This cross-genre film, a surreal 1970s-style sci-fi thriller, updates the revenge films of that decade to the domain of rogue international capitalism. When our protagonist, Gen X billionaire Carl Jorstad, is faced with cosmic events of an unknowable nature, he is plunged into the sort of nightmarish, suffocating world of a Lovecraft tale or Hammer Film, with touches of the cold atmosphere of 2001: A Space Odyssey and Vertigo, in order to rob him of his most dearly-held beliefs about independence and control. Carl has his roots in the violent, capitalist antiheroes of the Hollywood Pre-Code era, such as Warren William’s portrayal of Kurt Anderson in Employees’ Entrance, and beyond, through Pacino’s icy, self-absorbed Michael Corleone of The Godfather: Part II.

La méduse rouge has an international focus, with a story that unfolds across New York City, Appalachia, Panama, and Antarctica, and features additional roles for actors originally hailing from Argentina, Liberia, and Sierra Leone. The film represents our deep love of American and international cinema across the eras, repurposing elements of the sci-fi, thriller, fantasy, horror, melodrama, revenge, and kung fu film genres.

— director Michael Wellenreiter, July 2015

Matthew Lyons and Michael Wellenreiter