LOS ANGELES—For nearly a decade, cult XXX director JacktheZipper has earned accolades from the adult industry and indie film fans alike for blurring the line between "adult" and "mainstream." Zipper's work is revered for mashing up high velocity sex with cinematic subtext to underscore and heighten the experience. His latest film, Killers, brings that signature flair for visual storytelling to dizzying new heights—and now, attendees at the Adult Entertainment Expo can see the movie's world premiere and win tickets to an unofficial AEE after-party.
Seems that New York City's Fetish Tribe, which has thrown parties during the AEE for the past decade, is not only sponsoring Zipper's premiere at the Erotic Heritage Museum Thursday night (not to mention the cocktail party that'll take place all around the movie's showing), they'll also be giving away a few tickets to what they describe as "the ultimate afterparty" to attendees at the premiere, which will begin at 9:30pm and last into the wee hours. The Erotic Heritage Museum is located at 3275 Industrial Rd Las Vegas, NV 89109. Visit their website for more information.
Releasing Spring 2013 from Pulse Distribution, Killers is a stylish, sexy modern spy thriller with an indie film aesthetic: a Warholian vision of a 007 movie, with Bond girls that go all the way. Based on an original story, the film shadows a band of assassins as they move from the decadent underworld of Eastern Europe to the seamy streets of a noir Los Angeles, trafficking "the Poison," a deadly super-drug that turns users into rabid living zombies. One by one, the killers are undone by deceit, treachery and lust, meeting their varied fates in carefully-crafted sequences that have the hyperbolic visual punch of a graphic novel.
"Killers," Zipper stated, "revolves around sex and murder, the twin engines that drive everything." He's said before that his work draws its power and significance from a fascination with the life force, and he really sets that theory in motion here, using the theme of life and death itself to intensify the erotic urgency as each character uses sex in a treacherous battle for survival.
As a result, the nonstop action in Killers is as boundary-shattering as its visual style: it's definitely hard and kinky, as the assassination-driven plot generates plenty of raw power exchanges between hunter and hunted. But while the sexual dynamic of Killers will appeal to fetish fans, this is kink inside a rollicking XXX hardcore flick—a complete departure from traditional BDSM devices and scenarios.
One outstanding example is the showdown between the infamous Joslyn James and European male superstar Nacho Vidal, for whom Killers marks a long-awaited return to American films. The dynamic between James and Vidal is power exchange personified. James plays the wildly deranged hitwoman She, making her entrance in a lurid face mask that alludes to her underlying savage sexuality. The vengeful energy between James and Vidal—who radiates a lethal menace as the classic Bond-style villain, "the Spaniard"—results in the kind of real electricity that places it among the most original and unforgettable hardcore scenes ever filmed.
The impact of the scene is largely due to the synergy between living legend Vidal and director Zipper, each inspiring the other to new levels of intensity. The unlikely but brilliant pairing resulted from a chance meeting in a Las Vegas poker room just days before principal photography on Killers was slated to begin. Vidal's part wasn't in the script, and was improvised live: "He quietly wandered around the location and blocked out the entire sex scene before we shot it—like kung fu," recalled Zipper. "Amazing."
Along with Nacho, there's plenty more testosterone-fueled mayhem from a top-notch supporting cast featuring AVN award-winners Eric Swiss and Xander Corvus, and brooding newcomer, Bruce Venture. But it's Killers' dangerously seductive female stars that are truly to die for. "The female of the species is far more deadly than the male," assured Zipper of his murderesses. "I was looking for iconic performances from the ladies, and they truly deliver in spades."
The stellar female cast is an international A-list, unquestionably making some of their most rousing on-screen appearances to date. There's the breathtaking Emily Addison, who plays assassin Rev's lover-turned-nemesis; white-hot crossover actress Andy San Dimas (Drive), and the impossibly exotic Siberian actress Maya Hills, turning in a smoldering bilingual performance in Russian and English. But particularly memorable is the beautiful Skin Diamond, the undeniable breakout star of 2012, playing Rev with a style and danger that perfectly embodies the seamless world Zipper creates.
It's a relative rarity in XXX, but JacktheZipper's films treat women as self-aware sexual beings rather than as sexual objects, and Diamond's naturalistic performance demonstrates that perfectly. When her character, Rev, has sex with her former working partner before killing him, it's clear that she isn't simply using her lithe body as currency to get what she wants. Instead, she's putting nihilistic pleasure before business, unapologetically enjoying herself. It's a very powerful but completely atypical portrait of a woman in sexual control, as too often, standard-issue adult entertainment depicts women in charge as whip-wielding figments of someone else's fantasy, rather than as living out fantasies of their own. Scenes like this account for the fact that half of Zipper's fan base is female—in fact, the director says woman are his most vocal and passionate fans.
But beyond its broad audience appeal, crossover stars and masterful technique, Killers may be set to break down the barriers between adult and mainstream in an entirely new way, if the film's producers get to realize their goal of making it the first modern XXX video game. In fact, the production was designed so it could later serve as the first stage of a larger cross-genre project.
"Killers was an opportunity to work behind the scenes with some very talented artist friends of mine with an impressive array of well-known Hollywood sci-fi and fantasy franchises in their portfolios," Zipper stated. "The initial idea was to conceive the story more like a graphic novel and shoot the adult version as an indie: develop the characters and situations, then ultimately re-envision it later as the first-ever hardcore-inspired video game."
Plans to develop Killers as a game are still in the works, but if they come to pass, the film will spawn a new type of genre-crossing entertainment brand…a fitting next step in the career of a director whose vision has set a new standard for the creation of adult entertainment.
Killers, the high-end feature film, will be released as a special-edition DVD by Pulse Distribution in Spring 2013. The film will also be available in international and US domestic soft and hard broadcast versions. Killers is a Kilo Film Group production © 2013.