Far too often I’ve heard people say that nothing positive, nothing major has ever come out of El Paso. Of course, these same people are forgetting people like F. Murray Abraham, Lupe Ontiveros, Anthony Quinn, Tom Lea, Ruben Salazar, Vikki Carr, Stevie Nicks, and so many others.
Last year, we were able to add the name of Joe Lujan to that list.
Who is Joe Lujan? He’s a filmmaker from right here in El Paso – he was born in Las Cruces and raised in El Paso. When we introduced you to him eleven months ago, he was promoting his movie Immortal Wars.
On Thursday the 18th of April, he’s having the El Paso premiere of his newest movie – Immortal Wars: Resurgence.
What are Immortal Wars and Immortal Wars: Resurgence about?
“The first one is very Mortal Kombat meets Hunger Games. It’s a very action packed story…a live adaption from my comic book series, the Vanquishers,” Lujan shares. “The sequel picks up at the exact last scene of the Immortal Wars… So, this one, it’s now a little bit more dark, a little bit more intense. I like to say that the Immortal Wars 2 is now like Resident Evil meets Mad Max-type of style film.”
Immortal Wars was available nationwide and sold out in every story that carried them. It’s also in my top five of favorite movies. In fact, if you’ve not seen it, take a moment and check out the trailer.
As Joe Lujan said, Resurgence picks up in the last scene of Immortal Wars. The trailer promises to deliver a film just as good, if not better than the first one.
So, what is the overall focus of the Immortal Wars: Resurgence?
“I think with the sequel, I focus a lot more on Dominion Harvey (Eric Roberts),” said Lujan, “His character is I think, is a little bit more focused on in this film as far as what he’s doing and what level he’s going to make just to get back what he wants, which is Trikalypse. You know, he’s killing innocent people…there’s a difference. Obviously, there’s humans and deviants. Deviants are the ones with the special abilities.”
Joe continues, “So, he’s gone to the extent that he’s killing his own kind, just so he could grow fear amongst the people in the world to bring out Trikalypse. I think that’s one thing that I liked showing. It’s a very, very emotional element to the film has as far as the extent he’s going, just to get what he wants.”
When I first met Joe I had assumed the movies came after the comics. I made that assumption based on the history – Spiderman, Superman, HellBoy, and others were books first. Not in this case.
“Yeah, it’s opposite,” said Joe. “So, as far as the original concepts I did when I was attending EPCC. I did that more as a hobby, kind of like my escape from the studying; I was going to school for media production. I kept those designs just in the back burner because I focus on the horror films. But now when my team and my producers and investors had asked to do, have anything that’s more family friendly, something that’s more for a broader audience, I dive back into my sketches and my designs.”
For the books, Joe Lujan had other artists do the work, drawing off his designs and story. The artists had the full script of what he wanted, and the book came together.
If you’ve not read them, you really should. Being one who reads comic books just as much as I read the Scriptures, I can tell you they are well worth the time – and it’s one hell of a story.
Joe Lujan has come a long way. As he mentioned in our original conversation, he went from being the victim of bullying to very quickly approaching the top of his craft. His life could have taken one of many different paths, but he chose to persevere and follow his heart and his dream.
I echo what Joe said in that last interview, the need to support independent artists and the arts. We have a wealth of talent here in El Paso of which Joe is a part of. I’ll share with you what he said in that last interview:
“Support independent arts,” Joe asks of us all. “It’s crucial to support artists and people who have a passion and a love for something they want to do. It might be their escape. It might be their way of expressing themselves because they don’t know any other way to express themselves. It’s important to support them no matter what.”
You’ll be able to catch Lujan at El Paso Comic-Con, April 12, 13, and 14. Stop by and talk with him and pick up a few of his books or movies.
Immortal Wars: Resurgence will be playing at Bassett Center April the 18 th at 7 p.m. Tickets will be $5 dollars, with proceeds benefiting Movies for Kids.