Bleak and brooding apocalyptic crime thriller The Late Men is to have its Irish premiere on Thursday, September 11th at Cineworld, Parnell Street, almost exactly a year after its world premiere (as a work-in-progress) at the 14th Melbourne Underground Film Festival (MUFF) where it won a surprise, specially created “Award for Innovation in the New Cinema” and Best Supporting Actor for Don Baker.
Sharing the screen with veteran bluesman Baker, who also provided the harmonica based score, is a mini-ensemble of emerging talent. Stephen Cromwell, previously best known for being shot in the face (spoiler!) by Robert Sheehan in Love/Hate and punching Ciaran Hinds in The Sea, takes a lead role. Alongside him is theatre stalwart Stephen Murray (also of Love/Hate), a regular in Anu Productions’ ecstatically acclaimed theatre shows.
Completing the core cast are Neil Sheehy, a virtual unknown, and Anthony Murphy, previously seen in Terry McMahon’s dark debut Charlie Casanova, another MUFF triumph. Murphy’s capricious border patrolman pervades the picture and was singled out for high praise at MUFF 2013, where he narrowly missed out on a top acting award.
Directed, edited, title designed, co-written, and co-produced by Van Poynton, The Late Men has been finished to pristine technical standard by Egg Post Production over the year since its awards at Australia’s most notorious film festival.
Controversial MUFF director Richard Wolstencroft, who previously awarded rising Irish director Ivan Kavanagh’s 2007 horror Tin Can Man, and Charlie Casanova in 2012, was very positive with his praise for Poynton’s grim and grimy depiction of ecological and psychological meltdown, commenting:
‘The Late Men by Van Poynton is a fine example of a growing selection of daring and exciting underground cinema emerging from Ireland – being led recently by films like Charlie Casanova by Terry McMahon and Tin Can Man by Ivan Kavanagh, both showcased at MUFF. There is something clearly wonderful going on in Ireland… The Late Men from its mesmeric opening credits to its haunting dark finale is an apocalyptic fever dream far more impressive than most big-budget Hollywood movies… Stellar performances from Don Baker and Anthony Murphy anchor the film steadily with a young cast of newcomers, bringing us a terrifying vision of Ireland as a near future “cradle of civilization”.’
In ghost town Dublin during the apocalypse, three shady men plunge headfirst into a quagmire of ill-thought revenge, cruel purges, and mind-shattering revelations. Lights out.