I've been waiting for this one for a long time. The Weird Wild West indie steampunk film, Nickel Children, seen at cons and indie film screenings everywhere is finally available in limited edition copies on DVD! I've only seen the previews since this little write up is not a proper review, but gleaned from the previews and press reviews. Full review to come after I receive my copy!
Synopsis from the film company: "In an alternate 19th Century, dust bowl Kansas, a young boy witnesses his parent’s murder, and is forced to survive in an underground child fighting ring. Only the wealthiest are invited to attend these secret communities to bet on the children for their own amusement. However, one among them, is determined to find her abducted son ... whatever the cost. Nickel Children is an award winning international sci-fi steampunk adventure! Scary, innovative, with great costumes and strong female lead."
The previews are amazing - great costumes, set design, location shooting and direction by Kevin Eslinger. But what really gets you are the performances both of the adults and children.
Amanda Bailey who plays Anastasia, airship captain and mom turned vigilante is brilliant, While Jules Charlemagne plays the ringleader for the underground child slavery ring, is an incredibly visual and visceral character, in a Rob Zombie style and he really creeped me out, especially when interjecting a sort of Amanda F. Palmer style with of his the young girls victims. And to top it all off, Easton Lee McCuiston puts in a strong yet touching performance of the young boy, Jack.
So far, Nickel Children doesn't look like a low budget indie film, thanks to the fact Eslinger surrounds himself with talented and passionate crew and cast, inlcuding his brother, Justin who handles the Visual FX. Kevin used a number of companies from the Maker community to create the feel - including: gear and props by Justin Stanley (Red Fork Empire) and Hans Meier (PH Factor), amazing state of the art costumes and accessories in wild west, steampunk, and saloon girl burlesque styles by Kaitlyn McClain (KMK Designs), including her Etsy page as by Jill Osborn, and Christian Matzke at Silver Leaf Costumes not to mention Aria Durso, for production design, with Keith Stacey and Ian Quinn handling stunt coordination (which had to be tough). .
Be warned - even from the previews, I can see it's a strong film with a message about the sex slavery of children.