The Dark Dealer was a film I wrote and directed
along with a great guy named Wynn Winberg. He owns Aries Productions; a
first class production house in Arlington, Texas. The film is actually
a trilogy similar to Creepshow and Tales from the Crypt. It all started in 1987 when I produced, wrote, and directed a short film called Cellar Space (which actually won a Silver Scroll
award from the Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror).
Years later Wynn produced, wrote, and directed a short film called Blues
in the Night. A year or so after that, we met and became good friends who shared a passion for filmmaking. We made a trip to LA to investigate what kind of movies were popular in the low budget arena. The answer was universal, Action, Action, Action. "Lots of gunfire, them foreigners eat it up!" Naturally, we disregarded the information since both of us had already made Twilight
Zone-like short films which were quickly gathering dust on a shelf.
Wynn came up with the idea of combining our films and producing
a third wrap-around episode that marries all the segments together. The
linking device was a card game with a cast member from each of the three
segments playing blackjack against the Devil. Fortunately, Rocky Patterson,
the bad guy from Cellar Space, and Vinnie Gaskin, the blues singer from Blues in the Night, were still in Dallas and agreed to
reprise their roles. I also had some buddies that were professional make-up artists and an fx/animation house called
DNA deliver a bunch of really cool effects. All in all the film turned out okay considering it had no-budget, local actors, me as the director, and a pretty goofy wraparound story. The biggest let down so far has been our domestic video distributor; an outfit by the name of Star Dance. They went belly up and squandered all our royalties trying to stay afloat. I am told that this is par for the course in the world of no-budget independent filmmaking. Above is an early version of the poster Wynn created. He was going for that action element to lure them foreign buyers in.