KIX BROOKS SADDLES UP FOR THE BIG SCREEN
Kix Brooks is more than a quadruple threat. A songwriter, singer, radio host and vintner, he now adds actor, executive producer and owner of a film company, Team Two Entertainment, to skill set.
With the release of “A Country Christmas: Saving Santa” in December, Team Two debuted in the movie market. The company has followed quickly with its second offering, “Ambush at Dark Canyon,” a Western with a “Shawshank Redemption” type of twist.
“It’s about a lawman who gets hoodwinked by some outlaws into robbing a bank,” Brooks explained. “The outlaws are holding a woman hostage and they are going to kill her if he doesn’t help. The sheriff thought he could help them rob the bank and then take them down and everything would be OK. But it doesn’t work out that way and he ends up in prison. And then a bunch of stuff happens. I don’t want to give it all away.”
Brooks plays the lead role of Sheriff Duke Donovan, who goes through a series of exploits in the movie, including breaking out of jail to rescue his wife. “I studied real hard,” he recounted. “I knew the script back and forth, and I knew my part back and forth. I also got in real good shape because the movie was very challenging physically to make. There was a bunch of fight scenes, and I didn’t want to get hurt halfway through making the movie – which I did! But if I hadn’t been in shape, it could have been a lot worse.”
One bonus of owning Team Two is having the freedom to choose who he gets to work with. Brooks got two of his music industry buddies, Trace Adkins and Jay DeMarcus of Rascal Flatts, involved with the Christmas project. And Randy Houser contributes significantly to “Ambush at Dark Canyon.”
“Randy and I were writing one day,” Brooks recalled. “I told him I was making a Western, and I said, ‘Let’s write a song for it.’ We wrote this really badass cowboy song called ‘High in the Saddle.’ It plays under the opening credit for the movie.
“Doing the theme song with Kix was a lot of fun,” Houser noted. “It was a little bit different than my usual writing process because there was a set topic to write about. We’re usually writing whatever lyric or melody happens to be in my head on a given day and building a song from there.”
“So then Randy said, ‘Man, I want to be in this thing,’” Brooks continued. “And I said, ‘Get your ass out to Phoenix.’ We ended up in Tucson for a couple of weeks, and we hung out on the set. We were in this prison together in the film. I got him beat up every time he turned around; I think he got beat up two or three times in the days he was there.”
“It was originally just supposed to be a very limited role,” Houser said. “When we got there, I ended up with a role where I got beat up and had a few speaking lines. Apparently, I just looked like I could play the part!”
“Ambush at Dark Canyon” is now selling at Wal-Mart and will be available at other outlets, including Amazon.com, in March. The soundtrack is also available now at Wal-Mart.
Click below for the trailer for “Ambush at Dark Canyon.