Cordoba Nights

Finn is a pizza delivery man who's about as burnt out as the city that surrounds him.  Every night he maneuvers the filthy, crime-infested streets of Bronston listening to his old records, nostalgically reminiscing over his will party days as the drummer in a punk rock band and delivering greasy food to even greasier people.  But his luck, as his life, changes when he comes across the free-spirited Ally, an alluring young girl with a wild streak and lust-for-life attitude that brings a glimmer of hope into Finn's daily monotony of a lousy job in a skuzzy city.  The nay catch: she's being hunted down by her homicidally jealous gangster boyfriend who has a team of his squirrelly henchmen scouring the streets looking for Ally and Finn- and if they find him he'll end up as cold as one of his pizzas. IMDb

The real story behind Cordoba Nights, the newest film from one of the Midwest’s most promising new filmmaking team- Luke and Andy Campbell, goes much deeper than the one that’s told in the film. The Campbell brothers have been making independent movies in northeastern Ohio since early 2001, releasing such cult horror classics as Midnight Skater and The Red Skulls. In 2005, the brothers decided to turn away from the horror genre, and delved into their most ambitious effort to date, Cordoba Nights. At first, the project seemed to be a monumental challenge, as the brothers wanted to shoot the film on 16mm to accurately capture the feculence of the City of Cleveland- where the movie was being shot. With not enough funding and limited practical experience in a venture as ambitious as Cordoba Nights, the brothers became discouraged.  

But fate intervened when local experimental filmmaker Robert Banks came across one of the Campbell brothers earlier efforts at a film festival. Banks was attending a film festival at Ohio University in Athens, Ohio when, tired of viewing films all day, he went to retire to his hotel room and call it an early night. While flipping through the channels, he happened to land on the college’s local public access station’s midnight showing of Midnight Skater, the brother’s first full length movie. Banks was immediately attracted to the raw passion of the boys’ style and their unwavering artistic vision and he immediately made it his mission to track the brothers down. Once Banks found the Campbells he expressed a wish to collaborate. Now, with the marriage of Banks’ practical experience in independent film making and the Campbell brothers’ wild-eyed enthusiasm and youthful determination, the dream of Cordoba Nights could be realized. 

The Campbell brothers began to cast their movie with like-minded “outsider” actors and artists- independent film star Raymond Turturro, emerging actress Ashleigh Holeman, and cult movie stars Duane Whitaker, Toby Radloff, and Joe Estevez, the two latter also being Ohio rust belt natives. The brothers became even more enthused about the project and soon it occupied all of their time. Andy, who was in senior standing at Kent State University at the time, even dropped out of school to focus all of his attention on the film. Luke began working close to 60 hours a week to draw in as much money as he could before filmming, till his dream film could be followed through to completion. 

For the soundtrack, the boys wanted to continue with the local theme, and went about getting rights to songs by Akron and Cleveland bands of old (the Bizarros, Human Switchboard, Tin Huey, etc.,) and then they hit a bit of luck while searching for the movie’s theme. “Desperado” by local country/bluegrass artist James Derreberry the Campbell brothers found in a pile of garbage sitting on an Akron, Ohio street corner. The copy that was found was the master reel-to-reel tape- the song had been abandoned and was about to be lost forever. The brothers salvaged the tape to be used at the opening and closing of the film. The song, a brilliant ode to the feelings of isolation and despair of a life of hardships, is almost a perfect parallel to the story spun in Cordoba Nights

music from the soundtrack

production pictures

"It's just one of those films that sort of grabs your attention and doesn't let go. ...would I recommend it? Definitely." - Rogue Cinema