Dakota Bailey

The Evolution of a Filmmaker: Studying the Films of Dakota Bailey

Dakota BaileyDakota Bailey is a Denver-based filmmaker with a growing following of loyal fans eager to view his films, that reflect on ultra-realistic exploitation involving both a subculture of crime and horror.

In January, Bailey released his fourth independent film The Rise And Fall of An American Scumbag. The film was intended as a continuation of an earlier film of his called American Scumbags and production on the film took approximately six months.

Bailey started his career creating short films, that reflect a Denver subculture of drug-induced mayhem.

Each short included some interesting musical scores, Bailey’s signature mixture of characters, and a bird’s eye view of a gritty town on the brink of destruction.

Alaskan Cinder in Dakota Bailey's The Rise and Fall of an American Scumbag (2017)He began his career with the creation of his first short film American Scumbags: A Day In The Life of A Drug Dealer in 2015. This was followed by four more shorts within the  year – Satan’s Coming For You, My Master Satan, I Spread Hate Like Herpes and Nights Of Depravity.  In 2016, Bailey released the anthology horror film My Master Satan: 3 Tales of Drug Fueled Violence. He followed up later in the year with his unforgettable and popular film American Scumbags. In 2017, fans were treated to the impressive The Acid Sorcerer.  It was following that when Bailey began work on his latest film.

Titled The Rise And Fall of An American Scumbag, the film features several entwining stories that revolve around several intriguing and shady characters. This includes Johnny (Dakota Bailey) an unstable, drug-addicted hitman, Billy (Darien Fawkes) a sadistic sociopath with a scheme to murder his father for his life insurance policy, and wheelchair-bound Vietnam veteran vigilante Wheeling Deals (L.B.). The film documents each character’s rise and eventual self-destruction and takes the viewer on a dark and twisted journey full of drugs and death.

Marla Rose in Dakota Bailey's The Rise and Fall of an American Scumbag (2017)With this new film, Bailey twists the narrative a little and makes for a compelling and inviting storyline that tangles with depravity, yet has some heart. I really felt Billy resonated well on screen and his angst versus his moral code is explored so wonderfully that Darien Fawkes‘ abilities shine on-screen even more so than they did previously in American Scumbags.

Mish-mashed within the amazing imagery of graffiti art, a town in decline, and religious symbolism, the film seeps into your subconscious and draws you in through a sea of heavy music. Again, Bailey uses the focus of drug-fueled insanity to create the film’s ambiance. The desperation, depravity, and daily grinding lifestyle of each character is clear and precise. From Billy’s need to break free of his dangerous monotonous life and start fresh elsewhere, Johnny’s insatiable lust for his next hit, and even Wheelin’ Deals desires to set the world straight in some skewered act of morality, The Rise And Fall Of An American Scumbag has many layers to its developed and well-conceived plot.

We explore Bailey’s familiar concepts of drugs, anxiety, violence, and desperation. However, The Rise And Fall of An American Scumbag will leave you stunned by its original and shocking sentiments. Each story connects with the other, much like films such as Go (1999), 200 Cigarettes (1999), and The Rules of Attraction (2002), creating an impressive end result that is equally strong and cleverly depicted.

This film is a testament to Bailey’s ability to grow as a filmmaker and master storyteller. Allowing his characters to evolve from scripted storylines to a more narrative style of the fly on the wall personas, he involves us on a newer level and engages with his audience wonderfully.

Secure your own copy of The Rise And Fall Of An American Scumbag.
Dakota Bailey in The Rise and Fall of an American Scumbag (2017)


Posted by Michelle MIDI Sayles

Hailing from Sydney Australia and injecting a dose of Aussie Flavour to her reviews, Midi began her horror love in Birmingham England at a very young age and is always trying to find the next local or indie horror talent to share with the world.

2 comments

We want to hear your thoughts!