Kitchener sci-fi film made 'out of desperation' by Guelph filmmakers

After a project fell through, Guelph filmmaker Reese Eveneshen started writing a sci-fi movie about two people who have to flee from a militant police state. Filmed mostly in Waterloo region, the movie is coming back to the filming grounds for a one-night showing at Apollo Cinema.

Defective will air for one night only this Saturday at Apollo Cinema in Kitchener

This is a still from the movie showing a "Preserver of Peace," a character in the film, shot in front of Market Square on Frederick Street. (Courtesy of Possibility Films)

A person wearing a full-body armour holding a gun may be the last thing you'd ever imagine seeing outside of Market Square on Frederick Street, but in Reese Eveneshen's film Defective, it's just another part of living in a militant police state.

Filmed mostly in Kitchener, this independent sci-fi film first premiered in the Toronto After Dark Film Festival, a fall showcase of horror, sci-fi and action movies.

Eveneshen, a Guelph resident, wrote the script "out of desperation" after a project he had been working on fell through with insufficient investment.

He had always wanted to make a sci-fi movie that resembles the tone of those from the 70s and 80s, such as Terminator. And Defective was the answer.

Raven Cousens who plays Jean Harlan says it felt like stepping into the future of Kitchener where all the progress happening in 2018 has finished. (Courtesy of Possibility Films)

A futuristic Kitchener

The film takes place in the near future where Rhett and his estranged sister, Jean, have to flee after witnessing some "dark secrets of a nefarious corporation," as said in the synopsis. 

And one of the filming locations had been nearby where Raven Cousens, who plays Jean, grew up.

"Just a couple of minutes away from my childhood home, I was now building an entirely different world," said Cousens.

 "There were still the foundations of the city I had grown up in and know so well, but I felt like I was stepping into the future."

As they were filming, she imagined that all the current projects in the "evolving city" had been completed and she was living in the future.

This Saturday, the movie will be returning to its filming grounds for one show at Apollo Cinema at 9 p.m. for those who want to see if their neighbourhood made it into the shots.

Rhett Murphy, played by Colin Paradine, is face-to-face with the 'Liberty Drone.' (Courtesy of Possibility Films)

Production on limbo

While Defective got enough momentum with investors to get started, it wasn't without its challenges.

"When we started the project, we went into production without a full budget," Eveneshen told CBC News. "All in all it took us about a year to shoot the film because we had to keep stopping to raise more money."

The cast and crew stuck by Eveneshen and the film's producer, Peter Szabo.

"That is the price you pay for making your vision, it takes time," said Cousens. "But if they wanted to take the easy route, then it wouldn't have been the film it was today."

Part of the challenge came from wanting to use the flying drone shots, "elaborate suits" and "big action pieces," said Eveneshen.

"Typically most independent films are relegated to one room locations and very minimal characters and we ran in the opposite direction of that," he said.

Cousens had been part of many independent films, but she said not all of them are to the same calibre as Defective.

"Not all of them are to a calibre that you can completely enjoy, but I have to say that Defective is different," said Cousens.