The film follows Salar (Ziad Abaza), a kebab shop owner who is frustrated by the reliance on alcohol and binge drinking in British culture. He decides to fight this in his own way by enacting a brand of brutal revenge on the drunken revellers.
Dan Pringle is the brains behind K-Shop. He has completed the film’s script and will step behind the camera to direct the film when shooting begins around the end of next month. He got the idea for K-Shop when White Lantern moved into Bournemouth’s town centre, settling in a street that Pringle calls “the carnage centre of the south coast.”
“It was actually identified, whilst we were there as the sixth most violent street in the UK,” says Dan.
“Looking down on all of that stuff was quite bleak. We’d be there working late at night and you’d hear it all going on. Past 9 o’clock you’d start to hear carnage.
“It’s so dramatic… fighting, people in agony, people being sick, lover’s tiffs… it’s all happening in this environment. It’s completely and utterly out of control.”
Listen to Dan Pringle talk about the creative process that led to K-Shop.
In order to effectively satirise binge drinking culture in K-Shop, Dan started to visit Bournemouth’s many nightclubs without a drop of alcohol.
“I very quickly came to the conclusion that [British culture is] a complete and utter state. Our reliance on alcohol as a society is dangerous and excessive and I just thought we could have a lot of fun with this.”
Originally conceived as a short film, Dan and the team at White Lantern decided that K-Shop was too good a feature opportunity to miss. Its “Sweeney Todd in a kebab shop” hook practically screams commercial potential and, with an exciting cast building around Ziad Abaza in the lead role, Dan has a limited theatrical release in his sights for the film.
“The nature of the concept is universal and that has been proven by the Kickstarter campaign [which has raised more than £12,000 at the time of writing]. We’ve had really big pledges come in from overseas, from the States, from Australia, a couple of people in India.
“It’s got universal appeal, so I’d be really disappointed if it didn’t get a limited theatrical release.”
Despite K-Shop being the most commercial film that White Lantern has ever made, Dan is keen to stress that it isn’t just a slice of mainstream torture porn. It has a different, more darkly comedic edge to it that he compares to the work of Shane Meadows, specifically citing Dead Man’s Shoes.
“Tonally, it’ll probably be quite similar to Dead Man’s Shoes, but from my perspective, I find that film absolutely hilarious. Some of the scenes in that film are really funny, and there’s lots of that dark humour and real, real black comedy in K-Shop.
“It’s not going to be a barrel of laughs. People aren’t going to be belly laughing, but there’s gonna be those moments that, if you pick up on them, hopefully they’ll be sophisticated enough to get some highbrow laughs.
“What I’m passionate about isn’t the people getting cut up and the scenes of torture and gruesomeness. I’ll have a lot of fun making that and it’s a lot of fun to write, but what I’m most passionate about is the bigger picture: the message which is being communicated through the film and just highlighting and exploring the state of our relationship with alcohol.”
Dan aims to release K-Shop in early 2015.
We will be following the production of K-Shop on The Popcorn Muncher as it develops. It’s great to support independent British filmmaking, especially down here in Bournemouth. Keep up to date with our K-Shop coverage here.