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The film he worked so hard on is not quite yet been released, but from the trailer, fans can see the superb work that 'Days of Our Lives' actor Billy Flynn (Chad DiMera) has done with his role as Sam in the movie "Dead On Arrival". The film, screened at the Rhode Island International Film Festival on August 11, 2017 received positive feedback.
In the film the Emmy nominated actor stars as Sam Collins, a pharmaceutical sales rep who visits a small town in Louisiana to seal the deal of a lifetime. He finds himself in a dark world of sex, corruption and murder as he is poisoned with no antidote to save his life. Desperate for answers, with just less than 24 hours to live, Sam turns to a girl named Jesse. Their path leads to a voodoo priestess who only confirms Sam's doomed fate. On the run, caught in a deadly vertigo with no one to trust. Sam and Jesse find themselves running from police detectives, the Mob and a dirty sheriff who wants him dead. Read the full positive review below and watch the trailer also if you haven't seen it as yet.
Fin Fatal: DEAD ON ARRIVAL review
Directed and written by Stephen C. Sepher USA 2017 (97 minutes)
This is a brilliantly atmospheric, engaging and stylish contemporary adult thriller with a cultish pedigree, as it is inspired by a famous film noir from 195O, also called D.O.A, which due to a copywright confusion slipped into the public domain and has already been variously remade, Down Under, as Color me Dead (1969) and asD.O.A (1988), starring Dennis Quaid as the moribund hero, and even more recently as an award-winning stage musical. This latest version is most cleverly scripted by the up-and-coming director Stephen C.Sepher (who also wrote, co-starred and was a producer of Heist) and who also contributes a commendable on-screen role as a crime supremo with heart and humour. The original premise of the main character collapsing at the start of the film ,evidently due to some mysterious but implacable poison, with the main body of the story an extended flashback told to police detectives, showing how he searched for his murderer, gradually realising his unwitting part in a complex criminal plot, has been ingeniously updated, and not without some fiendishly ironic nods to the original. Instead of Edmond O’Brien’s hapless Frank Bigelow the anti-hero searching for a non-existent antidote is here a younger sales rep for pharmaceuticals, Sam Collins(strikingly played by Billy Flynn, something of a new-comer to cinema but with extensive TV experience and surely a star in the making) who is invited to the New Year’s Eve party of a distinguished but peroxided doctor(Billy Slaughter, suitably slimy) in his Louisiana mansion, ostensibly for a profitable deal.
A heady alternative backdrop to the San Francisco convention week of the original this glittery setting presents many of the top-notch ensemble cast, convincingly fleshing out seedy mobsters, pervy local big-wigs, corrupt cops and casual hookers as the night descends into debauchery and Sam is caught in the poisonous web without realising the role he has to play. Subsequently he visits a colourful strip joint, and the residence of a voodoo priestess who attempts to exorcise the toxin. All the locations, inside and exteriors are handsomely caught in the excellent wide-screen cinematography by John Garrett.
The film is fast-paced and another murder catapults the plot along as Sam realises many of the characters are not who or even what they appear to be. There are a couple of splendid mid-price thugs whose repartee rivals that of the gangsters in Kiss me Kate (plaudits for Lillo Brancato as the follicly-challenged Zanca), and just when you think the crooked cop is going to best the one local decent policeman ,no less a thespian than D.B. Sweeney, arrives as the detective in charge…..but I must not reveal any more spoilers, though even if you have seen the original film you will not be able to guess how this will end.
Happily, it is not just the twists and turns of the plot, or the lively direction, but it is the spot-on casting of all the ensemble that makes this such an entertaining departure. More or less familiar faces perfectly bring to life both male and female roles – and even one that is apparently both- and there is an occasional frisson not so much of Tarantinoesque violence but of sensual yet tasteful eroticism and a dash of kinkiness such as seasoned thrillers back in the 1960s. If you do recall the first D.O.A., you can pat yourself on the back for spotting a cameo from Edmond O’Brien’s daughter, Maria.
This should prove to be a hit with festival groupies, and enthusiasts of off-beat crime-thrillers, and should help propel writer-director and many of the players on to studio work. This is a very commendable independent production, with sufficient production values and splendid locations that justify viewings on any festival or cinema screen