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The number-one rule on SA roads is don’t pick up hitchhikers – you never know who or what you’re inviting into your car and your lives. If only someone had reminded Katherine and Hugh of that in local indie flick Girl From Nowhere (stream it only on Showmax). On the way to their weekend getaway – read: saucy sexcapades out of town – the couple (played by Tamryn Speirs and Scot Cooper) pass a lone hitchhiker in the middle of nowhere and Liza (Christia Visser) has trouble written on her face from the word go. While Hugh wants his bae to stop and help the stranger walking in Daisy Duke hotpants, Katherine is more wary of the “hot young thing”: “It’s dangerous! She might be psycho! Hitching alone? I mean, who does that?”

Dangerous liaisons

Just because hitch-hiking Liza is in their rear-view mirror doesn’t mean that she’s gone for good though. The couple pass her again after stopping at a roadside shop and this time they stop. “Where are you going, sweetie?” asks Kat. “This way… still,” replies Liza before climbing in the car. The attitude is clear when Liza tells them that she’s from “nowhere” and that walking has been “a blast” with sarcasm, but that changes when she finds out that Kat is a TV producer and Hugh an actor – suddenly she’s all ears and totally interested in her chauffeurs as they head to their house in the middle of nowhere.

With this being an erotic thriller, of course there will be lots of flirting– between rubbing suntan lotion into Kat’s body and ogling over Liza tanning, Hugh has his hands full. Even when they pass a marijuana joint and drink wine later that night, Hugh and Kat are oblivious to the danger they’ve brought home and how Liza is going to lead them both down the path of temptation. Just wait ’til you see how shy Hugh goes when Kat and Liza are all over each other (they’ll chalk it down to being “under the influence” in the morning) – the poor man looks like a deer in the headlights. Liza is the devil in disguise and neither of her victims is clued up. Even their dreams are being taken over by her! And that’s where the trouble really starts…

Fake it and make it

In an interview with filmcontact.com, director Mark Jackson reveals that getting his idea onto film wasn’t easy. “I couldn’t do the sound, so that was a third of the cost. Another big portion went to professional grading, because you can’t skimp on the look. But I was able to add value in other ways. For the music, I was very lucky to be able get such great local musicians to add immense value with the beautiful soundtrack. And we shot in a loose style, in an incredible location that needed no set dressing. It was also filmed natural light, so we were able to shoot very fast, and tight, with every shot storyboarded.”

He also had to take on the role of writer, layout artist, producer and even post-production editor. And at 85 minutes long, it’s nothing short of a miracle that Mark got this movie done on a budget of under R400 000! It helped that his leading lady Tamryn has been in the business and knew exactly who would and wouldn’t fit the roles – the acting coach told Mark that they needed to get her former student Christia onboard as she was perfect to play dangerous femme fatale Liza.

Love the movie? Find out more about the awesome (and very local) soundtrack and the graphic novel here on the official Girl From Nowhere homepage.

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