Michael Madsen has made a career out of playing villains. In the upcoming Jungle Room, he has a run-in with a mysterious stalker.
Many films use the premise of people isolated at a foreboding estate, with malicious human or supernatural activity afoot. Think The Haunting and You’re Next, among countless others. When done well, this sense of isolation can inspire genuine chills. The upcoming Jungle Room, starring Michael Madsen, is looking to put its stamp on this subgenre.
Deadline has a short and sweet synopsis of the film, which is currently in production:
"“[The movie] follows a group of college students who spend a night at an old, eerie manor, only to realize that a terrifying stalker is watching their every move as he plans to repossess an ancient Native American artifact located inside.”"
While little else is known about the film at this juncture, it raises the question of what function Madsen’s character (“Damon,” per the IMDb) will serve.
A character actor most well-known for his portrayal of the psychotic, ear-slicing Mr. Blonde in Quentin Tarantino’s Reservoir Dogs, Madsen seems most at home playing heavies. He did likewise as a cop on the edge in Robert Rodriguez’s comic-book Noir classic, Sin City. And he returned to Tarantino World as a more ominously understated character in The Hateful Eight.
Then again, he also played one of the good guys in Species (and its unfortunate sequel), and got to channel his anti-heroic tendencies in the short-lived ABC series, Vengeance Unlimited alongside a revolving-door cast of fellow character actors.
With a jaw-dropping 309 credits to his name, Michael Madsen is omnipresent in cinema, regardless of genre. It will be interesting to see how co-directors David Gere and Daniel Dahlstrom utilize the actor in Jungle Room.
The synopsis also leaves one wondering: will this be a straightforward home-invasion horror, or one that adds some supernatural elements (as ancient artifacts usually tend to be harbingers of otherworldly evil; see The Exorcist)? I’m sure we’ll learn more once the film’s production wraps.
What is your favorite Michael Madsen film? Let us know in the comments.