Concord, California-based Dark Entity Music will be releasing Aussie-born writer/director Mark Savage’s unhinged crime thriller, Stressed to Kill, on Blu-ray this coming Apr. 10. It will be released under the company’s SGL Entertainment label, with MVD Entertainment Group guiding the sales and distribution effort.
Bill Oberst Jr. is one of the busiest character actors in films these days as he is able to blend his natural acting talent with a “great face.” When you are the great-grandson of Lon Chaney, having a “great face” is a family honor and a mark of distinction.
When he is the lead, his films often garner awards and genre-fan raves — Circus of the Dead, Deadly Revisions and Coyote are just a few examples. With Stressed to Kill, Oberst stars as Bill Johnson, a seeming milquetoast man, who is on the road to recovery from a massive heart attack brought on by stress. It’s not hard to pinpoint the stress points in his life — his wife Vera (Sonia Curtis) being chief among them.
During a follow-up visit with his doctor (Tom Parnell), our hero is given some medical advice that he takes to heart … “Eliminate stress from your life.” He does just that, if you cross Bill’s path and stress him out after this bit of advice from his doctor, he zaps you with a poison dart. Problem solved!
His best buddy, Stan (Marshal Hilton — The Bunnyman Massacre, The Raking, etc.), is taken back by Bill’s solution, but he will eventually come around to seeing the advantages of having an unhinged serial killer as a best friend.
Another “fan” who takes notice of Bill’s work as the “Dartman” killer is Detective Paul Jordan (played by Armand Assante), who has his own crew of street-justice killers (court can be such a waste of time). He is so ramped up in his mission that he makes Bill seem like a reasonable guy, who is just working out stress issues.
Filmmaker Mark Savage’s Stressed to Kill becomes a delightful cat-and-mouse game between Jordan and Bill, with Stan knowing full well that he too will be six-feet under if the two of them can’t come up with a very clever plan to get Jordan — who is torn between making Bill a member of his crew or turning him in — off their back. After all, he is stressing Bill out and the doctor said, “Eliminate stress from your life.”
Bonus goodies for this nifty blend of horror and black comedy include deleted scenes and two commentary options. The first features filmmaker/producer Mark Savage (Sensitive New Age Killer, Defenceless: A Blood Symphony, etc.) and the second with cinematographer David Richardson (winner of Best Cinematography at the 2016 Melbourne Underground Film Festival for his work here).