Controversy recently hit the box office in Saskatchenwan and the Dark Bridges Film Festival over the Soska Sister’s debut film Dead Hooker In A Trunk. It seems that an anonymous female caller phoned the Roxy Theatre complaining over the advertising and planned exhibition of Dead Hooker In A Trunk that has led to the film being pulled from the Roxy Theatre. The complaint apparently surrounds the recent disappearance of several prostitutes in the Saskatchenwan area. Dead Hooker In A Trunk was slated for a double feature bill with Drew Bolduc & Dan Nelson’s The Taint for April 22nd. Adding insult to injury, it also appears that some greivous individuals have taken it upon themselves to tear down and destroy all the advertisements for Dead Hooker In A Trunk in the local area.
The Dark Bridges Film Festival is a celebration of Independant and Foreign genre films. In 2010 the first full festival showcased 12 Feature films: Centurion, Dawning, El Monstro Del Mar!, Werewolf Fever, High School, Death of the Dead, [REC], [REC 2], Long Pigs, A Film With Me In It, Black Field as well as the The Good, The Bad, The Weird.
The 2011 Dark Bridges Film Festival runs from October 13th through 16th with a series of Midnight Movies throughout the year as well. Plans for this year’s festival were meant to include an extended night of screenings as well as an afternoon Q & A session with some of the filmmakers.
Jen Soska released this official statement via the Twisted Twins Productions Blog – Penny Dreadful Diary:
I am shocked and saddened that someone in this day and age could be so closed minded about the mere title of a film. Without attempting to research the film in the slightest, they rushed to judgment and condemned something that in fact should be something that Canadians should be very proud of. ‘Dead Hooker In A Trunk’ is a little independent film made by a couple of Canadians that has, despite all odds and challenges, been seen world wide in a multitude of film festivals, won critically praise, honors, and awards, and has shown the world that Canadians are big time contenders in the film industry and their work deserves to be paid attention to.
Sylvia Soska has also responded with an Open Letter to the Roxy Theatre:
To Whom It May Concern,
My name is Sylvia Soska and along with my twin sister, Jen, we own and operate Twisted Twins Productions. Our first film has received critical success the world over where it has played many film festivals and theaters to satisfied audiences. The film was the hard work of numerous talented Canadian film personalities as we all came together to create this film, almost everyone coming out with waived fees, simply because they love filmmaking. The film has been called a ‘hidden gem in independent filmmaking’ andhas even garnished the recognition of acclaimed director, Eli Roth.
It is much to my shock and disgust that your theater – The Roxy Theatre – would look at none of this when terminating the Dark Bridges Film Festival because of complaints with the film’s title – ‘Dead Hooker in a Trunk.’ Had anyone taken the time to actually watch the film, they would have seen a project filled with hardworking individuals that created a love letter throwback to the grindhouse films of the past. The story is a dark comedy that satires many horrific instances to give the audiences a sense of action-packed levity and excitement. The only scene where the actual horror of the situation is highlighted is when the title character meets her demise at the hands of an ignorant killer. The title character, despite what knee-jerk reaction the title stirs, is treated with reverence throughout the film by the group of twenty somethings as they struggle to give her a proper end. A level of respect that we don’t often see given to these women in this particular trade.
I strongly implore you to reconsider this decision. In doing so, you are not only telling the public that destruction of private property and marketing materials is the best way to get a point across, but you are saying that the work and spirit behind the Canadian team that came together to make this film is unimportant to you and your theater, that you are not interested in promoting something independent that was made by an almost entirely Canadian team that has been celebrated the around the world in its tongue in cheek ingenuity. I hope that you will look at what the film actually is – a project written, directed, and produced by two women who worked with a tremendous team that is actually a lot of fun with some very heartfelt, strong messages throughout.
I believe that it would be a mistake to not show the film at your theater. It was removed for the wrong reasons and I hope that will be found upon closer investigation of the situation.
This situation is beyond appalling as it seems a blatant form of censorship against independent cinema. It’s baffling that any theater would fold to the pressures of one irrate complaint from an anonymous individual in dictating the content of the entertainment they provide, which ultimately sustains their business and livelihood. At this time the Roxy Theatre is currently advertising the upcoming release of Hobo With A Shotgun, which begs the question if this film’s title can also warrant a refusal of exhibition. Many may be reminded of the Sitges Film Festival, when the film festival’s director Angel Sala was sued by a Barcelona public prosecutor for exhibiting child pornography regarding the movie A Serbian Film. The film has gone on to be banned or boycotted in several countries, including Spain and England. A more recent comparison can be seen with the controversy and call to censorship surrounding the Sundance premiere of Lucky McKee’s film, The Woman.
Click here to sign the petition telling the Roxy Theatre you support DEAD HOOKER IN A TRUNK. You can show your support on FaceBook as well through the DEAD HOOKER IN A TRUNK fan page as well as the Twisted Twins Productions page.