It’s official; we have our first SXSW sale and it’s my favorite film of the festival thus far, E.L. Katz’s “Cheap Thrills.”
It features Pat Healy as Craig, a kind, honest man just trying to make a living to support his wife and baby. After waking up to an eviction notice and losing his job, Craig tries to drink away his problems at a local bar. That’s where he bumps into Vince (Ethan Embry), an old high school buddy. A few drinks later, the pair is summoned by Colin and Violet (David Koechner and Sara Paxton), a wealthy couple eager to share their $300 bottle of tequila. As if that offer isn’t generous enough, then Colin starts throwing down cash in exchange for completing dares. Desperate for money, Craig and Vince find themselves slapping asses and getting punched in the face, but that’s not entertaining enough for Colin and Violet. They want to find out what their new friends will do for the big money.
Shortly after hitting it big at their SXSW premiere, Katz and producer Travis Stevens sat down to run through how they made the twisted and disturbing yet highly entertaining magic happen. Ideal casting, traumatizing child actors, building suspense and more – check out all the details for yourself in the video interview below and keep an eye out for the film’s theatrical and VOD release via Drafthouse Films.