It’s been a long time coming, but the Vamp Bikers Tres trailer has finally dropped. After a shooting marathon that seemed more like a roving zombie party than any script-driven film production we’ve ever seen, we can finally start to make some sense of all the crazy shit that’s happened since we first caught up with director Eric Rivas. Back in December, we met Rivas and his crew, including Michael Alig who stars in the film as the King of the Club Kid Zombies, on-location out in deserted off-season Coney Island. As it turned out over the last several months, Alig was just (if you can ever even use that qualifier in a sentence about the notorious ex-party promoter) the beginning when it came to cameos and weirdness.
Weighing in at a hefty five minutes long, the trailer is extensive (Rivas is calling it a “short story trailer,” heh) but it’s far from interminable. Somehow the director manages to keeps things moving– each clips blips along at a nimble pace and it all feels very, very party. Sure, we can expect the usual campy, B-movie flare that comes with the underground-horror territory, and there’s nothing exactly revolutionary about vampires, witches, and zombies– that is, until you combine all three, making for the weirdest fusion fare you’ve ever tasted, mixing the supernatural with notes of slasher, biker, Coney Island, and hip-hop. Admittedly, Rivas’s wizardry might not result in everyone’s favorite film flavor, but it guarantees that Vamp Bikers Tres will be anything but predictable and, best of all, it’s the kind of film that could only be made in Brooklyn (and we’re not talking, like, The Bedford Stop‘s version of Brooklyn).
We were gifted with the first peek at what the final installment of the trilogy would look like when Uncle Meg (the Brooklyn-based rapper of Hand Job Academy fame) released her music video starring the Vamp Bikers cast at a rather exclusive spot– the Forbidden Ones clubhouse (i.e. the Bushwick outlaw motorcycle club HQ just steps from Roberta’s that we crashed back in March). How on earth did Rivas and friends make it inside? Well, it so happens that Rafael “Tito” Martinez, vice president of the one-percenter club, plays– you guessed it– a vampire biker named Tito in the trilogy’s second installment.
Uncle Meg’s video was actually a followup to another Hand Job Academy music video that dropped in January and stars the Vamp Bikers Tres cast including Alig, Michael Musto, and club owner Noel Ashman in addition to a whole party of vamped-up babes and zombie-fied freaks getting down the ’90s-style party track. In concludes with the promise, presumably from Rivas: “We Are Coming SOOON.”
At the biker HQ shoot, Rivas– who’s a hip-hop super fan– played me a rough cut on his phone of a track by Chris Rivers aka Baby Pun, the son of the late, great legendary New York City rapper Big Pun. The director was in a veritable tizzy over Rivers’s contribution (see below), which is sorta like Howl! if Ginsberg were nodding to the best horrorcore tropes of his generation (that had been destroyed by madness, yada yada yada) and namedropping the scene surrounding Eric Rivas on any given day. It’s a beautiful little blast of lightning-fast rhymes for the Vamp Bikers Tres soundtrack that features a freakin’ slew of original music by hip-hop artists including Melle Mel (the dude behind some of the best-known Grandmaster Flash songs). Even Rachael Cain, aka Screamin’ Rachael, co-founder of Chicago-based house-music label, Trax Records, who appears in the film as the super brassy leader of the witches’ coven, will coordinate contributions from her record label too.
We’d say that the actor lineup reads like a who’s-who of something or rather, but the truth is, Rivas is like a very hefty, strangely charming planet with an immense gravitational pull. As such, he’s managed to attract a variety of weirdos, outlaws, and less-than-savory characters (aka the only people who are worth hanging with in this messed up world we call life), and has somehow convinced each and every one of them, it seems, to enter his Vamp Bikers orbit. That includes Lillo Brancato of The Sopranos fame (Page Six has taken to lapping up Brancato’s new roll like it’s a freshly salted, bleeding piece of formerly-incarcerated meat), Ángel Salazar (Scarface, Carlito’s Way) as the Priest, Kayvon Zand (the musician and NYC nightlife fixture behind Sex On Fifth) as a warlock, and other dedicated actors willing to work for anything from $0 to a ride from the airport and their pick at a pizza pie.
Even if he doesn’t have much to offer but a place in Brooklyn underground filmmaking history and a spot on the big screen at Anthology Film Archives (where Vamp Bikers Dos won the Audience Choice distinction back in April), both people with names big and nonexistent sign on. And at one point, it seemed like we were bumping into Rivas everywhere– while we were covering the illustrious NYC Porn Film Festival (chock full o’#findoms, furries, and unicorn piss!), Rivas introduced us to Ron Jeremy, who also has a cameo in the film. Though we’re pretty sure it doesn’t include RJ’s ween– dunno if that’s a deal breaker or no. Rivas himself even stars in all three films as a vampire, albeit one who hasn’t quite gotten used to the mouth-feel of his flesh piercing teeth (he has a habit of widening his eyes and bearing his pearly white canines in the same way cats do when they’re faced with mortal terror).
When we spoke to the director after he scored Ron Jeremy’s presence for a hospital scene (RJ plays a doctor in the film), it seemed like the cameos would never end. But the final shoot actually wrapped in late June, which was hard for us to swallow since we’ve been at it since the beginning. It’s almost like Vamp Bikers Tres is our bb too. Now we’re waiting for the delivery date like proud, nervous first-time fathers. Stay tuned with us– Rivas says he’s aiming for an August 20 release date.
Check the Vamp Bikers Tres Facebook page for more updates.