Director James Kwon Lee’s quirky, suspense-driven film, LOCKSMITHS, about two robbers that unknowingly break into the home of a serial killer, will screen at this year’s Asians On Film Festival.
Lee recently answered a few questions about his film.
What inspired you to tell this story?
When I first moved to L.A., I spent two full days building a new bicycle that my dad sent to me via the mail. After taking it for a spin on my very first day, someone broke through my lock and stole my bike. I called the cops and they couldn’t do anything about it. No one could help me. I got so mad I wrote a story about robbers stealing from a madman who took revenge on the robbers. The madman ended up becoming a serial killer with a bizarre motive, and the robbers ended up becoming locksmiths that can break through any lock.
What was the most challenging scene to shoot?
There’s one scene where a garbage bag filled with the victim’s body parts rips and scatters all over the floor. We only had two garbage bags with the “guts” and the first one didn’t blow up on cue. Thankfully, we got the garbage bag to “blow” on the second take, but nerves were high nonetheless. Add to that, I wanted to make sure our two robbers, and serial killer characters never physically met each other until we actually shot the scene where the characters encountered each other for the first time. So coordinating separate holding rooms, makeup and wardrobe stations for our actors added to the challenge.
Tell us about your cast.
Yuki Matsuzaki plays the lead, TADASHI. He is the serial killer. He has had key roles in Letters from Iwo Jima, Pink Panther 2, and Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides. More recently, he was in The Man in the High Castle.
Joe Fiske plays one of the other leads, TURNER. He is one of the robbers that poses as a locksmith. He’s from New York, and has recently been in an episode of Criminal Minds.
Jose Luis Munoz plays JIM. He is also a robber that poses as a locksmiths. He is from Puerto Rico and has been in Dios Los Cria 2 and Killing Kennedy. He and I have worked together on another short in the past, called THE DOOR.
Leah Stoltz plays ANNE, Tadashi’s love interest. She has a multicultural background, and has lived in one of the most remote places in Indonesia. She has been in Awaken, and Page’s Great and Grand Escape.
Anna Sambrooks is Lydia. She is from the UK. She has been in The Passage and Bury the Lede.
Garikayi Mutambirwa plays Officer Hanson Smith. He is from Switzerland, and has played memorable roles in Jeepers Creepers 2 and Clockstoppers.
Scott St. Blaze plays Officer Brown, and he has been in Yakuza No. 2 and Love and Laundry, many cop roles, because he has worked as a cop in Boston.
Lonna Montrose plays Dana. She has been in Rhinestone, and Outrageous Fortune. She was a stand in for Dolly Parton!
Where can audiences see the film?
LOCKSMITHS will screen next at the annual Asians on Film Festival on March 13, 8:30pm at the Japanese American National Museum in Little Tokyo. We are currently nominated for Best Horror Film, Best Director, Best Actor, Best Editors, and Best Screenplay!
What’s your next project?
I’m currently developing another short about the immigrant experience from the eyes of a young Korean professional. Secondly, I’m in pre-production on a feature thriller/horror film. And finally, I’m writing the feature screenplay version of LOCKSMITHS!