An indie horror movie Del Playa, directed by UCSB alumn Shaun Hart, partially based on last year's Isla Vista killings has sparked widespread backlash. The movie seems to feature a protagonist who goes on a killing spree after being rejected by a love interest.
The Change.org petition to halt the release of the film states: "The film Del Playa intentionally seeks to commoditize the death of six beloved students, and makes light of the tragedy faced by the entire Isla Vista/UCSB community [...] Releasing such a film merely 18 months after this tragedy recreates the helplessness and horror felt by the Isla Vista community"
The director released this statement on his FB and the youtube page:
First and foremost, I would like to publicly apologize to everyone who has been offended in any way by our making of this film. It was never our intent to monopolize on the tragic shootings in Isla Vista that took place last year. While I do admit there is the connection of Santa Barbara, this film is not about Elliot Rodger. The fictional character in the film is not meant to portray anyone in particular. It is meant to portray incidents that take place, not only in Santa Barbara, but across the country on a daily basis.
Our intentions were not to make light of such a serious issue, but to engage our audience in an active discussion about bullying and violence.
As a graduate of UCSB and a former resident of Del Playa, that day was a knife to my heart. For me, the actions of one individual tainted a lot of good memories of an innocent time and brought darkness to a place that should only be home to the hopes and dreams of the young.
For all touched by the tragedy at DP, know this: I stand right there with you. And share love and compassion for our fallen Gauchos.
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