Stain leaves its mark

Michael Stockinger

Prepare for a night of orgies, murder and drama when local filmmaker Bob Moricz showcases his movie “Palace of Stains” at 11 p.m. Friday at the Crest Theatre.

The Sacramento State alumnus and cult film favorite in the local community, Moricz, has made nearly 20 movies ranging from comedy to horror, or better yet, both, with everything else in between thrown in for good measure.

His last picture, “The Midnight of My Life,” an intense, low-budget horror movie that featured an evil witch, a mad scientist, an axe-wielding psychologist, a monster, an alien, a disfigured slasher, a political assassin, zombies and the anti-Christ was shown to a sold out crowd at the Crest Theater in 2004.

“All my movies are complicated and impossible to follow,” Moricz said with a laugh. “They’re roller coasters and I want to leave people feeling that way: exhausted, wiped out, ready to puke.”For his 32nd birthday last year, Moricz invited friends and acquaintances to film “Palace of Stains” over a weekend.

“I decided to do a birthday party where I was going to shoot this movie in one day,” Moricz said.

In late January, he sent an e-vite to about 80 friends and acquaintances in the artistic community asking them to write their dream role, which he would write the script around ?” 56 people responded.

Set with the roles, Moricz wrote a 126-page script in two weeks.

“We shot on April 2 and I gave myself a month to write the script, but in actuality, I didn’t start until the middle of the March,” Moricz said. “I posted the script online and everyone saw it. They had about a week to learn their lines.”

The majority of the movie was shot in one day with four cameras by co-directors in different places such as Moricz’s house, the historic Sacramento Hostel on H Street, a co-director’s house and near a river in North Highlands.

“I had 22 hours of footage and I began to edit it in December, so it took me about three months to get through it,” Moricz said.

“Palace of Stains” features a cast of colorful characters including murderers, sex slaves, hillbillies and even Satan.

“It’s based on the Spanish soap operas where things are really fast paced, they don’t last long and there’s only like three or four episodes,” Moricz said. “This is like four episodes of one of those.”

The movie’s plot revolves around Lydiaville, a very upscale and rich town, and three families whose lives are all intertwined.

There are two rich families at odds with each other: the Cosgraves, who are dark, creepy, demented people that have ruled the town for seven generations and the Montgomerys, an all-American family.

The Griepers, who come from the South and who just made money from their son’s televangelist ministry, also move into Lydiaville. That’s when the trouble begins.

“They come into this town and the older families immediately take a major disliking to them because they’re new money and it’s just how the lives of these families intertwine,” Moricz said.

Moricz, whose films have been called “Sacsploitation” because of the way he takes advantage of the historic setting and rich art scene in Sacramento, has shot his most recent movies entirely in the city.

“It’s such a small world here in Sacramento because you meet anyone here and they always know somebody that you know,” Moricz said. “People are very open and supportive here. – I love it.”Moricz, a 2000 Bay Area transplant, has really taken to the city.

“Sacramento has so many locations, I love exploiting this place,” Moricz said with a laugh. “I’m exploiting the wonderful locales of this region as well as the town.

“It’s a big small town, but you still have politeness and the niceness factor.”

A short documentary called “Happy Birthday Bob,” about on the making of “Palace of Stains” shot by two actors in the movie, will also be shown before the screening.

Admission is $8 for general. The doors open at 10:15 p.m. For more information on “Palace of Stains” visit the official Web site.

Michael Stockinger can be reached at [email protected]