An Apocalyptic Wisconsin on the Next Director’s Cut

May 2, 2013 Wisconsin Public Television Leave a Comment

There’s certainly no shortage of post-apocalyptic films and TV shows nowadays, but I’m nearly certain there’s only one in which the story centers on the little city of Wausau, Wisconsin.

In the independent film “Dead Weight” (10 p.m. Friday, May 3 on WPT) Wausau happens to be the rendezvous point for a pair of long-distance lovers, struggling to survive an apocalyptic viral outbreak.

I’ve merely seen a preview for the film (below) and can say the cinematography marvelously casts our beautiful state as a wasteland littered with abandoned farmsteads. But someone who has seen the film is Director’s Cut guest host Doug Gordon.

Read Doug’s praise of the film below, and be sure to see his interview with the makers of “Dead Weight,” followed by the full-length film 10 p.m. Friday, May 3.

I really enjoyed watching John Pata and Adam Bartlett’s horror/drama film, “Dead Weight,” and having the opportunity to talk to them about it. I was overwhelmed by just how great this film is. Everything works – the writing and direction by John and Adam, the cinematography, the editing and the excellent acting by the entire cast, especially Joe Belknap as Charlie and Mary Lindberg as his girlfriend, Samantha. I also have to give props to the post-apocalyptic landscape in which much of “Dead Weight” occurs; the setting serves as another character and looms large over the storyline by conveying an impending sense of menace and doom.

The fact that “Dead Weight” is so character-driven really sets it apart from other horror films. To be honest, it really sets it apart from a lot of films period. It’s rare to see such fully-realized characters in a film. Combine that with John and Adam’s creative use of flashbacks and a truly heartbreaking ending and you have a film that is really operating on all cylinders.

John and Adam’s passion for independent filmmaking and their extremely effective working relationship was readily apparent during our conversation. They’ve drawn on this passion and their high collaborative comfort level to create a very powerful film. I hope that they will continue to work together.

– Doug Gordon, Director’s Cut Guest Host

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