Scene and Heard: Ricky LaPrade’s New Shoreham Horror

marble sinkNew Shoreham is the old English name of the  super busy tourist island, known as Block Island to most of us. Yep, she’s a star all her own, and making herself known in the newest film to be distributed out of Rhode Island by director/writer Ricky LaPrade and producer David Langill, called Villanelle.

So, what exactly does “Villanelle”  mean?

Villanelle (also known as villanesque) is a 19-line poetic form consisting of five tercets followed by a quatrain. There are two refrains and two repeating rhymes with the first and third line of the first tercet repeated alternately until the last stanza, which includes both repeated lines. The villanelle is an example of a fixed verse form.  American poet, novelist and short story writer Sylvia Plath used villanelle in one of her most disturbing works, called “Mad Girl’s Love Song,” a poem written while she was a student at Smith College. The distinguishing feature was originally its pastoral subject matter, obviously not the way Plath employed it, nor LaPrade in his film of the same name. It is the style of the poem the killer used throughout the movie. It should be noted here though, that it has been a form that frequently treats the subject of obsessions, and one that appeals to outsiders … interesting.

It is even more interesting when you chat with Ricky. He was born and raised in Narragansett. Now in New York, Rick told me about his interest in film and where some of his influences came from. “Well, I wanted to make comic books but I couldn’t draw at all. Even my stick figures sucked, and still do. I figured I could write and eventually learn how to use a camera. Plus I’m decent at talking to people like they work for me, so it kinda just fell into place. The Twilight Zone and It’s A Wonderful Life realistically were my motivations. I’m writing graphic novels now, finally.“

Wow — from It’s a Wonderful Life to this film called Villanelle. The film tells the story of a hard drinking, but honorable, down-on-his-luck Travis Burke (Rich Tretheway). After a storied career as a Boston Police Detective taking down high profile criminals, Burke has an indiscretion and is compelled to leave his life behind. Making the difficult decision to stay in law enforcement, Burke acquires the position of Chief of Police in the township of New Shoreham.

This story takes place during New Shoreham’s off season. As a small island community that thrives with tourists during the summer months, it quickly becomes desolate the remainder of the year. Old habits die hard for Chief Burke, who is pulled back into his old school sense of justice when he’s approached by Dawn (Gillian Williams), an intriguing, beautiful and mysterious woman who was attacked and left for dead.

Villanelle was chosen as one of three movies to launch Full Moon’s newest extension Wizard Studios. Right now Ricky has a February 28 world premiere date and if they can get 45 more people to follow this link and sign up for Full Moon’s Netflix-esque streaming service, they get a full international distribution deal on top of everything. The service is $18 and people get three months of access to Full Moon’s catalog as well as the premiere. The link is (that’s the super important part).

Not bad for a flick shot on Block Island for 3,600 bucks, and Ricky, who is a self-professed Batman, AD&D, Fallout, and Dark Tower fanatic. Oh, and he’s a phenomenal Ms. Pacman player, as well.

I’m looking forward to seeing this film. I find its inspiration very interesting and I hope to see more from Ricky, and perhaps another collaboration with David Langill as producer. Another film that Langill produced, called Provoked, written and directed by Jordan Pacheco, has also been picked up by Full Moon Streaming. We’ll have more about that film and others making a name for themselves, coming soon.

If you haven’t figured it out yet, RI is fast becoming a hotbed of productions, ideas and talent. Stay tuned to find out who’s doing the biggest things in the smallest state.

Rolling … speed … ACTION.

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