The worlds of genre cinema and roller derby collide this year with the release of MurderDrome: the tale of a Melbourne based roller derby team being chased down by a soul hungry, inline skating demon. Whip It this ain’t. Nor was it a straightforward production; the film’s publicity highlights that this was three years in the making.
The idea was conceived by Daniel Armstrong, the film’s director and writer, who had written a script nearly six years ago “that was more or less a rip-off of The Warriors,” in which a gang of Derby girls comes to blows with gangs of pro-wrestlers and mimes. Although the script didn’t work out, his heroines stayed with him.
Years later and Daniel’s previous attempt at filmmaking almost crushed his spirit for the art.
“Trying to hold down my 9 to 5 job and make a feature film in the lack-of-spare time that allows was draining,” he says. “To have it fall over in post was devastating. I had to sell all my gear to cover debts and essentially shelve the project indefinitely.”
After almost calling it quits, a little bit of time and perspective (“I also got bored,” he explains) helped him make the decision to pick up a camera again. This time he would try an ‘80s style slasher: “I recalled my roller derby protagonists and it was like ‘EUREKA – a roller derby slasher film!’”
Having had his fingers burned with his previous film, Daniel understandably wanted to keep things as simple as possible to ensure a smooth shoot for all. Rather than a feature length affair, MurderDrome was intended to be a five episode web series that would have been quick and easy to achieve. With a script that was roughly 20 pages, Daniel went into pre-production, and it was during the auditions that he met Louise Monnington who would co-star in the film as well as act as Derby Advisor and Script Editor.
The rest of the interview can be read at FilmInk.com.au.
About The Author
My name is John Noonan. I’m a freelance writer that specialises in arts and entertainment. From genre flicks to chick flicks, I love the stuff. So much so, I started a film review blog at earlybirdfilm.wordpress.com. I also contribute to online and hard copy press, including FilmInk magazine.
If you like what you see, I am available for hire. You can contact me via the social media channels above or the form on my home page.