Horror fans with a taste for dark comedy and over-the-top violence will want to mark their calendars for July 21st. That’s when the award-winning filmmaker Kenneth Lui’s hotly anticipated crime caper Artists in Agony will hit VOD platforms across the globe. Billed as an “absurdly violent mockumentary,” Artists in Agony purports to show recently discovered footage revealing the gruesome deaths of four famous hitmen at the Coda Teahouse Massacre.
Lui guides us through the carnage as ex-CIA agent Jonathan Sully, who suspects the assassins were taken out by the legendary killer known only as Rockstar. The ensemble cast includes Melanee Nelson, Courtney Sara Bell, Paul Byrne, and Ken Breding as the ill-fated hitmen, who improvised much of their dialogue. Lui conceived of the project as a way to cheer up a friend recovering from a breakup, who said he wanted to “look cool shooting bad guys.” Lui realized filming in a documentary style with improv from quick-witted actors could create a hilarious satire in the vein of This is Spinal Tap.
The result is Artists in Agony, a mockumentary following four foolish hitmen to their absurd and violent deaths. Lui, who works professionally as an editor and VFX artist on major superhero films, relished the chance to improvise the film’s pseudo-realistic style and play the hidden character providing the audience’s point of view.
For horror fans thirsting for an over-the-top, tongue-in-cheek take on crime thrillers, Artists in Agony looks to be a must-see. Mark your calendars for July 21st so you can be among the first to witness the absurdly violent hijinks at the Coda Teahouse. Crime never looked so deadly or foolishly funny.