The L A Film Festival is full of wonderful surprises this year and last night's world premiere of It's A Disaster was no exception. This low budget comedy - a parody of disaster movies -was spawned from the fertile brain of Todd Berger (Scenesters) and starred David Cross (Arrested Development), Julia Stiles (Save the Last Dance), America Ferrera (Ugly Betty) as well as Rachel Boston, Erinn Hayes, Blaise Miller, Laura Adkin, Jesse Draper and Rob McGillivary. Producer/actors Kevin M Brennan and Jeff Grace also took parts.
This 88 minute romp takes place in one main location - a house on West Adams - when four couples get together for a Sunday brunch. Tracy (Julia Stiles) decides to introduce her new beau, Glenn (David Cross) to the group, which includes her three friends Hedy (America Ferrera), Emma and Lexi along with their significant others. Tracy's biggest fear is if her friends will approve of her new man, not realizing that this is the least of her worries.
Before long, the four couples find themselves in the midst of an apocalyptic disaster - as poison gas bombs are blown up downtown. Learning about the events just as Emma is about to leave her husband, the four couples are thrown off guard. Slowly, it dawns on them that this, indeed, could be the end of their world as they watch another couple, late to the party, die on the front porch. Caught up in their own relationship struggles, they must decide how to handle things before they meet their maker.
"I always enjoyed disaster films," says Todd Berger, "and I thought of "The Night of the Living Dead" but I wanted to do something different. "I was lucky to have met Julia at a previous event and gotten to know her. When I asked her to do the part, she jumped on board. That made it easier for me to attach other talent, which in turn, made getting funding easier. The hard part was finding the location that would let us practically live with them for three weeks, but it was exactly the house I pictured in my mind.
"David Cross, who has always played the crazy person before, was glad to do the film because he could play normal - at least for most of the film."
Todd, who has already done one film, has had a successful career as a writer and has plans for future movies even as we speak.
While they still do not have distribution, it seems that won't be far in coming since the film could easily become a cult favorite as many other parody films have done. It was easily a 8 out of 10.
The film repeats itself on Saturday June 23rd at 2:30 and 9:40 pm at the Regal Cinemas at L A Live (Olympic and slightly west of Figueroa.) You'll enjoy it. Tickets can be had from LA Film Festival office or on line www.lafilmfest.com