Warning: Spoilers for the first episode of “Mad Dogs” below.
Plenty of movies and TV shows turn a fun time with good friends into either a horror show or a comedy of errors. Amazon’s new series, “Mad Dogs,” does a little of both with a very intense murder scene on the premiere episode.
“Mad Dogs” star Romany Malco, who plays Gus, told Business Insider that a shoot day for the episode started at 4 p.m. and dragged on until the bloody murder was filmed at 7 a.m. the next day.
“I was like, ‘This is a real emotional turn here — shouldn’t we do it when we aren’t so exhausted?'” Malco remembers, but he was turned down by the director. “I think I was crying because I was still awake more than anything else.”
On “Mad Dogs,” four longtime friends (Malco, Ben Chaplin, Michael Imperioli, and Steve Zahn) travel to Belize where their buddy Milo (Billy Zane) lives after coming into money. Old issues quickly begin to bubble up, and they realise that that Milo is involved with some shady business when they find a dead goat in the pool and Milo steals someone’s boat in retaliation. As the feuding guys prepare to leave the country early, a man with a cat mask arrives at the house and shoots Milo in the head.
The Cat (Mark Povinelli) proceeds to spread Milo’s blood all over the friends while telling them that no one, not even the police, can help them if they don’t bring his boss’s boat back. The Cat takes special interest in Gus and actually places a bloody finger in the frightened man’s mouth.
“Mark [Povinelli], the actor who plays The Cat, he makes it legitimate,” Malco told BI. “That feeling of being violated. You get angry and you want to strike back. But because of the rules of the game, you have to take it. It makes you want to go somewhere emotionally and psychologically that you wouldn’t have been able to plan.”
For Malco — whose roles have been mostly comic, such as on “Key & Peele,” “Real Husbands of Hollywood,” and “Weeds” — the gory scene was a welcome departure.
“I feel like it’s a blessing for my career, because people are used to seeing me do other things,” he said. “Being able to be working with people who make situations so real that you had to react authentically is nice.”
Race plays an interesting part in the scene, too: Gus says he was singled out by The Cat because he’s the only black man among the friends.
“They actually wrote it in,” Malco said of the moment. “‘Of course, they’re going to go after the black guy’ — not realising that in Belize nobody gives a s–t. For American audiences and in his mind, it resonates. But for the world that we were in, my character was interpreting it as if they live under the same kind of law and injustice we felt in the United States. I thought that was dope. It shows you how you can almost carry your burden into other spaces sometimes.”
The full first season of “Mad Dogs” is available now on Amazon Prime Video.
Disclosure: Jeff Bezos is an investor in Business Insider through hispersonal investment company Bezos Expeditions.
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