Arson spree in L.A. narrowly misses “Bite Marks” actor and SMU alum Benjamin Lutz

Lutz on the set of 'Bite Marks'

After director Mark Bessenger posted on Facebook that Benjamin Lutz was almost a victim of the recent arson attacks in Los Angeles, I contacted the former Plano resident and SMU alum to see just what happened. He responded with the good news that he’s OK, but described how it went down.

“Yes, my parking garage was one of the ones hit by the arsonist,” he said. “It was on New Year’s Eve and I was at my apartment getting ready for a dinner party.  I heard people yelling ‘fire,’ and sure enough the car next to mine was set on fire. I was lucky enough to move my car in time and the fire didn’t spread to my apartment. Sadly, three other cars and the side of the building didn’t make it. It was a weird holiday and I couldn’t get back in my apartment for a long while. I did not lose my car, but some of my friends mistook the info as my car being blown up.”

Lutz starred in the 2011 indie horror flick Bite Marks which we featured in our coverage of the Fears for Queers film festival and its recent DVD release. The perp was arrested on Monday and will appear in court today.

Scary stuff.

UPDATE: Soon after posting this, I learned that former Dallas Voice writer Alonso Duralde and his partner Dave White were directly affected by the arsonist as their two cars were firebombed at their West Hollywood complex. A fund has been set up to help cover repairs and replacement of their vehicles (one was not insured). To contribute, click here.

—  Rich Lopez

WATCH: Local filmmaker Shawn Ewert previews his new feature film ‘Sacrament’ with teaser

Dallas queer filmmaker Shawn Ewert, who co-founded the Fears For Queers film festival, is in the process of working on his newest horror flick, Sacrament. He previewed the movie with this teaser at the festival. At the same time, he and his company Right Left Turn Productions are also inviting people to contribute to the making of the film with donations. Basically, offer them some scratch and you could have a credit in a movie. How often does that happen?

They are about to release an extended clip after so many views of the one below. I wouldn’t say this is NSFW, but if you’re not that much into blood and cannibalism at the dinner table, well, maybe watch at home. Sacrament is the first feature-length film by Ewert and his company.

Oh yeah, what’s the movie about? Well, here’s the synopsis from RLTP:

Leaving work and school behind them for a weekend of hedonism, seven friends take a trip down to South Padre, Texas to relax and party it up. A breakdown lands them square in the rhinestone jewel of the bible-belt, Middle Spring during a tent revival. Middle Spring is known for their famous barbecue, and for their fervent preacher Isaac Renneker.

Our friends soon find themselves trapped in this town of food and faith. Every second that ticks by blurs the line between the two. With Renneker’s fire and brimstone whipping the town into a righteous whirlwind, the friends have to stick together to keep from winding up at the altar, or on the menu.

Watch the teaser below.

—  Rich Lopez