Pete Smalls Is Dead

Pete Smalls Is Dead

A scene from PETE SMALLS IS DEAD, a film directed by Alexandre Rockwell. Picture courtesy W2 Media. All rights reserved.

Pete Smalls Is Dead (2010/2011)

Opened: 11/11/2011 Limited

Monica 4-Plex11/11/2011 - 11/17/20117 days

Trailer: Click for trailer

Websites: Home

Genre: Comedy

Rated: Unrated


KC is at his wit's end. A loan shark he owes $10.000 took his dog hostage. His pal Jack has promised help but it has come too late - his other best friend, the great Hollywood director Pete Smalls, is now dead. The wake is a disgrace as there is only a wax effigy of Smalls in the coffin. No one can tell anymore what is real and what is illusion in the dream factory.

The art film. Los Angeles. That's where KC Munk started - but now he is lost working in a Laundromat folding other peoples' dirty laundry. His world came crashing down on him when his wife died and left him alone with their arthritic dog Buddha. Years later, broke and down on his luck, he lost the last memory of his wife when the loan shark took the dog as collateral for the debts he now owed.

Where to get the ten grand? Ten grand or he'll never see Buddha again. The only place he could get change like that was LA, a town that kicked his ass the first time around and might like the chance to do it again. Jack claims he'll find KC the money but there's an "if" - as there always is with Jack. KC has to attend the funeral of their former close friend and one-time collaborator, the aforementioned legend Pete Smalls. Yet Pete Smalls' world, the world of big-budget action movies, was the world KC once ran from. And is running from still.

Now he's down to a choice between few and none and before he knows it, Jack is leading him back through the slippery alleys of Hollywood where all the heart in town could fit in the belly of a fruit fly and still have room for three caraway seeds, armed with a "secret" plan to get KC his money back and set just about every ill in the world right.

Jumping on the back of Jack's busted up 30cc scooter, KC and Jack explore every inch of these dirty streets looking for clues and chasing the ghost of Pete Smalls. On their trusty bike they navigate the jungle of deception, in search of the truth like a modem day Don Quixote and Sancho Panza riding against the windmills of the film industry and hoping to get Buddha back before it is too late.

Peter Dinklage and Mark Boone meet the crazy stars of Los Angeles played by Seymour Cassel, Steve Buscemi, Tim Roth, Rosie Perez and a whole gang of Tarantino trained gangster Panda bears as director Alex Rockwell helps us to a heavy dose of self-irony and tackles the demon that is Hollywood in this real roller coaster ride of a film that reveals a lot about the darkness in his independent soul.

Director's Statement

John Cassavetes sent this in response to one of my many chicken scratch letters I mailed to him from dirty train stations and pensions across Europe. Not many film directors today would take the time to write some nut kid back, let alone allow his address to be published. John was a lion of independent film and there are not many of them around anymore. Independent film has become a brand not what it once was.

I am proud that PETE SMALLS is a true independent film. We pulled it together with bits and pieces, using our last pennies to develop cans of film. When a week before shooting the production fell apart, one of my students, who was working on the film as a producer, saved the day by finding an investor to allow us to continue. It is impossible to separate the way the film was made from what the film itself became. The dreams and hopes of so many people went into making PETE SMALLS. It is hard to imagine that some of the care and love would not show on the screen.

The co-writer Brandon Cole and myself set out to tell a personal story about a man who looses his dog and how the journey to find him changes the course of his life. The idea was to have our hero, KC MONK learn something about himself he had no idea of before he set out to get his dog back. It is my hope the Aldous Huxley quote: "All journeys have secret destinations of which the traveler is unaware..." will apply not only to the lead character but the audience itself.

SACO, an Armenian/Mechanic played by Seymour Cassel encourages KC to embrace this idea through love: " A Love that burns your brain. So the more you look at it the more it burns and the more it burns the more you want. Not so you forget your dog, huh? Not so you forget your beauty dog -- but close!"

-- Alexandre Rockwell