Richie and Juako are bored one night. They decide to pass the time by raping and killing 2 young students in their own home and pinning it on serial killer at large, The Dentist.
* Trigger Warning: This short film touches on sexual assault and rape. View at your own discretion. *
It was May 2013, nearly a year since we had filmed Fitting In and Saving Grace, and the deadline for the Puerto Rico Horror Film Fest was fast approaching. Sure, I planned to submit Fitting In, but I wanted to submit something different.
For a while, I’d been considering starting to write in Spanish. Sure, my brain works in English, but I live and produce most of my work right here in Puerto Rico and I was growing weary about that pesky cliché about films only finding success if they were “Hollywood style” and in English. I decided it was time.
These many years later, I can’t recall what exactly inspired the story itself. I do remember I had a small box with stones and I liked how you could imagine it to be full of teeth by the sound it made, so I created the character of the serial killer El Dentista (The Dentist) who would steal their victim’s teeth after torturing and killing them. Because I’m a complete comic book nerd, as well as a HUGE Kevin Smith fan, I decided to have some inter-connectivity with my short film “universe”.
As I had cast Alice to play Lucy, I decided to have some fun and casually mention she had a twin sister… Delilah from Fitting In. I thought it was clever that the girl who would be revealed to be El Dentista would have a twin sister who happened to be turned into a fanged vampire. It’s something I was hoping to explore in another story, though that particular ship has probably sailed.
In order to drive the language point home (and make a bit of fun of myself), I had Richie and Juako make fun of James (or Jaime, as he’s revealed to be actually named) from Fitting In for changing his name to impress the “gringa twin”.
Behind the scenes, this production started a trend which has continued with every single production I’ve had since… Nothing went according to plan. Originally, we had secured a location in Carolina, fairly close to where most of us lived for 3 nights of filming. The day before we were scheduled to shoot, the location was cancelled. As we scrambled to find a new location, we were able to find a house… In Yauco (a nearly 3 hour drive on a normal day). For one night only. And only Friday night (which was a work day for most of us).
Desperate and short on time, we accepted the challenge, and though traffic made us even later than expected, we were able to film every scene before sunrise. It was a super hectic night, but I must say, without such an excellent cast and crew, this short never would have happened.
The news segment was filmed a different day, but it only took a couple of takes. It was also my first time working on green screen, so it was a bit of a challenge. It’s not completely perfect, but I’m happy with the result.
In the end, managed to finish on time, we were able to submit it to PR Horror Film Fest… and we actually ended up getting both 10-50 and Fitting In accepted that year! Talk about a massive win!
Oh, and just so you know… That scream (you know which one, since you watched the short)… My ears are still ringing today.