Directed by Tom Woodruff Jr., Fire City: End of Days is a genre-bending mix of urban fantasy, horror and detective thriller. Originally crowdfunded via a successful Kickstarter campaign, it’s out on VOD today. I reviewed the film earlier this year, under its original title Fire City: The Interpreter of Signs. Here’s a brief extract:
Fire City: The Interpreter of Signs introduces us to Atum Vine, a drug-dealing demon who prowls the shabby corridors of a city apartment block inhabited by down-at-heel humans … and by the demons who prey on them. The status quo of this secret food chain has endured for years, but proves itself fragile when Cornelia, the Interpreter of Signs – the blue-skinned wise woman who oversees demonic life in this closed community – senses change on the way. Strange behaviour among the humans throws the demons for a loop, and Vine finds himself at the centre of a paradigm shift that will challenge his perceptions of who he is … and what it is to be a demon.
One of the movie’s great strengths is its engaging ensemble cast, many of whom play dual roles both in and out of demon make-up. Tobias Jelinek, as the tortured, gravel-voiced Vine, is compelling; he anchors the whole affair with calm assurance, and communicates a subtext that hints constantly at the wider reality lying beyond the confines of his claustrophobic surroundings. Also strong are Danielle Chuchran as the demon Cornelia, and Keely Aloña as Sara, the young girl about whom the shadowy plot pivots.
The fanbase (and therefore fund-base) of Fire City: The Interpreter of Signs is characterised by folk with a shared enthusiasm for special make-up and practical creature effects. So it’s no surprise this movie is full of performers wearing prosthetics and foam-latex suits, courtesy of Woodruff’s effects company Amalgamated Dynamics, Incorporated (ADI). For the most part, these look great, especially Vine, Cornelia and sad, seductive Amber.