Recently divorced and unemployed, Falicki was going through what he now refers to as an “early midlife crisis.” Then, a neighbor in his apartment complex one day asked Falicki if he could shoot wedding videos. Falicki figured he’d give it a shot, and soon discovered a special knack for film. Before he knew it, he was making commercials.
“It was actually a blessing in disguise,” Falicki said. “They pretty much paid me to learn.”
One thing he learned from this new job was how to use green screens, a filming technique that made his first feature-length project, GR30K, possible. In this film, Falicki employed the effect to build a post-apocalyptic world filled with mutants, evil corporations and Amazonian warriors, all rotoscoped in the style of Ralph Bakshi’s films.
GR30K amassed a small but loyal following, including producer Warren Croyle, Falicki’s soon-to-be boss. One day Croyle called him up out of the blue, asking how much GR30K cost to make. Falicki’s answer was around $3,000, “considering all the plastic shoulder pads and green paint I bought.” Croyle offered to finance his next film, and thus began Falicki’s career. Since then, he’s been busy pitching ideas for Croyle, who in turn finances the projects he likes. With this process, Falicki has been beefing up his IMdB page at an alarming rate, releasing multiple movies each year.
“When people ask, ‘What do you do for a living?’ I tell them, ‘I make low-budget genre films.’ They instantly assume porn,” he said.
His most recent film, Accidental Exorcist, follows a depressed, alcoholic wannabe writer (played by Falicki) who finds himself stuck doing the only job he’s good at – exorcising demons out of the possessed. While the film does have its fair share of blood, gore and generally terrifying moments, it also features plenty of the director’s signature dark humor sprinkled throughout.
“I just want to entertain. I don’t want to scare people,” Falicki said. “That’s kind of what the reviews I’m getting on Accidental Exorcist are all about. They’re like ‘I don’t know if this is a comedy or a horror.’ Some people are scared, some people aren’t.”
Accidental Exorcist has garnered the most attention and positive reviews of any of his films. Falicki himself has been pleasantly surprised with the overwhelming response. And when Ain’t It Cool News recommended the film to its readers back in June, Falicki freaked out appropriately.
“I shat my pants so much that day I had to stand up to get off it,” Falicki said. “I used to read that as a kid.”
Falicki has high hopes his next release will be met with similar acclaim – as it turns out, he won’t have to wait long to find out. In June, Falicki finished his latest film, sci-fi revenge flick Alien Implant, while reviews were still rolling in from Accidental Exorcist.
“It’s about a woman — she lives like the Unabomber out in the wilderness, but she has a dark past. She’s been abducted by aliens ever since she was a kid,” Falicki said. “It’s very simplistic. It’s practical effects the whole way through.”
Per usual, Falicki wore many hats during the production of the movie, not only directing and editing, but also doing the set design, sound and practical effects himself. His small crew is comprised entirely of Michigan talent. Many of the actors in his films are friends and local actors Falicki met while doing live theater in Grand Rapids.
“My boss always wanted me to go out there. He lives in Forest Hill, California,” Falicki explained. “He’s asked why I don’t move out there — it’s because all the talent’s here.”
Accidental Exorcist is currently available to rent on Amazon Instant Video.