a 3 month/$5000 process of forensic data recovery from the
failed harddrives in a laboratory. White coats. Test tubes. You get the idea.
* The film was shot predominantly on weekends from June 1995 through September 1996, and in 120-degree heat.
* Only one actor refused to come back and re-record his dialogue for the DVD release. He is a f*cker.
More questions? Contact writer-director B. O'Malley directly: omalley71.com
Bleak Future High-Resolution Photos
1770x1176 300 DPI
Filmmaker B. O'Malley with the Super 8 Camera in Death Valley (1996)
Photo by Marc Campos
3432x2377 600 DPI
Bleak Future (1996)
Photo by Marc Campos