"Brilliant."

- Roger Ebert

CHICAGO SUN-TIMES

 

"This is no less than a masterpiece. Remember the first time you saw 'Blood Simple' or 'Blue Velvet' and were blown away? Same thing. ...stunningly rendered. Everything from the cinematography to the music to the acting is nothing less than perfect. It's literally one of the best films I've seen ever."
- FILM THREAT

 

NOW STREAMING VIMEO ON DEMAND

FIRECRACKER is a bold and shocking true-to-life tale of murder in small town Kansas. Set against the stark beauty of Middle America, this astonishing story of abuse, suffering and denial reveals dreams of escape. The inevitable confrontation unleashes the truth concealed behind the pleasant façade of small-town U.S.A.

 

Meek, reclusive and talented Jimmy is emotionally imprisoned by his abusive, alcoholic older brother David (Mike Patton) – and fanatically religious mother Eleanor (Karen Black). With evil lurking in the shadows, the setting sun gives way to the blue of evening and Jimmy finds escape in the neon glow of a traveling sideshow carnival. Unlike its drab, depressing daytime reality, the carnival becomes a nightly glittering solitaire on the prairie, beckoning all around to its illusions and make-believe. With a guise of red satin and the lure of a heavenly voice, Sandra (also Karen Black), billed as an “oddity of nature,” is the carnival’s premier attraction. Yearning for a way out, Jimmy befriends Sandra, unaware that her imprisonment and degradation, at the hands of Frank (also Mike Patton), the carnival owner, mirror his own. Sandra, taken by his innocence, finds her own inner strength and suppressed dreams. When David disappears, the metaphorical white-picket fences collapse, leaving raw emotions exposed to the spark of truth.

 

Throughout it all Police Chief Ed (Susan Traylor) searches for truth, uncovering bits of evidence suggesting deceit, abuse, murder and cover-up. As her investigation leads her closer to the truth, the lives of those involved become lit fuses – until they explode, one-by-one, in a dramatic and harrowing conclusion.

 

FIRECRACKER pulls no punches nor hides from the ugliness that mars reality. It also reveals in its imagery a vividness and majesty that transcends mere mortality, exploding the myth of Middle America’s sanctity and piety, while opening the door to atonement.

 

WINNER: Special Jury Award Roger Ebert's Best Films of the Year
WINNER: Best Actress Karen Black (Fantasporto Film Festival)
WINNER: Best Actress Karen Black (Independent Vision Awards, Visionfest)
WINNER: Best Cinematography (Independent Vision Awards, Visionfest)
WINNER: Domani Vision Award for Steve Balderson (Independent Vision Awards, Visionfest)
NOMINEE: Best Picture (Fantasporto Film Festival)
NOMINEE: Best Picture (Raindance Film Festival)

 

“Sensational... Karen Black gives two of the finest performances of her career in Firecracker.”
- THE STAR TRIBUNE

 

“Firecracker is a mind-blower. A technical marvel.”
- ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH

 

"Visually Arresting... The film is the mutant love child of Tod Browning's Freaks and David Lynch's Blue Velvet."
- THE BOSTON GLOBE

 

"Forget the David Lynch comparisons."
- SEATTLE WEEKLY

 

"One of the most visually stunning, emotionally heavy films of this decade..."
- ICON MAGAZINE

 

"Firecracker is a psychotic masterpiece... This is the film David Lynch wishes he was still capable of making..."
- RAINDANCE MAGAZINE

 

"Scenes and sequences that are nothing short of becoming classic film moments… This is a film that is unlike anything seen in recent memory."
- AFTERTASTE MAGAZINE

 

"Visuals are so extremely vibrant that they will remain in your head for weeks and months to come... 'Firecracker' is without a doubt, the new standard in filmmaking, feeling, and human emotion."
- DECOY

 

"A visually stunning film that is equal parts Truman Capote and Todd Browning."
- Pierre-Alexandre Despatis, IONCINEMA

 

Karen Black "steals the show with two performances of such magnitude that she should at least receive a nomination for Best (Actress) at the next Academy Awards. They could feasibly nominate her for Best Supporting Actress as well... Visually it's also breathtaking."
- Jeremy Allen, PLAYLOUDER

 

"one of the most visually arresting films I've seen."
- DETROIT FREE PRESS

 

“Truly bizarre… Magnificent!”
- AUSTIN CHRONICLE

 

 

THE FREAK SHOW TOUR
From October 11 through December 8, 2005
Boston - Kendall Square Cinemas
Atlanta - Midtown Art Cinema
Detroit - Main Art Theatre
Minneapolis - Lagoon Cinemas
St. Louis - The Tivoli
Houston - River Oaks Theatre
Austin - Dobie Theatre
San Francisco - Embarcadero Center Cinemas
Seattle - Metro Cinemas
Grand Rapids - UICA
Tucson - Loft Cinema
INTERNATIONAL HOF FILM FESTIVAL ~ Germany 2006
RAVENNA FILM FESTIVAL ~ Italy 2006
MAR DEL PLATA INT'L ~ Argentina 2006
OYA FESTIVALEN ~ Norway 2006 
LUND INTERNATIONAL FANTASTIK FILM FESTIVAL ~ Sweden, 2006
PiFAN ~ Korea 2006 
WINNIPEG INT'L FILM FESTIVAL ~ 2006
SAN DIEGO FILM FESTIVAL 2005

CHICAGO UNDERGROUND FILM FESTIVAL 2005 ~ Opening Film
VISIONFEST `05 ~ New York City
FANTASIA ~ Montréal 2005
FANTASPORTO FILM FESTIVAL 2005
RAINDANCE FILM FESTIVAL LONDON 2004
Two sold out screenings, encore screening by demand

 

CAST & CREW

 

MIKE PATTON (as Frank/David)
KAREN BLACK (as Sandra/Eleanor) 

SUSAN TRAYLOR (as Ed)
KATHLEEN WILHOITE (as Jessica) 
JAK KENDALL (as Jimmy)
THE ENIGMA (as Himself)
KATZEN (as Herself) 
GEORGE THE GIANT (as The Bald Man) 
CATHY BERRY (as The Lobster Girl) 
JANE WIEDLIN (as Ursula) 
PAUL SIZEMORE (as Officer Harry)
SELENE LUNA (as Harriet)
PLEASANT GEHMAN (as Estelle)
AMY KELLY (as Susie Jenkins)
BROOKE BALDERSON (as Pearl)

RICHARD VILLARS (as John)
SUSIE LEGAULT (as Buffalola)
JEFF MONTAGUE (as The Frenchman)
BETTI O. (as Rosemary) 
NANCY PUJOL (as Helen)
BRAD MERRYMAN (as Walter) 
MARC PENNEY (as Baba) 
JIM CLAUSSEN (as Alfred) 
DEAN ACKLES (as Clark)
JAY ROHMAN (as The Priest) 
SEAN SHUFORD (The Other Man)
JOSH THIES & CASEY LAUER (as The Attackers)
MAGGIE MACE (as Baby Linda) 
KIRSTEN HOLLY SMITH (as Patricia)
ARTHUR DODGE (as Vic)
JUSTIN ROELOFS (as Travis)
CHRISTIAN JANKOWSKI (as Travis)
JAMES DAVID (as Travis)

{ SCREENPLAY }

STEVE BALDERSON { WRITER }
PLEASANT GEHMAN { LITERARY EDITOR }

{ ART }
STEVE BALDERSON { PRODUCTION DESIGNER }
ARIANE CHAPMAN { ART DIRECTOR, MANAGER }
BRIAN WINKLEMAN { 1ST ASSISTANT ART DIRECTOR }
ELIZABETH OTTO { 2ND ASSISTANT ART DIRECTOR } 
DANIEL'E TAYLOR { COSTUME SUPERVISOR }
DANA PFEFFER { SANDRA'S GOWNS }
DAVE TIDWELL { SET CONSTRUCTION }
AARON TIDWELL { SET CONSTRUCTION }
KERRIE RAUH { COSTUME TAILOR }
HYLIE BRATER { COSTUME TAILOR }
ELIZABETH OTTO { 1ST COSTUME ASSISTANT }
MICHAEL BROWN { METALSMITH }
{ COSTUME ASSISTANTS: }
ANGELA WHEELER, LEE PALMER, STEPHANIE SWANSON,
DONNA SHULDA, ELYN BUTLER, MATT MCCANN, 
LINDY ENLOW, ERICA ENLOW

KEN HARCK { SIDESHOW CONSULTANT }
{ SIDESHOW & GYPSY WAGON CONSTRUCTION: }
THE BALDERSON FAMILY: STEVE, CLARK, SCOTT, AND BROOKE,
ROBERT GREEN, RIGGIE GREEN, SEAN SHUFORD, ARIANE CHAPMAN, BRIAN WINKLEMAN, ELIZABETH OTTO, DAVE TIDWELL, AARON TIDWELL, JAK KENDALL, SHANE LIGENFELTER, JONATHAN DILLON, FRANK COLE, JULIE HEILAND, CAMERON CHAPMAN, ANDY CHAPMAN, ZAC NEHRING, SARAH BODE, TARA BAUER, VI TRAN, KAT AGUIRRE, BRIANNA, LEE PALMER, JOSH KENDALL, DONNA JOHNSON, RACHEL RHOADES
BANNERLINE MATERIALS PROVIDED BY
BART THOMAS & THOMAS SIGN COMPANY
A VERY SPECIAL THANKS TO THE FLATTERY FAMILY AND
OTTAWAY AMUSEMENT COMPANY

LINDA SAMMUT { KEY MAKE UP & HAIR, SPECIAL EFFECTS }
CHRISTY GUY { 2ND UNIT KEY MAKE UP }
{ MAKE UP & HAIR ASSISTANTS: }
SHERRIE GELLINGS, KRISTA NESKE, SANDY WYATT
BEKKI WASON, ERICA ARVISU, ANDREA HAINEY
HOLLY FRANKS, JEREMY CLINTON, SIERRA STETTER

{ CAMERA }

STEVE BALDERSON { STORYBOARDS }
JONAH TORREANO { DIRECTOR OF PHOTOGRAPHY }
IAN CAMPBELL { 1ST ASSISTANT CAMERA, CARNIVAL }
KRISTEN ECCKER { 2ND ASSISTANT CAMERA }
JOSH KENDALL { DOCUMENTARIAN }
YEN NGUYEN { 2ND LOADER }
PHIL WELLER { STEADICAM OPERATOR }
{ HELICOPTER PILOTS: }
BOB SCHLOTZHAUER, ROLAND SCHLOTZHAUER
JOSH FRY { CAMERA ASSISTANT }
CHRISTOPHER LOLLAR { CAMERA ASSISTANT }

{ LIGHTING }

COLOR BY VIVISCOPE.COM
STEVEN LUNDGREN { GAFFER }
JEFF CHIN { BEST BOY ELECTRICIAN }
ROGER CHINGIRIAN { KEY GRIP, DOLLY GRIP }
ELISHA CHRISTIAN { BEST BOY GRIP }
JORDAN GARRETSON { BEST BOY GRIP }
REBECCA BREITHAUPT { GRIP }

{ PRODUCTION SOUND }

KIRK JOHNSON { PRODUCTION SOUND MIXER }
JONATHAN NORTON { BOOM OPERATOR }

{ PRODUCTION }

JERRY MAGANA { PRODUCTION MANAGER }
KRISTEN BRANT { PRODUCTION COORDINATOR }
SEAN SHUFORD { 1ST ASSISTANT DIRECTOR }
JENNIFER DREILING { 2ND ASSISTANT DIRECTOR, CASTING }
JOE MARTIN { ASSISTANT DIRECTOR }
DEAN ACKLES { SCRIPT, STORYBOARD SUPERVISOR }
NANCY PUJOL { 2ND UNIT CASTING }
ROBERT GREEN { TRANSPORTATION, SECURITY }
BILL HIGLE { SECURITY }
DONNETTE STEVENS { CRAFT SERVICE }
RIGGIE GREEN { CRAFT SERVICE, PRODUCTION ASSISTANT }
CLARK BALDERSON { LOCATION MANAGER }
RICHARD VILLAR { KEY SET PRODUCTION ASSISTANT }
{ PRODUCTION ASSISTANTS: }
DONNA JOHNSON, CRISSY POPE, BRITTANY GODFREY, 
WESLEY HOLTHAUS, BRAD COMFORT, DOUGLAS WITSKEN

{ POST-PRODUCTION }

STEVE BALDERSON { EDITOR }
{ EDITORIAL CONSULTANTS: }
JERAMIE CLARK, ED MARX, AMY KELLY, CLARK BALDERSON
BROOKE BALDERSON, LAURIE MCKINNON, MIKE PATTON, 
KAREN BLACK, SUSAN TRAYLOR, AND MORE
JOE MILLS { DIALOGUE PREPARATION }
PIPISTRELLO LTD { SOUND DESIGN & SPECIAL EFFECTS }
PAUL N. J. OTTOSSON { RE-RECORDING MIXER }
ROBERT TROY { DIALOGUE EDITOR }

 

VISUAL EFFECTS & TITLES BY RING OF FIRE STUDIOS

JOHN MYERS { EXECUTIVE PRODUCER }
JERRY SPIVAK { VFX CONSULTANT }
CASEY CONROY { VFX PRODUCER }
MARK CASTRO { VFX PRODUCER }
TRACY TAKAHASHI { VFX COORDINATOR }
EDWARD BLACK { VFX COMPOSITOR }
JEFF SMIT { TITLES & GRAPHICS }

 

DIGITAL INTERMEDIATE BY FOTOKEM FILM & VIDEO

WALTER VOLPATTO { DIGITAL INTERMEDIATE COLORIST }
JOHN DARO { DIGITAL INTERMEDIATE ASSISTANT }
MICHAEL RIOLO { ONLINE ASSEMBLY }
MARK MADDEN { ONLINE ASSEMBLY ASSISTANT }
GEORGE KORAN { HI DEF COLORIST }
AL ARNOLD { MASTERING OPERATOR }


{ MUSIC & COMPOSITION }

 

JUSTIN R. DURBAN & LINDSAY ANNE KLEMM

THE ENIGMA


{ SONGS }

 

{ NOCTURNE IN C# MINOR }
{ AVE MARIA }
Performed by CLARK BALDERSON

 

{ J'ATTENDRAI }
Written by Dino Olivieri & Louis Poterat
Performed by KAREN BLACK

 

{ OLE DEVIL MOON }
Written & Performed by BOB AYRES

 

{ SANDRA'S SALON }
Written & Performed by TRIPIAZA

 

{ THE BALLAD OF ARDELIS CREED }
Written & Performed by BALEEN

 

{ MY NAME IS DARKNESS }
Written & Performed by BRENT LANGSTON
UNDERSUNDAY.COM

 

{ THE TRAINWRECK SONG }
Written by ARTHUR DODGE
Performed by MATT MOZIER

 

{ MISERY }
Written & Performed by KAW VALLEY BOYS

 

{ BUS STATION RADIO SONGS }

Written & Performed by ARTHUR DODGE

 

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