When I shared the news last month that the creature feature WELCOME TO WILLITS would soon be heading into production, I had a feeling that it could be a cool movie, but I didn't realize that the filmmakers were going to try so hard to achieve all-out awesomeness. They may have already reached that goal by casting Dolph Lundgren in the film.
Lundgren is a favorite of mine, and it's great to see him doing so much genre work lately, starring in films like BATTLE OF THE DAMNED, SHARK LAKE, the upcoming DON'T KILL IT, and now this one. He will have a lead role in WELCOME TO WILLITS, alongside Bill Sage, Anastasia Baranova, and Sabina Gadecki. Rory Culkin, Thomas Dekker, Chris Zylka, Garrett Clayton, Karrueche Tran, and Keelin Woodell have supporting roles.
A combination of horror, sci-fi, and comedy, the film is being directed by Trevor Ryan from a screenplay by his brother Tim Ryan.
WELCOME TO WILLITS takes place deep in the Northern California woods, where residents struggle to fight off repeated attacks from mysterious creatures. When local pot farmer Brock (Sage) is caught up with a wayward group of campers, the situation quickly escalates into total carnage. Together with a ragtag crew including his wife Peggy (Gadecki), niece Courtney (Baranova), scruffy drifter Possum (Culkin), wannabe singer/songwriter Zack (Clayton), resourceful good old boy Jeremiah (Zylka), unemployed stoner Klaus (Dekker), Klaus’ naïve girlfriend Besh (Tran) and ditsy sorority girl Cassie (Woodell), Brock struggles to maintain his sanity while defending his family from perceived supernatural threats.
Lundgren portrays Derek, a weathered police officer from Brock's past who comes back to haunt him.
The director's intention is to make WILLITS a throwback to the great horror and sci-fi movies of the past, while also offering a fresh take on the genre. Old school special effects techniques will be put to use on the film, with some digital finishing touches.
WELCOME TO WILLITS begins filming in Shreveport, Louisiana this week.