You have to love a good old fashion revenge film.
“Skin Traffik” has an all-star cast with Gary Daniels, Mickey Rourke, Eric Roberts, Daryl Hannah, Jeff Fahey, Dominique Swain, Michael Madsen and Alan Ford.
The story follows Bradley, a hit man, who is seeking redemption from a brutal underworld. He embarks on saving a young girl from the evil gangsters and discovers a deeper web of corruption amongst the gangs, police and some unknown agency known as The Executive.
Latino-Review had an e-mail conversation with director Ara Paiaya on this new martial arts action movie. We discussed the plot of the film, Gary Daniels, kung fu action and his focus on making a British-brand Hollywood-style film.
“Skin Traffik” is scheduled for release late this year on November 29.
Read the interview below.
Latino-Review: How did you come up with the idea for “Skin Traffik?”
Ara Paiaya: I had recently formed a new film production company Raging Pictures that I am co-chairman of. When thinking about the types of films that I would want to produce and direct under that new banner Raging Pictures the idea for Skin Traffik was developed. I wanted to do something that had never been done before in the UK, a British independent action film with an all-star Hollywood ensemble cast. The story was to be set in the UK, Amsterdam and USA. The film would feature my particular flavour of action and fight scenes as well as an interesting array of characters and dialogue.
Latino-Review: Give us a better idea on the storyline for the film.
Ara Paiaya: It’s really a revenge film. It’s about a hit man who is traumatized by the death of an innocent. Killer for hire Bradley drops out of society, seeking meaning roaming the dangerous streets of a tough inner city ghetto. When he encounters a savage pimp and a desperate woman under his control, Bradley finds the means to give battle to the inner demons that have eluded him. He embarks on a quest to save a young girl from the clutches of the brutal gangsters that trade human beings as currency. Drawn deeper into a sickening world in which age is no bar to exploitation and pursued by police, gangland villains and a mysterious agency known only as The Executive. Bradley discovers an ever deepening web of corruption and vice, and a dangerous game in which nothing is what it seems and no one can be trusted.
Latino-Review: Did you do any research in regards to human trafficking? What's your approach on this controversial subject?
Ara Paiaya: Oh yes I did plenty of research. However the human trafficking element to the film is actually a subplot. It’s not really the type of film that’s intention is to change the world or be controversial. It was used purely as The MacGuffin to drive the story and set certain scenes. Don’t get me wrong all the bad guys get what they deserve and some for their wrong doing.
Latino-Review: Talk about your cast. You've seem to managed to recruit a good number of known actors.
Ara Paiaya: That was always my intention to create this ensemble cast of stars. They are all actors that I myself have enjoyed in countless classic movies. So I put them all together in something original.
Latino-Review: You've also recruited action film star Gary Daniels for the movie. How was working with him with the fight scenes since there's plenty of hand-to-hand fight scenes?
Ara Paiaya: I had always planned for a lot of action and fight scenes in this film, so when casting the lead there were a number of criteria that had to be fulfilled. Most importantly, [it’s] being able to perform all the physically demanding fight and stunt scenes without the aid of a double. I'm very particular on how I choreograph and shoot the fight scenes, so in other words, I'm very demanding, which means lots of takes until I'm happy with how it looks. Gary did whatever it took to get the shots whether it was for fight scenes, stunts or precision driving. He quickly picked up my chorography and was able to perform as required for the picture.
Latino-Review: I understand you also have a background in acting and martial arts. Did this help with the directing and stunt work?
Ara Paiaya: I’ve been directing, producing, filming, editing and starring in my own independent martial arts films for many years. So I’ve already done all the stunts, fight scenes and chorography myself and know what works. This is the first time I’m putting all those skills that I developed myself in filmmaking into a much bigger scale project in my new company and with Hollywood cast and higher production values. I still did all the same jobs in this myself as I have always done. That’s how I started and that’s how I intend to continue. Complete control over everything. I actually reference a lot of my early films in Skin Traffik and if anyone out there who has been following my work they will notice that right away.
Latino-Review: What are some of the locations you've you used for the film?
Ara Paiaya: There are so many different looks to the film as it is set in three countries. So as a viewer you’re always seeing different places as the story progresses and with a large selection of stars at every turn.
Latino-Review: What do you supposed was the greatest challenge for you during the production?
Ara Paiaya: [It’s] having so many stars in so many scenes around the world in an independent film like this.
Latino-Review: To wrap things up, can you talk about some of your upcoming projects?
Ara Paiaya: My latest film that’s in pre-production is called “Instant Death.”
I’ve always been a huge fan of “Death Wish,” “Dirty Harry” and “Rolling Thunder.” So this is my vigilante revenge movie that features my own brand of action. It’s set in London.
A vicious gang war for drug dominance draws in disturbed Special Forces veteran Bradley. Trying to adjust to normal life and haunted by visions of a violent past, the underworld's retribution on Bradley's last connection to humanity, his sister and niece, drive him into a descent of fury and violence that not even the brutality of gangland is prepared for.