Katrin Bowen’s groovy little Vancouver shot serio-comedy, Amazon Falls, is the kind of offbeat, oddball low budget opus that gives Canadian film a good name.
Scrappy and unpretentious, the movie charts the tragic yet darkly humorous meltdown of a faded B-movie actress named Lana (played by April Telek in a fearless turn) who’s beauty is cracking, small-time star is sinking, can’t find luck in love and can’t get a decent role to save her skin. It’s a persona that Bowen has more than a passing familiarity with.
“I used to make these low budget action films in L.A.,” says Bowen of her kickboxing past.
“One of the women I knew was Lana Clarkson, who years later would end up being killed by (music producer) Phil Spector. I always wondered what chain of events led her to make that bad decision to be in that house at that time. And that’s where Amazon Falls comes from.”
While prepping a larger budgeted romantic comedy and waiting forever for the funding to come through, Bowen stepped back and sculpted Amazon Falls based on the parameters of a two-week shooting schedule and the tightness of that shoot gives the film and urgent pulse.
This ability to turn a picture around for peanuts in very little time may have stemmed from Bowen’s years as an actor working for legendary exploitation king Lloyd Kaufman’s Troma Films.
“I called Lloyd up and asked for permission to use a clip from one of my films in Amazon Falls,” she says.
“Lloyd was like, 'You should have asked me to do a cameo in it.' And I can’t believe I didn’t even think of that, it would have been awesome.”