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The City (2009)

Scott Valdez is a struggling writer who finds his inspiration in the form of a psychopathic killer named T.K.


James Vogel


James Vogel (head writer), Ezra Stead | 1 more credit »


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Complete credited cast:
Matt Franta Matt Franta ... Paul Coddington
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Heather Amos Heather Amos ... Escort Girl
Warren Anderson Warren Anderson ... Victim
Sasha Andreev ... Mike
Landyn Banx ... Victim
Matthew Feeney ... Instructor
Sarah French ... Victim (as Scarlet Salem)
Jamee Hegelberger Jamee Hegelberger ... Prostitute
Greg Hernandez Greg Hernandez ... T.K.
Jamie Janek ... Scott's Wife (as Jamie Dix)
Nicole Kruex Nicole Kruex ... Prostitute
Scout Nathe Scout Nathe ... Scott Jr.
Mike Rylander ... Homeless Guy
Alice Shindelar ... Victim
Rachael Slatter Rachael Slatter ... Victim


Young struggling screenwriter Scott Valdez is trying desperately to find some inspiration for his final thesis paper in order to graduate college after his college professor tells him he needs more life experience in order to make the paper more realistic. He soon finds his inspiration when he meets T.K. Together they bond through adventures in sex, drugs, and death - the American way. Written by Landyn Banx

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Plot Keywords:

college | sex | death | iron | blood | See All (10) »


Adventures in sex, drugs, and death - The American Way.

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Did You Know?


During filming, Minneapolis Police officers were summoned no fewer than four times: 1. Neighbors thought the actresses playing prostitutes in the opening scene were actual ladies of the night and police were summoned. A new location was found the following week and actress Jamee Hegelberger was cut from the scene due to scheduling. 2. The scene where T.K. (Greg Hernandez) and Scotty (Ezra Stead) assault two women in an alley. After realizing it was a film shoot, one of the officers joked that if the filmmakers ever make a reenactment, he wanted to be played by Brad Pitt. 3. Original poster shoot at Minneapolis Community Technical College. As director James Vogel and actor and prop-master Paul von Stoetzel entered the building, security detained Vogel. They were carrying props for the photo shoot: firearms including two shotguns strapped to von Stoetzel's back! Ezra Stead was subsequently terminated from his job working in the Film Department and Vogel was 86'd from premises and expelled from school. Paul von Stoetzel suffered no consequences. 4. Following a party to raise funds for post-production of The City (2008), an altercation between one of the actors and one of the filmmakers ensued involving punching, scratching and a lit cigarette. The assault was reported and a restraining order was secured. Charges were dropped and the two eventually resolved their differences. See more »

User Reviews

THE CITY: DIRECTOR'S CUT is a fantastic debut effort!!
10 June 2011 | by anythinghorrorscottSee all my reviews

THE CITY: DIRECTOR'S CUT (2009) is a true indie horror flick. It's written, directed, produced, and edited by James Vogel (who also did the art direction, the set decoration, was the production manager, in charge of the costume and wardrobe department, and served as the location manager and script supervisor). I also bet he would bring in sandwiches to the cast and crew thereby making him the caterer too!! This is Vogel's directorial debut and I must say that I'm impressed. He gives us a well directed film with above average-looking production values. There are some script problems (more on this in a second), but this is a solid film from someone I'll be keeping my eye on for future projects.

The story centers on Scott (Ezra Stead, who also serves as co-writer and does some stunts), a student in film school who is writing his thesis in scriptwriting. He presents his script to his professor who tells him its crap and that he needs more life experience in order to make the script more believable. So Scott hooks up with T.K. (Greg Hernandez; also a co-writer and stuntman in the film), a sociopath who is more than happy to give Scott all the experience he wants in kidnapping, torturing, and killing innocent people. Scott's professor ends up loving the rewritten script and tells him he'll easily be able to sell it. Scott and T.K. end up becoming partners and continue their murderous spree in order to provide Scott with inspiration.

The film, which runs 68 minutes, follows these two around on their crime and murder spree. Besides having above average production values, you'll immediately notice the solid acting here. Greg Hernandez provides the best performance as the sociopath T.K. After a while you forget you're watching a movie; Hernandez is very natural. Stead does at times suffer from a little overacting but overall puts in a solid performance.

My biggest problems with THE CITY, as mentioned above, are with the script. I didn't buy Scott's sudden turn from a shy, introverted writer to suddenly becoming a sociopath who stabs, beats the poop out of, shoots, and then drinks the blood of his victim. It was too large of a character leap. And even at 68 minutes this does drag at points. I attribute this to there being really only the one storyline (there's no subplots or even secondary characters here). What also hurts the film a little is the too-early character development of Scott. Scott undergoes a major character change early on in the film whereas I would have liked to have seen the transformation occur more slowly over the course of the film. All these "negatives" with the film are marginal to the effect of the overall film. Vogel has given us a well directed and well edited first feature.

Make sure you get the newly released DIRECTOR'S CUT and be sure to listen to the commentary tracks ... there's some really great insight and funny observations about the film. I can't wait to see what his next project is!!

Director: James Vogel (& writer) Plot: 3 out of 5 stars Gore: 3 out of 10 skulls Zombie Mayhem: 0 out of 5 brains Reviewed by Scott Shoyer for AnythingHorror.com

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Release Date:

5 December 2009 (USA) See more »

Filming Locations:

Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA


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$10,500 (estimated)
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