This is not your typical dysfunctional family drama. But what do you expect when a vampire marries a witch and their offspring are hybrids? Throw in some zombies and forbidden love and you’ve got yourself a comedic romp.
“Hybrids,” written and produced by former Durango resident Tony Schweikle, will screen at Allen Theaters at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday.
The film, which Schweikle self-financed for $500,000, follows two teenage siblings, Blaz (Mojean Aria) and Velana (Leanne Agmon) who transport themselves to Palm Tree City, Florida, to pursue their dreams while becoming fugitives on the run, mainly from their parents.
Though it’s a campy comedy, Schweikle wanted to touch on some more serious issues.
“I wanted to address the problem with intolerance and bigotry and racism,” said Schweikle, who now lives seven months of the year in Italy. “Especially now, our country is going through divisiveness. And I knew this story had been told before by other filmmakers, so mine had to be different.”
The movie is studded with film and television veterans like Paul Sorvino (of “Goodfellas” fame) and “General Hospital’s” Carolyn Hennesy. It also features smaller roles for regional actors, like Native American actor/comedian Tatanka Means. Tony Randel, best known for his work on “Hellbound: Hellraiser II,” directs.
“Actually, Burt Reynolds was on tap to play the father vampire, but then right before we finished the contract, he got very sick and couldn’t do it,” Schweikle said. “Tony Randel knew one of Paul Sorvino’s daughters, and we offered Paul a script. Unbeknownst to us, he accepted and did the film for minimal money because he always wanted to play Bela Lugosi! We never knew that, but he’s talked about that in several interviews. It was serendipity.”
Schweikle moved to Durango in 1972 and worked as a photographer at Purgatory, had a five-year stint as Colorado film commissioner, then returned to film production, before departing the area after 35 years. While working at Purgatory, Schweikle, got into the business after working on the 1978 Rock Hudson film “Avalanche,” which shot in Durango.
“I wound up getting hired because I could take stills and ski with their cinematographers,” Schweikle said. “After that, I started getting jobs as a location scout and manager.”
Schweikle worked as a location scout on movies such as “Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade” before his stint as film commissioner. Burned out with government work, he went back into film production but felt out of the loop.
“I loved the business so much,” he said, “and I knew the only way I’d ever be able to work on another feature film was if I made it myself.”
This story has been corrected from an earlier version to update the correct time for the screening of “Hybrids.” The film will show at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, March 30 at Durango Stadium 9.