Poplarville filmmaker to hold DVD release party

Published 7:00 am Saturday, May 21, 2016

On May 31, Poplarville filmmaker Frank Ladner will celebrate the release of his mockumentary “Max Peril” on DVD with a release party in Poplarville.
Since the age of 12, Ladner has experimented with filmmaking, he said in a May 2014 interview.
His first film, “Hickory Never Bleeds,” debuted more than three years ago at Pearl River Community College. It’s a southern comedy about a group of people in a small town who form the monster defense team in order to discover what’s lurking in the woods, Ladner said in a previous interview.
Ladner relies on the talent of local actors to perform his scripts.
“Max Peril” is about a filmmaker named Riley, played by Ladner, who, as he nears his 30th birthday, realizes the films he’s made thus far are half completed.
As he struggles to come up with an idea for a film, Riley meets veteran and retired secret service agent Max Peril, played by Buddy Moody.
The movie was filmed entirely in Poplarville.
The DVD release event will be held at Dimples Chicken Restaurant, where one of the key scenes was filmed, Ladner said.
Dimples owner Jason Meador was in the process of purchasing the building and there was a two-week window which provided Ladner an opportunity to create his own set for the film, Ladner said.
“We set it up to look like a Mexican restaurant,” he said. “Max Peril” DVDs will cost $15 and 11 x 17 film posters will be on sale for $5. Mini 4 x 6 posters with information about the film printed on them will be complimentary, Ladner said.
Along with merchandise, the film’s local cast will be in attendance to sign autographs.
“These events mean so much to my cast members,” he said. “I love them all dearly, they’re all my folks.”
Cast members include Buddy Moody, who plays the lead character Max Peril, Bobby Smith, Sonny Howard, Mark Forte and Mary Etta Moody.
The DVD version of the film will include deleted scenes, a blooper reel and The Condor, a never before released film shot by Buddy Moody in 1985, Ladner said.
There will be three bundles for sale. Each will include a copy of Max Peril and props used in the movie, Ladner said.
“Those are special because that’s the only one we have of whatever it is in that bundle,” Ladner said. “We have five VHS copies of Max Peril, the only five in existence. It’s fitting because the filmmaker in the movie shoots a VHS film.”
Ladner has taken Max Peril to about 16 film festivals and the movie has won seven awards, including three for Best Picture at Festival South in Hattiesburg, Sun and Sand on the Gulf Coast and Rails to Reels in Meridian.
Max Peril also won an Audience Choice award in Knoxville, Tennessee, Best Home-Grown award in Starkville and the Director’s award in North Carolina. Once the film is released on DVD, Ladner won’t be taking it to any more festivals unless he’s invited, Ladner said.
Copies of Ladner’s first film Hickory Never Bleeds will also be for sale for $5.
“I’m very excited to host this event here in Poplarville,” he said. “Everyone’s been asking about when the movie will be released.”
Dimples Fried Chicken is located at 1113 S. Main St., Poplarville.
The event will last from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. and Dimples will be serving $5 dinner plates.
Learn more about the film through Facebook at Max Peril.

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