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By Patty Fantasia

RED HERRING is truly a Las Vegas independent film production with locals filling approximately 100 of its 150 cast and crew positions and recognizable landmarks shot in several scenes.  There’s even a cameo from former Mayor Oscar Goodman playing himself.  So after five years of waiting the anticipation is over and the world premiere of RED HERRING was held on Tuesday evening October 27th at the AMC 18 Theatres in Town Square.  A Red Carpet was held prior to the screening at 6pm followed by an after party at Double Helix.  Many members of the cast and crew were in attendance to celebrate the event including director Ousa Khun; producer/writer Joshua Cohen; executive producer Jeremy Settles; actors G. Eric Miles, Stu Chaiken and JD Smith; and costume designer Diana Eden.

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RED HERRING Cast and crew.
Photo credit: Stephen Thorburn

Cohen and Kuhn, who were brought together via an ad on Craig’s List, have spent the past five years getting the film shot, edited and ready for distribution.  Shooting took 23 days utilizing 18 locations and had a budget that placed it in the category of a SAG ultra low budget film.  Cohen admits mistakes were made early on leading to the long delay in producing the finished version.  “Time is always an issue when you make a film,” Khun commented while Joshua said he wished they’d had more time for prep.  The stylish 90 minute finished product was done in stunning 4k using Red cameras.

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Joshua Cohen and Ousa Khun
Photo credit: Stephen Thorburn

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Joshua Cohen and Jeremy Settles
Photo credit: Stephen Thorburn

RED HERRING is a suspenseful neo noir murder mystery with lots of action, moments of humor and a killer plot twist at the end.  The story begins with Las Vegas homicide detective Jack Adamson (Robert Scott Howard) being tasked with investigating his best friend Roy Ridell (Tim Tucker) following the murder of his pal’s business associate Wilkinson (Ross Alzina).  Complicating matters is Jack’s boss Captain Whorley (Jean Sulli), who assigns a new partner to work with him on the case.  Mason White (G. Eric Miles) has been looking into Ridell’s activities for years and is convinced he’s the killer until more people in Ridell’s circle are murdered and a new theory emerges; that these deaths may be the work of a contract killer called The Blue Screen.  Dirty dealings and suspects abound including Ridell’s adopted brother Damon played by Chyna McCoy and an assorted group of criminals including Saffiote portrayed by Vincent Pastore (The Sopranos, Goodfellas), a made man who has an obvious hold on Jack.  Australian actress Holly Valance (Taken) is equally intriguing as Roy’s femme fatale wife Angela. Cohen said during the Q&A held after the screening that she and Pastore were the producers’ first choices when their roles were cast.  Other notable characters who are suspects and/or victims include: El Corredor (Reniet Ramiriz), Quarrie (Simon Ralph), Saffiote’s pal Marcosi (Dean Mauro) and a number of Russians criminals including Eduard Osipov as Kyusovitch and thugs played by Stu Chaiken, Rich Hopkins and Paul X. Campanella.  

A lot of the action and socializing in the film happens at a 24 hour club called Red Herring where the audience gets a taste of the complicated relationships taking place between the characters and has a chance to discern some of their secrets.  By the time this wild ride is over viewers have travelled a dark and deadly path on the hunt for the nameless, mysterious killer called The Blue Screen.  Howard and Miles are entertaining to watch as they follow the leads and try to make sense of the facts they uncover.  Their distrust of each other adds an interesting element to the story in a sense and there aren’t many of the usual “buddy” cop moments between the two.  Tucker’s Ridell exudes charm as he withholds relevant pieces of info that could help with the investigation, while Valance’s Angela is perfect as his loving wife who just wants to start over somewhere far away from Las Vegas.  The movie captures the seedy, glitzy side of Vegas with its smoky bars, dark alleys and beautiful homes and the script offers many witty lines in between the shoot outs and discoveries of dead bodies.  It’s good fun for those who enjoy watching the exploits of colorful characters while trying to solve a mystery.

The film will have a one week engagement at the AMC 18 Theatres in Town Square beginning on Friday, October 30th through Thursday, November 5th with five screenings being held daily.  If there is enough interest it may be extended an extra week before having its DVD/VOD release on Amazon and Vudu on November 10th.  Let’s hope RED HERRING is a huge success and inspires more local independent filmmakers to involve so many members of the community with their projects.

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RED HERRING Poster
Photo credit: Stephen Thorburn

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Kris Krainock from Amarcord Pictures
Photo credit: Stephen Thorburn

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Diana Eden - Costume Designer
Photo credit: Stephen Thorburn

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G. Eric and Sylvia Miles, Annette and Jon Lindquist
Photo credit: Stephen Thorburn

 

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