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Indi-Edge Releasing/B+ Productions head your way with their latest horror effort Evil Ambitions. A tale of a group of upwardly mobile yuppies who just so happen to worship the Devil and the reporter who's out to stop them.

Best known for their film, Vamps: Deadly Dream Girls, the company has also produced other action and comedy films with an erotic edge. They've had such familiar B-movie faces as Debbie Rochon, Lisa Boyle and Lorissa McComas in their films. And they started out in Ohio, a place that will forever be remembered for WKRP.

What makes Evil Ambitions different? It's sarcastic tone. Never willing to take itself seriously it's a independent effort that doesn't repy on tons of gore or skin like most low-budget films tend to. It's more concerned with some amusing moments, a nice-looking cast and one cool-ass Devil.

Presented below is co-director Michael D. Fox's response to my review:

I don't expect reviewers to be "homers". In fact, it's their independent thought that keeps the entire process relevant. If I want to hear "that's nice, dear" I'll show it to my mother. And I would agree that EA most assuredly isn't a macabre horror-fest. It's more like a made for tv movie... with breasts and some gore.

If you want to know the truth, you were kinder on it than I am. From a director's standpoint, I'm proud of the opening -- although it's not the image I had in my head -- and the ending --including Satan -- and that's about it. Even though some critics have raved about the digital effects at the end, I've never been pleased with them. But in all fairness to the folks who designed them, we got a great deal. Proof, once again, that you get what you pay for. And that's partially my fault as well... I had a different creative vision than the folks who designed the effects did, and my partner Mark Burchett and I wrote in special effects moments that, in my view, were too "big" to be pulled off on our budget. Regardless of what most hollywood directors would say, I'm a firm believer that it's the writer and director's jobs to make sure that the piece is as good as it can be WITHIN THE BUDGETARY LIMITS ESTABLISHED. If the "perfect" effect is going to bust the budget, then rework the script. Otherwise you're going to damage the cinematic moment to the point where the audience is lost... and what's the point in that? But we all sat back and hoped, and when the effects came back, after pricipal photography was history, I suddenly found myself in the same predicament Spielberg had in jaws... So I had to cut around quite a few moments that worked really well in the script.

No, I don't wish to say that the other folks who put their time in didn't do a strong job. In fact, DP Jeff Barklage and latex effects man J.D. Bower did phenomenal work. I think that Satan's make up and JD's open chest wound are Hollywood quality. And most of the actors gave the performances they were capable of... some wonderful, some not. I'm just disappointed in much of my own work in EA... If only I could have raised more money for better sound. If only I would have seen that the reception area scene was longer than a day in the dentist's chair and almost as painful for many who watch it. (I'm seeing things in that scene that nobody else sees. I think it's a riot. Once again, individualistic impressions.)

All in all, I think it's reasonably entertaining. The real challenge is that it doesn't neatly fit into a catagory on the video store shelf. It's got gore... just not enough to be called a "classic" horror piece. It's suspensful in places, just not scary enough of the time to be "suspense". It's got pretty naked women, just not enough of the time to be considered a purely "sexy" piece. It's got humor, but not enough non-stop gags to be a "comedy". So it's kind of a sexy, suspensful drama. And unless you've got huge stars attached to that, it's normally going to be an uphill battle to get it seen.

I also decided to ask Michael a few questions about the film and some things he told me, not all questions appear here for confidentially reasons.

Do you find as you get more movies under your belt that it's becoming easier production wise? As in do things seem to go smoother?

Most assuredly. In our first production Vamps we almost burned the set down in front of the local media (faulty wiring). But as with anything, experience has taught us what to expect. I have a masters degree in mass communication, and had thought that I was prepared when I dove into making movies, but I wasn't. Only experience can give you the "third eye" required to see impending doom...and prevent it.

How exactly do you and Mark [Burchett] collaborate (being co-directors)?

Mark's involvement has been mostly conceptual. Together we plan how scenes should be shot, performances that we're looking for, etc. I'm the guy in the trenches once the camera is rolling. Mark's a much nicer human being than I am, and in order to get a low-budget piece to move along on schedule you have to be able to bark, so we decided to put that job in my hands.

What are some of the things you had to cut-out due to budget restraints?

The biggest things were special effects, extras and sweeping coverage of scenes. In the opening we had planned on a huge Hellish bonfire with naked minions running about. When we couldn't secure a location without dropping more money than was in the budget, we chose a more scaled-down version.

In the scene where Sgt. Leslie Kellog is killed in her bathtub by some evil goo conjured up by the yuppie Satanists, we were forced into shooting the goo coming out of the faucet in our DP (Director Of Photography)'s garage...and it just never worked. No fault of special effects man J.D. Bowers, we just needed a set and more time and money to put together the blob that was envisioned to ooze from the faucet, spread out over the unsuspecting Leslie's body and suddenly envelop itself around her and digest her (great idea, and it would have cost our entire budget to pull it off right).

And many scenes in the piece were scaled down from an extras/coverage standpoint.

You say you'd change the office scene, so if I asked you if you could change one scene in the entire movie, would that be it? And why? (if it's a different one, which?).

The office scene is tops on the list. On paper, it's funny. On the screen, it's slow. Not enough movement. Too much static camera in the same location. Too much detail without the story moving forward. And the sound is nothing to write home about either.

All Images Are © 1996 By B+ Productions

For more information on Evil Ambitions or any of B+'s other films visit their webpage or e-mail Michael.