Screens

Hoosier horror filmmaker creates a war movie out of toy soldiers

And it's some impressive stop motion

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The Devil Dogs of Kilo Company
is a childhood dream brought to vivid life. It's the kind of fantasy you pictured in your head when you played with plastic Army men in your backyard as a kid.

With more than 400 toy soldiers, writer-director Bobby Easley masterfully recreates the madness of World War II. The film is a piece of alternate history that follows a motley crew of Marines as they hop from a campaign in the Pacific to a top secret mission in Nazi Germany.

In addition to local spots like Carson Park, much of the film was shot in Easley's basement, which is like a museum, filled with miniature sets, figurines and movie memorabilia. Although it was made in a small space with little toy soldiers, the film feels larger than life. It's a visual marvel — you can't take your eyes off of it.

As if the film weren't impressive enough, it boasts a cast of horror icons, including Bill Moseley (The Devil's Rejects), John Dugan (The Texas Chainsaw Massacre) and Kane Hodder — the man behind Jason's hockey mask in the Friday the 13th films. Easley convinced the actors to do voice work after showing them test footage of the film at last year's Days of the Dead convention in Atlanta.

Although Easley is embedding himself in the horror community with his production company, Horror Wasteland Pictures, he finds much inspiration in his military roots. His first film — a slasher flick called X — draws upon his experience in the Marines. And Devil Dogs is even closer to his heart. When asked about what military memories he brought to this film, Easley says, "I brought everything. As Stephen King says, 'Write what you know.' My time in the Marines is a huge part of me."

The Devil Dogs of Kilo Company is showing on Veterans Day (7 p.m.) at the Indianapolis Art Center in conjunction with Veterans Art Day. Tickets are $5, and all proceeds benefit the Wish for Our Heroes foundation, which is dedicated to providing resources for the same kind of brave soldiers that the film honors.

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