Alien creatures born from pods take over a small town with the mission to separate mankind from his or her money in this parody of the 1956 classic “Invasion of the Body Snatchers”.
Dr. Millie Beenhell discovers an outbreak of ‘mass hysteria’ in her small town of Santa Maria. Her patients are claiming that their loved ones have changed overnight, as though their bodies have been abducted by some foreign alien. The transformed creatures become unscrupulous salespeople obsessively hawking their counterfeit wares at all costs. The plot reveals a pod like plant being distributed by the alien hucksters that absorbs the appearance of its sleeping victim. We soon realize the earth is under a worldwide invasion leaving no human immune to the hell of the eternal pitch.
DIRECTOR’S STATEMENT by Patrick Murphy
This film was a labor and collaboration of love. I doubt I have ever worked on any project where everyone pitched in as if they were going on a family picnic. It was pure work and pure fun all at the same time. Everyone gave and cooperated selflessly in trying to bring the vision of Lou Mulford’s words to life and this is a great testament to everyone involved and that starts with Lou herself, who gave everything she had and more to get this project off the ground. I hope audiences find our project even half as interesting and as fun as it was to make. Then we will truly have succeeded.
”THE INSPIRATION FOR OUR FILM by Lou Mulford”
My script idea began with the realization that everyone I knew, including myself, had a product to sell. Healthy commerce makes the world go round, and as a capitalist I’m all for it, as long as the soul remains intact and the welfare of others remains a priority above the sale. I took the concept to the extreme exposing our epidemic of worldwide scams, spams, viral telemarketers, and ponzi scheme greed that has consumed our domestic and global economy. Humor is my weapon of choice in my fight for sanity in a world gone a little money hungry mad.
“P Nutty X”
In script discussions with my fellow producer Jeff McGrail, we agreed the infomercial parody should include a well known fitness product. Jeff mentioned P90X. I, however, had not seen all the hooplah and thought he said “Pea-nutty- X. Seriously… I googled the internet and came up with all kinds of peanut butter protein shakes, bars, and diets, but my target eluded me. I finally asked Jeff again and he spelled it out. I almost, pardon the pun, peed my pants. Thus “P-Nutty-X was born. I studied P90X ads and Tony Horton, who btw turns out was a friend of my actor Scot McCray who plays my P-Nutty spokesman Jake Bellycheck. The result is a ridiculous take on “THE X!!!!!” and those sublime abs ads.
“Sacrificing the House”
On a shoe string budget one must always look to cut corners. Almost every scene of the film, all the interiors and some exteriors, were filmed at my home. My director Pat Murphy and D.P. John Rhode chose to create two walled sets in my daughter’s bedrooms to create Millie’s doctor’s office and the Promise You Everything Recovery Home. Everything was turned upside down for weeks as all the furniture had to be moved into the living room. It was sheer mayhem with people and equipment everywhere you looked for the 3 days of principal photography. Craft services filled the family room, wardrobe was draped all over the bed in our bedroom, forget the kitchen!, and we shuffled stuff around from place to place as almost every room was filmed. Yes I am still married post production, and my husband and dogs have not divorced me.
For those true aficionados of the 1956 version of INVASION OF THE BODY SNATCHERS take a look at the character cast list. Dr. Miles Bennell becomes Dr. Millie Beenhell. Jack Bellicec becomes Jake Bellycheck, and Miles’ love interest Becky becomes Millie’s husband Beck in our parody version. There are more plays on all the names if you look closer.
“The Pod Lady”
The pod lady distribution scene was born out of the inability to obtain rights from the original film to insert a clip of the 1956 classic where the pods were delivered in the town square from a large truck. Too expensive to add as a funny nod to the past, we decided to re-create with an east coast realtor type delivering the pods to the city from the back of her Lexus. For fun I donned a brown wig and played her as a well. Producer, star, Jeff McGrail was our guy from “Fresno” in the wheel chair. Don’t ask me why… the wheel chair was just sitting there and it kinda happened. An LA county inside joke is that Fresno is sometimes the victim of negative public perception akin to “Parks and Rec’s” fictional city “Pawnee”. Our pod lady was looking for splashy cash targets like Beverly Hills and Orange County.
“Pod Alien Beck’s Foaming Death”
Jeff McGrail used a combination of vinegar and baking soda popped into his mouth to create his pod alien death scene on the canyon. He erupted like a jr. high science project. Almost choked him in one take. What a trooper!!!!!!
“Mom and Dad”
My real mother and step-father play Millie’s parents in the scene with them calling on “Skype” through the lap top. They are both actors who live and work out of Norfolk, Virginia. They filmed the scene and sent it to us via the internet. Patrick downloaded for our editor, Maureen Murphy, also Pat’s sister, and voila they were part of the film!
Almost all the actors were cast out of my acting class in Los Angeles. Renowned teacher and mentor Carole D’Andrea allowed us to workshop the scenes and the actors were familiar with one another and friends as well. http://www.caroledandrea.com/
HIS ENGINE PRODUCTIONS
I created the title for my production company as a nod to my Christian faith. Everything really belongs to God and is possible because of Him.
I’ve always wanted to create a film. I’ve written 2 full length features, and have files of writing and productions for the church stage that have been publicly performed, but this little project was something that through just the right friends and connections, could be fully realized. Thank you Jeff and Pat for being my rocks in our crazy creative journey together. Thanks to my talented actor friends and the fabulous crew. It was a true team effort and I could NEVER have done it without them.