Heels (2014)

“A serial killer with a foot fetish stalks his prey even as an unexpected danger closes in.”

Directed by – Jeremy Jantz
Written by – Lucy Taylor
Starring – Brian Adrian Koch, Julia Angelo, Sophia St James, Michael Masters.
A fresh, new look at the exploitive genre in horror, Heels gives us an insight into a foot fetishist killer preying on the unknowing clients of his shoe shop.
The overall tone of the movie is crude, unforgiving and pays to attention to boundaries. In Heels, everything is seen so it’s not for the light hearted. Jeremy has created a short that is reminiscent of the exploitative era of horror film making without turning it into an unnecessary session of pointless gore and effects. The story itself is well written and actually very interesting. It definitely works for the theme of the film and I felt myself getting caught up with what was happening. Lucy Taylor has successfully written something that I enjoyed and that I think many die hard horror fans will relish in.
A lot of the atmospheres within the movie were obscene and, mixed with the great soundtrack, quite unsettling. I feel that this was helped along especially by Brian Koch (Theo), his character whilst being deranged was both charming and terrifying in an equal balance. I felt myself cringing at some of his more ‘intense’ scenes, one of which involved a toe, questionable body fluids and a knife. Despite this, I feel that Heels accurately set the tone of popular exploitation movies without being in your face about it. Another stand out talent in this movie was from Sophia St James (Jules). Her acting and her skill ensured that I was rooting for her throughout her scenes, as well as admiring her work.
The soundtrack was catchy, brought an element of modernity to the film and really set the tone for some of the more extreme scenes which I feel worked in Heels’ favour.

I honestly give Heels a 5/5 skulls (☠☠☠☠☠) for accurately setting the tone for modern exploitation movies. Go check out the Facebook and Website for more information on where you can see Heels.

Heels Q&A at Sacramento Film Fest:
I got the chance to ask Jeremy a few questions on his film, as Heels definitely peaked my interest.
Q. How did you come up with the idea for Heels? What kind of movies were you inspired by?
A. I really wanted to do an adaptation. I’ve always been a huge fan of horror fiction, and I saw this as my chance to take a written story and film it the way I imagined it. I reread hundreds of short stories. I had first read Lucy Taylor’s Heels in the 90’s, and something in it had stuck in my mind all that time. As soon as I reread it, Heels was my first choice. I wrote Lucy an email, and we worked out a deal through her agent. As far as the look and tone of the film, I was inspired by the sort of movie that went straight to video in the 80’s. I wanted Heels to feel like it would be perfectly at home on VHS.
Q. How does Heels differ to other works in the same genre in your opinion, and how does it differ from your other work?
A. The most obvious difference is the use of male nudity. Especially in the United States, male nudity is still seen as a big taboo, while exploiting women is the norm. I actually had to hire a stunt “performer” for the first scene, since that’s where my male lead drew the line. But the end result certainly does not glorify the penis. I’d like to think that Heels is about as feminist a film as a man can make. And that is very different from most male driven horror.
Heels was my senior thesis film for film school, so I’m still building my body of work. The school banned it after I refused to censor it.
Q. Are you planning on directing any other movies similar to Heels in the future? If so, what can we expect?
A. I’m currently hoping to do at least two more shorts that are thematically similar. That way, fifty years from now when I’m dead, people can refer to it as my fetish trilogy. I don’t see holding back in future films, although keeping the freakishness story driven is important. Thanks to the male nudity, Heels has been rejected from some of the finest fests in the nation. In fact, I’m surprised every time it’s accepted for a screening. That being said, I don’t regret going so far. My philosophy is pretty simple: Make a movie you want to see, and hope for the best. In the meantime, I launched the PDXtreme Film Fest here in Portland. http://www.pdxtremefest.com/.

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