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Behind "Drug Cult"

Olympia filmmakers Isaac Cooper and Matt Jaissle love the gore

"DRUG CULT": It totally stars Marisa Tomie's cousin!

I half expect Isaac Cooper and Matt Jaissle to show up to the interview splattered with blood, brains exposed, cameras rolling. It wouldn't surprise me; these two locals have been immersed in the gory, wonderful world of horror since the early '90s, and have been using Olympia as the backdrop along the way. 

But instead of zombies, I get two moviemaking geniuses disguised as regular guys.

Cooper and Jaissle share a healthy taste for cult classics like Night of the Living Dead and Grindhouse. Inspired by the genre and dedicated to their passion, the gruesome twosome has made four gritty features. Most notable was The Necro Files. With Jaissle directing and Cooper acting, they won over enough of the B movie audience to get international distribution.

With one hit under his belt, Jaissle took a 10-year break. Time and money are to blame for the long hiatus, he says. But with enough "people calling me Movie Matt," the inevitable return to the tortuous world of the artist started. Jaissle began laying the ground work for his latest feature, Drug Cult, an action thriller filled with smart, "Oh shit I can't look" scenes that leave you cringing for more.

Despite Cooper working solo on the editing end, and Jaissle mainly directing, the pair tend to bleed into each other's work - acting essentially as Jacks of all trades when it comes to props, make-up, acting, etc. The two are thankful for the hard work and contributions - not only from one another - but also from friends turned actors or vice versa. During our interview, they keep referring to their "movie family."

Along with editing Drug Cult, Cooper recently finished editing (Jaissle directed some in this one, too) Midnight Movie Madness, a flick with such hilarity and crassness that you might just get your panties wet (think Creepshow).  Cooper hopes the movie will premiere at the Olympia Film Festival as part of All Freaking Night, which would be beneficial - because with most of the interest in their work coming from overseas, it's high time these guys get some local recognition. 

But back to Drug Cult - which has been gaining momentum in the community while awaiting an international distribution deal. The movie stars local actors including Marisa Tomei's cousin, Anthony Tomie.

Currently Jaissle is planning a special screening of Drug Cult, with a few extra surprises in this "re-mix" of the original - including with extra scare scenes and sub-plots - for Sunday, March 21 at The Brotherhood Lounge in Olympia. It starts at 7 p.m., and is totally free. 

[The Brotherhood Lounge, Drug Cult, Sunday, March 21, 7 p.m., free, 119 Capitol Way N., Olympia, 360.352.4153]

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