On the Count of 3

A lot of the time Knifed in Venice is either reviewing Exploitation films or trying to shine a light on new independent cinema so every once and a while when you get the chance to introduce a new independent film in the style of an old school Exploitation cop film it's nice to be able to tie the two worlds together.  Way back in April we published an article announcing the casting of Troma Godfather Lloyd Kaufman in a new "over the top action film" now we can bring you an open letter to movie buffs from co-writer Christopher Coffel that explains the films origins, influences and hopefully gets those trigger fingers twitching.  If that's not enough we also have some of the poster work that will be used to market the film upon release.  Over to you Chris...

My name is Chris Coffel and I'm an independent filmmaker from Phoenix, Az. I'm writing today to tell you about my debut feature film On the Count of 3.

OTCO3 is a film about two wild cat detectives, Charles and Richard who play by their own rules. After realizing the law only protects the lawless, Chuck and Dick quit the force and get a gig with the government. Their first assignment is to track down the brutal bank robber, Porter Rigby.

The film didn't start out this way, oh no.

To get the true origins of OTCO3, we have to hop in our DeLorean and go back to September 13, 2008. This was the Saturday after the Coen Brothers' Burn After Reading opened up in theatres. Naturally, being the Coen Brothers fan that I am, I saw this opening night. The next day I decided I was going to write my own darkly comedic movie.

I wrote one scene.

Jump ahead three years to the summer of 2011. Hopefully you gassed up the DeLorean. Brett O. Walker, my writing partner and director of OTCO3, expands on my one scene and turns it into a short 5-6 page screenplay. I further expand on his expansion and create a 10 page screenplay. Then together we go super expansion mode and come up with a 19 page screenplay and shoot the short film Right Only Mambo.

Mambo ended up as 19 minute short film that was inspired by exploitation and grindhouse flicks from the 70's. We liked our lead characters, played fantastically by Alan Johnson and James Palazzolo, so much that we decided to make a feature built around them.

I set out to write this feature as a blaxploitation film, because I was watching a lot of Fred Williamson movies at the time as one should always be doing. Turns out I couldn't write blaxploitation that well, possibly because I'm not black. Logically this makes sense to me. Emotionally it's crippling.

Instead I ended up with an action/comedy somewhat like Lethal Weapon and Point Break. Basically a buddy cop film. Although even that description may be too narrow.

Isn't it kind of funny that my attempts to write blaxploitation failed and lead to me writing a script somewhat influenced by a guy named Shane Black? Anywho,  moving on...

OTCO3 certainly draws influence and inspiration from buddy cop films but it's also influenced by 60's Batman, which I guess you could actually say is the ultimate buddy cop film/show.

Now you may be confused, and I understand why. Is OTCO3 a buddy cop film or not? Well, there's only one way to find out.


In conclusion, On the Count of 3 is a film that you have to see to fully understand. Once you see it, you'll never need to see anything else again because it will change not only your outlook on film, but on life itself.

You can thank the Coen Brothers for this revelation.

Don't forget to check out On the Count of 3's Facebook by clicking [here].


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